As more states are legalizing cannabis, it’s becoming a highly profitable industry. In 2021, legal cannabis sales hit around $25 billion, and it’s projected to rise to $40 billion by 2025.
Although it has a strong reputation for being a recreational drug, cannabis has many health benefits. For instance, medical marijuana can treat conditions like cancer, HIV, PTSD, seizures, as well as bodily pain and discomfort.
And then there’s the food form like cannabis butter (also known as cannabutter). If you’ve never heard of it before, we’re about to explain what it is, what its benefits are and how to make cannabis butter. It might become your next favorite thing.
First, Why Are Edibles a Fan Favorite?
Before getting into what cannabis butter is, let’s discuss edibles for a moment. Although some people like to smoke or vape cannabis, others would prefer consuming edibles. That’s because edibles provide the same benefits of smoking cannabis without posing any damage risks to your lungs.
There are other benefits that come from using edibles too:
- Edibles trigger less body inflammation
- Edibles directly go to your digestive system which makes them more potent
- Edibles give you a longer-lasting high
- Edibles are more discreet (no “tools” are necessary)
- Homemade edibles allow you to control the dosage in your system
And when it comes to recipes that call for butter, cannabis butter can give you these benefits. How awesome is that?
What Is Cannabis Butter?
Cannabis butter is literally a blend of cannabis and butter. It’s how you can enjoy foods like homemade brownies or banana bread and still get your cannabis “fix” in the process.
Cannabis butter is something that you can purchase at a local dispensary (make it sure it’s legal to do so in your state). But the great thing about it is you can also make it from the comfort and convenience of your home.
That said, it should go on record that you can make cannabis butter two ways. It can contain cannabidiol (CBD) only. Or you can add CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is what gives you a “high” feeling.
It all depends on the kind of cannabis — marijuana, weed — that you decide to use. If you’re excited at the thought of putting cannabis-infused butter into some homemade cookies or on your breakfast toast, here’s how to do it.
How to Make Cannabis Butter
Like anything new, making cannabis butter requires a bit of patience at first. However, if you follow these cannabis butter tips, you’ll become a pro in no time.
The First Step: Decarboxylation
Decarboxylation is a big word that means “decarbing”. If you want the CBD and THC in your cannabis to be “active”, it must go through this process. Another benefit of decarboxylation is it makes it easier for the properties in your butter to bind to the cannabis.
What you will need for the decarboxylation process includes:
- ½ to 1 ounce of cannabis
- Glass baking dish or a sheet pan (and parchment paper)
- Scissors or a hand grinder
Once you have these items to decarb your cannabis, this is what you’ll need to do next:
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees
- Use some scissors, a hand grinder, or your hands to break up the weed (as if you were going to use it for a blunt)
- Evenly spread the cannabis onto your glass dish or sheet pan (line your pan with parchment paper so that the weed doesn’t stick to it)
- Put your dish or pan onto the center rack for 20 minutes
- Stir the weed around every seven minutes to prevent it from burning
- When it turns a deep brownish-green color, you know that the decarboxylation process is done
Some Cannabis Butter Tips for Decarboxylation
There are a few things to keep in mind so that decarbing will turn out perfectly:
- Don’t break up the cannabis to where it’s too fine (that could cause it to fall through the cheesecloth later on)
- If you have high-grade cannabis, decarbing will take 45 minutes instead of 20 minutes
- Check your cannabis frequently while it’s in the oven to avoid burning
After doing all of these things, you will be ready to take the final steps in making cannabis butter.
How to Make Cannabis Butter: The Final Steps
Once your cannabis has been “decarbed”, it’s time to turn it into cannabis butter. There are several items that you will need for this process:
- 1 ½ to 2 cups of water
- 8 ounces of clarified or melted butter
- Your decarboxylated cannabis
- A medium saucepan
- A wooden spoon
- A thermometer
- Cheesecloth or a metal strainer
Now you’re ready to make cannabis butter:
- Put the water and butter into your saucepan
- Turn the eye on your stove to low heat
- After the butter has melted, add your decarboxylated cannabis
- Mix the ingredients with your wooden spoon
- Cover the pan with its lid
- Allow the mixture to simmer for four hours (checking it every 30 minutes)
- Use your thermometer to make sure it doesn’t reach beyond 80 degrees
- When four hours are up, strain the butter with your cheesecloth or metal strainer
- Cool the butter at room temperature
- Store in it in refrigerator
Some Cannabis Butter Tips to Make It Taste Better and Last Longer
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you will end up with a great batch of cannabis butter:
- If it’s your first time making cannabis butter, add a lower amount of cannabis to see how it works with your body’s chemistry
- Using high-fat unsalted butter is best
- Adding spices like ginger or cinnamon can help to “balance out” the cannabis flavor
- If you want to avoid the smell of cannabis throughout your home, go with a crockpot instead of a saucepan
- While preparing the butter, never let it come to a boiling point
- Putting the butter in a mason jar that comes with a sealed lid is best for storing
- If you put the butter into your refrigerator, it will last for two weeks
- If you freeze the butter in a sealed jar, it can last for up to six months
Other Things You Should Know About Cannabis Butter
As far as making cannabis butter goes, you’re pretty much set. To make your experience more pleasurable, there are some other things to keep in mind.
First, the quality of cannabis that you use is essential. It doesn’t have to be the highest quality, but it does need to not have any mold in it. Whatever you put into your cannabis butter is what you will be consuming.
If you’re short on cash, see if your local dispensary (like the Zen Leaf Cannabis Strain Guide) sells shake. It’s the stems, leaves, and trimmings of cannabis that cost less than cannabis flowers.
Also, if you’ve never had an edible before, it takes around two hours for the effects to kick in. This is important because you don’t want to consume too many cookies and end up overdoing it. Edibles don’t give you a high sensation as quickly as smoking does but once you feel it, it will be quite potent.
What if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junky and the first batch of cannabis butter wasn’t strong enough? You might think that the solution is to add more cannabis, but you should simmer the butter longer. 8-24 hours will make cannabis butter more robust.
Something else that should be added to your cannabis butter guide is what colors to look out for. Every batch of cannabis butter will be different and can range from pale yellow to green or tan. If you see brown, that is leftover sediment and plant matter (your cheesecloth or strainer should’ve removed most of this).
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment after making cannabis butter. You can have fun with different recipes like cake, biscuits and even pizza dough! Again, anything that you typically add butter to, you can substitute with cannabis butter.
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