Cannabis, also known as marijuana or weed, is a mind-altering drug that comes from either the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. These plants have been widely used for centuries for both medicinal and recreational use.
While many people choose to smoke or vape cannabis, edibles have grown in popularity. These edibles often contain cannabutter — a cannabis-infused butter that can be purchased at a local cannabis dispensary or made at home.
Still, keep in mind that cannabis is illegal in many states and countries, so always check with your local government before using it or related products.
This article reviews cannabutter, including its main uses, how to make it, and common side effects.
What is cannabutter?
As the name implies, cannabutter is a combination of cannabis and butter.
It’s most commonly used to make cannabis edibles, particularly baked goods like cookies and brownies.
Before buying or making cannabutter, you should decide what effects you’re hoping to experience.
Cannabis contains two main compounds known as cannabinoids — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is a psychoactive compound that leads to a high, while CBD is not mind-altering.
Depending on its intended use, cannabutter may contain only CBD or both CBD and THC.
Cannabutter is cannabis-infused butter. It can contain only CBD, which isn’t psychoactive, or both CBD and THC, which gives it mind-altering properties.
Cannabis offers many health benefits and is becoming more accepted as a natural treatment for various diseases and ailments.
Cannabutter is a smoke-free option and can be used in different edible cannabis products, making it a popular choice.
May alleviate cancer-related symptoms
Many cancer treatments lead to undesired symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and pain, and a lot of research focuses on natural remedies to relieve them.
Cannabis has been used as a natural treatment for nausea and vomiting throughout history. In fact, its anti-nausea properties were one of its first discovered medical benefits.
Cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids. They affect your body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates various bodily processes, including mood, memory, and appetite.
While THC has been most extensively studied, it appears that other cannabinoids, such as CBD, may also help treat nausea and vomiting.
However, keep in mind that excessive cannabis use can lead to the same symptoms. Therefore, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to ensure you’re using cannabis safely and effectively.
Finally, cannabis is widely prescribed to help treat cancer-related pain.
Cannabutter can be incorporated into foods, making it a useful, smoke-free, edible option for people with cancer.
Making cannabutter includes heating butter and cannabis together to activate the THC in the cannabis and infuse the butter. Activating the THC with heat is a process known as decarboxylation.
- Grind 1 ounce of high-quality cannabis flower and layer a cookie sheet with the crushed flower.
- Preheat your oven to 245 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the cookie sheet with cannabis into the oven for a half hour, turning the sheet once or twice while it heats to distribute the heat evenly. When you remove the crushed cannabis after a half hour, it will be very dry.
- In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. With the water boiling, place a pound (four sticks) of butter in the water until it melts completely.
- Place the cannabis in the water and butter mixture, mix the solution, and set it on low so it slightly simmers. The cannabis should remain slightly above the bottom of the pan, not on the bottom. Cook for 2½ to 3 hours. The top of the mix should appear glossy and have a thick consistency. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Use a large, heatproof bowl, and place a double layer of cheesecloth over the top, securing it with tape or twine.
- Slowly strain the marijuana mixture through the cheesecloth and into the bowl, When the pan is empty, remove the twine or tape and lift the cheesecloth supporting all four corners. Squeeze out any butter that remains. Allow the butter mixture to cool.
- Place the butter mixture in a refrigerator until thoroughly cooled. The infused butter will rise to a solid top layer. Run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the butter and lift it from the bowl. Remove any remaining water from it.
- Your cannabutter is complete! Place it in the refrigerator for later use.
Savory Cannabutter Recipes
Although cannabis edibles often feature sweet dessert items, an increasing number of great recipes are being created to produce tasty savory dishes as well.
Bacon Blue Cheese Dip
- 4 tablespoons softened cannabutter
- 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- 3 teaspoon minced garlic
- 16 ounces softened cream cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 6 ounces blue cheese crumbles
- 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup chopped chives, divided
- ¼ cup chopped pecans, divided
- 1 French bread baguette
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
- In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter and swirl melted butter in the pan to coat the edges. Add garlic and cook on low until lightly golden. Remove from heat.
- Pour garlic and melted butter into an electric mixing bowl (mixer should be fitted with a paddle attachment). Add cream cheese and mix on low until smooth. Slowly add heavy cream, mixing until combined.
- Add blue cheese crumbles, bacon, 2 tablespoons chopped chives, and 2 tablespoons chopped pecans to the mixture. Spread mixture on the bottom of a buttered cast-iron pan.
- Place the dip in a preheated oven, and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Top with remaining chives and pecans. Serve the warm dip with cannabuttered baguette slices (see below).
Cannabuttered Baguette Slices
- Cut baguette into rounds and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Toast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown, about 10 minutes or less.
- Liberally spread each baguette round with cannabutter and return to the oven very briefly until melted. Remove baguette rounds from the oven and enjoy with blue cheese dip.
Macaroni & Cheese
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- ½ cup cannabutter
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 4½ cups whole milk, separated
- 4½ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- Boil a large pot of lightly salted water. Add elbow macaroni, stirring occasionally until cooked al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain.
- Melt cannabutter in a saucepan over low heat.
- Stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth (about 5 minutes).
- Slowly pour milk into butter-flour mixture, stirring continuously until mixture is smooth and bubbling (about 5 minutes).
- Add 4 cups cheddar cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted (about 2 to 4 minutes).
- Fold macaroni into cheese sauce until thoroughly mixed.
- Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top of hot macaroni and cheese
Butternut Squash Soup
- 3 tablespoons cannabutter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ cups chopped yellow onion
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 3-pound butternut squash, peeled
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 cups chicken stock
- Heavy cream (optional, to drizzle on top for garnish)
- Cut the squash into cubes, toss in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Place squash on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in a preheated 350-degree (F) oven for a half hour or until the squash is golden and caramelized. Place squash cubes in a bowl and set aside.
- Melt the cannabutter in a soup pot over low heat, then add the onion, salt, and pepper, and heat on low-to-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so the butter doesn’t burn.
- Add the roasted squash cubes and cinnamon. Stir for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, bring to a low boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender (you can also cool the soup slightly and puree in a blender in batches).
- Taste, and adjust the seasonings to personal preference.
- Drizzle a small amount of heavy cream on top and serve.