Cannabutter is the central ingredient in most cannabis-infused edibles, not just baked goods. With cannabutter, you can add cannabis to any recipe and enjoy all its benefits.
Making cannabutter is pretty easy. But, if you don’t do it right, your cannabutter might become scorched up and bitter. If you’re looking to make cannabutter fast but aren’t sure how to do it, read on as we take you through the process. We’ll start with the basics, and then provide some useful tips to ensure you have the best cannabutter.
How to Make Cannabutter: Getting Started
Learning how to make cannabutter fast is easy; getting it right is tricky. Here are a few things you’ll need to consider to make the best cannabis-infused butter.
Use High-Quality Weed
The potency of your cannabutter is fully dependent on the quality of your weed. Stronger weed produces more potent cannabutter. Likewise, if you’re looking for a specific flavor or effect, you’ll need to pay more attention to the strain you use.
You can use lower-quality weed and still end up with a decent cannabutter. However, you’ll need to use more weed to achieve your desired effects.
Use High-Quality Butter
There’s no rule of thumb dictating the kind of butter you should use. You can use any butter you like. You can even use oil as long as it contains fat. The only thing you should be concerned about is quality—high-quality butter yields better cannabutter.
Dose Your Cannabis
Getting the proper dosage for your cannabis edibles is perhaps the trickiest part of making cannabutter. Luckily, you don’t need to be a mathematical genius to do it. Several cannabis edibles dosage calculators can make the process a lot easier.
You’ll need to key in a few details, including how much weed you used in your cannabutter and its THCA content. Most cannabis strains sold in the legal market have their THCA content printed on the label. This gives you a rough estimate of your butter’s potency, which can serve as a guide for dosing.
The standard THCA content in legal markets varies between 25 percent and 35 percent. CBD-heavy strains generally have a low THCA content of about 10 percent.
How to Make Cannabutter: The Process
Step 1: Decarb the Weed
Decarbing (also known as decarboxylation) helps activate cannabis into a more potent form. In scientific terms, decarboxylation is simply the process of physically altering the chemical structure of the active cannabinoids in cannabis.
In its raw form, the cannabinoids found within cannabis flower have an extra carboxyl group attached to their molecular chain. The decarbing process removes that extra molecule, thus transforming THCA into its more active form, THC.
Although some slow and natural decarboxylation occurs as the weed dries and cures, some heat is needed to trigger the decarb reaction effectively.
The temperature has a direct impact on the effectiveness of the decarboxylation process. Various cannabinoids and terpenes present in cannabis respond differently to different temperature ranges. The compounds can be altered, activated, or destroyed depending on the temperature you use.
The ideal temperature for decarboxylating cannabis is approximately 230 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. At this range, THCA seamlessly converts to THC without destroying other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes.
Why Decarb Cannabis?
Raw, non-decarboxylated cannabis compounds are generally referred to as the ‘acid’ forms of cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (TCHA) is a non-psychoactive compound and the acid precursor to the well-known THC. Similarly, Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is not beneficial until converted to CBD.
Therefore, when you ingest cannabis in its raw form, you’ll experience minimal psychoactive effects. The benefits of decarboxylation transcend the mere feeling of getting high. All the healing properties of cannabis are better felt in its decarboxylated form. That said, the raw acid forms of THC and CBD also have a few promising but lesser-studied medical benefits of their own.
How to Decarb Cannabis
Since the basic idea behind decarbing weed is to heat it, there are plenty of ways you can do it at home. Most people prefer decarbing their weed in the oven, but you can also use a double-boiler, stove, or crockpot.
However, most of these methods require more hands-on attention and can easily lend themselves to uneven heating or accidental overheating of the cannabis. Overheating your weed during the decarb process can have some negative effects on the end product.
In contrast, decarbing cannabis in the oven is extremely effective, precise, and virtually hands-off. If this method doesn’t work for you, you can also use automatic decarboxylation devices.
Decarboxylating Cannabis in the Oven
- Grind your weed: For the best results, you should use a cannabis-specific grinder. You’ll end up with a coarsely ground herb.
- Preheat your oven to 230 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit: A temperature of 240 degrees works great for most ovens, but optimum temperatures may vary depending
- Spread the ground cannabis flower over a non–stick baking tray: For the best results, you’ll need a baking tray that’s not been used for cooking food before. If you only have a used tray, lay down a piece of parchment paper to protect the cannabis flower from any residue on the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes: While you’re at it, stir it up every 30 minutes to ensure it’s being evenly decarbed.
- Don’t go overboard with it: To avoid overdoing it, set the alarm to a maximum of 40 minutes. Overheating your weed can break down the cannabinoids and terpenes, rendering your cannabis almost ineffective. Essentially, your goal here is to activate the beneficial compounds without overcooking and ultimately damaging them.
Step 2: Steep on the Stove
After decarbing your weed, you can now add butter to the stove and start infusing. There are two ways to do it. You can either use a stove, a double-boiler, or a crockpot.
