How to Make Marijuana Butter: Tips and Tricks for Best Results

 

Do you want to make cannabutter or are you looking for the best recipe or the easiest way to make your own medical marijuana butter? You can order cannabutter online in some places but if you are using it regularly you can find this option expensive.

And, as we know, there’s no such thing as a cannabis butter sale! The cheaper alternative is to learn the easy steps to make marijuana butter yourself with basic equipment you probably already have at home.

Why Make Cannabis Edibles?

Cannabis brownieAre you considering making cannabutter in a crock pot and can I talk you out of that? The number one reason is that some controversy exists about lead leaching from the ceramic inserts of many crock pots which could be transported in fats such as butter.

I’m not going to weigh in on the potential issues of crock pot made marijuana butter, but neither am I going to be a guinea pig. So its stainless steel for this guy and as I describe the following steps I will point out where a healthier material can be used.

As I was chatting about in Growing Cannabis pt.2, the goal of making cannabutter or any edible is to feel super great, not obliterated. You want it to help you find your way around something chronic that is holding back your life.

For me it was an autoimmune condition that would cause nerve damage when I had a flare. I discovered that an edible would take the sharp point off of that kind of pain so that I could slowly become mobile again. We all have our stories. What’s important is that we found this medicine and now we’re finding each other via sites like this one. Welcome brothers and sisters of the green!

The Question of Amounts

medical marijuana butterThe amount of butter to use is a ratio of about 1/4 ounce (7 gram) of decarbed cannabis to 1 cup of butter to start.

Let’s talk about that ratio.

You can double or quadruple or half that ratio in order to make exactly the amount of cannabutter you want.

So you can take this 1/4 oz to 1 cup ratio, look at any recipe and know immediately what you need to make it medicinal.

If you are nervous about edibles, you can even start milder with 1/8 ounce (4 gm) to 1 cup of butter. With edibles, there is going to be that sweet spot between an irritating feeling of just being off center and the happy feeling that life just got easier. It’s worth testing to find your ultimate sweet spot.

Now about these amounts, they are not over-the-top. Edibles are more powerful than smoking because the medicine is directly metabolized by the liver into the bloodstream and you get the benefit of every bit of it. Nothing is going up in smoke while the joint waits for a pass.

So for your first try at cannabutter I am starting you low because if you find the edible too weak for your needs, you can always just eat more of it. In comparison, starting out with strong cannabutter edibles can find you cutting them into awkwardly small crumbly pieces in order to control dosage. And let’s face it, if the recipe is delicious, why force yourself to cap your portion at a mere sliver?

Benchmarking

We also want to keep the dosage minimal as a benchmark so you can assess how much dried cannabis to add or take away. I would suggest increasing by no more than a gram because even that amount can pack a punch depending on your “shake”, which is the green trimmings that you use to make the edible.

coffee with cannabutter You might have more flower in this trim which will make the final cannabutter stronger. Also, try to get shake that is as organic as possible.

Consider that you are going to be making a product that you are ingesting for medicinal purposes, so you want it to be clean. Source shake here.

And consider that you might want to use cannabutter for a variety of recipes and purposes. For example, you can spread cannabutter on your pancakes or use it in a recipe.

If I am baking something like a brownie with it, I don’t mind if I make the cannabutter a bit strong because the chocolate will mask the herbal taste.

However, if I am making peanut butter cookies, the resulting flavor clash could ruin the final outcome. Many people add a teaspoon of strong cannabutter to a hot beverage like a coffee or hot chocolate which also works well. The point here is to think of the best ways to use cannabutter to meet your own requirements when choosing what strength to make it. For example, if its to deal with job stress, a low dose might do wonders for your productivity and focus.

Lets Get Started

Dried cannabis shakeIf you have obtained your dried green, you are not quite ready to make butter yet. First you want to activate the THC in the cannabis and that means going through a slow heat process known as decarboxilating.

Basically, decarbing your green changes the chemical composition so that it has the effects you are seeking. I have gone into more detail about how to decarb your weed in a separate article.

