How to Make Cannabutter: What to Know Before Starting
03.22.22 - 4 min read
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Find yourself wondering “what is cannabutter?” Whether you’re a newcomer to the cannabis world or something of an expert, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about this tasty subject.
When it comes to defining cannabutter, we can take a bit of a hint from the name—simply put, it’s cannabis-infused butter.
Cannabutter is an easy way of making homemade cannabis edibles, including baked goods like cookies and brownies that require oil or butter in their recipe.
But here’s the thing—all marijuana strains aren’t created equal. So, before you head off to the store to get your own cannabis buds, you need to figure out the kind of results you’re trying to get.
And that leads us to the next question.
Okay, so now you’re ready to make your very own cannabis butter at home. What next?
First, you need to know what cannabis strain to choose for your recipe.
Cannabis contains substances known as cannabinoids. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there are around 100 cannabinoids identified (so far!), with the best-known being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the cannabinoid that is responsible for the intoxicating sensation commonly associated with marijuana while CBD by itself does not create the same effect. Both cannabinoids are the subject of more and more research with the goal to understand their effects and benefits better.
Different marijuana strains can have different levels and ratios of CBD and THC. So, the right choice will depend on what you’re trying to get out of it.
Another thing to consider when choosing a marijuana strain for your homemade cannabutter: terpenes.
Terpenes are chemical compounds that are also found in the cannabis plant. They are not only responsible for the aroma and flavor of marijuana, but also can contribute to the resulting feelings you experience due to the interaction with each other, and the cannabinoids present in the strain you used. (This is known as “The Entourage Effect”.)
There are hundreds of terpenes found in cannabis, so don’t forget to check which terpenes are dominant in the strain that you’re choosing.
The second ingredient that you need to choose is butter. The job of the butter is to serve as a carrier for the cannabis compounds, thanks to its high-fat content.
But like cannabis, you don’t want to use just any butter. Different people have different cannabis recipes and preferences. You can choose unsalted or salted butter, coconut oil, clarified butter, ghee, etc.
Generally speaking, unsalted butter is often the choice for making cannabutter because it is an essential ingredient of most homemade edibles and baked goods. In this recipe, however, the fat of choice is ghee!
But here’s the kicker—you can use just about any oil or fat to make cannabutter, as long as it is liquid between 175°F to 190°F.
There’s no single “right” way to cook your cannabutter, and it depends on what equipment you have available. You can cook your cannabutter using a slow cooker, stove, crockpot or oven. In this cannabutter recipe, you can read about the stove method.
Cannabutter cooking occurs under low heat, so it can take a while.
But basically, the longer you cook your cannabutter, the more cannabinoids will be infused into the butter.
Typically, it can take anywhere between 2 to 4 hours to make your cannabutter depending on your cooking method or recipe.
When it comes to what you can do with cannabutter, the possibilities are almost endless.
You can sub your cannabutter for regular butter in any recipe that requires it. So, from brownies to cookies to buttery scrambled eggs (yum!), you can enjoy just about any cannabis-infused edibles that you can think of.
Here are a few ideas to start with:
Just like regular butter, if you want to increase the lifespan of your cannabutter, then you should store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Your cannabutter can last up to few months in the fridge and a bit longer in the freezer.
Make sure to use an airtight container—a quality childproof mason jar is a good choice. (Reminder: Always remember to label the contents and store the jar away from anyone under the age of 21.)
Not necessarily. Many factors, including the quality of your strain, can impact the eventual strength of your cannabutter. That said, cooking your cannabutter longer can improve the infusion of cannabinoids into your butter.
If your cannabutter turns dark brown instead of golden green, then you probably overheated it. Slow cooking and low heat are the best for making cannabutter.
For great results, you should consider cooking your cannabutter anywhere between 175°F and 190°F. Exceeding 200°F can lead to browning, especially when using a stove.
Generally, you could lose 15-20% of your butter when making cannabutter. This is due to the evaporation of water as well as some fat residues that will be left on the remaining cannabis after straining.
Yes, it’s okay for your cannabutter to bubble intermittently, especially when using a stovetop. It shouldn’t turn into a regular boil, though. That probably means the heat is too high.
Cannabutter can be pretty hard if you’re just bringing it out of the freezer or refrigerator. To soften it, allow the cannabutter to sit at room temperature for 20 – 50 mins. Alternatively, you could just microwave the desired quantity for a few seconds.
It depends on many factors, like your cannabis tolerance, the potency of the strain you used for the recipe, the ratio you used to make the butter, etc. We always recommend starting with a low dose and increasing it later if you think it’s needed, especially when it comes to edibles.
Start off with a lower dose such as a 50:50 ratio of cannabutter to regular butter. You can increase or decrease the amount of cannabutter based on how your body responds.
Friendly reminder: we recommend starting low and going slow! That said, if you’re interested in making your cannabutter stronger, here are some steps you can follow.
When cooking a cannabis snack, start off with a 1:1 ratio of regular butter and cannabutter. Then increase the ratio of cannabutter if you want something stronger.
If this is still not strong enough, then you can try increasing the amount of cannabis you infuse into your butter.
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