How to Make Infused Oil

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I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipe...

Intro: How to Make Infused Oil

Making infused oils is a process of transferring flavour and scent into a carrier oil.  It can be used to add flavour to cooking oils. As well as making scent oils for use in aromatherapy, massage oils and making beauty products like soaps and lotions. 

It is a simple process of infusing flowers, herbs or spices into an oil by heating or letting it sit in a sunny spot so that  the volatile oils can transfer into the carrier oil. I will show you how I make them in this instructable.

Step 1: Materials:

  • Oil (I will discuss the different types to use in Steps 2 and 5)
  • Herbs, spices, flowers
  • Clean, dry glass jars
  • Clean decorative glass containers
  • Coffee filters, cheesecloth, sieve
  • Funnel
  • Spoon
  • Hot plate/double boiler or pan/skillet
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Sunny windowsill
Sterilize the glass jars and bottles that you will be using by running them through the dishwasher.  It is important that they are completely dry.

As you will see in the following steps a wide assortment of flowers, herbs and spices can be used in making infused oils.  Since you will ingesting or putting these oils on your body I would recommend using organic material if you can.  Better still if you can grow them in your garden, you can control what goes on the plants as well as save yourself a lot of money too.  Even a little potted herb plant on your windowsill will do.

Step 2: Culinary Oil: Preparing Herbs

Culinary infused oils are a great way to add flavour to your cooking. An assortment of herbs and spices can be used depending on your tastes and cooking style. You can use either fresh or dried herbs.  Fresh herbs will give a stronger flavour but the oil won't keep as long and needs to be stored in the refrigerator (see note below**).  I tend to make small quantities of infused oil at at time so that it will be used up quickly.

Here a few suggestions, don't be afraid to mix and match:

Basil

  Clove

  Oregano

  Peppercorns

Garlic

  Rosemary

  Tarragon

  Sage

Chilies

  Coriander

  Thyme

  Cumin


The best type of oil to use is extra virgin olive oil, you can also use grape seed , peanut or sunflower oil.  Walnut oil is also good if it will be used cold such as for salad dressings since it is not good for heating.

How to make:
  • Wash your herbs and dry completely**
  • Bruise or rub herbs, for spices toast them to bring out the flavour
  • Place in a clean dry glass jar.
  • Add oil until it completely covers the herbs/spices.
  • Place a lid on  the jar and close
  • Place the jar on a sunny windowsill or other sunny spot.  Swirl or shake the jar every day or so.

**It is important that no moisture is introduced into the oil as it can become rancid or prone to mold or bacteria growth. (Garlic is particularly prone to this so it should be stored in the fridge or made with the heating method in a skillet described in step 4.)

Step 3: Culinary Oil:draining and Storing

  • After a week drain off the oil into a clean dry jar using a sieve (for larger herbs) or cheesecloth or coffee filters.
  • Taste the oil to see if the flavour is strong enough
  • If you want it stronger add more herbs/spices to the oil, close the lid and place back in the sunny spot for another week.
  • Repeat as needed.
  • If you are happy with the flavour, pour the oil into a nice glass bottle, you can also add a fresh sprig of herb to make if look fancy.
  • Store in a cool dry place or better still, in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Culinary Oil: Heating Method

Heating the herbs/spices in oil is a quicker way of making infused oil and is great for dried herbs and spices since the heat helps brings out the flavour.
  • Grind dried herbs/spices with mortar and pestle
  • Place into a clean glass jar
  • Cover in oil
  • Place a lid on top of the jar (don't tighten)
  • Place the jar on hot plate and simmer for several hours (about 3hrs - warning: your kitchen will smell wonderful!)
  • Taste to see if the flavour is strong enough
  • Drain with a sieve or cheesecloth/coffee filters
  • Pour into a clean glass bottle, label and store.
For spices you can do this in a skillet or pan instead. Heat the oil and spices until the oil bubbles and spices sizzle, it needs constant stirring but should only take about 5 minutes, don't overcook.  When ready, strain and pour into a clean glass jar and let cool. When it has cooled taste to see if it is to your liking. Store.

Step 5: Massage, Bath and Scent Oils

You can also capture the scent of flowers and herbs in infused oils.  These infused oils can be used as massage oils, bath oils or can be used in making lotions, soaps or perfumes. There are several plant based oils that you can use in making infused scent oils (these are referred to as carrier oils):

Sweet almond oil

Evening primrose oil

Jojoba oil

Avocado oil

Apricot kernel oil

Borage Seed Oil

Olive oil

Various nut oils (eg walnut,pecan, hazelnut)

Grape seed oil

Various seed oils (eg hemp,sesame, sunflower)


These oils are easily absorbed into the skin (making them great moisturizers) and do not have a strong odor.  They can be bought at health/natural food stores or specialty aromatherapy stores. Some can be found at grocery stores, but try to get cold pressed oils.

