Butter makers used to have a jingle stating butter makes things better, but what’s better than butter? Why, weed butter, of course.
Weed butter, or cannabutter is a common and easy way to make edibles. It’s the perfect medium for cannabis infusion and while it will take some time to make, it’s quite simple, so gather your ingredients and let’s get started!
What is Weed Butter and What Are its Benefits?
Weed butter is precisely what it sounds like: a combination of butter and cannabis. Weed butter may also be referred to as marijuana butter, cannabis butter or cannabutter, and it is normally used to make edibles.
Cannabis butter has several benefits and can be used for many different reasons such as pain and appetite management, reducing nausea and vomiting, and improving the quality of sleep. It may also be the preferred alternative to smoking marijuana for those who are concerned about the effect smoking might have on their lungs, as it can easily be consumed in virtually any recipe that calls for butter.
Ingredients and Equipment You Need to Make Weed Butter
As with any recipe, there are bound to be several variations of how to make cannabutter, especially as you adjust the quantity of cannabis that you wish to infuse. Don’t worry about needing fancy cannabis infusion tools; in general, you will need the following weed butter ingredients:
- A quarter ounce (7 grams) of cannabis flower
- 8 ounces (1 cup) of butter
- 8 ounces (1 cup) of water
- A cannabis grinder
- A nonstick baking sheet
- A stovetop pot
- An airtight jar for your cannabis butter
- A thermometer (optional)
How to Decarboxylate Cannabis for Best Results
Once you have gathered everything you need, you can start by grinding your cannabis flower for the decarboxylation process. This is important for cannabis activation, which is activating the beneficial cannabinoids in the flower. Decarboxylating weed for edibles results in the chemical change of THCA into THC. If you fail to take this step, your cannabis butter will be considerably less potent and who wants that?
To decarb your flower, do the following:
- Grind your flower. Use a grinder designed for cannabis. You want to start with this because the decarb process will make the cannabis somewhat toasty and less suitable for grinding. You should end up with a coarse, ground herb.
- Preheat your over to 230 or 245 Fahrenheit. This is variable based on the age of your oven and whether it cooks evenly.
- Spread the ground cannabis on the non-stick baking sheet. Ideally, this will be a sheet that has not been used previously for food. If it has seen such use, cover it with a sheet of parchment paper. This protects the cannabis from any food residue.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Bake the flower. Stir it up every 5 minutes to decarb it evenly.
Be sure not to overbake the herb. 40 minutes should be the maximum. Going beyond that point can cause the cannabinoids and terpenes to break down, reducing their effect.
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make Weed Butter
Now that you have decarbed your cannabis, it’s time to start infusing. Follow these steps:
- Melt 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of water together. By adding the butter to water, it will melt more evenly. Any water that doesn’t evaporate will be removed at the end.
- Set the burner on the lowest available heat. The butter should be cooked at 150 degrees Fahrenheit but no higher than 200 degrees. Using a thermometer will help you maintain the right temperature.
- Add the decarbed cannabis. Add your cannabis and mix it in, then cover the pot with a lid to help distribute the heat evenly.
- Let it simmer at 150 degrees for a minimum of three hours. You can go as long as four hours if you prefer a stronger butter, but ensure that the temperature stays at its lowest. Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning. If you are simmering for four hours, you may need to add more water as it evaporates to protect against overheating.
This is a very simple method, but if you want something even simpler, here’s how to cook marijuana butter in a slow cooker:
- Add the cannabis, water, and butter together in the slow cooker. Set the temperature to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours. Easy.
Once the three hours have passed, you need to strain the mixture.
- Cover the opening of a jar with a couple of layers of cheesecloth. Use a rubber band to hold it in place. Can’t find cheesecloth? Use a coffee filter.
- Pour the mixture slowly through the cheesecloth/ filter. Be careful to go slowly, letting it drain so as not to overflow. The spent weed can be composted.
- Let it cool off. Leave it out for about 30 minutes, then place it in the fridge.
- Remove the excess water. Once cool, you’ll see the butter on top with a small amount of water at the bottom. Pour the water out carefully, ensuring the butter doesn’t slip out.
Troubleshooting Tips & Tricks for Maximum Potency of Your Cannabutter
If you find that your weed butter is not getting strong enough, you can simmer your mixture for four hours rather than the recommended three. Just be sure to add more water if necessary and keep it from burning.
If you are still having difficulty with the potency, you may not be adding enough cannabis, or the cannabis itself may not be strong enough, so be sure to use a good quality flower. Another potential problem is that you may not have decarboxylated the cannabis properly. This step is necessary for the product to work efficiently.
At the other end of the spectrum, you might want to consider reducing the amount of cannabutter needed in recipes if you have made a potent batch. In most cases when making edibles, you want about 10 milligrams of THC in the product, but because there are several variables that affect the amount of THC in your weed butter, you will want to aim for a lower dose, especially if you have never consumed cannabis before.
As for storing your cannabutter, keep it in an airtight glass jar in the fridge, where it should last 3-4 weeks. It can also be frozen for up to six months.