A Beginner’s Guide to Making Cannabutter

With the holidays around the corner and quarantine in full swing, there is no better time to explore the world of cannabis edibles in your own kitchen, beginning with a time-old classic: cannabis-infused butter, aka cannabutter.

You don’t have to be a cannabis connoisseur to make your own delish edibles at home. Cannabutter is versatile, discreet, and approachable. As one of the simplest and most common ways to make cannabis-infused edibles, medical cannabis patients have been using cannabutter to help relieve pain symptoms for decades.

We’ve broken the cannabis butter infusion process down to 3 easy steps: decarboxylate, infuse, and dose. The following recipe produces loosely 30mg of THC per tablespoon of butter, but more on that later.

cannabutter 1

What You’ll Need: 

  • Herb grinder
  • Medium sheet pan
  • Stovetop and oven
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Optional: thermometer, cheesecloth/metal strainer

Ingredients:

  • ½ ounce of weed
  • 1½ cup water
  • 8 ounces clarified butter

Step 1: Decarboxylate to Activate

cannabutter decarboxylation

First thing’s first: you need to decarboxylate your cannabis. The process of “decarbing” your weed essentially activates the THC within the buds and is the key to producing effective and potent cannabutter. To decarb, you need to bake your weed in order to allow the cannabinoids to activate fully and transfer easily to the lipids in the butter.

  • Preheat your oven to 220° F
  • Using your herb grinder, gently grind the weed into a medium-fine consistency – not too fine where it will slip through your strainer
  • Spread the cannabis evenly on your sheet pan
  • Place the sheet pan on the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes if using old or low-grade weed; 45 minutes if using high-grade weed
  • Gently mix the weed every 10 minutes to prevent burning
  • Decarboxylation is complete once the weed goes from a bright green to a brown green

Step 2: Infuse Your Cannabutter

Now it’s time to infuse the butter. Cannabinoids bind best to lipids, hence why butter is the perfect vessel for cannabis infusions. By combining the weed and melted butter over a low heat, the cannabinoids slowly bind to the fat molecules in the butter, making for a potent infusion.

  • Over very low heat, combine water and butter in a medium saucepan
  • Once butter is fully melted, add the ground decarbed weed. Mix well and cover with lid
  • Allow mixture to simmer for 4 hours, stirring every half hour to prevent burning
  • If you have a kitchen thermometer, make sure the mixture doesn’t surpass 180°F
  • After 4 hours, strain butter into a container using cheesecloth or metal strainer
  • Cool butter to room temperature. Keep in the refrigerator or freezer in a well-sealed jar for up to six months.

Step 3: Dose and Enjoy

how to make cannabutter

The cannabutter’s potency depends on many factors, and this recipe roughly translates into 30 mg of THC per tablespoon of oil or butter. To test the potency, spread ¼ teaspoon on a cracker and see how you feel after an hour. Everyone’s perfect dose is different, but 10 mg is the standard dosing measure. Start with low doses to slowly determine the right dosage for you. Use your standard dose as a baseline for your favorite holiday dishes!

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