An Easy Way to Make Cannabutter
While it's easy to go to the market or any nearby marijuana dispensary and get your edibles that way, making your own at home is fun, engaging, and a lot cheaper. Munching on edibles is another way to consume weed; it also provides several health benefits and is a proven healthier alternative to smoking. For those with respiratory conditions and who would like to avoid smoking, edibles are a great way to get a dose of cannabis into your system without having to harm your lungs or cause any further damage. Secondly, the effects of edibles last longer than smoking cannabis, thus making it a better way of consuming cannabis for those who are using it for medical purposes, such as relieving chronic pain, promoting better and longer sleep, and relieving anxiety. Another plus to edibles is that it comes in varieties from brownies, gummies, cookies, beverages — you name it!
Cannabutter, which is butter infused with cannabis, is a great way to mix cannabis into your diet for either recreational or medicinal purposes. While you can eat cannabutter on its own, you can also use it in baking, as a bread spread, and all the other ways you use traditional butter. The ways you can incorporate cannabutter into your life are countless! While making cannabutter at home can sound a bit daunting, trust us, it's not as hard as it sounds. Equipped with our step-by-step guide, you'll be able to master the art of making homemade cannabutter in no time.
Of course, when you go out to buy edibles like cannabutter, you'd expect it to be of the best quality. It should be the same when you're making your edibles at home, and this starts with the type of cannabis you'll be infusing into your butter. When making cannabutter, it's not recommended to use old or bad weed. While you might get that strong punch of flavor even if you're not using quality cannabis, you might not be getting the same effect; this makes a big difference, especially if you're using it for medical reasons. Best choose the right strain of quality weed when making cannabutter, and you'll get the best of both worlds, taste and flavorwise. With that tackled, let's get started with knowing your dose and how to start making your cannabutter.
Munching on plain cannabis does affect your body, but it isn't a pleasing experience and isn't deemed as effective compared to activated marijuana. You see, cannabis flowers have two major compounds responsible for our effects from intaking cannabis, namely THC and CBD. For these compounds to work efficiently, they must undergo decarboxylation or "decarbing" for short. We know it's not that easy to pronounce, but it's the process of "activating" your weed. The effects of THC and CBD come out best when they undergo the said process. While it sounds all sciencey, the decarbing process is easily done by heating or vaporizing weed; this is why most people who use weed tend to smoke it.
When it comes to activating your cannabis for cooking or baking, you won't be needing any fancy equipment of some sort. Activating cannabis at home is quite easy; all you'll need to do is follow these three easy steps and get help from your trusty old oven.
Activating Your Cannabis
- Break the flower into small pieces. You may do this by chopping or grinding it up while ensuring they're just the perfect size. Small enough that it'll get heated all the way and big enough that it won't pass through your filter.
- Spread the chopped-up cannabis on a sheet pan. If you are popping it into a convection oven, cover the pan with foil that has a few tiny holes in it. This way, the cannabis wouldn't be blown all over the place. You won't be losing any cannabis in the process, too!
- Lastly, pop it into your oven! Make sure your oven's at 220°F and leave it in there for 30 minutes.
And that's it! Your cannabis is now fully activated, and you can expect your cannabutter to be potent with the added medicinal value.
Now, Don't Forget the Fat.
How can you make cannabutter without this other main ingredient? You can't! The type of fat doesn't matter. Whatever works for you goes. The most common type of fat used to create cannabutter is, hence its name, butter. It's soft, creamy, and well, buttery. It works with most dishes, especially if you plan on baking some edibles, spreading it on corn, lobster, bread, or you can use it as a dip or when you're basting your steak. Butter is quite a versatile option.
Now, if you'll be using your cannabutter for different dishes that don't require the use of traditional butter, maybe you don't have any butter on hand, or let's just say you don't like butter for whatever reason, there's no need to fret just yet. There are a handful of alternatives to choose from! Any fat you have handy, it'll work.
Other Fats You Can Use to Make Cannabutter
- Vegan butter
- Avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Chicken schmaltz
- Bacon fat
- Coconut oil
- Any fat!
As long as it's stable and turns into a liquid when it reaches around 160°F to 200°F, you can use it to create your homemade cannabutter.
But if you're looking for the best fat to absorb THC (Yes! THC is fat-soluble), coconut oil is the way to go because of its fat content, which is significantly higher than butter. Thus, using coconut oil for your cannabutter is a great choice for getting the best result. Perfect for those who'll be making edibles for medical reasons. If substituting coconut oil for butter won't significantly affect what you'll be using cannabutter for, then we say go for it for an even more potent outcome.
