In this step-by-step guide we will learn how to make cannabis butter with flower. Cannabis butter can be made with extracts as well. We will discuss this type of mixture in a future post, but today we are focusing on infusing butter with dry herb cannabis. The cannabis butter made can be used as a substitute for regular butter in any cooking or baking recipe. Butter is used in a wide variety of foods so this infusion will be extremely versatile.
And as a word of advice, always be cautious not to overindulge when ingesting edibles. Start small and wait about an hour and a half before you think about eating more. Overindulging can ruin the experience, perhaps causing paranoia. Begin using lower dosages and increase incrementally to find the serving size right for you. A 5-10 mg THC dose is effective to use as a baseline to hone in on your ‘sweet spot’. Everybody reacts slightly different to edibles due to diet, metabolism and genetics—among other reasons.
Edibles take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to be digested, but the duration of the effects may last upwards of 8-12 hours. The length of duration depends on the serving size and the individual. The guide today will provide a potency figure for the batch. But remember, once the ingestible reaches the digestive system there is no turning back. With that being said, as long as the proper dosage is taken, the ride will certainly be enjoyable.
- 1 oz. of coarsely ground, decarboxylated cannabis (we’ll discuss the decarboxylation process)
- 2 cups of butter (4 sticks)
- Baking dish (deep enough to hold the plant material and butter and small enough to fit in the crockpot)
- Glass bowl
- Oven Mitts
Before we learn how to make the cannabis infused butter, we must decarboxylate the plant material. Decarboxylation will activate or ‘prime’ the cannabis to make it bioavailable when ingested. Decarboxylation requires heat to remove the acid from the THC-A, CBD-A and CBC-A, among other cannabinoids—what is left is THC, CBD and CBC, respectively. When the acid is attached to cannabinoids they are not bioavailable and don’t provide the desired effects. We manually decarboxylate cannabis when smoking it, with the heat source being a lighter, removing the acidic molecules. Prior to preparing any form of ingestible cannabis, decarboxylation is necessary.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit
- Once preheated, spread finely ground cannabis evenly across a baking tray lined with parchment paper in the oven (make sure the cannabis is spread out—the more surface area of flower the heat can reach the better off)
- Let the cannabis decarboxylate in the oven for 30 minutes
- Take the tray out of the oven and let the freshly decarboxylated cannabis cool down for 15 minutes (the ground cannabis should be dry and brown in color)
- BAM! That’s it. Now your cannabis is activated and ready to infuse into ingestibles.
***Pro Tip: Save all your vaporized flower. With ingestibles it can be used in place of fresh cannabis that is decarboxylated. Heating the bud in a vaporizer is very similar to decarboxylating in an oven. The THC-A loses its acid and becomes THC, which is then psychoactive. THC starts to change to CBN at 215℉. When the THC is overheated it transforms to CBN. CBN is the ‘great value’ version of THC. It is mildly psychoactive and excellent as a sleep aid. Differing ratios of THC/CBN will determine the effects provided. Vaporized marijuana is recyclable with edible infusions.
Now back to the cannabutter!
Prepare by following these steps:
- Preheat the crockpot to the lowest setting, roughly 200℉ (low and slow is the most effective method)
2. Place decarboxylated flower and butter in the deep baking dish and then set in the crockpot. Put the lid back on the crockpot.
3. Let the dish heat in the crockpot for 6-8 hours. Mix every hour to maximize the surface area that the fat molecules of butter can bind to. (If cooked longer, THC transforms further to CBN, which creates a sedative effect—this may be the desired result)
4. Now we’ll need the cheesecloth, strainer and glass bowl. Lay two perpendicular sheets of cheesecloth in the strainer. Then set the strainer over the glass bowl. (make sure no holes are wide enough in the cheesecloth for the flower to pass through)
5. Once the time is up give the butter and herb mixture one last stir. Wearing oven mitts, take the dish out of the crockpot. Pour the liquified butter and bud mixture into the strainer. Let the butter drip through the cheesecloth and strainer into the glass bowl. Press down onto the herb with the flat end of a spoon to maximize the butter drained from the flower.
6. Leave the the strainer over the bowl for 20 minutes. After the soaked cannabis is cool enough, bind all four ends of the cheesecloth as one and twist at the top so no herb falls out. Squeeze this cheesecloth-sack over the glass bowl. This will take some patience and effort to seep the liquid butter out of the cloth. The extra butter strained will make the infusion more potent(There is more liquid butter remaining in the cheesecloth ball than expected—keep on squeezing!).
7. That’s it! Cover the glass bowl with tin foil. Once cooled, the butter will be ready to cooked or baked with immediately. Store the butter in a refrigerator for a shorter lifespan and freezer for an extended expiration date. Each fourth of butter will contain ≅1050 mg THC/CBN (one fourth of the bowl is equal to 1 stick of butter)
8. Figuring out the potency in an infusion will require some math. Divide the mg content of the butter by the serving size of the recipe to arrive at the potency of THC/CBN per each portion. [For example if a brownie recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter and yields 84 servings, each brownie will contain 50 mg THC/CBN. 4,200mg (four sticks of butter) / 84 servings = 50 mg/serving]
9. Enjoy! (Start with an extremely small serving—5 mg to 10 mg—and move up incrementally from there once familiar with the effects received)
Above is a simple crockpot method of making cannabutter. Edibles are another way to administer cannabis. It utilizes the digestive system to release the cannabinoids into the bloodstream. Whereas when marijuana is smoked/vaporized, the lungs are responsible for the entrance of cannabinoids into the circulatory system. The onset of effects when marijuana is smoked or vaporized is 5 to 15 minutes. On the contrary, edibles take 45 minutes to 2 hours to produce an effect. The effects also last for much longer. Due to digestion, the effects may last anywhere from 8-12 hours. Find the serving size that works best for you!