Don’t worry, “decarboxilation” is a long complex word, but the process itself is actually super easy.

Now there are a good many cannabutter recipe websites that will advise you to grind your shake up fine at this point. I find that doing so can clog whatever you are using later to strain the butter which can cause a sorry mess. If ground to a fine texture, a lot of dried plant matter can end up slipping through the straining process to end up in your final product.

Alongside messing with the taste, some people have trouble digesting this material. Personally I don’t grind the shake beforehand and haven’t done a “grind vs. non-grind” test for a simple reason. I feel that the inconvenience of adding this step and fighting with clogs and digestive issues out-weighs any minor increase in potency.

Make Strong Cannabutter

Nonetheless, at some point you might want to test out these three tricks that could increase the potency of your cannabutter recipe:

  1. Add powdered Lecithin to the batch since it unlocks the bioavailability of the cannabinioids in the dried green leaf;
  2. Clarify your butter first by melting it and skimming off the creamy colored milk solids;
  3. Drop a mango stone into the simmering mixture when you add your shake and leave it in for the duration.

I won’t guarantee that you will experience a difference, but if you are making this regularly why not give any or all of these tricks a try. If you do a back-to-back test using the same shake, please remember to return to Best Cannabis Gear and post your results in the comments below!

Marijuana Butter Recipe

Once your decarb has cooled, you can set a 2 quart stainless steel pot 2/3 filled with drinking water on high heat.

Cooking huge potI do not recommend using aluminum pots, but any other type such as glass or ceramic coated is fine.

You want the pot to be deep enough that the cannabis will not be touching the hot bottom of the pot while it is simmering.

In terms of what volume to make at a time, eventually you are going to be straining and separating the shake from the butter and water.

Don’t use a soup pot and four pounds of butter if you don’t have a straining container large enough to hold it all. More is not always better.

When the water boils, slip in one cup of butter for every 4-7 grams of shake you use and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the butter melt. Once all the butter is melted into the water, toss in the shake and turn down again to the lowest setting. Try to maintain it just under a boil. Your pot will be uncovered so keep an eye on it for water evaporation. You will be cooking it for about 3 hours.

Simmering cannabutter

If you can get your pot of green gold to that nice level where the water is just moving around but not bubbling, you can set a timer for 45 minutes so you don’t forget it while getting some other chore done. Do that a few times and the butter will be ready before you know it.

When your canna-infusion is close to finished, the top of the water will incorporate the dark green cannabis into the fat so that it looks glossy. If you want to up your health gains, try to find organic butters from grass fed animals such as sheep, goats or cows.

Next Steps

When your butter is done, remove from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature naturally. As you have already seen, cannabis is sensitive to hot and cold and can change for better or worse depending on how temperature is used. Be gentle and patient with these heat fluctuations if you want to produce the highest quality cannabutter.

Straining cannabutter Fit the top of a deep bowl or similar container with a piece of cheesecloth doubled over to strain your weed butter. Packages of cheesecloth are available in any grocery store.

I use a medium-sized elastic to hold the cheesecloth across the top of a rimmed metal beaker. The rim keeps the elastic from flying off and causing a minor disaster.

In place of the cheesecloth, you can also use a soup or jam strainer which is a fabric sack with elastic around the top.

In this case, your shake is not separated from the liquid until you lift the sack out of the container. You can wash these fabric baggies out afterwards and reuse them. If they become stiff and green, just dip them in the boiling water of your next canna-cooking session before you tip in the butter and your sack will once again be easy to manipulate.

Squeeze that Shake

Kief used for cannabutterWhen your shake is cool enough to handle, gently ease the elastic or tie-up off the sides of the straining container. Twist the contents in the cheesecloth to squish all the butter out of the shake.

You’ll be surprised at how much is suspended in the spent green matter and you want every drop of this golden goodness. Because its necessary to compact the cannabis I do not recommend using a fine mesh screen for your straining process.

Yes, you can apply pressure with the back of a large spoon, but you just won’t get as much out of it as you will when savagely twisting your cheesecloth bundle with your bare hands.

