Why You Can’t Diffuse Cannabis Oil in Your Home

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Diffusing oils is known around the Western world as one of life’s little luxuries. The goal of diffusion is to create a pleasant smell within the home. Selecting your preferred scent is an extra step towards putting your stamp on where you live. For weed lovers, the idea of diffusing cannabis oil may seem appealing. However, it isn’t possible to do so in the typical sense.

Below, I explain why this is the case and highlight how diffusion works. I also outline a quick and easy way to make cannabis oil at home. You may not be able to diffuse it, but you can enjoy its effects nonetheless.

How Diffusion Works

Diffusion is the simple concept of diffusing molecules – usually scent and taste molecules – through a number of processes so as to make them leave their original source. This is commonly done to spread aromatic molecules throughout the air – you’ve probably seen them in the form of air fresheners, salt lamps, etc. Diffusers are generally categorized into two types: Ultrasonic and Nebulizers.

Ultrasonic Diffusers

These are the more common types of diffusers, which rely on a ready supply of water within the device that is then hit with an ultrasonic wave. This causes the water to release a mist of droplets, which carry with them the trapped particles of scent from the provided oils.

They are usually quite cheap but also very disposable. They’re generally only usable up until their water runs out. You can buy refillable types, but most of the time, you’ll be forced to buy a new one.

Ultrasonic diffusers also carry a major problem in that the aromatic scent molecules have been diluted with water. This is obviously necessary due to the process of spreading the aromatics through water, but it does tend to dilute the scent of certain substances.

For example, fruit oils can be rather subtle and intended to smell gentle, but if you diffuse them using an ultrasonic diffuser, you’re not really going to smell anything at all.

If you want a higher-end option that can actually spread a more subtle scent, then you might want to try the next option.


Nebulizers are a strange glass contraption that looks like an artist’s rendition of a Venus fly trap, but they actually work pretty well. They work through the process of nebulization, which uses oxygen or compressed air to cause solutions and suspensions to break up into small aerosol droplets. These droplets can then be directly inhaled, either through a convenient mouthpiece or just by being in proximity of the device.


Nebulizers are chosen for applications of medicine through diffusion as they ensure as much medicine as possible is administered to the patient.

Unfortunately, they can be extremely expensive, but they are generally worth it.

Why Can’t I Diffuse Cannabis Oil?

When you diffuse a substance using the standard method for non-medicinal substances, you’re lifting the molecules within the substance that carry the scent and diffusing them into the air.

This works well when you’re trying to carry over a particular scent. However, it is ineffective when you’re trying to lift other, heavier substances as well.

The key problem with using a normal ultrasonic device to diffuse the medicinal effects of cannabis into the air is that both THC and CBD are cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a substantially heavier molecule than the scent molecules you’d typically try to disperse through the air.

Since THC and CBD are both heavier than the regular molecules used in diffusers, they will remain behind when the diffusion process is complete.

Though this might be helpful if you were looking to further concentrate your CBD oil, it sadly will do nothing to disperse the important molecules throughout your living room. So, is there any workaround? Let’s find out.

Ways to Get THC & CBD into the Air

Alas, if you want to get the important components of marijuana into the air, there’s no real way to do so using the standard methods of ultrasonic diffusion. Instead, you have to rely on using a nebulizer.

Nebulizers are commonly used to help treat lung conditions such as bronchitis or other forms of damaged lung tissue ailments. By nebulizing the medicine into a fine mist, the patient is able to inhale the medicine directly into their lungs, administering it directly where they need it.

This can also be a useful way to consume marijuana if you don’t enjoy the acrid sensation of inhaling combusted smoke. Instead of smoking a joint or a pipe, it is indeed possible to inhale marijuana using a nebulizer.

However, thanks to the exorbitant cost of nebulizers compared to the simple price of a pipe, there’s not really a reason to do so.

Diffusing Marijuana for the Smell

If, for some reason, you want the smell of marijuana to imbue your home and its musky, pungent stench to permeate your furniture forever, then it is possible to use a simple diffuser.

To do so, you only need to buy any brand of cannabis oil and insert it into your diffuser. You can also buy CBD oil if you prefer to avoid any trace elements of THC invading your home. However, most CBD oils out there are pretty odorless and do not, in fact, have the signature aroma of cannabis.


One important thing to remember is to not, under any circumstances, use a tincture. Though CBD oil and CBD tincture might sound similar, a tincture is actually made from an extract suspended in an alcohol solution. It could cause some serious problems if you try to diffuse it into the air.

If you’ve ever spilt a drop of liquor into your eyes, you’ll understand. If you are intent on getting some marijuana oil diffused in your home, despite the lack of THC or CBD in the diffused particles, remember that the scent of marijuana is very identifiable and easily clings to furniture. So, if you ever hope to have your parents or your pastor visiting, remember to turn it off well in advance.

How to Make Cannabis Oil at Home

At this point, you know that you can’t diffuse cannabis oil in the traditional sense. Still, nothing is preventing you from enjoying its effects. While there’s the option of buying it online, you may feel like trying to make it yourself. This way, you know precisely what’s inside.

It may seem complicated to make, but with these simple instructions, it’s easier than you may think. Here is what you need to get started:

  • A large pot
  • A stovetop where you can control heat
  • A stirring spoon
  • A few pieces of cheesecloth (can be easily purchased at your local grocery or home supplies store)
  • A large air-tight container or mason jar (to store your oil)
  • 28 ounces of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1-1½ ounces of coarsely ground marijuana, trim or buds (choose your amount based on your desired potency)

This recipe produces a large jar of around 28 ounces of potent cannabis oil. You can add it to special recipes or enjoy its benefits (responsibly). Here’s how to make it.

marijuana oil

  1. Heat your olive oil or coconut oil in your large pot on low heat, ensuring that it DOESN’T boil but DOES get hot. Keeping a low heat prevents the THC from burning off, keeping your future oil potent and high-inducing! Be patient with the heating steps.
  2. Once the oil is hot, drop in the 1-1 ½ ounces of fine ground cannabis and stir thoroughly with your mixing spoon. This distributes the THC, CBD, CBN, and other cannabinoids more evenly so that not one drop of oil gets left behind.
  3. Continue to stir frequently and keep making sure the oil does not begin to boil.
  4. Once you have been slow-cooking the buds for approximately 2-3 hours, stop your stove and get ready to extract your oil.
  5. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth and into the container where you will be keeping your silky cannabis oil.
  6. Squeeze the cheesecloth to get every last drop of mixture into the container or jar. This step can take some time but will be worth your while.
  7. Place the jar of your pot-infused oil in a dark, cool place or the fridge for storage so that your batch won’t be ruined or go rancid.
  8. You can use your infused oil immediately.

Final Thoughts on Diffusing Cannabis Oil

The practice of diffusing oil throughout the home is becoming extremely popular. Unfortunately, when it comes to cannabis oil, you can’t diffuse it insofar as it won’t provide its standard effects through this process. Instead, you’ll have the scent of marijuana within the home, which isn’t always the most sensible option!

However, if you want to avoid smoking marijuana, you can buy or make cannabis oil and vape it instead. Proponents of this form of consumption point out that you don’t need to worry about the smell of marijuana flower sticking to clothes or furniture.

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