Cannabis-infused butter — i.e. cannabutter — takes everything up a notch. We highly recommend whipping up a batch to have on hand, then swapping out a few teaspoons in any recipes that call for regular butter. And don’t panic — you don’t need to be a chef or a cannabis connoisseur to make your very own cannabutter. All you need to do is follow our recipe.
The New Pantry Staple
Cannabutter is, obviously, an edible, and ingesting cannabis is an experience all its own. To be clear, effects from edibles often take longer to kick in, but they also last longer — usually between four and six hours. That’s because the cannabis has to move through the digestive system. As that happens, the THC actually transforms into a different compound, 11-hydroxy-THC. During digestion, this new compound is slowly and steadily delivered into the bloodstream. That’s why it’s incredibly important to heed the golden rule of cannabis when you’re enjoying an edible. Start low and go slow — it’s just never a mistake.
Incorporating cannabutter into your diet can be an indulgent way to reap the benefits of cannabis, whether your goal is recreational or medicinal. Consider your goal with an edible like this, and let that guide your choose of flower. The unique characteristics of a given strain, including its potency, will dictate the finished cannabutter, so choose wisely. And keep in mind that the better the starting ingredients, the better the result, so opt for good flower and quality butter. Our budtenders are always on hand to make recommendations, so let them know what you’re thinking and they can steer you toward a good option.
The Essential First Step
First things first — the decarboxylation process. Decarbing is the process of slowly heating cannabis flower to activate the cannabinoids. Don’t skip this step. Yes, it adds at least an hour to your timeline, but without it, you’ll end up with weak or completely inactive cannabutter. And that’s… missing the point entirely. Plus, decarbed cannabis allows for better binding to the lipids in the butter, making for a smoother infusion.
We recommend decarbing in the oven:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread out your flower in a single layer. Gently break apart the flower so that it’s relatively fine (but not too fine — think pre-roll consistency). You’ll need a cup (about 7 to 10 grams) of ground, decarbed cannabis for your recipe.
- Bake in a preheated 245F oven for thirty to forty minutes, shaking the sheet pan occasionally for more even baking and to keep the flower from burning. Pay attention to the color — you’re looking for a deep brownish-green shade.
- Remove the decarbed flower and let it sit until it’s cool enough to handle.
The Cannabutter Recipe
Our recipes uses water to maintain temperature and keep the butter from scorching, but don’t worry — it can be drained off if necessary as a last step. To start, combine one cup water and one cup water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the ground cannabis as the butter begins melting, combining well. Use a thermometer to maintain a temperature between 160 and 180F for three to four hours. Stir the mixture occasionally and don’t let it come to a full boil. You’re looking for a gentle simmer.
Once your cannabutter has simmered for a few hours, remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Then use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to strain into a jar or bowl. Don’t squeeze the cheesecloth — just pour it through. You can cool your finished cannabutter in the fridge. If your jar ends up with any water at the bottom, drain if off. And boom — fresh, homemade cannabutter!
Unless you have access to a lab, dosing your homemade cannabutter is a process of trial and error. Start by gauging potency. Treat yourself to a half teaspoon of the cannabutter on a cracker or a bit of baguette, and then gauge its effects about sixty minutes after consumption. Pay careful attention to how you feel, and use that as a baseline when you start cooking with your cannabutter.
Obviously, cannabutter is for adults only, so keep it stored safely and remember to enjoy responsibly.