Cannabis butter, also known as cannabutter, serves as the foundation for almost all cannabis recipes. Having knowledge of how to make it ensures that any dishes prepared with it have the potential to create an impressive and intense high.
It should be noted that there are various recipes for making cannabis butter, and the following is just one of many possibilities.
First and foremost, a warning: Cooking with fats and water can be dangerous if done carelessly or without proper preparation. It is strongly recommended to wear long-sleeved clothing and heat-resistant gloves to avoid burns. We do not assume any responsibility for any injuries incurred if these safety precautions are not followed.
It is possible to make cannabis butter from harvested flowers, but many people consider it a waste of high-quality material that can be used for smoking or other purposes. As an alternative, you can use the trimmings and leftovers from your harvest. By doing so, you can create cannabis butter that still has a decent potency without having to use your personal stash of cannabis.
When selecting trimmings and leftovers, it is advisable to use predominantly the leaves. They contain more cannabinoids due to their higher concentration of trichomes compared to branches or stems. However, this does not mean that you should not use stems or branches at all. You can still add them to increase the quantity you are making without causing harm.
3 hours to a full day
- Cooking pots
- Wooden cooking spoon
- 2 sieves (and possibly a cheesecloth, depending on how finely you grind the marijuana)
- Plastic container
- To prepare your marijuana, you should grind it as finely as possible. This increases the surface area, allowing for better reaction when melting the butter. An effective method for this is to use an immersion blender. Within a few minutes, you can process large amounts of trim into a fine paste.
The process of making cannabis butter is based on the fact that the oils in cannabis combine with the oils in butter when heated, allowing the two components to merge together. Therefore, it is extremely important to have the largest possible surface area. A larger surface area means more cannabis oil, which results in higher-quality butter.
- Choose a cooking pot that is filled with approximately 1/3 of your finely ground marijuana trim. Use a small pot for a small quantity and a large pot or multiple pots simultaneously for a large quantity. The reason for this will be explained later.
- Now, add butter pieces and water to the pot in a ratio of 1:4. That means for every 250g of butter, you add one liter of water (1000ml). Fill the pot to about 2/3 of its capacity.
It is crucial to maintain the specified ratios (1/3 and 2/3) as you will soon be heating the mixture. Once the mixture starts to boil, the fats and oils will bubble and become very hot. If the pot is overcrowded, there is a risk of hot fats and oils splattering, causing burns and creating a mess in your kitchen.
- Once your “weed and butter soup” is in the pot, it’s time to heat it up. Here, there are two opposing options that are controversially discussed. You can either bring the water to a rapid boil at high heat or let it simmer slowly at 100 degrees Celsius. While rapid boiling may be faster, there is a risk of losing THC and CBD particles due to accelerated evaporation. Slow cooking takes significantly longer, but you are likely to lose less THC and CBD (for more information on this process and temperatures, you can refer to our article on cannabis vaporization).
Supporters of the rapid method argue that the loss is minimal or non-existent, while those who prefer slow cooking claim the opposite. We recommend experimenting and choosing the method that you believe will yield the best results.
- While the mixture is simmering, stir regularly and add fresh water once it has reduced to half of the original amount. How often you need to repeat this process depends on how quickly the mixture reduces.
- You’ll know the butter is ready when the liquid has separated, and a layer of oil is floating on the surface. This can take approximately 3 hours up to a full day.
- Once this happens, pour the liquid into a container to strain out the infused marijuana. Take the marijuana with gloves and press it over the container, squeezing out any additional oil through another sieve to extract any remaining oil. There will still be a significant amount of oil present in the strained marijuana.
Set the strained marijuana aside if you plan to use it later. It can be used, for example, in salad dressings or spreads, to give other foods an extra kick. It still contains some amount of cannabinoids, so you can definitely use it if you want to make the most out of your cannabis plants.
- Now you have a container with a layer of cannabis-infused butter floating on top of a layer of water. Place the container in the refrigerator overnight. This will cause the oil to solidify into cannabis butter.
- The next day, carefully remove the layer of cannabis butter from the container. Be careful not to spill the remaining water or let the butter fall back into it to avoid unnecessary mess.
- Now that you have your finished cannabis butter, you can store it in the refrigerator. It should be good for approximately 2 weeks before it starts to slowly become rancid. If you want to extend its shelf life, you can also store it in the freezer until you need it. However, keep in mind that you will need to thaw it before using it. Therefore, it is advisable to portion it before freezing, so you don’t have to thaw the entire supply when you only need a small amount.
That’s it! Now you have cannabis butter that can be used as a base for other cannabis recipes or simply as a delicious butter-like spread!
Extra tip: You can enhance the flavor of your cannabis butter to tailor it for various purposes and achieve even more taste. There are countless ways to enhance it with different ingredients, such as fruits, sugar, spices, and herbs, depending on how you plan to use the butter later. Some popular additions for a delicious and savory cannabutter include garlic, thyme, or basil. For a spicy variation, you can add chili powder, pepper, hot sauce, or Asian spice blends. Fruity cannabis butter can be made by adding oranges, lemons, or apples. If you want a sweet butter, you can mix in sugar, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, or crushed candies.
The possibilities are endless, and since you’re making your cannabis butter from parts that would have otherwise ended up in the trash or compost, you have nothing to lose. Don’t hesitate to experiment and create the most delicious butter you can achieve!