Cannabis-infused butter (cannabutter) is one of the simplest and most common ways to make infused cannabis edibles. However, making infused butter can be a little bit tricky. In order to activate its psychoactive potential, the flower must be heated slowly at a low temperature. This recipe will first guide you through this process–called decarboxylation–before walking you through a step-by-step guide to infusing butter.
Note: Homemade edibles are very difficult to accurately dose. This guide will give you some tips for more precise dosing, but all DIY cannabis cooks should be aware that there’s no way to guarantee the potency or homogeneity of their batch.
Listen, you don’t have to be a master chef or cannabis connoisseur to make legit weed butter. You just need to be well-informed, patient, and organized. At the end of the day, making cannabis butter is just a very efficient way of consuming weed. It’s inconspicuous, versatile, and approachable. And I really enjoy how cannabutter helps to minimize the stigma of weed—especially in the black community. It means everything to me when middle-aged black women, like my 80-year-old great Auntie Mildred, can be provided with options like cannabis edibles to help find relief from pain symptoms.
With the same principles as making weed butter, you can create infused sesame chili oil to drizzle on rice dishes, or elevated coconut oil to use for your next face oil mask.
The following recipe loosely translates into 30 mg of THC per tablespoon of oil or butter. Your perfect dose will vary, but 10 mg is standard. Start by testing ¼ teaspoon of the weed butter you make and wait for about an hour. Take note of how you feel and let your body tell you whether this is a good amount, if you need more, or if you need less. Erring on the side of caution will ensure that you actually enjoy yourself and have a positive experience.
How to make cannabis-infused butter (or ‘cannabutter’)
Butter is a delicious and versatile carrier for THC and other cannabinoids, although it isn’t the only one. You can also use coconut oil, olive oil, or any other fatty oil for your infusions. Just keep in mind, butter burns easily, so keep a close eye on your cannabutter as it cooks.
Step 1: Decarboxylation
The first thing you’ll have to do is decarboxylate your cannabis. Also known as “decarbing,” this requires you to bake your weed, allowing the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids to activate. Also, it allows for lipids in butter and oil to easily bind to your weed for the ultimate cannabis infusion.What you’ll need:
- ½ ounce of weed
- Hand grinder or scissors
- Glass baking dish or sheet pan
What to do:
- Preheat the oven to 220° F.
- Gently break apart the desired amount of weed using a hand-grinder, scissors, or with hands until it’s the perfect consistency for rolling a joint— fine, but not too fine. Anything too fine will slip through cheesecloth (or a joint, for that matter). You want your cannabutter and oil to be clean and as clear as possible.
- Evenly spread your plant material onto the glass baking dish or sheet pan. Pop in the oven on the center rack for 20 minutes if using old or lower quality weed; 45 minutes for cured, high-grade weed; or 1 hour or more for anything that has been recently harvested and is still wet.
- Check on the weed frequently while it’s in the oven, gently mixing it every 10 minutes so as to not burn it. You will notice that the color of your herb will change from bright green to a deep brownish green. That’s when you know it has decarboxylated.
Step 2: Cannabutter Stovetop Infusion
If you have weed, fat, time, and a kitchen, you can make weed butter with this method.What You’ll Need:
- 1½ cup water
- 8 ounces clarified butter, melted butter, or oil
- ½ ounce decarboxylated cannabis
- Medium saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Thermometer, optional cheesecloth and/or metal strainer
What to do:
- In a medium saucepan on very low heat, add water and butter.
- When the butter is melted, add the decarboxylated cannabis. Mix well with a wooden spoon and cover with lid.
- Let mixture gently simmer for 4 hours. Stir every half hour to make sure your butter isn’t burning. If you have a thermometer, check to make sure the temperature doesn’t reach above 180°.
- After 4 hours, strain with cheesecloth or metal strainer into a container. Let the butter cool to room temperature. Use immediately or keep in refrigerator or freezer in a well-sealed mason jar for up to six months.
How to use weed butter:
I’ve been slipping a little weed into a lot of recipes that aren’t in my cookbook. Most recently, I combined one tablespoon of canna-infused olive oil with 3 tablespoons of non-weed virgin olive oil to dress this juicy Charred Raw Corn salad. (It came out to 30 mg for the entire dish, and 7.5 mg per serving). It blew my mind. And not because I was stoned. I also have this thing for eating hot soup all year long, and my most recent soup fix was Chicken and Rice Soup with Garlicky Chile Oil. I spiked the garlic chile oil with weed, swapping in two tablespoons of canna-infused sesame oil for two tablespoons of vegetable oil. You can also sub a few teaspoons of infused oil into baked goods, like breakfast blondies or chocolate tahini brownies.
