Even if you’re not a culinary whiz, there is a real sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from cooking a great meal at home. Now imagine crafting a meal that can also get you high, soothe pain, and promote a restful sleep. Homemade cannabutter is taste and medicine rolled into one. You can’t beat that.
Follow along and we’ll share our favourite cannabutter recipe for beginners. This recipe is super easy to experiment with and adapt.
We’ve got two versions of the recipe, one with all the steps and a super lazy one for those of you who already have a jar full of AVBs in the freezer.
If you’re making cannabutter because you don’t inhale cannabis, then the first recipe is for you! Vapers, you’re going to love the lazy recipe because you get to skip the first step. And the remaining steps from both methods can be mixed and matched, since the fundamental infusion process is the same.
What Is Cannabutter?
Cannabutter is exactly what it sounds like. A fat or oil that is solid to semi-solid at room temperature, infused with cannabis. The recipe is simple and relatively flexible. The cannabis used is commonly decarboxylated (heated) before infusion, but it is possible to infuse butter with raw cannabis. This cannabutter recipe calls for decarboxylated cannabis. If this is your first batch, then we highly recommend purchasing premium shake or cannabis trim to decarboxylate for your cannabutter.
Select a Fat for Cannabutter
The most popular fats to use for cannabutter are dairy-based butter, vegan butter or coconut oil. Generally, any fat that is solid at room temperature is ideal since it is more highly saturated, carrying and delivering the THC most effectively. That being said, you can certainly infuse liquid oils like olive or sunflower for a wider variety of cooking applications.
Why Decarboxylated THC?
One thing is generally predictable about cannabis edibles: Once THC has been decarboxylated, ingested and processed through the liver, it produces a powerful sedative effect which can be controlled to some extent with proper dosing. But it needs to go through several steps before it possesses this sedative quality.
Raw cannabis contains THCA and ingesting it will not get you high. “THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is the naturally occurring precursor to THC. Like THC, THCA is a cannabinoid. Unlike THC, THCA is non-psychoactive.” (Source: ‘What is THCA?’)
You can inhale THC when cannabis has been vaped or combusted. And you can ingest THC in an edible.
When THC is ingested, it is metabolized in the liver to produce the by-product 11-hydroxy-THC. In small quantities it can leave you feeling very relaxed with a deep couch lock and drowsiness. Larger quantities can put you into a deep sleep.
What About Non-decarboxylated THC?
Raw cannabis buds are abundant in potent terpenes and flavonoids. And these are destroyed in the cannabutter process. So there is good rationale for adding raw cannabis to many recipes. Certainly, cannabis can be added to cold smoothies.
That being said, cannabis doesn’t have any psychoactive effects when ingested raw. It does contain THCA, which is still being studied for benefits. For a summary of current findings on THCA, check out our article: ‘What is THCA?’
Caution: adding raw cannabis to a recipe that will eventually be cooked is playing with fire in terms of dosing safely. If you are experimenting outside of the parameters of this recipe, ensure that you consume your end product in low quantities. And go very slowly.
What You Need to Make Cannabutter
1/2 ounce of quality cannabis flower
1 cup of water
8 ounces/1 cup of unsalted butter or coconut oil
For Decarboxylation (Step 1):
Baking sheet/parchment paper/reusable silicone baking mat
Sheet pan/baking dish
Oven or toaster oven
For Infusion (Step 2):
Saucepan or pot
For Straining (Step 3):
Tupperware that can hold at least 2 cups of liquid or more
Glass containers/mason jar
Icewater in a steel bowl (optional)
Step 1: Decarboxylating Cannabis for Cannabutter
Pre-heat your oven or toaster oven to 200 °F or around 93 °C. Use a grinder or scissors to chop up your cannabis flowers. The ground herb should be the size and consistency of any other dried cooking herb you would use.
If you’re working in a small space and want to avoid having it smell like cannabis, make sure you ventilate. Open windows, run the bathroom and hood fan or all of the above throughout the process, especially during infusion.
