So I live in a legal state and I'm allowed to grow up to 6 plants of varying maturity and also produce my own grapeseed oil infusions. So legality is not an issue for me. I'm stating that right off the bat. I'm not asking about legality. I'm asking about the chemistry behind it.

Now first off, which is the correct term? Infusion or Extraction? Whats the difference?

For now however I'm going to use the word infusion for the rest of the question.

When making the infusion I'm using a ratio of 2 oz of dried but NOT decarboxylated plant matter to 1 quart of grapeseed oil (Any brand will do). Mainly the plant matter is the Buds/Cola's. These bud's have gone through the curing phase already and are dry.

I put the plant material in the oil inside of a small 1.5 qt crockpot. The last time I did this, I let the crockpot sit on high for 8 hours before switching to low for 3 days (72 hours).

A lot of tutorials/online videos will say leave it sit for 4 hours, 8 hours, 24 hours... all the way up to 72 hours and more.

My Main question is this... At what point is the infusion done? When are all the cannabinoids infused into the oil? The time I'm asking for is when the plant matter has little to no cannabinoids left and all/a large majority of the cannabinoids are now in the oil... Thus making the infusion done.

I'm assuming that there is a breaking point where the plant matter is done decarboxylating, and the oil has extracted all of the cannabinoids.

I'm worried however that the oil at some breaking point will stop infusing the cannabinoids (because they're already infused into the oil), and will start infusing things such as the chlorophyll, and unwanted plant matter into the oil (non-cannabinoid molecules and structures).

I've done this exact infusion using Coconut oil and I didn't get the same potency as when I did the infusion with grapeseed oil. Is there a difference molecularly that allows grapeseed oil to infuse cannabinoids more easily? There is a lot of heated debate about this (coconut vs grapeseed oil infusions) within the cannabis industry/community, however i'm looking at this from more of a chemistry stand point. Which is 'better' to use?

If this is the wrong Stack Community to ask this, please refer me the the correct one. Thanks.

(Question posted on both Chemistry and Cooking Stack Exchanges as this question does pertain to both areas. Since these are different communities, I hope this is ok to ask both communities)

  • I am cleaning up the discussion. There was a cross-posting on Chemistry, but the question is being closed there, since the OP cannot describe the system precisely enough to get an answer from them. Cooking with cannabis is in principle on topic here, see relevant Meta question: cooking.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1227. The question doesn't hinge on us predicting what physiological effects the cannabis will have. From there on, the community has to interpret how the existing rules apply to this specific question.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


My Main question is this... At what point is the infusion done?

This would largely depend on your definition of the word "Done". Your own research reveals a number of opinions on how long it takes for this process to reach completion. In any kind of infusion process the results are not linear. You likely get (something like) 70% infusion in 4 hours. Another 4 hours will get you to 80% the next 4 hours to 85%... It's a condition of diminishing returns, that will probably never reach 100% (or 'done'). How much of the cannabinoids are you willing to just throw away because you don't want to wait for them to infuse? At what point is the infused oil "good enough" for you.

Is there a difference molecularly that allows grapeseed oil to infuse cannabinoids more easily? ... Which is 'better' to use?

What is the 100% saturation point for various oils given various herbs is far to general of question for us to address with any specificity. Even given the herb the variety of oils still leaves us too much to really address. Lastly, when asking for whether A is 'better' than B it helps for you to provide some tangible criteria. I propose that if you want to use it as a salve coconut oil would be better (solid at room temperature) where if you want to cook with it, grapeseed oil may be the 'better' choice (higher smoke point, cleaner flavor).

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