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.
Why Cannabis Edibles?
Before we start looking at how to make edibles, let’s talk for a bit about why you might want to consider them in the first place.
You may have tried it all – blunts, oils, vape pens, etc. – but there’s just something a little special about edibles. In particular, weed edibles make for a longer lasting and more relaxing experience.
When you eat a pot edible, it takes longer to absorb, but when it does, it hits differently than other forms. Most notably, by eating cannabis-infused meals, it means it will pass through your liver.
Smoking or vaping marijuana goes straight to the brain, which is why the high happens so fast (relatively speaking). But eating an edible forces your liver to metabolize delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, which hits quicker and harder.
So, while it may take a tad bit longer, the experience of an edible will be deeper and more relaxing than others.
To top it off, it’s never a bad thing to cook for yourself! Cooking is psychologically healthy and economically sound.
The Importance of Decarboxylation
We’ll make this quick, but there’s one more note to make before we get to the edible recipes.
For almost all weed edibles, you need to decarboxylate your bud. Basically, this means you need to cook it at about 215 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Long story short: it will make your weed more potent in an edible. Otherwise, consuming weed in this way won’t have very much of an effect at all.Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
You could always create a fire cracker — a homemade edible made with cannabis flower, peanut butter and graham crackers — but why not have a little taste? Infused peanut butter has become my go-to when traveling. If you’re able to score hash or kief, it’s incredibly easy to make: Just decarboxylate (heating your cannabis or hash to activate the THC) and melt the hash in a bowl inside your oven for ten to fifteen minutes. Then, throw a few scoops of peanut butter inside the bowl, and put it back in the oven at 230 degrees for about ten minutes. Take out the bowl, stir the peanut butter, then put it back in the oven. After another ten to fifteen minutes, take it out, stir one more time, let it cool, and store it in the fridge.
How to make cannabis-infused butter
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.
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup (7-10 grams) of ground cannabis, decarboxylated
Before making your cannabutter, you’ll need to decarboxylate, or “decarb”, the cannabis flower you’re working with. Skipping this step will result in a weak or inactive finished product. Here’s why: Cannabis buds produce a non-intoxicating acidic cannabinoid called THCA. When we smoke or vaporize cannabis, the heat converts THCA into THC, the molecule that delivers euphoric effects. If preparing CBD edibles, this same process should be applied.RelatedHow to make edibles: Leafly’s guide to cooking with cannabis
Some recipes may instruct you to decarb cannabis in the hot butter directly, but the less time you spend soaking the buds, the better your infused butter is going to taste. For this reason, we recommend decarbing in the oven first.
Basic cannabutter recipe
- Decarb the cannabis. Preheat your oven to 245ºF. Place cannabis buds on a non-stick, oven-safe tray. Cover the tray with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Insert the tray into the oven and set a timer for 30-40 minutes. Older, drier cannabis may require less time. (Tip: you can also set your oven to 300ºF and heat for 10 to 18 minutes, although low-and-slow is the recommended approach when decarbing to better preserve the cannabinoids.) Every 10 minutes, gently mix the buds with a light shake of the tray to expose the surface area of the buds equally.
- Grind. Grind the decarboxylated cannabis coarsely with a hand grinder.
- Melt the butter. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of butter into a stock pot or saucepan. Simmer on low and let the butter melt. Adding water helps to regulate the temperature and prevents the butter from scorching.
- Add the cannabis. As the butter begins to melt, add in your coarsely ground cannabis product.
- Simmer. Maintain low heat (ideally above 160ºF but never exceeding 200ºF) and let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The mixture should never come to a full boil.
- Strain the cannabutter. Set a funnel on top of a jar and line it with cheesecloth. Once the butter has cooled off, pour it over the cheesecloth funnel and allow it to strain freely. (Tip: Squeezing the cheesecloth may push more bad-tasting plant material through).
- Refrigerate the jar of butter. If excess water forms at the bottom of the jar, you can remove the solid butter with a knife and drain the water out. (The butter will need to refrigerate for about an hour before removing the water.)
- Dose carefully. Refer to dosing information below before adding your butter to any snacks, dishes, or desserts.
Directions for slow cooker
- Grind your cannabis coarsely with a hand grinder. (Tip: A coffee grinder will finely pulverize the flower and prevent effective straining of bad-tasting plant material.)
- Set your slow cooker to low, or somewhere around 160ºF. (Tip: Avoid exceeding 200ºF to prevent burning or wasting cannabinoids. You can also add a little water to help prevent scorching.)
- Add the butter and ground cannabis. Stir occasionally.
- After about 3 hours, turn off the crockpot and wait for the butter to cool.
- Strain as above.