The type of flowers or herbs that you can use is really up to your imagination or what you happen to have growing in your garden, here are some suggestions:

Lavender

Rose, carnation, chamomile, jasmine, violets

Comfrey

Geranium, violets, lily, sweet pea, hyacinths etc

Clove

Vanilla bean

Citrus peel

Cinnamon bark

Calendula
 
Lemongrass
 

Pine

Mint


Using fresh over dried is usually better, also if you are getting them from your garden, cut the flowers/herbs in the morning and start making the infused oil right away if you can. You can mix different flowers and herbs together creating a variety of different scent combinations. The instructions for making scent infused oils are basically the same as culinary oils, though I wouldn't recommend using the heating method since flowers are more delicate than culinary herbs.

How to make:
  • Gently bruise, crush, or chop the flower petals, herbs, spices or peels
  • Place them into clean dry glass jar
  • Cover them in a carrier oil
  • Place a lid on the jar and close
  • Place jar in a sunny spot. Swirl or shake the jar every day or so.

Step 6: Drain and Store

  • After a week drain off the oil into a clean jar using a sieve or cheesecloth/coffee filters.
  • Smell the oil to see if the scent is strong enough
  • If you want it stronger add more flowers(or herbs etc) to the oil, close lid and place back in the sunny spot for another week.
  • Repeat as needed.
  • If you are happy with the scent pour the oil in to a nice glass bottle and label.  You can add a pretty ribbon and give it as a gift.

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79 Discussions

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Peterv209

Question 21 days ago on Step 6

What is the best way to infuse cymbidium orchids?

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SHOE0007

1 year ago

Lemon cat mint aroma Oil.

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ChristinaS147

1 year ago

I know this is going to sound like a bazaar question, but is it possible to create a perfume that smells like fried chicken? If so, how would I go about making that happen? I imagine that I would need to use the oil I would have used to fry chicken in, but I'm not really sure.

I know it's weird, but I want to create it as a gag gift for a relative who would find it both funny and usable.

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KendraG8ChristinaS147

Reply 1 year ago

Hi there... You might want to try Perfumer's Apprentice. They have TONS of stuff to choose from. They also do flavors, which seems fun but I've never bought those. They have a chicken and waffles flavor... https://shop.perfumersapprentice.com/c-156-savory-flavors.aspx

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JanetteH7

1 year ago

I need to make vinca (periwinkle) infused oil. Any suggestions?

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ChrysNJanetteH7

Reply 1 year ago

If you want to use it medicinally I would not use the heating method unless you use a low temperature, the sunlight method would probably be best.

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JanetteH7ChrysN

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you. I am using it for medicinal purposes. What oil would you suggest? Most everything I have read, which isn't much, is for cooking and they are using olive oil.

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ChrysNJanetteH7

Reply 1 year ago

Any of the edible oils should work such as the nut or seed oils, olive oil or grape seed oil.

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PattyO6

2 years ago

I want to infuse lavender oil with cannabis. Could you tell me if the week in window or the double boiler is the best method. Thanks for you help. Oregon330

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satoko68PattyO6

Reply 2 years ago

There isn't an easy answer to your question, so please bear with me bc I'm about to write a very long response.

Infusing cannabis can be a long, tedious process which intimidates a lot of people. And it's fairly easy to screw up if don't have the patience or time. It is very much doable at home, however. It's enough of a pain in the arse that I plunked down a couple hundred $$ for a machine which helps me infuse all my herbs, including non-psychoactive ones, much more easily & efficiently. I've been making infusions & herbal products for many many years & still find the process of infusing cannabis a big fat pain. Check out Magical Butter machine. It rocks & is well worth the expense if you regularly make infusions of any kind, including tinctures, butters, oils, honeys etc.

If you mean infusing cannabis into lavender *essential oil*, I wouldn't recommend that. You'd need a truckload of it to have it deep enough in your container to do that because you've got to completely cover your herbs. Essential oils in that volume can get expensive, even at wholesale prices, and especially if you're not used to working with them as they diffuse/evaporate into the air.

I'd suggest infusing dried lavender into your base oil first, using either the sunlight method given here or the low heat method. The low heat method is far faster. I'd suggest 2-4 weeks if using the method given here. The longer the better. And crush, don't grind, the lavender buds/leaves up really well before covering with your carrier/base oil.

As for your cannabis, what are you using your finished product for? Topical pain relief? Skin care? A massage oil? Edibles? If edibles, I'd go easy on the lavender bc it doesn't taste so hot in oil infusions. It's alright in flavored sugars & honey, however.

