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.
The Best Weed Butter Recipe! Learn How to Make Amazing Cannabutter
Table of Contents
Why is This the Best Cannabutter Recipe?
When making cannabis edibles, I aim to make something that is…
- easy to make with what you have at home – you just need cannabis, butter, and a stove
- efficiently captures THC and other cannabinoids from your cannabis
- a lot of unnecessary green plant matter is filtered out of the butter, which results in far less cannabis taste and smell than many other cannabutter recipes (even though the potency is the same or greater!)
The best cannabis edibles start with potent cannabutter (or canna oil) that produce great effects with as little “weed taste” as possible. So when setting out to find the best marijuana butter recipe to support the best cannabis edible, I kept these factors in mind.
This is what a pound of weed butter looks like. Use it like regular butter in any recipe to experience the magic.
Butter or Coconut Oil?
There are two really popular oils/fats to use for making edibles, and they’re both competing for the top spot. They are butter and coconut oil. Coconut oil may be healthier and has a mild taste that goes well with baked goods. Coconut seems to help cover up the cannabis flavor and I have used it for making superb canna caps. But some people don’t like coconut or are allergic to it.
Butter also has a great taste (in my opinion) and is easier to work with when it comes to baking since you can do a straight substitution for regular butter. I decided to go with butter (i.e. cannabutter) in this tutorial because that is what I started with for making baked goods and other edibles, and it works great!
Best Cannabis Butter Recipe: Ingredients
This Recipe for 1 Pound of Butter Makes…
- 15 “strong” portions
- 30 “regular” portions
- 50 “light” portions
- 1 oz dried cannabis bud, or 3 oz dried trim (How much cannabis should I use for this recipe?)
- 1 pound butter (usually 4 sticks of butter)
- Cheesecloth (used to strain plant matter out of butter)
- Baking sheet
Helpful but not necessary
- Turkey bags – much less weed smell during the “decarb” step in the oven
Note: The magic butter needs to sit in the fridge overnight before it’s ready, so make your butter a day ahead of time!
Best Cannabutter Recipe: Directions
Step 1 – Decarboxylation
This is an important step if you want to make your butter more potent, especially if you’re using cannabis that was harvested recently (weed starts decarboxylating naturally over time).
Can I use fresh weed? I recommend drying your weed first. Even though you’ll be heating the plant matter in this step (which would dry it out if it was wet), dry weed is much easier to measure out properly (1 oz of dried bud, or 3 oz of dried trim per 1 lb of butter).
If you skip the decarboxylation step the recipe will still work, but the resulting butter will be less potent. Read why cannabis decarboxylation improves the potency of your butter and edibles.
1.) Preheat oven to 250° F (120° C) and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
Turn oven to 250° F (120° C)
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil so the buds won’t stick to your pan
2.) Lightly grind your cannabis buds/trim and spread it over the aluminum foil on the baking sheet.
Lightly grind up cannabis, in this case using a food processor (though a grinder or even breaking weed with your fingers works, too)
Sprinkle the ground up bud over your cookie sheet so it’s all spread out
Alternative: Put weed in a turkey bag, tie the end, and place the turkey on baking sheet. Since this encloses the weed completely, you will end up with far less weed smell in your house. As another alternative, you could also decarb your weed in a glass mason jar. A glass jar may be convenient since many growers already have these jars for curing, but it is possible for the glass to crack in the oven from the heat so be gentle!
Cooking weed in a “turkey bag” helps prevent the smell from overtaking your house
3.) Bake for 30 minutes at 250° F (120° C).
It will get smelly in your house unless you enclosed the weed in a bag or jar, so be prepared! It’s normal to see some steam and vapor while the cannabis is cooking. This isn’t all the potency evaporating away!
4.) Remove the dried cannabis from the oven and crumble up any bigger leftover pieces between your fingers.
It’s normal for it to look very brown. You don’t need to make it into a powder, but there shouldn’t be big nugs either. Now it’s time to cook the decarboxylated cannabis with butter and water. This will infuse the butter with cannabinoids, and the water will protect everything from burning while leaching away some of the green plant taste.
Now you’re ready for the next step!
Step 2 – Cook cannabis together with butter & water
1.) Bring 4 cups (950 mL) of water to a boil.
4 cups of water boiling
2.) Turn heat down to Medium-Low, then add the butter and wait until it melts into the water.