Now, if you'd like to make your coconut fat to use for your cannabutter, we have steps to do that too!
How to Make Coconut Fat
- Shredded coconut meat
- In a saucepan, bring some water to a boil and add the coconut meat.
- Boil the mixture until the water turns milky.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and place it into a container.
- Put the mixture in the fridge and allow to rest.
- After cooling, a layer of fat will form on top.
- Scoop out the fat and use it as a butter substitute.
Let's Get Infusing
While there are various ways to get those cannabis compounds into the fat you've chosen, there isn't an actual "right" way to do it. As long as you'd be able to successfully steep the activated weed into the fat, then you're all good. We'll provide you with four ways to infuse your weed into fat; it's up to you which one you think would be easier or better.
- A saucepan
- A food thermometer
- In a saucepan, mix equal amounts of melted butter (or your choice of fat) and water with your activated weed. Since butter easily burns and the saucepan is the only thing between your mixture and the stovetop, adding water to the mixture will prevent it from scorching.
- Monitor the temperature with your food thermometer, best keeping it between 160°F to 200°F. It would be best to watch the mixture to prevent burning.
- Keep the cannabis and butter mixture on the stovetop for around two to four hours, stirring the mixture from time to time.
Basic infusing is, well, basic. There's no need for any fancy equipment, and you'd be able to do it with whatever you have in your kitchen right now. The only downside of this method is that you can't leave the mixture unattended for just a few minutes if you don't want to end up with burnt cannabutter. But if done correctly, then you've just successfully steeped your activated weed!
- A saucepan
- A heatproof bowl
- Simmer some water in a saucepan.
- In a heatproof bowl, mix your melted butter (or your choice of melted fat) with the activated weed.
- Bring the simmering water to a very gentle simmer.
- Set your heatproof bowl with your cannabutter mixture on top of the saucepan.
- Keep a steady heat, occasionally stirring, for about an hour or less.
Now, if you're looking for a quicker way to steep your weed into the fat but wouldn't like to spend long hours while keeping an eye on your mixture every single minute, then you can use this method. If you'd compare this method with the first method, you might wonder, "Why we didn't add any water?" The answer is that the mixture doesn't directly contact its heat source. As long as you occasionally stir the mixture over gently simmering water, then you wouldn't have to worry about burning it.
- A Crock-Pot (or any slow cooker or countertop with a time-and-temperature regulator available)
- A sachet (a cheesecloth or something like those tiny teabags, but bigger, for your weed, will do.)
- Melt your fat into the Crock-Pot.
- Put the activated weed in a sachet and make sure you tie its ends.
- Drop the sachet right into the Crock-Pot.
- Adjust the temperature to the lowest possible option.
- Let steep for eight hours.
If you'd like to get all of that cannabis flavor incorporated into your cannabutter, it's best to take it low and slow. This process would work great for people who aren't in a hurry to make their cannabutter and probably have lots of things to do that they can't keep checking on their mixture. Using this method, you wouldn't have to worry about scorching your cannabutter, all thanks to the slow cooker you're using that's responsible for regulating the steeping time and temperature.
Sous Vide Infusing
- A jar
- A saucepan
- Inspect the jar. Make sure that the jar is crack dree and can be sealed tightly.
- Pour the melted fat into the jar.
- Take your activated cannabis and put it into the same jar with the melted fat, and seal the jar tightly.
- Bring your sous vide water bath to 185°F.
- Place the jars into the water bath gently to prevent getting burnt.
- Sous vide the mixture for 4 hours.
While the use of cannabis has been made legal in a handful of states, some people still don't approve of it. If you live in a state where cannabis is legalized but live near people who don't like to have the smell of cannabis surround the area, the sous vide method will work wonders for you. Since the cannabutter mixture is in an airtight container and placed underwater at a regulated heat, you won't have to worry about scorching it or having the aroma consume the area.
You might have noticed how steeping time may vary from one person to another; the factor that causes this is the technique being used. If you check out other sources, they'll provide you with different steeping times. Some people would prefer to infuse their weed into fat for around eight long hours at low heat, and others debate that eight hours is too long when you can get the whole thing done within the two-hour mark.