How much cannabis are you looking to use & what form? Bud? Shake? Frosty trim? Don't throw away stalks before doing your infusion bc they too are valuable when making this form of cannabis extract. I wouldn't recommend regular old trim (non-frosty) as your end product won't be that great.

Either way, the 'cold-infusion' (non heating) method of infusing cannabis takes forever. I also personally doubt it's effectiveness/strength compared to heat infusing for several reasons, which I'm not getting into here.

The process I'd recommend, based on trial & error & much wasted material, is using low heat (nothing above 225°-230° or you get close to temperatures that destroy your cannabis actives) to infuse cannabis into coconut oil (the oil type for cannabis is *very* important) separately from the lavender, then mixing *some*, not all, of your cannabis oil into your lavender oil. Again, your intended usage would dictate how much of the cannabis oil you'd use.

You can find instructions all over the internet for heat infusing cannabis. Different people use different methods based on their level of knowledge or experience. Just be aware that there are several important steps to follow in getting the best quality cannabis oil such as decarboxylation etc. Decarbing is a must (at no higher a temp than 225-230°; get an oven thermometer bc this is crucial). I'd suggest you follow those steps carefully so you don't waste your cannabis. These steps are well worth the effort, believe me. You'll wind up having to use much less weed overall if you do it properly, greatly reducing your costs & hugely increasing the quality of your end product. Gotta say, though, I don't like the methods that use water with oil. I'd personally avoid that technique as it's unnecessarily complicated & messy.

Your other (easier) option would be to simply infuse your cannabis into coconut oil following the important steps I mentioned above, but then adding lavender *essential oil* to this rather than lavender *infused oil*, as well more of another base oil with a high level of medium chain triglycerides (as coconut oil has, which is incredibly important to get the highest amount of active ingredients out of your cannabis). You'll need to do a bit of research on this yourself.

Don't use liquid coconut oil - also known as fractionated coconut oil. Look for the stuff that is solid when under 100°. You'll see the term 'virgin' or 'unprocessed' used on the label. If you want your end product to be solid under 100° (eg. for cooking), just use more coconut oil to dilute your cannabis infusion. If you want it to be liquid (such as massage oil), use an oil that's liquid under 100° which contains high levels of MCT as I said above.

Lecithin makes your cannabis actives more bioavailable & is incredibly important. Adding this will result in your body absorbing those actives much more thoroughly/easily/quickly whether through the stomach/skin, so I'd strongly recommend *not* leaving lecithin out of your formulation. If you've ever eaten an edible with/without lecithin & compared the two, you'll know what I'm talking about. MASSIVE difference. Research how to work with the form of lecithin you buy - liquid/granual/powder. It's nothing complicated.

I'd suggest sunflower lecithin over soy lecithin. You can use the powder/granular/liquid form, doesn't matter. Just don't use lecithin capsules as they aren't pure lecithin & contain binders/fillers.

There's a lot of info out there on this subject. Good luck :-)

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ChrysNPattyO6

Reply 2 years ago

The cooking method is quicker and is better for culinary oil.

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PattyO6ChrysN

Reply 2 years ago

My lavender oils are for topical application. Would the oil prep also apply. Thanks

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ChrysNPattyO6

Reply 2 years ago

If it is non culinary than week on the window would be better.

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PrincessM8

2 years ago

As far as storage goes, if I use just olive oil to infuse with, would storing it the same as regular olive oil be okay? I read somewhere that infused olive oil for topical application must be used quickly to avoid going rancid.. I will be using the windowsill method, not any of the heated methods. Thanks!

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ChrysNPrincessM8

Reply 2 years ago

It would be best if it was stored in fridge and used right away.

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BeckmanM

2 years ago

The text on their web site has been put in many different categories, to enable the public to find the answers to their questions more quickly. One should slowly go over the entire contents of the website, which will inform you about many views concerning many different aspects of this oils production consumption and acquiring it.

http://www.cbdcannabisoilthc.com/

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grace6

2 years ago

Would the fresh flowers mold during the windowsill infusion process?

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ChrysNgrace6

Reply 2 years ago

You need to make sure that all of the flowers are submerged in oil and check on them regularly. In a humid environment you make need to drain it remove the flowers and and fresh ones after a week.

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eilisb

2 years ago

i make an infused oil with dried lavender, calendula , chamomile and comfrey. To 4 cups almond oil i add 2 cups calendula and 1 cup each of the others. instead of infusing dried herbs can i just add essential oils of these plants and if so, how much essential oil is equivalent to i cup dried plant?

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ChrysNeilisb

Reply 2 years ago

I don't know, I have never tried. Essential oils are really concentrated so you would probably only need a small amount.