How to Make Marijuana Infusions Using the Mason Jar Method 

By  Cheri Sicard

 May 15, 2019

Here is one of my favorite ways to make marijuana butter, cannabis oil, infused milk, honey, syrups, etc.  It's simple, inexpensive, versatile, and uses tools you probably already have in your kitchen.

The Mason Jar method of making marijuana infusions uses indirect heat.  You can use it to infuse most anything, but I especially like to use for delicate liquids like milk and cream, which can break down over long cooking times or high heat.

Now if I am making a big batch of marijuana butter or cannabis oil, I much prefer to use my slow cooker for infusing.  But it is difficult if not impossible to make small batches of cannabis oil or butter in a slow cooker.  So, when I want only want to make a cup or less, I will use this Mason jar method (or infuse in the Ardent Lift decarboxylator). 

More About the Mason Jars for Making Marijuana Infusions

Even if you want to infuse a really small amount, say a 1/2 cup, the Mason Jar Infusion method works, as you can use a jar size that makes sense for the amount you are infusing. 

 Conversely, while I like this method for making small batches of marijuana butter, cannabis oil or other infusions, there is no reason you can't use a bigger jar and make a large batch.  If you do use a larger jar, be sure to also use a larger pot, as you want the simmering water to at minimum reach the level of infusion liquid in the jar.

Mason jars, or canning jars (any brand will do), come in all shapes and sizes and you can use any of them for this cannabis infusion method.

You don't even have to buy special jars, you can save money and reuse food jars that are strong enough to withstand the heat of the simmering water.  For instance, a jar that contained spaghetti sauce works great -- many of these are nothing more than canning jars and many are even labeled as such. 

Another way to save money is to shop thrift stores and garage sales where you can pick canning jars up for pennies.  Don't worry if they are not complete, you can buy canning jar lids separately.

Here’s what you’ll need for the Mason Jar Method of Cannabis Infusion

  • A canning jar and lid
  • A 2 – 3 qt sauce pan (larger if you are using a LARGE jar)
  • A kitchen towel, folded up and placed in the bottom of the sauce pan to buffer the heat
  • The food you’re infusing, for instance butter, milk, oil, honey, or whatever
  •  Crumbled decarboxylated cannabis

The amount of cannabis you will use will vary.  Check out this article to determine your ideal dose.  Also note that the amount of cannabis in the infusion is not as important overall as the amount of cannabis in each serving of your finished recipe.  My free online Edibles Dosing Class (that comes with a calculator tool that does all the math for you), can help you refine the amounts you should use in order to make edibles with the dose you need (everyone is different when it comes to dosing).

How to make Marijuana Infusions in a Mason Jar

In these photos, I am using the Mason Jar method to make some cannabis-infused milk. Of course, you can use the Mason Jar method to infuse anything you like such as butter, coconut oil, olive oil and other oils, syrup, honey, cream, soy milk or other vegan milks, etc.

  1. Place your decarboxylated cannabis along with whatever you are infusing (I am using milk in these photos) in a jar.  Cover and gently shake to mix.  
    The Mason Jar Method of Marijuana Infusions - Infusing Milk in a Mason Jar
  2. Place a folded up kitchen towel in a bottom of a saucepan.

    Place a folded kitchen towel in the pot to help absorb heat

  3. Place the filled Mason jar on the towel and fill the saucepan with as much hot water as possible, without the jar floating.
    Making marijuana infusions using the Mason Jar method
  4. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and let the water come to a simmer.  Be sure to check the water level frequently during cooking, adding water as necessary. Open the jar every half hour or so while infusing in order to relieve any pressure build up. I also like to stir the contents around a bit at the same time.


How Long to Infuse Cannabis with the Mason Jar Method

As with most infusions, the exact amount of time you infuse is flexible.  I like to leave it in the simmering water bath for a MINIMUM of an hour and a half, but depending on what I am infusing, I will often let it go much longer.  This is a low temperature indirect method, so it's safe to let it infuse for 3 or 4 hours, as long as you continually monitor the amount of water in the pot to always keep it at a level if the infusing liquid in the jar.

Straining Marijuana Infusions Made with the Mason Jar Method

How to drain small batch marijuana infusions
When done infusing, strain your infusion through a small screen strainer into another clean jar (photo above), or using a French Press coffee pot (photo below) to separate the plant material from the infused liquid in the same way you would separate coffee grounds when brewing a pot of Joe.

Straining marijuana infusions in a French Press coffee pot

Does the Color of Butter Matter?

Why are some butters darker than others? Does the color matter or affect potency? The video below answers all.

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  • Great article – thanks!
    Using a mason jar; I was wondering if it is possible to decarboxylate & infuse into oil in just one step. Water boils at 212 but cooking oil can be heated at a higher temperature than water. So if we place a mason jar, sealed with cannabis & oil, into an Instant Pot with a high smoke point cooking oil such as canola oil, as opposed to water, perhaps this cooking oil bath would do the trick. One would have to adjust the heat so that the cooking oil would maintain approx. 240 degrees for proper decarboxylation.
    An Instant Pot with simmering oil would be far safer than simmering oil on the stove.

    • It will decarb somewhat, but as well as doing a separate decarb first, so I do recommend a separate decarb first. As to sealing glass under pressure in an Instant Pot I wouldn’t, although I do use my Instant Pot on slow cooker setting all the time for making infusions without the jar. Although simmering oil in the jar in a pot of water on the stovetop is not a problem at all as far as safety.

  • I used to burn my oil and then I understood that a low simmer was best. I’m so paranoid of burning it again that I have undercooked it. I have a candy thermometer but I suppose a slow simmer just means anything under a boil? Can this be done visually, no big deal? One recipe I saw said that the temperature of the water needed to be, I think, 210 to 230. But I could be remembering wrong

  • If it hasn’t hardened yet (oil method) it was cooling for about 6hrs. Should I put it In the fridge or give it more time outside
    ??

    • Unless it is a solid at room temp oil like coconut oil, it won’t harden. Strain out the cannabis and it is ready to use. I do store in the fridge for longer shelf life though.

      • Hi love your site so knowledgeable. Happy 420! I want to infuse canola oil using the Mason jar method do you think 1 to 2 hours is enough if i decarb first? Can i do it without water? Thank you!

  • Hi Cheri,

    Just made my third batch, first was stove top butter, 2nd stove top olive oil, and this latest, using the Mason jar method as you describe above. Of course, I couldn’t wait to test it out, (all for science, of course!), & did so using an eye dropper, before I’d even strained out the flower. WOW! REALLY potent! Thanks!

    Now for my Q: is there any reason I HAVE to strain out the flower? As I see it, should be akin to leaving herbs, garlic, etc in olive oil, and could possibly continue to infuse even more yummy goodness! I would eventually wring out the saturated flower to extract the remaining oil when it’s almost all gone, but until then, I really don’t mind ingesting the occasional bit of flower… unless it would spoil faster or present some other heath issue?

    Thanks in advance for your wisdom!

    p.s. of course I decarbed first, so hopefully little botulism risk?

    • I would strain it. I don’t think you are going to gain extra potency, but you will gain more green flavor. And yes, it could spoil or grow mold as there is some moisture in there. Maybe if you refrigerated it, you could do this, but I don’t really see any big gains to doing so.

  • I just tried this method and liked that it didn’t require much attention. I made my first batch of gummies and I’m happy with the results. This will be my preferred method from now on. Thanks!

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