While it is true that the longer you let your weed infuse into the fat, the more flavor you'll be able to get out of it, letting it sit too long wouldn't give you the best results. If you steep it longer than needed, the mixture will inevitably turn bitter, thus making it less appealing for your tastebuds. Others might argue that you'll be getting more THC into the mixture the longer you steep; this isn't the case. But it does turn your mixture a whole lot greener and adds the cannabis flavor. So when it comes to steeping time, it depends on your preference. The longer you steep, the more flavor comes out; therefore, steep longer if you're in it for the flavor. But if you're just in it for the THC or CBD, an hour to two would be just enough.
Finally, Filtering and Stowing.
We've finally arrived at the last part of making your cannabutter, the filtering and storing part. Once you're done infusing the activated cannabis into the fat, all you'll need is a fine strainer to filter the solid bits in the mixture. If you're planning on whipping something up right away, you can use your freshly made cannabutter. On the other hand, if you'd like to store it for future use, you can do that also. Place the filtered mixture into a container and pop it right into the refrigerator for it to harden. If you'd like, once your cannabutter mixture has hardened, you can cream it with sugar.
Cannabutter Shelf Life
Like any other food, cannabutter can also go bad. When it comes to cannabutter, for you to make it last as long as it can, you'll have to ensure that it's stored properly. Be sure to follow these tips to keep your cannabutter fresh and safe for consumption:
- Keep away from moisture.
- Keep away from mold and mildew.
- Avoid unnecessary exposure to light.
- Do not place in heated areas.
- Store in an airtight container or plastic wrap to avoid bacteria growth and bug contamination.
Compared to traditional butter, cannabutter has a shorter shelflife. The same goes for all foods that have been infused. Therefore it would be best to consume it immediately. But what happens if you made a large batch or you'd like to use it in the future? It's possible to make your cannabutter stay safe for consumption for a longer period if you place it in the refrigerator or stick it in the freezer. Leaving your cannabutter out at room temperature will not only turn it into liquid, but it'll spoil quite quickly too.
Even when refrigerated, homemade cannabutter will only be good for about one to two weeks. But if you'd like it last much longer, popping it into the freezer in an airtight container would help make your cannabutter last for roughly six months. That's if you made your cannabutter using butter; if you used cooking oil, you could expect an even longer shelf life. Depending on the oil used, some types of cannabis-infused oil can last around two years, while others can only stay consumable for a few months. Additionally, if you use oil while keeping it at room temperature, it's best practice to store it in an airtight, dark bottle or container; doing this will keep unnecessary light and heat out since it could go bad quicker.
An Edible Beginner?
Since more ways of consuming cannabis are becoming popular, such as edibles, it's not surprising that many people would like to try it. Like any other way you consume cannabis, it's best to proceed cautiously. While edibles look pleasing to the eyes and are undeniably tasty, keep in mind that they also hold active ingredients; therefore, it would be smart to take them little by little and start slow.
Your tolerance to cannabis, most specifically THC, is different from everyone else's; this means that while others may seem to tolerate high THC consumption without any negative side effects, it could be the exact opposite for you. Taking it slow despite how tempted you are will benefit you two ways:
- You'll be able to test your THC tolerance.
- You won't get overwhelmed when the effects kick in.
With number two, you must keep in mind that, unlike smoking cannabis, the effects of munching on edibles don't kick in right away. During smoking, THC and CBD enters our system within a few minutes, but with edibles, it would take more than just a few minutes for our body to digest and process the cannabinoids. Most beginners make this big mistake of diving right into the edibles since they haven't noticed any instant effects. After a few hours, the high kicks in, and most people regret taking in too many edibles in one go. While taking too much cannabis isn't fatal, it doesn't mean that you can't overdose from THC and get negative side effects from it.
If you've added your cannabutter into sweet edibles such as cookies, brownies, and the like, keep in mind that mixing cannabis and sugar will provide you with a stronger outcome, making the outcome not pleasing for those with a low THC tolerance. Again, taking it slow is the way to go.
How Much Is Too Much?
When buying store-bought edibles, all you have to do is read the label and check if the THC levels are a good match for your tolerance before chucking it into your cart or basket; this isn't the same when it comes to homemade edibles. With homemade edibles, you'll have to gauge it yourself, and sometimes to experiment doesn't always lead to delight. You could end up with zero potency edibles or edibles that go way over your tolerance.
