Love cannabis edibles but annoyed they won’t be legalized for a while? Instead of waiting or going through the hassle of procuring some, maybe it’s time to test out your skills in the kitchen and make your own cannabis butter.
Cannabis edibles are a great way to experience an amazing high that can be stronger and last longer than smoking or vaping while eliminating the harmful effects of smoking. If you’ve decided to make your own infused cuisine, that’s fantastic, just know that marijuana can be a complex herb to work with and it takes some practice.
In order to add cannabis to baked goods, stir-fry, casseroles, and a myriad of other foods, the easiest and most effective way to do it is to make your own cannabis butter or “cannabutter” as it’s commonly called.
To unleash the psychoactive potential of the cannabis flower, there are several steps you have to get right. If you do, you’ll have a delicious and versatile cannabis-infused butter that you can add to just about any food and enjoy.
Before beginning, make sure you have the following ingredients and tools on hand:
- 7 grams of ground cannabis (medium to coarse grind)
- 1 cup of unsalted butter
(these are general proportions and may be adjusted according to individual taste)
- Oven safe baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Stir stick
- Strainer (funnel style)
- Jar or container for refrigeration and storage (preferably glass)
With all your ingredients on hand, you’re almost ready to begin cooking delicious THC-laden cannabutter. However, before your cannabis ever touches the stovetop or the butter, you must decarboxylate your weed in the oven to get the best effects.
What is decarboxylation and why do we do it?
Decarboxylating (decarbing) your cannabis flower is essential to getting the desired effects from your edibles. This process converts the cannabis plants’ non-psychoactive acidic cannabinoid, named THCA, into valuable THC. When cannabis is smoked or vaped, it’s the heat from combustion that converts the non-intoxicating THCA into the euphoria delivering molecule, THC. Decarboxylating provides the same effect and gets your cannabis flower ready to be turned into cannabutter.
Step 1 – Get your oven preheated to 245°F. (The ideal temperature can vary from flower to flower and is largely dependant on bake time)
Step 2 – Line an oven tray with parchment paper (prevents sticking) and place your cannabis buds on it.
Step 3 – Place your cannabis-filled oven tray inside the preheated oven for a duration of 30-40 minutes (set a timer). Keep in mind that if your cannabis is very dry to begin with, less time in the oven may be required.
Step 4 – Every 10 minutes or so, open the oven and gently mix the cannabis flower on the tray. You can stir the grind or grab the tray and shake it lightly. The idea is to expose the entire surface area to the heat, ensuring an even decarb. Try to be quick when you do as to not lose too much oven heat.
When your timer goes off, take the oven tray out and get ready to cook butter. Your cannabis should now be very dry and look mostly brown. As long as you didn’t exceed 250°F, its potency should be intact.
Now that your cannabis is decarboxylated, you have a few options on how to infuse your butter. We prefer either a ‘stovetop method’ or a using a slow cooker.
Stove Top directions
This is a somewhat lengthy process (2-3 hours), that will require you to be on hand to ensure everything is running smoothly and safely.
Step 1 – Place your saucepan on the stove top over a low-medium heat
Step 2 – Add 1 cup of unsalted butter and 1 cup of water, simmering on low heat until the butter begins to melt. We like to add some water to aid in temperature regulation and to prevent your butter from becoming scorched.
Step 3 – Add in your decarbed cannabis as the butter is almost fully melted
Step 4 – Keep the heat low – above 160°F but below 200°F. We find that a digital laser thermometer works best because different stovetops may not provide the same temperature for each heat setting. Let your mixture simmer for 2-3 hours and remember to stir occasionally. Pay attention and NEVER let the mixture begin to boil
Step 5 – After the simmering time is completed, allow the mixture to cool (not harden) and continue onto the straining process outlined below
Slow Cooker directions
Step 1 – Set your slow cooker onto its low setting (about 160°F, never over 200°F)
Step 2 – Add 1 cup of butter and a small amount of water into the slow cooker and wait for the butter to melt
Step 3 – Once the butter is melted, add your decarbed cannabis and stir occasionally until a uniform mix is created
Step 4 – Allow the mixture to simmer in the slow cooker for 3 hours, then unplug the slow cooker and allow the butter to cool but not solidify
Step 5 – Continue to straining instructions
Step 1 – Place your strainer on top of your storage container and line the strainer with cheesecloth
Step 2 – Pour the cooled cannabutter over the cheesecloth and allow it to strain using only gravity. We recommend not squeezing or pressing the cheesecloth to avoid unnecessary plant material from landing in your end product
Step 3 – Once your mixture has finished straining, seal your storage container full of cannabutter and refrigerate until hard
- Add a drop or two of vanilla extract during the simmering process for a nice flavour
- Dosing with edibles is difficult at the best of times and cannabutter is no different. Potency may differ from batch to batch so proceed with caution until you figure out how strong your edibles are
- Make non-THC edibles as well because you know how it goes when the munchies hit
Cooking edibles with cannabutter is a great way to enjoy cannabis without the harmful effects of smoking it. Edibles also provide a longer lasting high that can be very relaxing and enjoyable. However, because the effects are different and potentially stronger than from smoking cannabis, we recommend clearing your schedule before ingesting, at least until you know how edibles affect your body.
Try cannabutter edibles for yourself and you’ll see it’s an easy way to make the most out of our favorite plant – cannabis.