How to Make Highly Potent Cannabis Butter
You only need a few basic ingredients like salted butter, tap water, and of course, a good amount of trimmings, buds, or a mix of both. Learn how to make your own cannabutter!
When harvest day is on the rise, a sense of excitement lies in the air. We invest a lot of time, money, and love, to guarantee ideal conditions for our precious plants. Let’s be honest, as soon as trichomes begin to change in colour, most of us get nervous and can’t wait to manicure, dry and cure.
First step after harvesting is trimming. This can be a delightful thing to do. After countless hours of being highly concentrated on trimming like an artist, following question might arises:
What to do with the large amounts of trim and lower grade buds?
It’s only logical for us to use all the THC and other cannabinoids, provided by our plants. One way of using our trim is producing delicious and potent cannabis butter. This blog will walk you through the step-by-step process of making butter, using the “long simmering method”. If you are really interested in producing a butter that is strong, delicious and perfectly natural, then look no further and try this recipe. Let’s cook!
INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENT
- 28g of cured trimmings (preferably the small, sugary bud leaves)
- 14g of cannabis blossoms (choose the quality you like)
- 250g of salted butter (salted butter = higher melting point)
- 300ml of tap water (plus approximately 50ml for every hour of simmering)
- 1x cooking pot (pan works fine)
- 1x sharp knife (for fast results use kitchen blender)
- 1x stove (camping cooker can be a mobile option)
- 1x cheese cloth (a fine kitchen sieve , or any kind of finer mesh material does the job)
- Storage containers (glasses look very nice, plastic can also be used)
- Anything from 8-24 hours of your time (due to the long-simmering at low heat)
– Disclaimer: you experiment at your own risk –
This recipe is meant to produce very potent butter. It uses 28g grams of sugary bud leaves, together with 14 grams of buds. The trimmings and buds are a blend of two different strains, one being indica-dominant, with strong Afghani influences, and Cheese. The raw material has been cured in jars for 14 days.
If this is your first time making cannabis butter, you might want to use substantially less raw material and experiment with lower amounts of trim and bud.
Producing cannabis butter always involves the risk of doing an excellent job, and ending up with a product that is very potent. Be responsible and slowly work your way up until you reached the desired effect. Sometimes it takes up to 3 hours until you feel anything. Wait a long time-span before eating more. There is the potential risk of throwing up and having a bad trip full of self-doubt, anxiety and paranoia. Try to relax when you ate too much, you feel better the next morning.
Do not operate any heavy machinery, including cars when being under the influence of cannabis butter. The effect can last up to 8 hours and has a strong influence on your skills, necessary to operate any kind of machinery. You might end up having problems operating a microwave.
STAGE 1 – FIND A PLACE TO COOK, BUY INGREDIENTS, CHOP UP RAW MATERIAL
Think of the delicious but risky smell when choosing a location to produce your butter. Depending on the quantities you want to produce, smell can be a small issue. It’s always present when making cannabis butter but can be reduced by a good airflow in your kitchen. Another option is making a rather smelly type of food while making butter at the same time. This can help to camouflage up the smell.
Chop up your trimmings and lower grade buds.
You can use a kitchen blender if you’re not willing to use a sharp kitchen knife. What you aim for is a nice blend of trimmings, combined with buds of the quality you prefer. It makes sense to use the airy and fluffy ones from lower branches. If you aim for higher or lower potency, you can increase or decrease the amount of buds. You can get very good results by just using trimmings to be honest.
STAGE 2 – MELT YOUR BUTTER
Before we dive into baking, we’ll need to decarboxylate our cannabis. This converts non-bioavailable cannabinoids like THCa and CBDa into THC and CBD, which are then bioavailable. This means that when eaten, they readily work their wondrous effects.
Preheat an oven to somewhere between 104°C and 113°C. As the oven heats, grind your weed and place it in an oven safe container, made out of glass or ceramic. When the oven is ready, bake your weed for 30–40 minutes. Set a timer so you don’t forget about it!
Once it’s done, remove your weed from the oven and place it on the counter to cool off.
