How I infuse butter and cooking oil with cannabis.

by Alex Robles  

     We understand how to cook with cannabis better today than we did 25 years ago.  Back then, it was more like wizardry than science if you could make a good batch of edibles that weren’t too strong.  Luckily we now live in the future and the home chef in us all can get pretty sophisticated when we cook with cannabis.  Before we start cooking with our weed, we have to understand decarboxylation and dosing.  I think we should start with a little bit of math to help us understand the dosing part better.  It’ll also let us know how potent the cannabis that we’re going to use should be. 

     A couple of other things I want to say before we get into cooking with cannabis.  I want to encourage you to have a high CBD tincture on hand when you’re eating food that’s infused with THC.  CBD will help dampen the intoxicating effects of THC.  It’s easy to overdo it and forget when we’re eating THC in delicious food.  CBD won’t bring you back to “sober” but it will help make that “high” feeling less.  Also, THC that’s passed through our liver into our bloodstream is going to be more potent and intoxicating (11-hydroxy-THC) than smoked THC.  So always double check your math.    

Dosing Math

      Legal cannabis has made it really easy to calculate how strong homemade edibles are going to be.  That’s because all cannabis bought in a legal dispensary will have the THC percentage on the packaging.  Knowing that percentage is vital in calculating the exact amount of THC that’s going to be in your edibles.  When I use my own homegrown cannabis or some that someone gave me, I always calculate it at 18% THC.  There’s no science behind my choice, that’s just what I assume it’s at.  Sometimes my guess is really off and the edibles are more powerful than my math.  Wait, am I rambling, I think the edibles kicked in.  Let me get it together.  The formula below is the easiest way I know to explain how much THC is in one cup of infused butter/oil.  

1 gram of cannabis = 1000 milligrams

If the cannabis has 25% THC

25% of 1000 milligrams is 250 milligrams (using my phone calculator 1,000 x 25%= 250)

I.e.  3.6g (⅛ oz) of cannabis = 3600 milligrams

25% THC of 3600 =  900 mg THC (3,600 x 25%= 900)

Infused into 1 cup (8 oz) of butter, the butter will now have 900 mg of THC.

     When you use 1/2 cup of that butter (4oz) to make 36 cookies, then that batch will have 450 milligrams of THC. Divide 450 mg by the number of cookies.  For 36 cookies there will be about 12.5 milligrams of THC in each cookie.

Decarboxylation: What is it and why do we need to do it?

     Every cannabinoid molecule made by the cannabis plant starts its life with an extra carboxylic acid ring attached to the end.  This means that in the raw plant THC is first THCA and CBD is first CBDA and so on for all the cannabinoids.  THCA is non-intoxicating and won’t give us that euphoric high because it’s the precursor to THC.  So according to science, THCA isn’t considered pharmacologically active (some of its effects aren’t activated) until it loses its carboxyl ring at the end of the molecule.  Losing that carboxyl ring is known as “Decarboxylation”.  Think of it this way, that acid molecule is holding back the intoxication and high feeling of THC.  When we smoke cannabis, decarboxylation happens pretty instantaneously because the evaporation or conversion of that acid molecule starts to happen between 140° – 230° F.  But since we’re cooking with our cannabis today, we need to decarb our bud without setting it on fire.      

     Before I go on, I want to take a moment to connect some dots here.  Hollywood and the media likes to make us think that if we eat raw, fresh, wet cannabis we’ll get stoned out of our minds.  On average, this isn’t true and just another prohibitionist lie wrapped in a sorry attempt at comedy.  You may get a little high and euphoric from eating cannabis that’s been dried and cured.  This is because a small amount of THC will become decarboxylated during the drying and curing process.  That high is going to be very mild compared to eating fully decarbed cannabis. 

How do I decarboxylate my flower?

     Before we turn the oven on, let me go over a couple of things that I think are important.  First of all, some of you smart people are thinking “if I turn up the oven I can decarboxylate for less time”.  Yes that is correct but please understand that the boiling point for THC is about 315° F.  Which means, at that temperature your THC is evaporating into the ether and away from your flower.  Second, terpenes are mostly alcohol based and have a very low boiling point. Some of them will start to evaporate away at about 100° F.  What that means is that while your cannabis is decarboxylating, your house will smell like you smoked a joint, so be prepared.

     Preheat the oven to 250° F.  While the oven is warming up, break up the cannabis flower by hand into smaller pieces.  I don’t grind it up because the clean up seems to take me longer when my weed is ground up.  Once it’s broken up, spread it evenly on a shallow baking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil.  When the oven reaches 250° F, slide the cannabis in and set a timer for 25 min.  I don’t set the oven higher than 250° F because most home ovens aren’t calibrated to exactly what the oven dial reads, sometimes they run a little hotter.  After the timer goes off, turn off the oven, take the cannabis out and let it cool completely before you use it.

