The ever-increasing assortment of cannabis edibles never ceases to amaze. While magic brownies were long-time classics (and probably still are), nowadays, the market offers a plethora of different marijuana edibles, and you can even come up with your own.
One such edible is cannabutter, otherwise known as cannabis butter, or weed butter. The popularity of this cannabis product has quickly risen due to its versatility. Butter is already used in so many different recipes, be it sweet or savory, and elevating it with weed just makes it a thousand times more fun.
But, that’s not all. Weed butter is no longer available just in dispensaries, given that you can make it in your own kitchen. The key is to preserve it well and use it up well, and of course, to enjoy it.
In this article, we’ll give you a basic cannabutter recipe and talk about the shelf life of cannabutter, how you can use it, and its benefits as a weed edible.
What Is Cannabutter?
Simple enough, cannabutter is an unsalted butter infused with activated cannabis plant material. Cannabis flowers are most often used, but other parts of the plant can also be used. Traditionally, dairy butter is used, but there are also vegan varieties. The blending of the cannabinoids and terpenes present in weed with the butter results in a powerful and versatile product.
The invention of weed-infused butter has opened up many new culinary opportunities. In states where weed is legal, there are now restaurants that cook and bake with marijuana, and many of their recipes include weed butter. From adding it to your morning coffee or your morning toast to drizzling it over some mac and cheese, cannabutter has taken up a significant role in the cannabis community.
Let’s see how you can make a batch.
The Basic Cannabutter Recipe
If you’ve never made cannabutter before, you may think that it’s difficult to make, but let us convince you otherwise. The only thing you need is a few spare hours and the right ingredients. The final product will be worth it and you’ll feel proud, especially if it’s your first time making it. Plus, it’s a budget-friendly option, and you get to choose whichever Indica, Sativa, or hybrid you want to use.
To make weed-infused butter, you’ll need:
- 1 cup cannabis
- 1 cup regular butter (unsalted), but you can also use vegan butter
- 1/4 cup water
- Wooden spoon
- Cheesecloth or strainer
- Glass jar or any container with a tight lid
There are two main steps to the process – decarboxylation and infusion.
Let’s go through the first step.
First, Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
Before you infuse the butter with cannabis, decarboxylating the weed is necessary. The decarboxylation process just means that you have to expose the marijuana to high heat to activate the cannabinoids.
To clarify, fresh cannabis is not psychoactive. It contains the inactive forms of THC and CBD, called THCA and CBDA, which are their precursors. When you expose weed to high heat, a chemical reaction happens where they get converted to their active forms.
To decarb your weed, preheat the oven at 245°F. Break the plant material apart into smaller pieces and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Put the tray in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so for the weed to decarb evenly. When it has changed its color to brownish green, it’s done.
Set aside to cool to room temperature and use a grinder to grind it coarsely. Don’t grind it too fine as pieces of ground cannabis will end up in your final product and it will acquire a grassy flavor.
Next, Make the Cannabis Infusion
To make cannabutter on the stovetop, set it on medium heat and put the butter, the decarboxylated weed, and water in the saucepan, and start stirring slowly. Once the mixture is well combined and has gained a nice consistency, lower the temperature and let it simmer on low heat – between 160°F-180°F. If you notice that it’s getting too thick, just add some more water. Simmer on low temp for 2-3 hours, stirring often, and don’t let it get too hot (to prevent burning).
When it’s done, leave it on the countertop to cool a bit, and while it’s still liquid, strain it through a strainer or a cheesecloth into a glass jar (or any airtight container). Leave it to harden up at room temperature before storing it.
Another tip, you can also make cannabutter in your slow cooker. The process is basically the same, just set your device on a low-temperature setting and stir often while it cooks. With a slow cooker, the risk of burning it is lower.
The Shelf Life of Cannabutter
Homemade cannabutter lasts about three weeks in the fridge when stored properly. However, if you’ve made a bigger batch or don’t use it that often, you can also store it in the freezer for up to six months. You don’t need to worry about it losing its potency as proper storage will ensure that your cannabutter remains as fresh as it was on the day you made it.
To extend its shelf life to the maximum when storing, make sure to store it in an opaque container. One way to do this is to wrap the cannabutter in parchment paper and store it in an airtight container. Then, put the jar in an opaque bag to prevent unnecessary light exposure as it can degrade the cannabinoids.
For longer storage in the freezer, you can also pour the butter into smaller ice cube trays, wrap them in parchment paper and then put them in plastic bags. This way, you can take smaller doses whenever you need them while keeping the rest of the butter safely stored.
The Many Uses of Weed Butter
Weed butter is incredibly versatile. You can use it to make magic brownies if you don’t have dry weed on hand, and you can also put it in other sweet recipes (like chocolate chip cookies). Some users like it on their morning toast for a little buzz to start the day with, others use it for making some savory dishes, like grilled cheese sandwiches or garlic bread.