How to Make Canna-Butter
Butter is one of those ingredients that seems to make any meal better.
Want delicious and creamy mashed potatoes? Add butter. Craving some Belgian waffles? Don’t forget the butter. Even grilled cabbage is better with butter.
As the cannabis edibles market appears poised for continuous expansion, it really shouldn’t be any big surprise that cannabis and butter could make a delightful pairing. It is the versatility of butter that gives canna-butter wide appeal. It can be used in any recipe requiring butter, whether simply adding it to toast or making a more involved meal such as lemon butter chicken. With butter being a kitchen staple, canna-butter can serve as the foundation of many homemade edibles recipes — including the ever-popular chocolate brownie.
What You’ll Need
What You’ll Need
Making canna-butter isn’t terribly complicated, but it does take time. You’ll need about 3 hours for actual cook time. But before you get cooking, you’ll need some supplies.
- 1 cup (2 sticks), or 226 grams, of unsalted butter
- 3.5 grams of flower (15% THC)
- Grinder (optional)
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Double boiler
- Metal mesh strainer
- Spatula/other utensils
- Candy thermometer
- Mason jar
Flower is essentially cannabis buds, which have the most cannabinoids. To decarboxylate (or decarb) simply means to heat the marijuana flower in order to turn the non-intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) into the intoxicating delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This step is required when cannabis is ingested rather than smoked.
For this recipe, you’ll need 2 sticks of butter for every eighth, or 3.5 grams, of marijuana. Here is how the math breaks down:
One gram of cannabis flower is equal to 1,000 milligrams. If the cannabis flower you’re using tests at 15% THC, then using 1 gram will produce 150 milligrams of THC. With 3.5 grams of flower, it will make 525 milligrams of THC.
- First, we’re going to decarboxylate the weed. Grind up the flower. Put parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread the herb evenly across the surface.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 105 degrees Celsius, place the baking sheet in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.
- While the weed is decarboxylating, set up the double boiler and warm the butter to degrees Fahrenheit, or about 105 degrees Celsius as well. This will finish decarbing any weed that wasn’t completely converted.
- Once the weed comes out of the oven, pour it into the melted butter and stir well.
- Keep the butter at the same temperature for 45 minutes.
- Remove the butter from the stove. Filter it through a metal mesh strainer lined with two layers of cheesecloth.
- Gently squeeze the plant matter to get the majority of the butter out. Do not squeeze to excess, as you don’t want plant matter or unnecessary compounds entering the mix.
- Refrigerate the butter while preparing the rest of the ingredients so that it’s still soft, but a little more firm for smooth and even mixing.
- Your canna-butter is ready to eat. It will keep up to two months in the fridge and six months in the freezer.
Quality is always important to keep in mind when you are using cannabis – especially if you’ll be eating it. Many states that have legalized adult-use or medical cannabis require laboratory testing as part of licensing for marijuana dispensaries – but not all of them do. If your state does not yet require laboratory testing, make sure the cannabis you purchase is third-party tested.
If your state does require testing, learn about what your state’s dispensaries must test. Cannabis plants are very susceptible to absorbing everything they’re exposed to during cultivation, which can include pesticides and heavy metals. Each state that requires lab testing may have varying maximum allowed levels for these and other unwanted toxicants, including mold and fungal contaminants.
Quality counts for the butter you buy, too.
Get the Right Potency
Knowing how strong your cannabis is will impact how much canna-butter you should use once you’re ready to get cooking, or eating. When buying your cannabis flower for your canna-butter, make sure you know its cannabinoid and terpene profiles, as well as if its THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, or a more balanced mixture. These can all have an impact on the effect the cannabis will have on you.
Reading the label and the laboratory certificate of analysis, and asking your budtender can all help get you this information. If you are looking for a more mellow high or are a beginner, you’ll want to avoid THC-dominant cannabis.
Once you have the right potency for yourself and you’ve made your canna-butter, you can use that information to determine how much of your custom canna-butter to use for your various recipes. A more mild canna-butter may require a teaspoon for your smoothie, but a very potent butter would use much less. There will be some trial-and-error involved so you’ll want to start in smaller increments no matter which food or drink you’re making.
How to Eat Canna-Butter
The possibilities are endless when it comes to eating canna-butter. For non-cooking types, just toast some bread and spread the canna-butter right on. For hobbyist chefs, there are a number of cannabis cookbooks and fun recipes to explore.