Spread the ground raw cannabis flowers evenly onto the baking dish lined with a baking sheet. Pop the baking dish into the oven and heat the cannabis for about 30-40 minutes.
Decarboxylation is just like vaping. As the THCA converts into THC, it produces a vapor. Do not let the cannabis burn and check on it, stirring the herb so it is evenly heated. When it is a toasty, golden colour, the cannabis has been successfully decarboxylated.
Step 1 Alternative: Use AVBs for Cannabutter
Do you vape weed? If you do, then you should be saving your already vaped buds (AVBs). Why? Because an AVB is decarboxylated cannabis. If you begin emptying your vaped buds into a separate glass container, eventually you will collected enough to make cannabutter. If you vape regularly, keep a small jar for day-to-day AVB collection. In the freezer, keep another container. A 500g glass jar is ideal, since you can see exactly how much you have.
Lazy Cannabutter: What You Need
1/2 ounce of quality AVBs
1 cup of water
8 ounces/1 cup of unsalted butter or coconut oil
Skip Step 1 Decarboxylation and go straight to Step 2, Infusion:
Step 2: Infusing Cannabutter
Melt your chosen fat and add water, bringing the mixture to a slow simmer. Add your decarboxylated cannabis and stir in until they are fully saturated in water and fat. The water is added to prevent the ingredients from burning or overheating.
Stir and check the mixture throughout the infusion process, from 2-4 hours. If the mixture is overheating despite a low simmer, remove from the heat for a minute before returning it to simmer.
Step 3: Straining Liquid Cannabutter
Cheesecloth and coffee filters aren’t easy to reuse. So if you’re keen on going zero waste and don’t mind a tiny bit of plant matter at the bottom of your butter, you can use a sieve to filter out the buds.
Pour the infused fat and water through the sieve and straight into the Tupperware. Let it cool and then cover and pop it in the fridge. Leave for at least 8 hours to cool and separate.
Step 4: Processing Cannabutter for Optimal Storage
When you take out the Tupperware, you will see the fat and water have completely separated. Remove as much of the water as possible from the hardened green butter. The plastic Tupperware makes it easy to remove the butter as a single piece. We strongly recommend rinsing the butter in ice water to remove all excess waste water.
However, if you are planning on using the cannabutter right away, separate what you want to use before rinsing. If you’re confident that you’ve completely removed all plant matter and water using cheesecloth or a coffee filter, then you can store the cannabutter in a tightly sealed glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.
The Benefits of Freezing Portioned Cannabutter
Alternatively, the rinsed butter can be cut into sections and placed into a glass jar. Keeping your cannabutter in the freezer this way has several benefits:
- Frozen cannabutter will keep for at least 6 months.
- If you don’t feel like infusing a dish with cannabutter, you can slice off a vitamin-sized portion and take it like a pill.
- Cannabutter kept in the fridge can go bad quickly if the plant matter and water isn’t thoroughly removed. Avoid this disappointment entirely by freezing it.
- Frozen sections won’t stick to the jar like soft butter, so there’s no scraping or waste.
How Strong Will My Cannabutter Be?
Home-made cannabutter isn’t an exact science unless you nerd out. For this article, we’re trying to get you in the kitchen with minimal effort to make a cannabis-infused fat source you can add to any recipe.
The rule with all psychoactive substances it to Start Low and Go Slow. Add a dime-sized piece of this recipe to anything you cook. It will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to fully feel the effects.
What Should I Cook With Cannabutter?
This cannabutter can be added to anything! This cannabutter goes well in stir fries, pastas, soups, and more, where it can be added at the last minute as an after-thought.
You can add it to a component of a meal, such as re-fried beans for tacos, and leave other ingredients cannabis free for anyone sharing in the meal who wants to abstain.
It also goes beautifully in a rich, frothy hot chocolate. And if you have a talent for baking, cannabutter is a psychoactive confectioner’s dream!
Now that you know how to make cannabutter with AVBs or freshly decarboxylated cannabis, you have a whole new world of meals and cannabis to enjoy! Have fun!
We have an amazing selection of edibles if you’re not quite ready to make your own.
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