Using a Stove
- Melt 1 cup of butter with 1 cup of water: The purpose of the water here is to help the butter heat more evenly. For a half-batch, use ½ a cup of each. You can remove the water that doesn’t evaporate later.
- Set your stove to the lowest heat setting: The butter should cook at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can go up to 200 degrees. You can use a cooking thermometer to gauge the exact temperature.
- Add your decarbed cannabis: After adding it, stir to mix, then cover the pot with a lid to distribute the heat evenly for a slow extraction.
- Let it simmer at 150 degrees for about three hours: You can also go up to four hours for a more potent butter. You should add more water if you choose a longer cooking time. As the water evaporates, it leaves the butter vulnerable to overheating. Therefore, you should stir the mixture occasionally.
Using a Double Boiler or Crockpot
These methods balance and stabilize the temperature of the butter so it doesn’t overcook or burn in the process.
- When using a double-boiler, simmer 1 cup of water in a large cup, then add a cup of butter and decarboxylated cannabis in a glass or metal bowl positioned above the pot. Simmer for about three hours while keeping an eye on the water level.
- When using a crockpot, add your butter, cannabis, and water to the pot, then set the crockpot’s temperature to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit and simmer for three hours.
Step 3: Strain Your Butter
After about three hours, your butter is fully infused, and it’s time to strain the mixture. Here’s how to do it.
- Place some cheesecloth over a jar: Add a few layers or fold it over, then secure it in place with a rubber band so it won’t slip while you strain. If you don’t have a cheesecloth, you can also use coffee filters.
- Pour out the butter slowly over the filter: While you’re at it, give it time to strain so it doesn’t overflow. Once your butter is fully strained, you can dispose of the spent weed.
- Let it cool: Let it cool at room temperature (about 30 minutes), then transfer it to the fridge.
- Remove any excess water: Once your cannabutter cools and solidifies, you’ll see the solidified butter at the top of the container and a small layer of water at the bottom. You can now pour the water out slowly while holding the butter in place with a clean finger or utensil so it doesn’t slip out.
What Is the Quickest Way to Make Cannabutter?
If you regularly make cannabutter, it might be wise to invest in an automated cannabis infuser. These machines automate the entire infusion process, and as an added advantage, you’ll get the same consistency every time.
How to Use an Automated Cannabis Infuser
- Decarboxylate your weed.
- Use drawn or clarified butter (avoid using cold butter sticks with the machine).
- Put ½ an ounce of cannabis and butter in the machine.
- Set the temperature to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The machine will beep to alert you that the process is complete.
Making Cannabutter Without Butter
If you don’t like butter, you can try using alternatives like extra-virgin oil and coconut butter as the base for cannabutter. Coconut oil also provides numerous health benefits since it has less saturated fat than butter.
To make cannabutter with coconut oil, simply substitute the butter in your recipe with about two cups of coconut oil per cup of ground cannabis and use the process described above.
Making Cannabutter With Stems, Trim, and Leaves
You don’t need to throw away any leftovers. Although stems, trim, and leaves don’t contain as much THC as buds, they can still make decent cannabutter. You can also use kief and shake weed as well. All you need to do is add one to four grams of kief to melted butter.
You should note that you’ll need to use more trim than you would with buds. For the best results, add three ounces of trim per pound of butter. And like with weed, you’ll need to decarb your trim first.
How to Store Cannabis Butter
Cannabis butter goes bad pretty fast. It is therefore important to store it as soon as possible. The best way to store cannabis-infused butter is to put it in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator. Most people also prefer storing it in opaque jars because light affects the cannabutter over time.
How Long Does Cannabutter Last in the Fridge?
Regular butter can last for months when refrigerated. Unfortunately, this is not true for cannabutter. Cannabutter can last up to four weeks in the refrigerator when stored in an air-tight jar. However, if you’re concerned about flavor and quality, it’s advisable to use it within three weeks. You should also note that the more you take it out of the fridge, the more you reduce its shelf life.
You can also add a little salt to the butter while it’s cooling to keep it fresh and maintain its flavor. Freezing your cannabutter can also extend its shelf life to a couple of weeks. For the best results, pour freshly made cannabutter into silicone ice cube trays and give it some time to harden. Once it’s solid, remove the cubes, wrap them tightly with plastic wrap, and place them in a freezer-safe container.
How to Make Delicious Edibles With Cannabutter
One of the biggest challenges in making cannabis edibles is determining the right amount of cannabutter. If you already know the dosage of your cannabutter, you can limit the amount you use depending on how potent you want your edibles to be.
You can add cannabutter into any recipe that includes butter. But, if you’re still feeling like you are ill-equipped to tackle the process, you can always buy some.
The Bottom Line
Learning how to make cannabutter fast is a fairly straightforward process. Determining its dosage is perhaps the hardest part, but once you’ve got that covered, you’re good to go. Always remember to refrigerate your cannabutter as soon as you make it to preserve its flavor and freshness.