As the name implies, cannabutter is a kind of butter infused with cannabis. Although you can buy it premade online or at the store, you should always consider the legal status of marijuana in your state before you purchase it, just to be sure.
According to Healthline, depending on the amount of marijuana used and what cannabinoids are in it, the potency and effects of the cannabutter will be variable. Let’s say, for example, that your cannabutter includes tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as well as CBD. The presence of both cannabinoids can lead to the feeling some describe as being ‘high’ because THC has psychoactive effects.
It is worth remembering that the more cannabis you use, the more potent the butter will be in both its taste and effects. How to make cannabutter? Let’s explore your options.
In this online extract from The Art of Weed Butter, Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey explains that before you can make your cannabutter, you need to decarboxylate your cannabis. The process, also known as “decarbing,” is a crucial step. It is what allows the cannabinoids – such as CHD and THC – to activate. It also makes it easier for the lipids in butter to bind to your cannabis, which in turn improves the quality of the infusion.
It’s easy to activate these cannabinoids in your cannabis plant – all you need to do is bake it. Instructions are below, but please bear in mind that these instructions are for recipes that call for half an ounce of marijuana (14 grams). For other quantities of cannabis, the instructions may vary.
- Preheat your oven to 220 Fahrenheit (95 Celsius)
- Cut, grind or break apart your cannabis until it is of a reasonably fine consistency
- Evenly spread your cannabis on the baking tray and place in the oven
The time your cannabis spends in the oven depends on whether or not it’s old, new, wet or recently harvested. Here are some indicative times below:
- If your marijuana is older or considered ‘low-grade’, it needs just twenty minutes to bake and decarb.
- Conversely, if your marijuana is considered new or ‘high-grade’, forty-five minutes is the optimum time frame to allow the cannabinoids in the plant to activate.
- If your marijuana is recently harvested or still wet, you should let it bake for an hour.
Every ten minutes check on the marijuana and stir it to make sure it has not burned. Once it has decarboxylated, you’ll be able to tell by looking at it because it will turn from a bright green to a darker brownish-green.
The Stovetop Method
The most common and fastest way to make cannabutter is by cooking it on a stove. This method, approved by Bon Appetit Magazine, is based on half an ounce (14 grams).
For this recipe, you’ll need four sticks of butter and two cups of water as well as your marijuana. In terms of equipment, you’ll need a hand-grinder, saucepan, wooden spoon, cheesecloth, and thermometer.
- First, you’ll need to grind your marijuana to a fine, but not too fine, powder-like consistency. Grind it to the same consistency that you would with any other herb.
- Then, mix your butter and water in a saucepan at low heat.
- Once the butter has melted, add your ground marijuana. Mix well and then put a lid on the pan.
- Lower the heat slightly and let it simmer for four hours. Make sure you stir it every half an hour.
- Also, frequently check on your mixture to make sure the butter isn’t burning, and use your thermometer to verify that the mixture is no warmer than 180 Celsius.
- After four hours, strain your butter with a cheesecloth into a container. Let the butter cool to room temperature.
- Once it has cooled, you can either use it immediately or store it in your freezer or refrigerator for up to six months.
The Slow-Cook Method
TASTE Magazine has also identified another, lesser-known method for you to make cannabutter, called the slow-cook method. Again, this method is for a recipe that calls for half an ounce (14 grams) of cannabis.
You’ll still need those eight sticks of butter, two cups of water, a spoon and a cheesecloth – but this time, you’ll also need a slow-cooker, a bowl, and a sieve.
- The first step is to grind your marijuana to the same consistency that you would with any other herb.
- Add the butter and two cups of hot water to the slow cooker.
- Add the ground marijuana and, again, turn the heat to a lower setting.
- Mix well, cover the cooker and leave it for between 8-24 hours. The best way to know whether or not the butter has cooked properly is to check the top layer. If it has become thicker and glossier, this usually means it is ready to go.
- Line your sieve with your cheesecloth and set it up so that it is over the bowl. Pour the butter through the sieve, and let it filter for about five minutes. You should have your butter in the bowl and your marijuana in the sieve.
- Use your spoon to press down on the marijuana in the sieve to squeeze out the last of the butter-infused cannabinoids.
- The final stage is to cover your bowl of butter and refrigerate it for at least three hours before use, or overnight. After this time has elapsed, your butter should have solidified into a block.
Wrap your cannabutter in clingfilm and store it in an airtight container. There are two ways you can store your cannabutter. You can save it for up to two months in the fridge or up to six months in the freezer.
Once you have decarboxylated the cannabis, you can create cannabutter for any number of recipes. With your new batch of cannabutter in hand, the culinary world of cannabis is yours!