And of course its all good for your skin. Draining the water from cannabutterWhat you will be left with is a pile of spent cannabis matter and a container of mixed canna-butter and water. Toss the matter and let the liquid cool completely before popping it in the fridge. What will happen is that the heavier water will sink to the bottom and the butter will solidify on the top in a self-separation process. Temperature at work again!

You can take this out of the fridge and use it in as few as 3 hours, but I leave it overnight to ensure that the full separation has been accomplished.

Making marijuana butter After the marijuana butter has hardened, I slide a knife down one side to make a 2″ incision. Then I poke another incision on the opposite side to let in some air when I pour. Slowly tip the captured water out through that incision and over a fine screen strainer to capture any butter bits that want to float away.

Now you are left with your cannabis butter and can scrape it out into a storage container. Because I use a metal pitcher, at this point I can set it on a gentle heat to melt the cannabutter for use in a recipe.

Marijuana Butter Maker

What if I would rather be baked than baking? The medical cannabis butter recipe I described seems long and drawn out only because I noted so many variables in the process. In reality, this can be done in and around other tasks since most of it is just waiting time while your butter heats up, simmers and cools. However, if you make medical marijuana butter regularly and want to simplify, there are gadgets that can do it all for you.

MagicalButter to make the best cannabutter The market boasts a number of different kinds of pots specifically designed to make cannabutter.  However, if you have to baby them you might as well save your money and do it the old-fashioned way with your own kitchen pot.

Enter the Magical Butter maker, a product that is quickly becoming a common kitchen device among medicinal marijuana users.

The Magical Butter maker can be programmed to maintain a steady 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 – 3 hours so that your butter reaches its ultimate level of cannabis infusion.

A unique feature of this appliance is a blender-style stirring device that keeps the butter moving through the shake for the entire cooking time and there is no water needed in the process. The Magical Butter machine creates predictable results and can also be used to infuse other bases such as oils, grain alcohols and lotions.

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Final Tips

Cuisinox stainless steel pitcher I also want to give you some tips on stuff to get to make your cannabutter venture easier. The pitcher for straining should have a rim so that the elastic can tuck under it and hold securely as you load the spent cannabis matter onto the cheesecloth.

The handle should be lower than that rim for the same reason. You want a clear path around the top of it for that tie-up.

It’s a bonus if the straining container is made out of metal because that allows you to keep the finished cannabutter in it and melt it for use right away. Why not save on washing dishes?

Having a pour spout of some sort is a useful feature as is a handle.

I started out making marijuana butter in bowls which are more difficult to manage with the boiling hot water/butter combo. After my own trial and error, I found this medium-sized metal jug had everything I needed and it greatly simplefied the task. Click below for my top pick.

Click here for best canna-butter straining container.
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Digital kitchen scaleIt seems that every drawer and cupboard in my place has a different scale in it. I have scales for heavy and light stuff, in metric and imperial measures, digital and old school.

But for cooking with cannabis, there’s only one scale you need and that’s a digital that’s capable of weighing in increments smaller than a gram.

My top pick switches between grams and ounces so that you can adopt your medical cannabutter to any recipe.

The “tare” button is to set the measurement to zero when you put a container on it to fill with your messy shake.

Portability can be a bonus as can having a stainless steel platform for easy clean-up. The ability to automatically turn off after a few minutes helps to save battery life. My top pick goes down to 0.01 grams measurement and is a widespread favorite. This model is economically priced for the quality of its features.

Click here for best digital scale.

8 Replies to “How to Make Marijuana Butter: Tips and Tricks for Best Results”

  1. Doug,

    Thank you so much for making these tips and tricks on how to get some nice cannabutter! As an active cannabis patient myself I love to see brand new recipes come out of the cracks and make their way to the surface. Soon this stuff will be nationwide legal so everyone who needs it can get medicated without having to turn to opioids. Thank you for your guide 🙂

    1. Yes this is a solid basic cannabutter recipe that anyone can do. No fancy tricks here. It will be interesting to see what kind of intervention cannabis can make into the opioid crisis as an alternative treatment. Of course I dont see corrupt doctors and big pharma making any changes until people start getting charged for the criminal over-prescription of opioid drugs, but patients themselves are making choices away from opioids and trying high CBD cannabis instead. 

