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?
Are 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
The 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?
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.
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
If 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:
- Add powdered Lecithin to the batch since it unlocks the bioavailability of the cannabinioids in the dried green leaf;
- Clarify your butter first by melting it and skimming off the creamy colored milk solids;
- 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.
I 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.
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.
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.
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
When 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. What 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.
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.
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.
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.
It 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.