STAGE 3 – ADD YOUR RAW MATERIAL AND LET IT SIMMER
This recipe was tested by letting the mix simmer for 8 hours. If you are aiming for extreme potency, you can let your butter simmer for up to 24 hours. When you have enough time for that, do it!
After creating your blend of butter and water, you can go ahead and mix in your trim.
What follows is a simmering of your mixture at very low temperatures. By not putting a lid on the pot, we allow the water vapour to leave our mixture. Heat can escape our pot/pan, too. The 300ml of water, we added at the beginning, will turn into water vapour over time but the butter will stay in our mixture. This is very important because we still need the butter at the end. The butter is our carrier material for cannbinoids and THC, and therefore must be protected from too much heat and evaporation.
When checking for the right temperature. You need to closely monitor the surface of your mixture. Do you see tiny bubbles forming at the surface? They are an indicator for being within the right temperature range. These small bubbles are only a few millimeter in size and differ from the bubbles, caused from cooking at high temperatures.
Here is a picture of the small bubbles you are aiming for.
You also need to check if the amount of water is sufficient to submerge all the raw material. This is important to get the highest amount of THC and cannabinoids possible. It’s natural to add between 50-100ml of water every hour due to evaporation.
After 8 hours of low simmering most of your work is done. You still need to filter the mixture to separate any raw material from your butter. Your mixture should be dark in colour by now, similar to the one in this picture.
STAGE 4 – FILTER THE MIX, FILL IT INTO CONTAINERS, COOL DOWN
If you want to give your premium product a high-class packaging, you can use all kinds of different glasses. Big Swedish furniture stores often have a nice selection of curing jars and smaller glass containers that can be used.
Filter your mixture through a cheese cloth, or any other kind of material that separates the raw material from the butter. Fill the liquid into the desired container and place it into your fridge. After a few hours of cooling down, you can simply take the butter from the surface, leaving a brown liquid behind.
Your final product is most likely to look anything like this. You can see that the colour of the mixture is dark brownish while being in its liquid form. After separating the brown water from the butter, you will see what you skillfully created, a pile full of highly potent green deliciousness. Have fun experimenting with this recipe and remember to be careful. Don’t be the guy who ate too much!
HERE ARE THE TOP 5 STRAINS TO USE WHEN CRAFTING YOUR OWN BATCH OF CANNABUTTER.
White Widow is a celebrity of the cannabis world, and it has truly earned its distinction. This award-winning strain is thought to have originated as a sativa landrace from Brazil, which was then pollinated by an indica hybrid from South India. Regardless of its true origins, the first ever account of White Widow cultivated by man occurred in the Netherlands. White Widow is a superb strain to select when making cannabutter. A THC level of 19% and a fine balance between 50% indica genetics and 50% sativa mean that the high will be well-rounded, targeting the body and mind simultaneously. The head high is productive and motivating, whilst the body high is stoning and calming. White Widow is also renowned for her delicious notes of earth and pine, which will add serious flavour to your cannabutter.
White Widow provides good yields both indoors and outdoors, offering enough plant material for big batches of cannabutter. Indoor plants churn out 450–500g/m² and grow to heights of 100cm. Outdoor plants offer yields of 550–600g/plant and grow to heights of 190cm. White Widow has a flowering time of 8–9 weeks.
This recipe uses the “long simmering method” to produce highly potent cannabutter. It’s not the fastest way but leads to superior quality.
Recipe: How to make basic cannabis-infused butter
Bailey Rahn and Anna Wilcox contributed to this article.
C annabis-infused butter (cannabutter) is one of the simplest and most common ways to make infused cannabis edibles. However, making infused butter can be a little bit tricky. In order to activate its psychoactive potential, the flower must be heated slowly at a low temperature. This recipe will first guide you through this process–called decarboxylation–before walking you through a step-by-step guide to infusing butter.
Note : Homemade edibles are very difficult to accurately dose. This guide will give you some tips for more precise dosing, but all DIY cannabis cooks should be aware that there’s no way to guarantee the potency or homogeneity of their batch.
