Cannabutter offers a surprising amount of benefits in an easy to consume package. One of the most popular posts on our blog is The Surprising Benefits of Cannabutter. Be sure to check out that post, if you haven’t already. People have been amazed at how easy cannabutter is to consume, and easily regulate their cannabis intake. Especially if you’re not a fan of smoking cannabis, but still would like to benefit from the medicinal qualities.
Cannabutter is fairly simple to make, once you get the hang of it. Also, by making it yourself, you control the quality of ingredients and potency. If this is something that interests you, here’s our favorite cannabutter recipe. We’ve also included expert tips, to help you make the best product possible.
Favorite Homemade Cannabutter
½ Ounce cannabis buds
One pound butter (4 sticks)
One quart of water
1. Grind the Cannabis
The amount of cannabis you use can be adjusted to suit your needs. This recipe will produce a medium strength cannabutter, which is a good place to start. But, to make a stronger potency, just use a higher ratio of cannabis to butter.
The nice thing about making a stronger cannabutter, is that it can always be adjusted by mixing the final product with plain butter. For example, if you like a stronger butter, but your partner wants something less potent, just use your portion at full strength, and mix theirs with the same amount of plain butter, for a half-strength cannabutter.
You can always make it weaker, but it’s harder to make it stronger. That’s why you may want to make a strong potency to start with, and then play around with the finished product to find a strength that works for you.
This recipe calls for cannabis buds, but you can also use stems and trim, if that is something you have access to. In fact, if you grow cannabis, making cannabutter with the trim can be a great way to use up the parts of the plant that would otherwise be thrown out. If you do use trim, keep in mind that it’s not as potent as the buds. You’ll need to use more trim in the recipe, than if you are using buds.
To grind your cannabis: There are several ways to grind the cannabis. You can use a food processor, a blender, a grinder (such as a coffee bean grinder), or just a knife and cutting board. It doesn’t need to be ground super fine. The final consistency should look similar to ground oregano. We’re going to strain the cannabis out of the butter, towards the end of the process, so don’t worry about unappetizing chunks. They won’t be in the final product.
2. Decarboxylate the Cannabis
This step is optional, but it makes a much stronger final product. For the best results, you’ll want to take the extra time to decarboxylate your cannabis.
Decarboxylation is the process of activating the THC inside the cannabis, so that it produces the high effect that we’re looking for. Before cannabis is heated, it’s full of the compound tetrahhydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). This chemical compound is not psychoactive, so we must heat it to produce THC, the compound that gets us high.
This process happens naturally when you smoke or vaporize cannabis. The heat from a lighter or vaporizer activates the THC and allows it to be absorbed by our bodies, thus producing the high. When we cook with cannabis, the THC should be activated before the cooking process, to produce the best results.
To decarboxylate your cannabis for cooking: Spread the ground cannabis onto a baking sheet in a thin, even layer. Pre-heat the oven to 220-245 degrees Fahrenheit. Cannabis begins to decarboxylate at 220 degrees, but it’s important that the oven isn’t too hot. Overheating the cannabis can result in burning off all of the THC- the complete opposite of what we want. Monitor the temperature carefully, so that it’s not overcooked. Place the baking sheet full of cannabis into the oven, and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
3. Combine and Cook the Ingredients
Add the water and butter to a saucepan and heat until the butter is melted. The purpose of the water is so that the butter will not burn, which is super easy to do when cooking butter by itself.
Slowly add the decarboxylated cannabis to the water and butter mixture, and stir to combine. Simmer the ingredients, but do not bring to a full boil. If the mixture is at the right temperature, there should be tiny bubbles on the surface. You’ll want to simmer the mixture until the surface turns from watery to glossy and thick. This should be a couple of hours, although some people choose to simmer it even longer- up to 24 hours, to allow maximum infusion of the cannabis.
4. Strain the Cannabutter
When you are satisfied that it has simmered long enough for proper infusion of the cannabis, you are ready to strain the mixture. Place a sieve over a large glass bowl. Line the sieve with cheesecloth, and then slowly pour the mixture through the sieve into the glass bowl. Most of the cannabis should remain on the cheesecloth, while the infused butter should pass through into the bowl.
Allow to cool. Once you are able to handle the cheesecloth, gather the edges together and squeeze the remaining liquid into the bowl. If you’d prefer your finished product to not be so green, you can skip this step. Squeezing the cheesecloth will allow most of the green color to drop into your cannabutter.
Discard the cheesecloth and strained cannabis. Cover the bowl and place your cannabutter into the refrigerator to harden. After several hours, the butter should have hardened at the top of the bowl, leaving the water on the bottom. Carefully lift the butter of the top and place onto plastic wrap. Pat the butter with paper towels to remove any extra moisture.
The cannabutter is now ready. You can enjoy right away, or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two months. For longer storage, it can also be frozen for up to six months.
5. Optional: Add Flavor
Some people dislike the natural cannabis flavor of cannabutter. If you’d like, there are several ways to mask the flavor, but still get the great cannabis benefits. If you plan to make one of these flavored cannabutters, it’s best not to squeeze the cheesecloth when straining cannabutter. This makes a milder cannabis flavor and less green color.
- Make a savory butter by combining softened cannabutter with chopped garlic and chives. Roast the garlic for a milder flavor.
- Honey and cinnamon added to softened cannabutter makes a comforting, sweet spread.
- For a spicy, southwest cannabutter, mix softened cannabutter, chopped jalapeno, diced cilantro, and the juice of a lime.
- Minced basil, parsley, and garlic added to softened cannabutter makes a lovely ranch spread.