Take your butter
Add butter to hot water (which is now on a burner turned to medium-low) so it melts
3.) Add your decarboxylated marijuana to the water.
The cannabis plant matter will float, and there should be at least an inch or two of clearance under the cannabis.
If not, add more water. Don’t worry that adding more water will change the potency, as you’ll be separating the water out later. The “good stuff” in cannabis doesn’t “stick” to water. In fact, water actually filters out a lot of the stuff we don’t want that makes butter taste bad!
Stir in the cannabis so it can start cooking. Now we wait!
4.) Allow the mixture to cook on Medium-Low for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The bubbles should be gently rising to the top of the water but not actively boiling.
Step 3 – Separate Butter from Water
In this step, you separate the potent butter from inert cannabis plant material and water.
1.) Line a large bowl with two layers of cheesecloth.
We’ll be using this to strain out the inert plant matter from the butter!
2.) Strain the water/oil/cannabis mixture through the cheesecloth.
It’s hot! Don’t wring it out with your hands or you’ll burn yourself! Take a spatula to press it against the sides to squeeze out the last bit of butter. Be careful not to let the cheesecloth fall into the mixture and spill all the plant matter back in.
Pour your cannabis/water/butter mixture through the cheese cloth
This filters out the plant matter which would otherwise add a terrible taste.
At this point, the cannabinoids are already infused in your butter, so the plant matter can be discarded.
3.) Put the bowl in the fridge overnight.
All the “good stuff” is contained in the butter/oil, which floats to the top. The water and any remaining plant matter will sink to the bottom.
When you open the fridge the next day, the butter will have hardened and appear much lighter in color.
4.) Use a knife to cut around the outside edges and it usually will “pop” off in a big piece.
Run a knife around the edges of the cannabutter to loosen it up
The weed butter usually “pops” off in one piece
The water filtered out all this! None of the “stuff” in the brown water would have added to the potency of your butter, but it would have made your butter taste worse!
By filtering it out with water, you’ll end up with better tasting cannabis butter with less of a strong smell (without affecting the potency).
5.) Put your finished cannabutter in its own container for storage/use!
This is what one pound of amazing pot butter looks like!
Turn it upside down on a plate to help the bottom dry out and store in the freezer
You can use cannabutter just like regular butter in any recipe, just do a 1:1 substitution.
The resulting potency (more on that below) of your cannabutter is heavily influenced by the amount/strength of your starting cannabis. Additionally, each people is affected by edibles differently. It’s highly recommended you start with less and build up to more. Edibles can take up to 2-3 hours to take effect, especially if eating them on a full stomach, so don’t eat any more during that time period because you think “it’s not working!” To get the cannabis effects to come on more quickly, try to eat edibles on an empty stomach. However, that can give some people indigestion so listen to your body.
You can store cannabutter in the fridge for a week, but cannabutter can mold especially if it never really got a chance to totally dry out from the water. Only leave it in the fridge if you plan to use it immediately.
However, your cannabutter can go in the freezer and will be good for months without losing any potency!
Common Questions About Making Cannabutter
Why cook/decarboxylate the cannabis before simmering in butter?
I know that it may seem counter-intuitive to cook your cannabis first, but trust me on this. Decarbing your weed first will increase the potency of your butter. I have skipped the decarb step because I felt it was a waste of time since I was already cooking the herb in oil, and I didn’t want to “burn away” the potency, and I can tell you it’s extremely noticeable how much less potent your butter ends up being if you don’t decarb your buds first.
Cannabis is expensive, so why not get the most potency out of yours? Let me quickly explain the “how and why” of decarbing cannabis:
Decarboxylation “activates” the cannabinoids (potent stuff) in your cannabis. Non-decarbed bud contains a lot of THCa, which produces relatively weak psychoactive effects on its own. The decarb process converts the THCa to usable THC, resulting in much stronger effects. During the smoking process, decarbing happens as plant matter burns, but when using cannabis for cooking, you should do it manually to get the most potency in your cannabutter. If you don’t decarb, the cooking process with the butter will do it partially, but you get stronger edibles by decarbing the weed first.
Cannabis is fully decarboxylated when it’s dried to a crisp, golden brown and crumbly. If your cannabis is older, it may already have partially or fully decarboxylated already just from contact with the air over time. If your cannabis is already very dry, brown and crumbly, with no green, you could probably skip the decarboxylation process altogether, though I personally wouldn’t.
