This easy, step-by-step beginner’s guide will teach you how to make cannabis butter, also known as cannabutter, at home in a crockpot or on the stove. You can then use this versatile recipe to create a variety of your favorite sweet and savory edibles.
IF YOU ARE NEW TO CANNABIS EDIBLES
If you are brand new to cannabis edibles, I want to make sure you check out my beginner’s guide to consuming cannabis edibles first.
Homemade edibles can be difficult to dose and often more potent than any other type of cannabis consumption.
Friends don’t let friends eat edibles unprepared, so let me help you with my cannabis edibles guide here.
If you are brand new to cannabis in general and are looking for foundational knowledge about your endocannabinoid system, I offer a more in-depth education inside my Cannabis Compass Online Course.
If you’ve never cooked with cannabis before, I recommend experimenting with CBD flower first, as it is usually easier to access and cheaper to buy.
Experimenting with a more affordable CBD flower also means less heartache if there ever happens to be a mistake made along the way.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
Just keep in mind that there is no ‘right way’ to cook with cannabis.
While some guidelines you should generally stick with, many people have different techniques when cooking with cannabis.
It is OK for you to develop your preferred method, too, as long as you end up with the outcome you desire.
- Choose your decarboxylation (or decarb) process
- Don’t use margarine or other types of ‘fake’ butter
- Be careful not to overheat the butter while cooking
CHOOSE YOUR DECARB PROCESS
Raw cannabis flower does not naturally contain high amounts of THC or CBD.
It does contain high amounts of cannabinoid acids like THCA and CBDAwhich are part of the full-spectrum of cannabinoids.
To experience the intoxicating ‘high’ effect of cannabis, you want to convert that CBDA and THCA into CBD and THC, respectively, with a process called decarboxylation.
There are two primary ways to decarboxylate when making cannabutter.
The first method involves decarboxylating the cannabis in the oven before infusing it with the butter.
The second method involves allowing the cannabis butter to cook for twice as long using fat for the solvent, allowing decarboxylation to occur over time.
OPTION #1: DECARB IN THE OVEN
This option is preferred because it cuts your cooking time in half and does not leach as much chlorophyll (or green color and taste) into your final product.
Before infusing the cannabis and the butter together, you will first bake the dried cannabis flowers in the oven at 240° F for 40 minutes.
After baking, you will then combine the cooked cannabis flower with the butter and allow them to infuse together for 4 hours in a slow cooker or crockpot or on the stovetop.
OPTION 2: DECARB WHILE COOKING
It’s true, you can skip the step of decarboxylating in the oven, but it’s important to note that you will need to cook the cannabis butter for an extended period of time to achieve full decarboxylation.
Some prefer this option because it eliminates the need to decarboxylate the flower in the oven ahead of time.
This option will also produce a more ‘green’ tasting product, as the longer cooking times will release more chlorophyll into the infusion.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below I will break down some of the most frequently asked questions I get about how to make the best cannabutter recipe and hopefully share some tips along the way to help you make the best cannabutter possible.
There are both culinary and scientific reasons why butter is an excellent choice for making homemade edibles.
From a culinary perspective, butter is extremely versatile and can be used in so many recipes, ranging from sweet to savory dishes.
From a scientific perspective, cannabinoids are lipophilic, meaning that they dissolve in and bind to fat.
When cannabinoids are extracted with fat, they are more easily absorbed and thus more bioavailable in our bodies.
Most butter purchased from the grocery store is on average 80-82% milk fat, 16–17% water, and 1–2% milk solids, which are mostly protein and sometimes referred to as curd.
We will evaporate the water during the cooking process and remove the milk solids, leaving a pure, infused butter.
WHAT TYPE OF BUTTER SHOULD I USE?
I recommend using unsalted butter when making your cannabutter because there are fewer impurities in the butter itself.
While both salted or unsalted butter will work, many Chefs prefer infusing unsalted butter in general for cooking.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the quality butter you use to start, the higher quality of your final product will be.
Kerrygold is a commonly recommended brand because the butter comes from the milk of grass-fed cows free of growth hormones.
Additionally, Kerrygold unsalted butter has a higher butterfat content, meaning more opportunity for cannabinoid infusion and fewer impurities to remove.
CAN I USE CLARIFIED BUTTER?
It is controversial among our Well With Cannabis Facebook Community on whether or not you should clarify your butter before starting the infusion process.
Some people say they never clarify first and make fabulous butter every time, while others say they would never make cannabutter without clarifying the butter first.
You can do it either way. You don’t have to or need to clarify your butter. It’s a preference most have, not a necessity.
WHAT ABOUT GHEE?
Ghee is butter that has already been clarified or has had the milk solids removed.
This pre-done step eliminates the need for you to clarify your butter.
In its clarified state, ghee is essentially an oil and can be treated like a traditional cannabis oil infusion.
Use this cannabis coconut oil recipe and swap the cannabis coconut oil for your ghee to make simple cannabis-infused ghee.
WHY DID I END UP WITH LESS BUTTER THAN I STARTED WITH?
As mentioned above, you will lose weight and volume in the cooking process and end up with less butter than you started with.
The loss occurs because you will be removing the milk solids and evaporating off the excess water.
You should expect to experience a volume loss of 15-25%.
Volume loss is essential to keep in mind, especially if you try to make a small batch to use in a particular recipe.
For example, one stick of butter that has been infused is no longer still one stick of butter typically called for in a recipe.