In Case You Didn’t Know

     The cannabis trichomes (oil glands) are hydrophobic which means that water will not wash them off the plant material or your hands.  This is why it’s so hard to evenly infuse non-alcoholic drinks with cannabis oil, water and oil don’t mix well.  The best thing to use to strip the cannabis oil off the leaves if you’re going to cook with it is fats like butter, cooking oils and alcohol.  For tasty cooking oil infusions, you can use coconut, olive, grapeseed, sunflower, almond, walnut, sesame, avocado, macadamia peanut and hemp seed oil.  Chefs have told me NOT to use margarine, ordinary soybean, canola, extra virgin olive or corn oil.

     When I infuse butter, I make sure to use clarified or Ghee butter.  It’s a little more expensive, but well worth it.  Regular stick butter has water in it, not a lot, but it’s still there.  Since oil and water don’t mix very well, it can cause that butter to blend unevenly with the cannabis oil.  If it blends unevenly, it can throw off your dosing calculations.

Note:  There are a lot of videos on the internet that will show you how to clarify stick butter on your stove top.  Just in case you can’t find clarified butter 

     Something else I add to my butter and cooking oil infusion is Lecithin.  You don’t have to add this but I highly recommend it.  Lecithin is an emulsifier used in the cooking industries for binding ingredients in fats (lipids). It helps to increase the bioavailability of plant compounds in high fat infusion.  This helps intensify the potency of our infusion.  I usually find it at local health food or vitamin stores in granules, powders or liquid form.  I’m sure you can find lecithin in all forms online.  It’s not recommended to use capsules because they have too many binders and fillers. If you use liquid, use only one tsp per cup of oil. 

Note:  If possible, make a tea bag with the decarbed flower and some cheese cloth.  This will make the straining of butter and the clean up a lot easier.   

Please remember that things are going to be hot so be careful. 

Infusing Butter & Cooking Oil

Skill Level: Easy

Cook time: 2hrs 

Ingredients & Tools:

  • 2 cups butter
  • 7g of decarboxylated cannabis flower
  • 2 tablespoon of lecithin (1Tbls per cup of butter)
  • Saucepan, double boiler, or crockpot.
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Wooden spoon or chopsticks
  • Butter Molds
  • Cheesecloth to make a tea bag and strain the butter.
  • Tongs 
  • Small strainer
  • Mixing bowl

     On very low heat, melt the butter and turn off the flame when it’s fully melted.  Then add the cannabis, the lecithin and mix it all up using the chopsticks.  Once it’s all mixed together put the candy thermometer in and turn the stove back on.  Slowly bring the mixture to 160° F.  The infusion will take 2hr, so set a timer but remember to revisit it every 15-20min or so to check the temp and give it a quick stir with the chopsticks. 

If you don’t have a candy thermometer……don’t panic!!

     Butter will typically boil at around 212°F and will burn (Smoke Point) at around 375°F – 414°F.  If there isn’t a candy thermometer on hand, just try to keep the butter from boiling.  Keep it on a low simmer.

    When the timer goes off, turn off the butter.  Get your butter molds, tongs and mixing bowl  ready.  Put a few layers of cheesecloth over your strainer to help catch any plant material that will be floating around in your butter.  CAREFULLY take your pot of hot butter and slowly pour it through the strainer into the mixing bowl.  When you’re done pouring, use your tongs or chopsticks to push the plant material down to squeeze all the butter out that you can.  If you’re working with a crock pot I suggest spooning the butter into the strainer since they can be heavy and awkward.  After it’s strained, pour the butter into your molds and let them cool.  When they’re cool and solid, you’re all set. 

Note: If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use a CLEAN cotton cloth like an old t-shirt with no graphics on it.  The paint from the graphic won’t let the butter sift through.  

Infusing Cooking Oil       

        When I infuse any cooking oil, I use the same process as the butter.  The only difference is that cooking oil has a shorter infusion time of 1hr.


     Now we have some infused butter and cooking oil. Let’s get to cooking with cannabis.  I want to share with you two recipes that I’ve used canna-butter and canna-coconut oil with.  I did not come up with these recipes, I found them and changed them to suit my needs.  The oatmeal cookie recipe I got off of the oatmeal box and the Bar-B-Q / Buffalo wing sauce I got off the internet.