Measuring out how much THC and CBD to add to your edibles can be quite nerve-wracking if you're doing it the first time. But there's no need to worry; we're here to help you out. Before we start, we have to inform you that some math will be involved in this process, but it'll be worth it. Let's first start with knowing your dose. Let's get started:
- THC percentage x number of grams used. You'll have to multiply the THC percentage in the weed you used (in decimal form) by how many grams of weed you used. For instance, you used weed with 18% THC, and you'll be using 5 grams of weed. The equation will look like this: 0.18 x 5 = 0.54
- Answer from step one x 1,000. This step is used to convert grams to milligrams. Using the answer we obtained from step one, it'll look like this: 0.54 x 1000 = 540. With this, we can see that the THC content in your cannabutter is at 540 mg.
- Milligrams of THC ÷ Tablespoons of fat used. Let's say you used 16 tablespoons of fat for your cannabutter mixture; the equation will look like this: 540 ÷ 16 = 33.75 mg. Rounding that up, you'll be having 34 mg of THC per tablespoon of cannabutter mixture.
And that's how you can know your dose! Now, that wasn't that bad, was it? The next thing we'll need to figure out is the amount of cannabutter you'll be wanting to use for your recipe. Depending on the potency you're after, you can turn your recipe into an "all-cannabutter" one, or you can mix cannabutter with traditional butter. People that prefer their edibles to be of higher potency make their recipe with cannabutter only, while those who'd like a lower dose mix in some traditional butter too. Good thing we have a guide handy for you to use!
If you're after a less potent edible, for example, 5 mg of THC for each edible, and you'll be making 18 pieces of brownies, then all you'll need is 90 mg cannabutter (90 mg ÷ 18 brownies = 5 mg of THC each piece). With the equation used earlier, 34 mg THC is around three tablespoons of cannabutter. Therefore, you can use five tablespoons of traditional butter for your recipe.
Now, if you're looking for a more potent edible and you'll be making 18 pieces of brownies, you'd want to use pure cannabutter for the recipe. The equation will look like this: 8 tbsp of cannabutter x 34 mg THC per tbsp = 272 mg. With 272 mg, you'll be getting a brownie with a THC content of 15 mg.
It all depends on your tolerance level. We recommend trying a less potent edible for first-timers by mixing traditional butter and cannabutter. Keep in mind that these equations aren't 100% guaranteed. It always boils down to the type of cannabis you use for your cannabutter. Factors that could affect the potency levels are the strain type, the crop's growth condition, and the THC or CBD content. If you find you're cannabutter's potency too low for you, then you can modify the recipe as you please. Just like any other dish, tasting (but not too much!) your way through is the best way to go.
Let's Talk About Versatility!
Just like any butter or oil, cannabutter is versatile. You can make a whole lot of dishes with it. Thanks to media, we've seen or heard about the infamous "Magic Brownies," which is technically brownies that use cannabutter to replace traditional butter. But the use of cannabutter doesn't stop there! Let's talk about all the different ways you can use your homemade cannabutter, all you have to do is replace traditional butter with cannabutter, and you're all set.
For Those with a Sweet Tooth
- Magic Brownies
- Cannabis-Infused Toffee
- Cannabis-Infused Fudge
- Pot Pie
- Pot Cookies
- Pot Cake
- Pot Pudding
For Those Savory Lovers
- Cannabis-Infused Mac & Cheese
- Baguette Slices with Cannabutter
- Cannabis-Infused Bacon Blue Cheese Dip
- Cannabis-Infused Pasta
- Cannabis-Infused French Toast
The possibilities are endless. If we listed down all the ways you can utilize cannabutter, you'd be scrolling for hours! Incorporate it into your recipes, make dips with it, drizzle some on your popcorn during movie night, add some to your coffee, or eat it as it is. Not only is it versatile in terms of all the different recipes you can make with cannabutter, having it on hand means you can make your homemade edible any time of the day! You're free to experiment like any beginner or professional cook with cannabutter.
Knowing how to make and incorporate cannabutter into your day-to-day life will save you a trip to your dispensary as long as you have some weed on hand, and it'll save you some money too! You can also make cannabis-infused oil if needed by swapping butter with the type of oil you prefer.
When making your homemade edibles, all you have to think about is their taste, potency, and if it'll work out for you. Now talk about getting your daily dose of weed, relieving some stress, all while whipping up something tasty to dig into? Now, aren't you glad you've learned about how easy it is to make cannabutter? What are you waiting for? Jump into your kitchen and start whipping up some homemade cannabutter!