It’s no secret that knowing how to make cannabutter gives you a new, interesting way of consuming cannabis.
In fact, it will allow you to use both the buds and the dried trim (if you grow your own medicine) and make your friends happier in the process.
Bottom line? If you want to make your own cannabis-infused meals, knowing how to make weed butter is a must.
So pull up a chair, grab some snacks and get ready to learn:
- How to make weed butter (cannabutter)
- What are the best ways to make it
- Step-by-step recipe (decarbing included)
We have a lot to cover so let’s get started.
How to make cannabutter in 7 steps:
- 4 sticks of butter (1 pound)
- 7-10 grams of weed (preferably with 15% THC)
- Decarb your cannabis. Bake your lightly ground cannabis flowers for 30 minutes at 250°F (120°C). Read our full decarbing tutorial here.
- Boil water. Put 4 cups of water into a semi-deep cooking pot and bring it to a boil.
- Add butter to the boiling water. Wait for butter to melt, all the while stirring and mixing the pot.
- Add decarbed cannabis to the mix. Lower the temperature and simmer the mixture for 20-30 minutes, without boiling.
- Strain out the mixture through cheesecloth into a glass bowl (or a jar). Leave it on top of the cheesecloth to strain fully. The bulk of the plant material should be in the cheesecloth.
- Store in the fridge for 5-6 hours. The butter will form a crust on top and separate from the water.
- Cut the butter out. Use a knife to cut it out and then you can re-melt it in your microwave or just use it in an edible recipe.
All you need to know about making cannabutter
If you are a cannabis enthusiast, you’ve surely heard of a term “edible”—food that is prepared with cannabis as one of the main ingredients.
Edibles come in many forms, such as cookies, brownies, cakes, muffins, chocolate bars, and, of course, butter.
Weed butter is an essential ingredient in many cannabis edibles, due to its nature of being easily mixable.
Cannabutter is made through a process called extraction, during which the cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are juiced out of the plant and then infused with other ingredients such as dairy butter or coconut oil.
Cannabutter is one of the most potent and highly concentrated forms of medical marijuana, so dosing it can be tricky.
How much weed do you need for cannabutter?
Generally speaking, if you are making a pound of butter you’ll need between 7 and 10 grams of weed with average potency – around 15% THC.
Most cannabis strains these days average between 10% and 20% THC. Keep in mind that the math will be different if the specific cannabis strain you are using has more THC. Some strains have 22%, and some even have over 25%, so make sure you double check your math.
In Canada and other places where cannabis is legally sold the amount of THC is labeled on the packaging.
So, for math’s sake, let’s say your weed has 15% THC contents. Here is how you determine the right proportions for your cannabutter.
One gram of cannabis has 1000mg (one thousand milligrams), which means that, in our case, it contains 150mg of THC.
When smoking a joint, you usually roll up anywhere between a half and a whole gram, and you share that joint with 3-4 people, which would indicate that 150mg is enough to satisfy 4-5 people easily – or 30-50 milligrams of THC per person.
Keeping that in mind, and the fact that edibles are always a bit stronger than smoking, here’s what is considered average dosing for edibles:
- First timers: 5-10mg of THC
- Light users: 20-30mg of THC
- Casual users: 50-70mg of THC
- Heavy users: +100mg of THC
When making cannabutter, you’ll want to get a pound (4 sticks) of butter and 7-10 grams of weed which contains around 15%THC, or 150mg of THC per gram.
That would mean that you have 7*150mg = ~1000mg or 10*150mg = ~1500mg.
According to that, once you mix it with the butter you could make 20-30 portions for casual users, or 30-50 light portions.
This is especially important because later on when you make edibles you will have to carefully measure how much you put in your food.
A pound of cannabutter is enough to keep you at least for two weeks, and in that time you should be able to bake at least two or three types of brownies, cookies or whatever you like.
Bonus: 5 Delicious Cannabutter Recipes
We are giving away a free ebook that’ll teach you 5 ways to use cannabutter in regular meals. Just let us know where to send it (takes 5 seconds).
What is cannabutter used for?
Cannabutter primarily found its use, just like medical cannabis, in alternative medicine.