Oatmeal craisins / raisin cookies


  • 11oz of canna-butter (1cup 6Tbls)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla   
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup craisins  ½ cup raisins
  • 3 cups oatmeal


  • Heat oven 350° F. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  • Add eggs and vanilla; beat well
  • Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well
  • Add oats and raisins; mix well
  • Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool 1 minute
  • Makes about 4 dozens

Bar-B-Q sauce / Wing sauce


  • ½ cup canna-coconut oil
  • ¾ cup Sriracha hot sauce or gochujang (Korean-style red chili paste)
  • ¼ cup raw local honey, plus a little more for drizzling
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mango puree


  • Put all the ingredients into a sauce pan and stir until fully blended.
  • Put the saucepan on the stove and bring it upto 160°F or to a very low simmer.
  • For Bar-B-Q a sauce ,let it simmer for 35min. 
  • Spoon or brush the sauce onto your meat ( I couldn’t get around it.  There was no other way to say it). 
  • For a buffalo wing sauce, let it simmer for 45 min

When the time is up your sauce is ready.  Please remember to bring a bib, because you will get it on your shirt. 

     Like Jim said “this is the end, beautiful friend, the end”. There is one last thing I want to mention. You can use this method to infuse butter and cooking oil with different herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, or Basil, it doesn’t have to be only cannabis. Have fun and remember to always grow, learn and teach. 

Let’s find out how to battle Broad Mites

by Rincon-Vitova Insectary

Broad Mites (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) 

This destructive pest lives on a wide host range. Broad mites secrete and inject a toxic growth regulator into plants as they feed. The toxin causes twisted, hardened and distorted growth and terminal leaves and flower buds become malformed. The reason broad mites are such a problem is they often go unnoticed until they are out of control. Damage can resemble watering deficiency, herbicide damage, a viral disease, micronutrient deficiency or pH imbalance. 


Adults are almost microscopic (less than 0.2 mm long), oval, and look swollen in profile  

Light yellow-amber or green (females have a light, median stripe. Males lack the stripe).  

Two hind legs of adult females are reduced to whip-like appendages.  

The male is smaller and faster moving than the female. The male’s hind legs are enlarged for mating  

Eggs are colorless, translucent, elliptical and covered with scattered white tufts on the upper surface  

Life Cycle 

Broad mites reproduce prolifically between 70-80º F.  

Eggs hatch in two-to-three days and each female can produce 40-50 eggs.  

Female broad mites lay 30 to 76 eggs on the leaf surface. 

Un-mated females lay male eggs; mated females usually lay four female eggs for every male egg.  

The larvae hatch in 2 or 3 days, are slow moving and do not disperse far to feed.  

In 2 or 3 days, the larvae develop into a quiescent larval stage.  

Quiescent female larvae become attractive to the males, who pick them up and carry them to the new foliage. 

Females emerge & males immediately mate with them.  

Males live 5 to 9 days; females live 8 to 13 days. 


Broad mites are so small – virtually invisible on the host plant even with a good hand lens. 

A 60-100x microscope is best to observe broad mites. 

Mites are usually seen on the newest leaves and terminals.  

Mites tend to crowd into crevices and buds and feed on the growing tips. 

Populations of broad mite tend to be most severe in warm, humid conditions. 

Leaf edges tend to cup up or down, become brittle and show signs of scarring. 

Leaves generally curl near the base at the petiole.  

The entire plant will lose its vibrant green color. 

Internodal growth is stunted and overall growth is underdeveloped.  

New growth can blacken and die. 

Cultural Practices 

Broad mites are difficult to control with sprays because they are protected by their habit of feeding in buds or within distorted tissue. 

Hot water treatments can control the mites without injuring the plants: use water at 109.4-120.2°F for 15 minutes. 

Heat treatments: Raise room temp to 115°F for 20 min to 1 hour. 

Take measures to improve overall plant health: compost, compost tea, beneficial microbes to support the plants 

Dust with Diatomaceous Earth: these jagged particles cut the insects and expose to desiccation & disease. It will need to be reapplied as it gets wet. [DE particle size: 10-200 micrometers (μm). Males are 100 μm, females are 200 μm]. 

Plant bean, eggplant, pepper trap crops 

Use Soap & Oil Sprays 

Avoid using pesticides: Triazoles (myclobutanil), spiromesifen, abamectin 

Abamectin: active ingredient occurs naturally, is derived from the soil micro-organism, Streptomyces avermitilis. 

PyGanic is a broad-spectrum insecticide, containing Pyrethrin that is organically compliant. 

Spider mites exposed to carbaryl (Sevin) in the laboratory reproduce faster than untreated populations.  

Carbaryl/some organophosphates/some pyrethroids favor spider mites by increasing levels of Nitrogen in leaves, which stimulates spider mites’ reproduction. These materials are highly toxic to natural enemies and pollinators  

Can cause spider mites to become abundant and damage plants after its application. Insecticides applied during hot weather usually cause dramatic spider mite outbreaks within a few days. 

Cinnamaldahyde, extracted from cinnamon also kills beneficial insects 


Predatory mites  

Application Rates: 

A good guideline is that one predator is needed for every 10 spider mites to provide control. 

More than one application may be required if you want to reduce pest populations rapidly.  

Concentrate releases in hot spots where spider mite numbers are highest.  