Cannabutter is exactly what it sounds like, cannabis-infused butter. It’s simple to make, you can do it at home and then use the butter to cook and bake your favorite meals and baked goods, just with a little something extra in them.
Cannabis refers to two separate plants, hemp and marijuana. Hemp has higher levels of CBD, the molecule of cannabis known as cannabidiol that does not produce the feeling of being high. Marijuana has higher levels of THC, the molecule that does make you high.
Marijuana and CBD products can be purchased at medicinal or recreational dispensaries. Unregulated CBD and hemp products are also available in dedicated shops and drugstores around the country.
Many users prefer to smoke or vape their cannabis, but a growing number of people are finding delight in cannabis-infused food known as edibles. Whether you smoke or eat cannabis, the medicinal values are consistent. CBD is used to treat pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression and insomnia. If you happen to prefer food to smoking, then edibles are for you.
Here’s how to make the CBD cannabutter right in your own kitchen.
Ingredients and Supplies
• CBD hemp flower
• Sauce pot
• Wooden mixing spoon
• Medium or large bowl or container to store the cannabutter
1. Determine the Potency You Want
The amount of cannabis used depends on how strong you want your edibles to be. Potency is measured in milligrams (mg) of CBD. Novice cannabis users may find comfort in a dosage starting around 10 mg per serving. But everyone is different and there are many factors that contribute to proper dosing. Age, gender, weight and your overall wellness goals all play a part. Some users may have upwards of 100 mg per dose.
So let’s get down to the math of it. If you are making a batch of 12 brownies (the classic edible treat), and you want each brownie to be 20 mg, you will need 240 mg total (12 brownies x 20 mg each). When purchasing cannabis from your dispensary or hemp store, the potency of the flower will be measured in percent of THC or CBD. For example, a gram of hemp with 23% CBD can be made into an edible with 230 mg of CBD (1 gram = 1,000 mg, 23% of 1,000 mg is 230 mg). Once you’ve determined the potency you want in your edibles, it’s time to decarboxylate the flower.
This is possibly the most forgotten step in making cannabutter, but it’s incredibly important. Cannabis flower contains the precursors to THC and CBD, THCa and CBDa. To decarboxylate is to remove the carboxylic acid group from a compound (the ‘a’ in THCa and CBDa). The process of “decarbing” cannabis makes it ready for consumption.
To decarb flower, preheat your oven to 240°F (any higher can burn important parts of the plant). Place a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet and spread the cannabis over the sheet. The average time in the oven is about 30 minutes, but this can vary with the age of the flower. Fresh cannabis with more moisture might take longer while older, dryer cannabis requires less time. Every 10 minutes or so, stir the flower around on the baking sheet so that all sides are equally exposed. It’s done decarbing when the color changes from light green to a darker green.
Using a hand grinder, grind the cannabis coarsely. Don’t overgrind it and make the cannabis powdery.
4. Stove Top
In a sauce pot, combine equal amounts of butter and water (for example, 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of water). The water helps regulate temperature and will be separated out later. Once the butter begins to melt, add the ground cannabis to the mixture. Keep the temperature at a low simmer, between 160°F and 200°F); you never want to bring the mixture to a boil. Occasional stir the pot, so to speak. This process will take from 2.5-4 hours.
Take a piece of cheesecloth and stretch it over the container you wish to store your cannabutter in. Once the water/butter/cannabis mixture has cooled down a bit, pour it over the cheesecloth and let it strain. Don’t squeeze the cheesecloth.
6. Refrigerate and Separate
Once the mixture has been strained through the cheesecloth, it’s time to refrigerate. After a few hours, the water and the butter will separate. Drain the water and now you have a tub of ready-to-use cannabutter.
Time to Bake/Cook
Now that you have your CBD cannabutter, it’s time to bake or cook your favorite treats. Be mindful of dosing by calculating how much cannabis you used, how much cannabutter you have and how many treats you plan to make using that butter. For example, if you used CBD flower with 24% CBD and made 1 cup of cannabutter, that cannabutter has 240 mg in it. Using the whole cup of cannabutter to make a batch of 12 brownies will result in brownies with 20 mg of CBD each. Now you’re fully ready to make your favorite edibles.