Cannabis edibles are a wonderful way to ingest your THC for maximum, sustained effects like pain relief. And one of the easiest and most reliable ways to create edibles is to make some cannabis butter that can then be added to all kinds of recipes like cakes, cookies, or even any entree that could benefit from a nice buttery taste.
In this article, we are going to discuss the most effective and simple method by which you can make your own cannabis butter.
Stove Top Method
This is a simple but time-tested method that involves not much more than the ingredients and a saucepan. Here is what you’ll need:
- 1 oz (28 grams) of cannabis
- 1 lb of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of water
- Non-stick baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Saucepan or pot
- Glass or ceramic bowl
- Strainer of some kind – can be kitchen mesh strainer or cheesecloth
Sidenote: The amount of cannabis mentioned above results in a potent cannabutter product. If you desire to begin with a less potent batch, feel free to adjust the amounts to your liking. For instance, you could cut this in half by using only 14 grams of cannabis, or lessen it by about 25% by using 21 grams instead of 28 grams.
Prepare the Cannabis
The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare your cannabis is to coarsely grind it with a hand-grinder (coffee grinders make too fine a powder). You can also simply break apart the bud with your hands, being careful not to break it apart too finely. If you do grind your bud too fine, that simply means that more plant particles will end up in your butter – which doesn’t taste as good, but it won’t ruin the recipe.
Decarboxylation is a fancy word that essentially means to heat up the cannabis slowly and at a low temperature in order to activate the THC. You see, before cannabis is heated a bit, it actually contains THCA instead of THC. THCA is a non-intoxicating and ineffective cannabinoid. Heating the THCA, as people do while smoking or vaping cannabis, has the effect of converting that THCA into usable THC. THC is the form of cannabinoid that we want when we are looking for that euphoric feeling that also helps ease pain and other symptoms of illness.
So think of this first step as activating the THC for use in your butter.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 210 degrees Fahrenheit
Step 2: Place parchment paper across a cookie or other baking sheet
Step 3: Spread your coarsely ground (or hand separated) bud out on a cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil
Step 4: Bake your bud in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes
After baking, your bud should be a light brown color, as opposed to the green color of fresh bud. The active ingredients in your bud are now activated, and you are ready to create your butter.
Sidenote: Some people skip this step and prefer to “decarb” their cannabis during the cooking process that is described next. That is possible, but it will likely result in less potent butter that has a more “plant-like” taste.
Cooking Your Cannabutter
Now your cannabis is ready to be infused into your butter.
Step 5: Place your butter and water together into a saucepan. (The water keeps the butter concoction from scorching while cooking.)
Step 6: Simmer on low, and while the butter melts you can put your decarboxylated cannabis into the mixture.
Step 7: Simmer on low for 3 – 4 hours. Stir often, and you might want to use a thermometer if you have one to make sure that your mixture does not go above 220 degrees Fahrenheit. It is very important not to scorch or overheat the cannabis in your mixture as that may render it less effective or even ineffective. Low, steady heat is the key to a good batch.
Step 8: Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool until it is cool enough to touch without burning yourself, then strain the mixture. This can either be done with cheesecloth that is fastened to the container that you are straining your butter into, or you can use any type of mesh kitchen strainer. In some stores, you can find small round mesh strainers that fit over cups or bowls and fasten onto the sides. These types of strainers are very convenient in that they sit right on a bowl, which allows you to strain your herb using both of your hands. But really, any mesh strainer will do.
Sidenote: Also, if you care about the taste, you are not going to want to strain your mixture too much. The more you press while straining, the more plant material will make its way into your butter. Now this won’t hurt you in any way, but the butter may have a “plant-like” taste to it.
Step 9: Put your strained mixture into the refrigerator and allow it to harden. After it gets hard, the water will separate from the butter. Go ahead and use a spatula or knife to scrape off the butter, and throw out the remaining water.
Now You’re Ready to Enjoy
Now your cannabutter is ready to enjoy. You can add it to your favorite cannabis recipes, use it in place of regular butter to top bread, potatoes – the sky’s the limit. But be sure not to overdo it. This is a strong medicinal butter that should be used with care so as not to produce negative side effects. Always keep in mind that ingested cannabis takes longer to take effect, but will last much longer than vaping or smoking. The effects are felt gradually, and the full effect may not be reached for an hour to an hour and a half. Taking more before the full effect is felt may make you uncomfortably “high” so remember that less is more – at least until you figure out your most comfortable dosage.
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