How to Make Cannabutter

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Cannabutter is a well-known culinary concoction that results in cannabis-infused butter that you can use to cook with in any number of ways. Making your own cannabutter isn’t all that complicated, but there are some tips and techniques involved to create the best brownies, cookies, and weed butter wonder bread that you’ve ever had. If it’s your first time making cannabutter, follow the step by step instructions found here to incorporate THC, CBD, and any other cannabinoids into your cooking with ease. 

What is Cannabutter? 

Simply put, cannabutter is butter with cannabis infused into it. But you cannot just mash a stick of butter and your favorite cannabis flower together and call it good. With any sort of cannabis edible, regardless of if its cannabutter based or not, your dried cannabis plant matter being used needs to go through a process of decarboxylation in order to activate the cannabinoids within the plant and allow you to feel their benefits and effects. 

We’ll look more at the technical side of the process in a bit and explain decarbing in full, but for now, just know that you should follow instructions when making cannabutter in order to get an end product that is packed full of active THC and/or CBD, as these are the two main cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. For making homemade cannabis edibles, cannabutter can quickly become your best friend. Once you know how to make it properly, you will have your own high-quality edibles that will rival anything you can get at the dispensary. 

Another great thing about cannabutter is that you can use all types of cannabis plant matter that might otherwise go to waste. You don’t need to just use cannabis flowers or potent kief because decarboxylating the stems and leaves and any other plant material can extract the cannabinoids that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. 

What You Need to Make Cannabutter 

You don’t need all that much to get started with making cannabutter. Some everyday kitchen items will get you pointed in the right direction. You’ll obviously need butter (unsalted butter is my personal preference) and some high-quality cannabis (you don’t need high-quality I guess, but it’s definitely recommended). There are a number of different ratios and recipes out there, but everything you’ll see here is fairly basic and will get you started. 

Basic ingredients needed to make cannabutter: 

  • Regular butter
  • Decarboxylated cannabis

On top of that, you will also need these items at your disposal to make really good cannabutter efficiently and effectively:

  • A baking sheet
  • Mesh strainer
  • Slow cooker or crockpot
  • Parchment paper
  • Mason jar or another airtight container
  • Cheesecloth
  • Hand grinder or another type of grinder  

Decarboxylate Your Cannabis – The Important First Step

As we touched on briefly above, decarbing your cannabis is an important first step to creating high-quality cannabutter. If you don’t do this step, there is a chance that the cannabutter won’t actually be psychoactive because the cannabinoids were not properly removed from the plant material. Decarboxylation is the process in which THCA – the acidic form of THC found naturally in the cannabis plant – is converted into THC, the psychoactive compound that most of us seek with a fresh batch of weed butter. 

Heat is the main catalyst that encourages the entire decarboxylation process, but you will want a low heat in order to not burn your weed before you make the butter. When you smoke a cannabis flower, the flame from your lighter causes the plant material to decarboxylate. If you just eat a raw bud without decarboxylating it, you’re not going to feel anything at all. Cannabis starts the decarboxylation process at around 220 degrees F and the length of time you let the plant matter bake at this temperature also helps to facilitate this important process.

How to Decarb Cannabis for Cannabis Butter

Follow these simple steps before making your cannabutter to turn THCA into THC and make properly decarbed cannabis. 

  1. Preheat your oven to approximately 220-245 degrees Fahrenheit. Low temperatures are important here as you don’t want the weed to burn, but you need it hot enough to start the decarboxylation process. 
  2. Lay out cannabis flowers or any other plant matter on a baking sheet. 
  3. Bake for 30-40 mins
  4. Take out of the oven and grind all of the plant matter using any type of grinder you wish. 

You should know that you don’t technically have to decarb your plant material before mixing it with the butter. Mixing cannabis with melted butter that is of a sufficient temperature will also decarboxylate, but the above first step is recommended because it creates a better-tasting end result. This is the same if you choose to make cannabis oil using coconut oil or olive oil as well, which we will take a look out later on. 

An even easier method to decarbing cannabis is to use a decarboxylator designed specifically for the task. Ardent makes some of the best decarbing products on the market, with the Ardent Nova being a product that is highly recommended.  

Cannabutter Recipe

Whether you choose to decarb your cannabis ahead of time, use one of the great decarboylators linked above, or allow the melted butter to decarb it during the process, here is a basic cannabutter recipe for you to follow. 

  1. Place 1 cup of butter and 1 cup water in a saucepan on the stovetop. Water helps to keep the butter from burning and is another technically not needed but definitely recommended step here. 
  2. Set the burner to low and let the butter begin to melt slowly. 
  3. Add in your ground cannabis. 7-10 grams of total plant material is a good ratio for making 1 cup of weed butter.
  4. Stir this all together and continue to simmer on low heat for several hours. You want to maintain a temperature that is under boiling and you can check this with a meat thermometer or similar device. Make sure it stays somewhere between 170-200 F the entire time. 
  5. After a few hours of a steady slow simmer, you can use a strainer or cheesecloth to strain the butter and water from the plant matter. If you hold a strainer over a large mason jar, you can carefully pour everything into the jar and separate out the now unneeded cannabis. If using cheesecloth, make sure it is firmly attached to the jar or use a funnel for better control. 
  6. Refrigerate the jar of butter and water. After the mixture cools to below room temperature, the butter will start to solidify and separate from the water. When it is solid enough, you can drain out the water and you’ll be left with cannabutter, ready for action. 

You can also use a slow cooker or crockpot if you have access to one. Follow all of the same steps above, except you don’t necessarily need to use water because these devices will allow you to better control the temperature more accurately. I would still recommend putting a little water in the slow cooker to prevent any burning at the bottom, however. 

What’s the Best Cannabutter Ratio?

The recipe above calls for 1 cup of butter for every 7-10 grams of cannabis. If you want a half cup, that would be ½ cup of butter for every 3.5-5 grams of cannabis. 2 cups would be 2 cups of butter and 14-20 grams of cannabis. You’ll also want to make sure you are careful with your dosing as it’s harder to gauge properly once you mix in a recipe. This may be part of the fun, but to avoid any unwanted effects that are too intense, always remember to start with a small dose of either butter or just a nibble of that brownie or cookie you create with it. 

Cannabutter Kits and Machines

If you plan on making a lot of cannabutter, you might want to look into a cannabutter kit or machine to help you out. There are some really awesome options out there that can make the entire process easy and streamlined. Here are a few choices that are highly recommended. 

  • MagicalButter Machine – This is a great countertop botanical extractor that can help you quickly and easily make cannabutter and plenty of other concoctions as well. This little unit does everything to make the process a breeze and will grind, heat, and stir along the way to leave you with a perfect end product. 
  • Levo II – The Levo II is another awesome product that will help you create potent and delicious weed butter. This one comes with three different settings to help you properly dry, activate, and infuse, and you can set everything up to work when you are away from home. It also has a smell control feature and easy cleanup. It’s a little expensive but well worth it if you make a lot of infusions. 

I Made Cannabutter, Now What? 

Well, you can either eat a spoonful of butter or better yet, cook a favorite recipe using it. Making brownies or cookies and substituting the same amount of butter the recipe calls for with cannabutter is always a good way to go. Or you can do half and half. You don’t have to stick to sweet treats, however, and you can literally use your cannabutter in any type of recipe you wish. Just make sure you tell any dinner guests what you’ve been up to!   

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