A Beginner’s Guide to Making Weed Butter
Weed butter, also known as cannabutter, is one of the main ingredients when cooking with marijuana. Making weed butter isn’t hard and it gives you plenty of options when it comes to how to use it. Here’s an easy guide on how to make your own weed butter.
What is Cannabis butter?
Cannabis butter is a butter that’s been infused with cannabis. It’s most commonly used to make cannabis edibles, particularly baked goods like cookies and brownies. You can also use the butter for other recipes instead of regular butter. Before buying or making cannabutter, you should decide what effects you’re hoping to experience.
Cannabis contains two main compounds known as cannabinoids — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is a psychoactive compound that leads to a high, while CBD is not mind-altering. Depending on its intended use, cannabutter may contain only CBD or both CBD and THC. Check this great blog post with more info about the difference between THC and CBD.
How to make Cannabis Butter?
Listen, you don’t have to be a master chef or cannabis connoisseur to make high quality weed butter. You just need to be well-informed, patient, and organized. At the end of the day, making cannabis butter is just a very efficient way of consuming marijuana. It’s inconspicuous, versatile, and approachable. And I really enjoy how cannabutter helps to minimize the stigma of weed, it can be enjoyed by all.
The following recipe loosely translates into 30 mg of THC per tablespoon of oil or butter. Your perfect dose will vary, but 10 mg is standard. Start by testing ¼ teaspoon of the weed butter you make and wait for about an hour. Take note of how you feel and let your body tell you whether this is a good amount, if you need more, or if you need less. Erring on the side of caution will ensure that you actually enjoy yourself and have a positive experience.
Step 1: Decarboxylation
The first thing you’ll have to do is decarboxylate your cannabis. Also known as “decarbing,” this requires you to bake your weed, allowing the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids to activate. Also, it allows for lipids in butter and oil to easily bind to your weed for the ultimate cannabis infusion.
What you’ll need:
- ½ ounce of weed
- Hand grinder or scissors
- Glass baking dish or sheet pan
What to do:
- Preheat the oven to 220° F.
- Gently break apart the desired amount of weed using a hand-grinder, scissors, or with hands until it’s the perfect consistency for rolling a joint— fine, but not too fine. Anything too fine will slip through cheesecloth (or a joint, for that matter). You want your cannabutter and oil to be clean and as clear as possible.
- Evenly spread your plant material onto the glass baking dish or sheet pan. Pop in the oven on the center rack for 20 minutes if using old or lower quality weed; 45 minutes for cured, high-grade weed; or 1 hour or more for anything that has been recently harvested and is still wet.
- Check on the weed frequently while it’s in the oven, gently mixing it every 10 minutes so as to not burn it. You will notice that the color of your herb will change from bright green to a deep brownish green. That’s when you know it has decarboxylated.
Step 2: Cannabutter Stove-top Infusion
If you have weed, fat, time, and a kitchen, you can make weed butter with this method.
What You’ll Need:
- 1½ cup water
- 8 ounces clarified butter, melted butter, or oil
- ½ ounce decarboxylated cannabis
- Medium saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Thermometer, optional cheesecloth and/or metal strainer
What to do:
In a medium saucepan on very low heat, add water and butter.
When the butter is melted, add the decarboxylated cannabis. Mix well with a wooden spoon and cover with lid.
Let mixture gently simmer for 4 hours, go low and slow. Stir every half hour to make sure your butter isn’t burning. If you have a thermometer, check to make sure the temperature doesn’t reach above 180°.
After 4 hours, strain with cheesecloth or metal strainer into a container. Let the butter cool to room temperature. Use immediately or keep in refrigerator or freezer in a well-sealed mason jar for up to six months.
What to Do with Cannabutter
Now that you’ve made your cannabutter, you’re ready to make some cannabis-infused edibles.
Cannabutter can be used to make a nearly endless list of cannabis-infused edible recipes such as: cookies, cakes, brownies, chocolates, muffins, banana bread, macaroni and cheese, pasta sauces etc.
Cannabutter can be incorporated easily into any recipe that calls for traditional butter, allowing you to add the ingredient into foods that align with your personal preferences and dietary needs.
Use the cannabutter as a topping to baked potatoes or pancakes, stir a teaspoon to a tablespoon into your morning coffee, or melt it and drizzle it over a bowl of popcorn.
Main uses of Cannabis
Cannabis offers many health benefits and is becoming more accepted as a natural treatment for various diseases and ailments. Cannabutter is a smoke-free option and can be used in different edible cannabis products, making it a popular choice. It lasts longer than smoking and provides a different effect. With the same principles as making weed butter, you can create infused sesame chili oil to drizzle on rice dishes, or elevated coconut oil to use for your next face oil mask.
May alleviate cancer-related symptoms
Many cancer treatments lead to undesired symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and pain, and a lot of research focuses on cannabinoid therapies in oncology to relieve symptoms in cancer patients.
Cannabis has been used as a natural treatment for nausea and vomiting throughout history. In fact, its anti-nausea properties were one of its first discovered medical benefits. Cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids. They affect your body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates various bodily processes, including mood, memory, and appetite.
While THC has been most extensively studied, it appears that other cannabinoids, such as CBD, may also help treat nausea and vomiting. However, keep in mind that excessive cannabis use can lead to the same symptoms. Therefore, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to ensure you’re using cannabis safely and effectively.
Finally, cannabis is widely prescribed to help treat cancer-related pain.
Cannabis is commonly cited as an effective sleep aid. One review noted that THC alone or combined with CBD improved sleep. While the underlying mechanism needs more research, it appears that these two cannabinoids affect your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and decrease pain-associated insomnia. Still, there are concerns that overusing cannabis may lead to dependency as a sleep aid. More quality research is needed to better understand the relationship between cannabis and sleep.
Though cannabutter is safe to eat, you should consider some important side effects. Unlike smoking or vaping, finding an appropriate dosage for edible cannabis products can be difficult due to varying THC concentrations. This variation is largely due to the quality of the cannabis used, preparation methods, or where the product was purchased. Furthermore, edible cannabis products like cannabutter have longer latency periods, as they’re metabolized differently than inhalable cannabis products.
With edibles, it can take 30–90 minutes to notice effects, with reactions peaking around 2–4 hours. However, this depends on how much was consumed, as well as your gender, body weight, and metabolism. In contrast, smoking or vaping cannabis takes effect within 20–30 minutes and usually wears off in 2–3 hours.
Since cannabutter is added to many baked goods and candy, it can be easy to unintentionally over consume it due to the enjoyable flavor and unknown THC concentration. Start low and go slow with edible cannabis products.
Finally, it’s important to securely store your cannabutter and other edible cannabis products since they often resemble candy, cookies, or other baked products.
This can pose a great risk to people who mistake these products for regular food. In fact, children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk of accidental exposure to edible cannabis product.