Thursday September 9, 2021
By Trevor Ross
Cannabis-infused butter, or simply “cannabutter,” is a quintessential way of cooking with cannabis. It may require a little practice, but once you are able to infuse the best parts of your pot into butter, you can substitute the cannabutter into any recipe that calls for butter. It can also be spread over toast, or even melted over popcorn!
Here, PotGuide offers our recipe for cannabutter along with tips for cooking it, and we review the chemistry at work in the process.
Table of Contents:
- What is Cannabutter?
- Tips for Making Cannabutter
- What is “Decarbing,” and Do I Have To Do It?
- The Importance of Decarboxylation When Making Cannabutter
- Cannabutter Recipe and Instructions
- How and Why This Cannabutter Recipe Works
- What is the Best Way to Decarb Weed?
- Can I Infuse Cannabis into Anything Else?
What is Cannabutter?
“Cannabutter” is a slang term for butter that has been cooked with cannabis flower, infusing it with THC. This infused butter can then be substituted into any recipe that calls for butter, resulting in “edibles” that get you high when consumed.
Tips for Making Cannabutter
Remember to decarb your cannabis first! Choose your method according to your appliances and your cooking skill. The oven may be easier for novices, but an appliance with inconsistent temperature or a poor thermometer could result in burnt flower. The stove may be easier for experienced cooks, but an aggressive gas range may result in burnt butter.
Use a dosing calculator to determine, at least roughly, the potency of your final product. That will depend on the potency of your raw flower, so be sure to remember the THC percentage you chose. At 15% THC, this recipe will produce about 22g of THC per teaspoon, and there are 24 teaspoons in a cup of butter.
What is “Decarbing,” and Do I Have To Do It?
Yes. Raw cannabis flower is covered in THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) which is not psychoactive. Heat must be applied to remove the carboxylic acid from the molecule, resulting in psychoactive THC.
The Importance of Decarboxylation When Making Cannabutter
Before you begin making edibles, the cannabis must be decarboxylated.
Eating cannabis flower by itself will not get you very high because the THC compound on the raw flower is actually THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), which is not a psychoactive compound. The THCA compound has a carboxylic acid group which must be subtracted from the molecule for it to become “activated” THC. Thankfully, the solution is as simple as heat. When you touch a flame to cannabis flower, that acid group is released, and what you inhale is the remaining psychoactive THC.
Similarly, when cooking cannabutter, heat will need to be applied to “decarb” the weed. This can be done a couple different ways: either baking it in the oven or simmering it on the stove. This recipe calls for decarbing on the stove, directly into the butter, and will be explained further in the article.
If you prefer to decarb in the oven, loosely grind the flower and spread it evenly on a baking sheet. Set the temperature to 225 F, and place the tray in the center of the oven, and cook for about 45 minutes.
CANNATIP: The risk here is that oven temps can fluctuate, and if the temperature creeps too high, you could end up smoking weed out of your oven.
Cannabutter Recipe and Instructions
Use the ingredients and directions below to make your very own cannabutter!
2 cups water
1 cup butter (two sticks)
⅛ oz. cannabis flower, ground
Combine the water and butter into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the butter begins to melt, add the ground cannabis flower.
Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
CANNATIP: The risk here is that too much water may burn off, raising the temperature of the melted butter, and potentially scorching it. This may not ruin the potency of the final product, but it will certainly affect the final flavor of your edibles, as well as stinking up your kitchen. If this is happening, add water to keep the mixture at a steady simmer.
Once the mixture has been infused, carefully strain it through a cheesecloth or fine mesh colander, pressing the cooked cannabis pulp with a utensil to squeeze through as much of the melted butter as you can. The cooked cannabis has done its part, and can be thrown out.
Seal the bowl, jar, or whatever the mixture was poured into and place it in the fridge for at least a few hours. This will reconstitute the butter, and separate any remaining water and pulp from the mixture. Once the butter is solidified, and while it is still cold, scrape or lift it from its container and drain any excess fluid, then pat dry with a paper towel.
Wrap the butter in plastic wrap or wax paper and seal in Tupperware, or something similar. It can be stored for up to three months in the fridge, and may be frozen for long-term storage.
How and Why This Cannabutter Recipe Works
This method was chosen because it combines the decarbing step into the infusing step. THC is fat-soluble, as opposed to water-soluble which is why it is cooked into ingredients like oil and butter. As the THC is released from the plant matter, it is repelled by the water and binds to the fat in the butter.
If you have a sugar thermometer, place it in the pan with your mixture and keep the temperature around 220 F. Simmering for over two hours simply ensures that as much THC as possible has been extracted.
What is the Best Way to Decarb Weed?
There is no one best method, but decarbing in the oven may be easier for novices because it separates the decarbing and infusing steps.
Can I Infuse Cannabis into Anything Else?
Yes. Cannabis is fat soluble (as opposed to water-soluble) which is why it must be cooked into fatty substances. Oils and butter are the most common and easiest options, but milk, creams and even peanut butter contain enough fat for THC to bond to.
How do you make cannabutter? Share your recipe in the comments below!