Why use water instead of cooking cannabis directly in butter or oil?
You don’t have to use water when making cannabutter, but it has a few benefits over using just butter by itself:
Pros of Using Water
- water leaches out chlorophyll during the cooking process so when the water is removed the resulting butter has less of a green taste and color
- during the separation process, any remaining plant matter sinks out of the cannabutter into the water below, further filtering out inert stuff that tastes bad
- cannabinoids don’t “stick” to water, so the potency is unaffected
Overall this results in a reduced taste, color, and smell of cannabis, while the potency stays the same – it’s the secret to making cannabutter that doesn’t taste like a skunk just sprayed some cut grass! There is still going to be a cannabis taste/smell whenever you make butter, but this reduces it quite a bit.
Cons of Using Water
- cannabutter made with water should be used quickly if kept in the fridge since the extra moisture makes it more likely to mold than if water wasn’t used (however, cannabutter freezes well so it can be put it in the freezer for months without losing any potency, and butter tends to dry out in the freezer)
When using water as part of the process, there will be less of a cannabis taste in the butter since the water binds to chlorophyll and other untasty parts of the plant that don’t actually affect the potency
Additionally, less plant material makes it into the butter for two reasons. First, melted butter and water easily flows through cheesecloth so you can strain out the plant matter without using a lot of physical force. When using just butter you have to press everything through a mesh strainer, which introduces a lot more plant material in the final product. Second, during the separation process, any extra inert plant matter that somehow did make it through the cheesecloth will sink to the bottom so it doesn’t end up in your butter (which floats to the top).
The water filtered out all this! None of the “stuff” in this brown water would have added to the potency of your butter, but it would have made your butter taste and smell worse
Dosing – How Much Cannabis to Use When Making Butter?
The “standard” amount for a butter recipe is 1 oz of cannabis buds to 1 pound of butter. If using trim, you should use 3 oz of trim to 1 pound of butter for the same standard dose. But you can use more or less depending on the potency you’re looking for. If you want very strong butter, use more cannabis with less butter.
It’s very important to be careful at first because it’s no fun to eat too much cannabutter. Test your butter by using less than you think instead of more, especially if this is your first time. Edibles can be far stronger than any type of cannabis you smoke, and although you can always eat more edibles, you can’t take them back after the fact. A too-strong edible dose can be overwhelming and last all day, so err on the side of less when dosing! Once you are better aware of your tolerance, you can raise the potency as needed.
The ratio of cannabis to butter in this cannabutter recipe is considered a “standard” dose. It’s going to be strong but not insanely strong. If you’re starting with high-quality marijuana, this strength butter should be enough to be very medical for most people by simply replacing it in recipes where butter will be used.
Using straight bud will produce oil that is stronger than if you use trim or leaves. In general, the more potent the starting plant matter, the more THC and other cannabinoids you will end up in your cannabutter.
If you want the “strongest” butter possible, you can increase the amount of cannabis, but there is a point where adding more won’t help and can actually make things worse since things won’t cook properly. During the recipe, you will be cooking bud and butter together in water. Your cannabis will float in the water and there needs to be at least an inch or two of clear space under the floating plant matter.
Starting with a stronger product will yield stronger cannabutter!
Cannabutter Recipe Ideas
These are my favorite cannabutter recipes! I hope you enjoy them too!
Want an easier way to make pot butter?
Sometimes it’s easier to let a machine do all the work. Use this machine to automatically made weed butter! This item is similar to the “Magical Butter Machine” but seems to work even better.
Get the STX Infuzium 420! This machine makes magical butter.
Just add herb plus butter until the butter is ready, pour into the included mold, and wait a few hours to get this…
Get an unlimited supply of high-quality cannabis butter
To get ultra high-quality results, I recommend using good quality cheesecloth and a strainer like the RSVP Endurance Conical Strainer, 5″ in order to separate the plant matter from your butter or tincture. I pour the mixture into the strainer and let it drip/flow into the cheesecloth. This strains the herb out and makes very clear oil/butter.
This cannabutter recipe efficiently captures THC and other cannabinoids from your cannabis while reducing the taste/smell as much as possible. Can be used as a straight substitution for anything that uses butter!