Since the legalization of cannabis started around the world, weed butter is primarily used as just another way of consuming both medical and recreational cannabis.
Since cannabutter can easily replace any other type of butter in any dish, its gastronomical limits are basically unknown.
Properly dosed weed butter can give the user a very nice and smooth high, which is why so many people prefer consuming cannabis this way.
The active ingredients of cannabis (cannabinoids) that we ingest by smoking a joint or by eating a cannabis-infused edible are processed by our body in different ways, but in the end they still produce the same result, which is also good news for those who don’t like smoking cannabis because of the side effects of smoke.
What are the best strains for weed butter?
I have to pull out the old cookbook excuse and say that you should pick a strain you personally like the most.
If you’re not sure which strain fits you, you can use Strainblazer, our tool for finding strains in Canada, which allows you to filter all strains currently on sale by six criteria, such as condition, symptoms, THC/CBD levels, flavor, and effects.
When it comes down to which parts of the plant you can use, always have in mind that you can use both the buds and the rest of the plant, depending on how strong you want the butter to be.
But bear in mind that, just like making almost every other cannabis-infused food, the best weed butter is made from the buds of the plant, as that’s where the most of the plant’s cannabinoids are.
Why you need to decarboxylate cannabis before cooking with it?
Raw cannabis is not psychoactive, despite the popular opinion.
In order for cannabis to actually give you a high, two prerequisites need to be fulfilled:
- The buds need to be dried and aged;
- The buds need to be heated to a certain temperature.
The strongest psychoactive effects are actually achieved both by heating the plant and by letting it age and dry longer.
In order to release the full potential of the plant’s psychoactive effects, you must first go through a process called decarboxylation.
Decarbing means that cannabis is thermally treated in order for weed to release the utmost amount of THC and other cannabinoids.
The process of decarbing happens at temperatures of 200-250℉ or 90-120°C.
That temperature is a lot lower than the temperature at which cannabis burns when smoked, which is between 400°C and 900°C.
As you can see on the chart above, the best way to reach the desired amount of THC is by following the curve.
Baking the buds on a high temperature for a shorter period of time has proven to be more effective than baking them for a bit longer on a lower temperature.
For an optimal THC content of 15-20% you should bake your buds for 7-25 min on 300 or 250℉ (150-120°C) respectively.
Butter, water or coconut oil? Which ingredient should you use?
In the current world of making cannabutter there are 2 camps that claim their recipe is the best, and then there are also those who claim making cannabutter doesn’t have to be restricting to only one of the two ingredients.
So which is the best basis for weed butter: dairy butter or coconut oil?
Either one is a good choice if you have something that stops you from taking the other. For example, you might be lactose intolerant so you decide to go with coconut oil.
Others just don’t like the taste and smell of coconut oil, and it does largely cover up the taste and smell of cannabis in the final product, which could also be a good reason to go with dairy butter and that way save the full weed experience.
While those two are favorites for the best additive, most recipes heavily rely on water being one of the main ingredients for preparing weed butter.
A couple important things to keep in mind is that when cooking with water:
- Separating the trim will be a much easier task
- The flavor will be reduced in the end
- Waste materials will be easier to get rid of
- The butter will be much more clear after the process
Why use water instead of cooking cannabis directly in butter or oil?
Pros of Using Water
When making cannabutter with water, chlorophyll is leached much more efficiently than when making it with butter or oil only.
This results in the butter having a far weaker taste and smell. Physics also teach us that solid materials tend to sink in the water and float in the butter, so you won’t have too much trouble separating the remaining plant material from the pot in which you are preparing the butter.
The smell and taste of cannabis will still be there, but at a far lower level that you would expect.
Cons of Using Water
Since the weed butter that is made with water goes bad quickly, it has to be either consumed right away or kept in a fridge/freezer.
The extra moisture makes it more susceptible to mold than waterless cannabutter. However, this type of cannabutter is far easier to be frozen and saved in a freezer for months, all the while not losing any of its potency over time.
This type of cannabutter has far less plant residue and for two main reasons: it flows easily through the gauze or whatever you are using to cleanse it, and if it does go through it will sink down easily, opposed to butter where it will still float.