Cannabutter, or cannabis butter, is simply butter that is infused with herbal cannabis flower. Cannabutter can be made using marijuana (high THC) or hemp flowers (low THC, high CBD). When it comes to using cannabutter, it is just as versatile as regular butter. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is difficult and near impossible to dose cannabutter.
After some experience with cannabutter, you may develop a "feel" for its potency. It may not be reliable from batch to batch though, so you will not know how strong it is without experimentally trying it. Please take caution in this regard and respect your state laws regarding the legality of cannabutter. Remember also that even CBD can have side effects to be aware of.
Table of Contents
Skip Ahead to Topic
- 1 Table of Contents
- 2 Cannabutter Supplies
- 3 Cannabutter Step 1: Decarboxylation
- 4 Cannabutter Step 2: Grinding
- 5 Cannabutter Step 3: Cooking
- 6 Cannabutter Step 4: Straining
- 7 How to Make Cannabutter in a Slow Cooker
- 8 How to Make Crockpot Cannabutter with Coconut Oil
- 9 DIY Cannabis Edibles Infographic
- 10 What Can You Cook With Cannabutter?
Most of the materials and ingredients needed to make cannabutter are readily available in your local grocery store!
- 1 cup of high-quality unsalted butter
- 1 cup (7-10 grams) of ground cannabis, decarboxylated
- Oven mitt
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Herb grinder
- Mason jar with lid
- Kitchen thermometer (recommended)
Cannabutter Step 1: Decarboxylation
THC and CBD are not present in large amounts prior to heating dry cannabis herb. Instead, they are stored in their acidic forms as THCA and CBDA. When cannabis flowers are heated to a certain temperature, THCA and CBDA convert to THC and CBD. This is called decarboxylation. Without decarboxylation, the cannabinoids will not be "activated" in the butter.
How to Decarb Cannabis Flower (Hemp or Marijuana)
- Preheat the oven to 245ºF and spread cannabis flowers out evenly over a non-stick baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Try to break the buds into even-sized if there are some that are very large.
- Once the oven is heated, put the baking sheet of flower in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
- You will want to ventilate the area because baking with cannabis flowers can be odorous. Older and dryer buds will not need as much baking time.
- Stir and flip the buds every 10 minutes as they bake.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
Note: Baking for 30-40 minutes at 245ºF is ideal, but 300ºF and for 10 to 18 minutes may also be used.
Cannabutter Step 2: Grinding
Grind up the decarboxylated cannabis flower from step one after it has cooled. You can do this by using an herb grinder, or break them up by hand (gets sticky). Drier flowers may crumble easier and break up better by hand than grinder. The goal is to have the cannabis flower coarsely ground. If it is ground too fine it may be hard to strain.
Cannabutter Step 3: Cooking
Now it is time to get your cannabutter cooking!
- Melt 1 cup butter and combine in a saucepan with 1 cup of water.
- Simmer butter and water on low until butter melts. The water will help prevent it from scorching.
- Add in coarsely ground decarboxylase cannabis buds and stir to combine.
- Simmer the mixture for two to three hours. It is very important that the heat does not exceed 200ºF, never let your cannabutter come to a complete boil or the cannabinoids will be destroyed.
160ºF is the ideal simmering temperature. A kitchen thermometer is handy to use if you have one.
Cannabutter Step 4: Straining
After two to three hours of simmering, set a funnel on top of a mason jar and line the funnel with cheesecloth. Stir the herb and liquid butter and slowly pour it into the lined funnel to strain. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth or it may push through bad tasting plant material.
Once the butter is in the jar, you will want to refrigerate it for at least one hour. After that, there may be excess water to drain off. You can pour this off once the butter solidifies, or place the solidified cannabutter in a new container with less moisture residue for storage.
How to Make Cannabutter in a Slow Cooker
- Decarboxylate and coarsley grind your cannabis butter according to Step 1 and Step 2 for normal cannabutter.
- The slow cooker should be set to low, around 160ºF and not exceeding 200ºF. Adding a little water will help prevent the butter from scorching.
- Combine butter and cannabis in the crockpot and let it cook for about three hours.
- After the cannabutter is done cooking, turn off the slow cooker and let the butter cool slightly.
- Strain cannabutter according to Step 4.
How to Make Crockpot Cannabutter with Coconut Oil
You can use refined or unrefined coconut oil to make a cannabutter as well. The unrefined coconut oil will have more coconut flavor. MTC oil also works. You may want to research using sunflower lecithin. This binding ingredient can help improve the quality of cannabis coconut oil infusions.
- Coconut oil
- Decarboxylated cannabis flower
- Sunflower lecithin (recommended)
- You will use 1 ounce of decarboxylated cannabis flower per 1 pound (16 oz) of oil.
- Use 3/4 teaspoons of lecithin per 1 tablespoon of oil (3/4 tsp x 16oz oil = 12 tsp or 4 tbsp lecithin).
- You will want to add a volume of water equal to the amount of coconut oil or butter to prevent scorching.
- Combine and melt liquid ingredients, then add coarsely ground decarboxylated cannabis flowers.
- Simmer on low in a kitchen pot or in a crockpot set to low for about three hours. Stir occasionally and do not boil.
- Strain into a storage jar and drain off excess water after the cannnabutter/cannabis coconut oil solidifies.
- Store refrigerated.
Cannabis Cooking Conversion Notes:
1g of cannabis flower = 0.035oz of cannabis flower
28.35g of cannabis flower = 1oz of cannabis flower
1lb = 16oz
1oz = 2 tablespoons or 6 teaspoons
DIY Cannabis Edibles Infographic
Feel free to refer to this infographic to guide you in your cannabis cooking experiments!
What Can You Cook With Cannabutter?
You can cook almost anything with cannabutter, but remember that dosing is inexact. Cannabutter is great for making brownies, cookies, and even on pasta recipes. Just remember to start low and go slow! Edibles take at least an hour to have an effect, and if you are very new to them you will definitely want to allow a lot of time between servings to make sure you do not over-do it!