Self-isolating? Order cannabis online with Leafly Pickup or Delivery
How to make cannabis-infused butter (or ‘cannabutter’)
Butter is a delicious and versatile carrier for THC and other cannabinoids, although it isn’t the only one. You can also use coconut oil, olive oil, or any other fatty oil for your infusions. Just keep in mind, butter burns easily, so keep a close eye on your cannabutter as it cooks.
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup (7-10 grams) of ground cannabis, decarboxylated
The essential (and often missed) first step: Decarboxylating the cannabis
Before making your cannabutter, you’ll need to decarboxylate, or “decarb”, the cannabis flower you’re working with. Skipping this step will result in a weak or inactive finished product. Here’s why: Cannabis buds produce a non-intoxicating acidic cannabinoid called THCA. When we smoke or vaporize cannabis, the heat converts THCA into THC, the molecule that delivers euphoric effects. If preparing CBD edibles, this same process should be applied.
Some recipes may instruct you to decarb cannabis in the hot butter directly, but the less time you spend soaking the buds, the better your infused butter is going to taste. For this reason, we recommend decarbing in the oven first.
Basic cannabutter recipe
- Decarb the cannabis. Preheat your oven to 245ºF. Place cannabis buds on a non-stick, oven-safe tray. Cover the tray with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Insert the tray into the oven and set a timer for 30-40 minutes. Older, drier cannabis may require less time. (Tip: you can also set your oven to 300ºF and heat for 10 to 18 minutes, although low-and-slow is the recommended approach when decarbing to better preserve the cannabinoids.) Every 10 minutes, gently mix the buds with a light shake of the tray to expose the surface area of the buds equally.
- Grind. Grind the decarboxylated cannabis coarsely with a hand grinder.
- Melt the butter. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of butter into a stock pot or saucepan. Simmer on low and let the butter melt. Adding water helps to regulate the temperature and prevents the butter from scorching.
- Add the cannabis. As the butter begins to melt, add in your coarsely ground cannabis product.
- Simmer. Maintain low heat (ideally above 160ºF but never exceeding 200ºF) and let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The mixture should never come to a full boil.
- Strain the cannabutter. Set a funnel on top of a jar and line it with cheesecloth. Once the butter has cooled off, pour it over the cheesecloth funnel and allow it to strain freely. (Tip: Squeezing the cheesecloth may push more bad-tasting plant material through).
- Refrigerate the jar of butter. If excess water forms at the bottom of the jar, you can remove the solid butter with a knife and drain the water out. (The butter will need to refrigerate for about an hour before removing the water.)
- Dose carefully. Refer to dosing information below before adding your butter to any snacks, dishes, or desserts.
Directions for slow cooker
- Grind your cannabis coarsely with a hand grinder. (Tip: A coffee grinder will finely pulverize the flower and prevent effective straining of bad-tasting plant material.)
- Set your slow cooker to low, or somewhere around 160ºF. (Tip: Avoid exceeding 200ºF to prevent burning or wasting cannabinoids. You can also add a little water to help prevent scorching.)
- Add the butter and ground cannabis. Stir occasionally.
- After about 3 hours, turn off the crockpot and wait for the butter to cool.
- Strain as above.
Tips for dosing cannabutter
Your butter’s potency depends on many factors, from how long and hot it was cooked to the potency of your starting material. Even the type of cannabis used (indica vs. sativa strains) can be a factor. To test the potency of your finished product, try spreading ¼ or ½ teaspoon on a snack and see how that dose affects you after an hour. Decrease or increase dose as desired. You can then use this personalized “standard” dose as a baseline for your recipes. For more information on why potency is so difficult to measure in homemade cannabis edibles, check out part four of this series.
Get started at a cannabis shop nearby
Hat-tip to Chef Torrin (aka The Dank Chef) for contributing tips, measurements, and expertise to this recipe.
Cannabis-infused butter (or "cannabutter") is one of the most common ways to make edibles. Use our simple and effective recipe to help you make your own.