How to Make the Best Cannabis Butter

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When recipes call for butter, you can use cannabutter instead. Cannabis butter is a cannabis-extract you can use in scores of ways. In the process of extraction, the cannabis cannabinoids and terpenes are infused into the butterfat. When used in recipes, it can induce the psychoactive properties of THC and/or the calming medical advantages of CBD.

For those deeply involved in personal farming, extracting, and home cooking, cannabis butter is a daily process and treat. For those new to the cannabis culture, the creation and use of cannabutter is increasing.

How to make the best cannabis butter?

As in all things cannabis, there are different opinions and approaches. We’re not certain what’s best for you and your taste, but here’s the standard process.

You’ll need the following:

1. 0.05* ounces of decarboxylated cannabis (“decarboxylation” refers to a process that has released CO2 from plant life.)
      *With experience, you may adjust the amount and the strain to your taste or needs.
2. 1 pound of unsalted butter
3. 4 cups of distilled water
4. Metal spoon
5. Spatula
6. 2-3-quart saucepan
7. 2-quart glass or stainless-steel bowl
8. Metal strainer/colander
9. 2 8”x8” pieces of cheesecloth
10. Food handling gloves
11. Knife
12. Sealable plastic containers

The process to follow:

1. Cut the butter into several pieces, softened by not melted.
2. Mix the butter with water and cannabis in saucepan, stirring over a low heat that avoids boiling.
3. Allow to simmer for 3-4 hours stirring gently every 30 minutes to keep the cannabis from settling to the bottom.
4. It will thicken naturally as water cooks off, so add water if necessary to keep it from thickening too much.
5. After 3-4 hours, the mixture should look glossy, dense, and compact. It’s time to remove it from heat and allow to cool.
6. Line your colander with the two pieces of cheesecloth so edges hang over the side.
7. Pour cooling mixture into colander, press it down with back of spatula, and allow butter to drain into glass bowl.
8. Using gloved hands, you pull the corners of the cheesecloth together, twist tightly, and squeeze butter through the cheesecloth before you discard cannabis.
9. Refrigerate the bowl for about 2 hours until butter has solidified and separated from any water.
10.  Running a knife around the edge, lift the layer of butter from the water and lay it wet side up on a clean surface before dabbing off the excess water with a dry cloth or paper towel.

You can cut or cube the cannabutter as you please before sealing in airtight containers and refrigerating until used.

Think of this process like making pesto butter, and you’ll get the hang of it quickly. All through the process, you will learn where you can adjust or modify steps to simplify the process and improve the product.

Before you cook with cannabutter

Once your cannabutter is ready, you’ll want to get started cooking. But, there are some tips you’ll want to follow to get cannabis cooking right.

1. Measure correctly. You can’t cook by whim or ear. You must get measurements and weights correct. Recipes are processes that depend on chemical and temperature interactions. In time, you can add a little of this or that, but when you start cooking, you should follow the recipe closely. 

2. Heat will release the THC. But, too much heat will destroy other cannabinoids. So, cooking temperature should not exceed 170°C while you cook with cannabis. Decarboxylation releases carbon dioxide and activates the THC.

  • Spread the cannabis on a baking sheet.
  • Bake at 150°C for one hour.
  • Allow it to cool and store until you are ready to use it.

3. Start slow. Making the butter is easy enough, but you should approach cooking with some caution. There will be time to increase the dose or change the strain later but start with some restraint until you know what works for you. You should remember that strains are marked with potency, but they also have aroma and taste that affect the recipe outcome.

4. Spice it up. Cannabis has a strong herbal flavor that you can disguise with spice and savory, so you should be free with these ingredients to offset the cannabis’ dominance.

5. Buy your butter. Dispensaries sell prepared cannabutter. You may find it easier to purchase the butter than making your own. But, one benefit of the commercially available cannabutter lies in its labeling of dosage and THC: CBD ratio. That will save your doing the calculation.

Get the dosage right!

When it comes to cooking with cannabutter, “dosage” means more than quantity. Every ounce of cannabis butter has a ratio of THC and CBD, so you must anticipate how much you want to end up in the food. For example, if you want your brownies to have 5 milligrams each, you must apportion your ingredients.

  • Taste a spoonful of your cannabutter and register the effect. If the effect is strong than you expected, you can try again with a half or quarter spoon. When you’re satisfied with the portion, you can use that portion as a benchmark for what you want to show up in each serving.
  • If you want nine servings, for example, and you have determined that 1.5 teaspoons are a good dose in each serving, then you must use 13.5 teaspoons for the recipe. If the recipe requires more fat, you add regular butter.
  • You’ll also want to shoot for even distribution of the cannabutter. So, recipes calling for softened or melted cannabutter work better than those requiring cubes or solids.

Think about using cannabis butter on its own. You can test yours for taste and potency by spreading it on toast, biscuits, or bagels. Let it melt in and you’ll enjoy the added taste and effect.