Once established on perennials, predatory mites may reproduce and provide biological control indefinitely  

Re-augmentation required if nonselective insecticides are applied (which kill the predators). 

Neoseiulus californicus: Persea, Avocado-Brown, Two-spotted spider mite, Pacific, Broad, Cyclamen, Eriophyids 

55°-105°F 40%-80% RH 

*Best in warm/humid conditions   

*Tolerate hot/dry G.H.                            

*Susceptible to pesticides    

*Eats other predatory mite eggs (especially Persimilis)   

Amblyseius fallacis (=Neoseiulus fallacis): Tetranychid mites, European & citrus red, Two-spotted spider mite, Spruce, Broad, Cyclamen, Pacific, Bamboo, Southern red, Bank’s grass mite 

48°-85°F >50% RH 

*OK w Persimilis & Stethorus   

*Can reproduce at cooler temps    

*Can overwinter under snow    

*Best in dense canopy  

*Avoids webbing    

*Can survive at low pest densities   

Scolothrips sexmaculatus: Six-spotted thrips: this is a predatory species of thrips 

Adults and larvae are entirely predaceous, feeding on European Red mite, cyclamen, and Tetranychus species. 

Predaceous adults can be distinguished from phytophagous thrips by three dark spots on each wing cover  

Adults are mostly pale-yellow adult.  

Nymphs are translucent white to yellow and difficult to discern from other thrips species.  

Six spotted thrips can rapidly reduce high populations, but don’t become numerous until after mites have become abundant and damaging. 

Application Rates: 

500-2,000 per acre 

Summary of Strategies 

Diligent monitoring and early detection! 


Overall plant health 

Diatomaceous Earth  

Bean, eggplant, pepper trap crops 

Soap & Oil Sprays 

Heat treatments 

Beneficial Insects 

What to expect when your cannabis plant is in the Vegetative (veg) Stage.

by Alex Robles

     Take a moment to pat yourself on the back because that seedling you agonized over is now a plant in the vegetative (veg) stage.  Most new growers usually make mistakes and their plants pay with their lives before they get to veg.  So again, good job on getting your plant this far.  Now that we’re done celebrating we have to plan our work and work our plan because that plant is going to need more of our attention now. 

     I’m going to talk in some broad general terms about the cannabis plants.  The reason for this is because there’s so much variety in cannabis, it’s easy to get tangled up in the small details.  Before we start talking about the veg stage, the importance of pH, nutrient needs and pest control, let’s get to know this amazing plant a little better. 

Continue reading

Get the upper hand on Ants in your garden.

by Rincon-Vitova Insectary


There are more than 12,400 species of ants throughout the world. In California, there are about 270 species, but fewer than a dozen are important pests. Ants interfere with biological control.  Honeydew-secreting pests, like aphids, supply sweet food to the ants. In turn, ants protect the pests from beneficial insects that try to eat them. Controlling ants is important when attempting to control these honeydew producing pests. Baiting is a low risk approach that interrupts ants’ interference. Once they have found an adequate food source, they create a pheromone trail, a chemically marked highway, to and from the ant nest. More bait stations are not necessarily the answer, but strategic placement is important. 


Ants are close relatives of bees and wasps.  

Common wingless adult forms, known as workers.  

Winged forms, which leave the nest in large numbers in warm weather to mate and establish new colonies, are often mistaken for winged termites. 

Continue reading

IMGS Ep. 130: It’s almost Thanksgiving.

click on the title and link below to listen and watch

A little recap of last weeks IPM question.

Support the show – Go to and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.   

Show Notes: Welcome to Ep 130.  A word about last week’s episode and the noise.  I will recap the IPM question that I read last week.  Tester pack, Blueberry Muffin.  California doesn’t have employee protection for cannabis patients, how do we change that?  

Strain of the Week:  Gasoline –  The description of this says that It’s a cross of ChemDawg and OG Kush and sativa dominant.  Of course it has a fuel aroma.  There’s also this wet dirt and pine cones and funk smell, with a sweet fruity flavor at the end of exhales.  21% THC wasn’t too heavy, nice day time high.  

Social Media: Social Media:   IPM Spider Mites (SM) during flowering @lonestar_grows.  Same notes as last week.

Report from the cannabis front line: 

More election local results 

Measure G in Ojai increasing cannabis tax,_California,_Measure_G,_Marijuana_Business_Tax_(November_2020) 

Ventura County Measure O –,_California,_Measure_O,_Marijuana_Permit_Ordinance_(November_2020) 

Ventura City –,_California,_Measure_I,_Marijuana_Business_Tax_(November_2020

Native owned cannabis company 

NJ lawmakers trying to change cannabis tax 

Cannabis in Hong Kong 

New JAMA article 

Big thanks to: All the artist for letting me use their music.

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