Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 06/05/2017 in Recipes
Updated on December 28, 2018.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Cannabutter is one of the biggest crazes in the world of marijuana edibles. Versatile and easy to make, cannabutter is an easy way to bring weed into your kitchen. But what exactly is cannabutter and how can you get started working with it? We’re here to answer those questions for you.
What Is Cannabutter?
Cannabutter is butter infused with cannabis. It’s just like any other regular kitchen butter, but with THC added to the mix. This is one of the easiest ways to bring marijuana to your kitchen, because it’s relatively easy to make yourself and easy to incorporate into just about any meal — all you need to do is substitute cannabutter for regular butter in any of your recipes.
Along with cannabis-infused cooking oils, cannabutter is an easy way to medicate your food.
How Do You Make Cannabutter?
While cannabutter is easy to make, it does take a bit of practice to get just right. We’ve outlined the basic steps you need to follow to make a great batch of THC-infused butter below:
Keep in mind that this will make very potent cannabutter. Experiment with the amount of cannabis you include in the recipe to find what works best for you and your needs:
1 lb. unsalted butter
1 cup water, though you can add more to the mix if necessary
1 oz. ground cannabis flower (alternatively 1.5 oz. ground cannabis trim)
If you use vaporized cannabis, you can also use the remnants in your vaporizer, since most vaporizers fail to decarboxylate all the THC in a flower.
Heat your cannabis first to activate the THC in the flower. This process of chemical activation is called decarboxylation. To make this happen, first set your oven to preheat to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Place however much plant material you are using on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake the sheet for about 40 minutes, turning the plant material over every 10 minutes or so until the plant material becomes crumbly.
At this point, you need to decide whether you want to make your cannabutter over a stovetop or using a slow cooker. Both result in the same product, but it’s up to you which method you prefer to use.
Step 2 (Stovetop Method)
In a medium stock pot or saucepan, add your cup of water and pound of butter over low heat, letting the butter melt and start to simmer. If your butter looks like it’s starting to scorch, you should add more water.
Once the butter has melted completely, you can start adding your ground cannabis plant. Once you’ve added the plant material to the mix, turn the heat down to very low heat and let it stay on a low simmer for two to three hours, stirring occasionally. Regularly check your mixture to make sure it never reaches a full boil. You can tell the mixture is finished if it’s taken on a glossy and thick texture.
Step 2 (Slow Cooker Method)
Turn your slow cooker to its low setting and add your pound of butter and cup of water to the cooker. Add the ground cannabis product to the mix and cover your slow cooker. Let this simmer on low for eight hours at least, but you can let it simmer for a full 24 hours if you wish — the longer you let the cannabis product simmer, the more cannabinoids will infuse into the final product.
Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally and make sure it doesn’t get too hot. You’ll know you’re ready for the next step if the mixture has taken on a thick, glossy texture.
While your butter finishes cooking, start setting up the container for your finished product. This can be a plastic food container, heatproof bowl or any other container large enough to handle the amount of material you’re working with. Cover this container with two layers of cheesecloth and hold it in place with tape, string or an elastic band.
Strain your infused mixture over the bowl, being careful not to spill any of your material. The cheesecloth should catch most of the plant material and prevent it from getting into your final product.
Once your pan is empty, undo your elastic, tape or string and remove the cheesecloth from the top of your container. Be sure to squeeze the cheesecloth out to make sure you get as much material as possible into the container.
Allow your mixture to cool in its container for about an hour or so before placing it in the refrigerator. Once in the fridge, the butter portion of the mixture should become completely solid, resting on top of the water.
Take out your container and lift this butter layer to drain the water from the container. If there’s any more cooking water on the butter, scrape it off with a knife.
Once your butter is dry, you can either put it back in your container or roll it up and wrap it. It’s now ready to add to your favorite recipes! Just remember to always let your cannabutter soften at room temperature — never use a microwave to soften it!
How Can You Use Cannabutter?
Cannabutter can be used in just about any recipe. In fact, it’s the primary ingredient in most marijuana edibles!
Interested in getting started using cannabutter in your own recipes? You can look up ways to use cannabutter in tried-and-true edible recipes or start experimenting on your own. You can even use it by itself as a topping on pancakes, butter or cooked vegetables.
The one thing you should keep in mind while using cannabutter is to go slow. Dosing with homemade edibles can be a tricky process, because you never quite know how much THC you’re getting per serving. Test your cannabutter by consuming a single serving and waiting a few hours to see how well it works. You can then use your results to determine how much of your cannabutter you’ll want to use in your recipes to get your desired results.
What Are the Benefits of Cannabutter?
Cannabutter offers many of the same benefits as edibles in general — they take longer to take effect, last longer and can produce different psychoactive experiences. This is because your digestive system turns THC into a different, slightly more powerful psychoactive compound. You also benefit from ingesting more CBD than you would through smoking, which is a medically important compound of marijuana.
However, cannabutter is markedly different from other edibles in that it’s such a versatile material. You can use cannabutter in just about any recipe, adding your daily dose to your morning breakfast or late-night snack without much hassle. Once you’ve made your cannabutter, you can apply it to just about anything!
Learn More About Cannabutter
Want to learn more about cannabutter and other edibles? We have plenty of recipes to share with you on our blog. Simply browse our list of marijuana recipes to find your next favorite idea!