      I did this myself just recently. I had a surgical procedure and the clinic prescribed opioids for pain relief. I partly filled the prescription just in case, but also got high CBD marijuana for my recovery. I did not need to take a single opioid. If the pain got too uncomfortable I would use the CBD to sleep and sleep is excellent for speeding up recovery. I’m sure this route is not for everyone, but I tested it out successfully and feel that it is at least worth serious consideration. 

      What drove me to look at CBD as a treatment is when I researched the recovery process from my particular procedure there were symptoms listed such as nausea, headaches and dizziness that had nothing to do with the surgery — they were the “side-effects” of the opioids. I thought, why would I choose to make myself sick on pain meds when I need all my energy for recovery?

  2. Cannibutter is one of my go-to recipes because it can be used in so many ways. I always like to keep some on hand.

    There are definitely a lot of debates on the different methods of making cannibutter. I had a friendly crockpot argument with a friend once. I didn’t realize that there might be an issue with the ceramic, but I have yet to see proof that slow cooking cannibutter for days produces any better results than an instant butter maker.

    I have personally been using an old-fashioned stove top espresso maker, all steel, to make my cannibutter. But it’s starting to leak and I think it’s about time I look at getting one of the “magic” butter makers. I’ll be looking to your site for recommendations.

    1. I agree that there are so many delicious recipes made with cannabutter. Im looking forward to getting more marijuana recipes up on the site. 

      Researech has been done on where the sweet spot is for producing the optimum cannabutter and that is what the Magical Butter maker is programmed to achieve. One thing that that stands true about most processes involving cannabis is that longer is not usually better. It doesnt matter if it is decarboxylating, growing flowers, or making an extraction, there’s an optimum point past which the plant matter degrades. 

      I like your choice of cannabutter makers. It never occured to me to use my espresso pot to make cannabutter. I love to hear people’s stories about different ways they have made the magic butter.  

  3. Never tried making marijuana butter because I always suspected it might not turn out that well and it would just end up wasting a lot of marijuana.
    However, this detailed method is amazing and with the right products mentioned, I guess I should definitely give it a try.
    This post was really helpful.

    1. Thank you. The hardest part of the process quite honestly is just having the patience to wait out each stage. Making the butter is not a lot harder than boiling water to make an egg. I think we see it as hard becuase the final effects are so magical — a medicine that can do so much good. We think that this wonderous elixr must be difficult to achieve, but its far less tricky than baking a cake or roasting a chicken. There are only two measured ingredients, the cannabis and the butter. Past that, there is no complex math. Likewise you only need a boiling pot and a straining vessel — simple things that most people already have. I hope you do give it a try. The first time is always the most difficult, but after that you know what you are doing. 

  4. I used to think that Cannabis was rightly banned and should be on the illigal drug list but now I’m not so sure.
    Seeing all the benefits that this natural drug gives to those that are in pain and sick, really makes me wonder if it should at least be legalised for those who gain relief from it due to their illness.
    I have never taken any drugs in my life but this marijuana butter looks like a recipe I would like to try.
    I know someone who is always in pain. If I gave her a brownie made with this butter, would she feel high? She is one of those that suffers in silence and I would dearly like to find a way to relieve her pain without her taking a pharmaceutical pain killer. Thanks for this interesting post anyway.

    1. Your friend would definitely feel the brownie which is generally a relaxed and happy feeling. That said, a mild cannabutter is certainly not as strong as a pain killer. People naturally have cannabinioid receptors in our bodies so taking cannabis as a medicine isnt foriegn to our biology. It works organically with us and when you figure out the right strength, it can carry you happily through the day with minimal pain. I know from using it to overcome pain caused by my autoimmune condition. I was surprised when half a brownie could subdue the pain enough that I could climb a set of stairs. In fact, being able to navigate stairs has probably converted me to this medicine more than anything else has. 

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