Cannabis butter is one of the most used cannabis products because of its versatility. You can include it in a lot of sweet and savory dishes to make your medical marijuna experience more enjoyable. While making cannabutter might seem like a difficult task at first, it’s really not that hard since it only takes a few ingredients, and some of your free time.
To show you that making homemade cannabis butter can be pretty easy, we’ve focused this article on exactly that – using up your weed trim to make homemade cannabutter. And to find out more information about making cannabis butter with other cannabis products, you can take a look at another one of our articles that guides you through making cannabutter with leaves.
What Is Weed Trim?
Weed trim is the excess plant material that marijuana growers trim to maximize the bloom and yield of their cannabis plants during the harvest stage. It’s done as a way to help the plants focus on growing high-quality buds. By trimming excess sugar and fan leaves, the plant can focus on growing more and higher-quality buds.
Trimming can be done both by hand or with machines, and even though in the past weed trim was thrown out, nowadays it’s used to make a wide variety of cannabis products.
What Is Cannabis Butter (Cannabutter)?
Weed butter or cannabutter is a cooking staple when it comes to making cannabis edibles like the classic weed brownies. To put it simply, cannabutter is nothing other than regular butter infused with marijuana. Through the cooking process, the cannabinoids are extracted from the plant material and incorporated into the butter. However, you could use other carrier oils like coconut oil and olive oil for your weed infusions.
Since butter is a fat, and cannabinoids like THC and CBD are lipid-soluble, butter is used as the carrier lipid that gets infused with weed to increase the bioavailability of cannabinoids and terpenes. THC, which is a psychoactive ingredient found in the buds, trichomes, leaves, and other parts of the cannabis plant, can also be used to make cannabutter.
While you can buy a piece of cannabutter at your local dispensary, making your own cannabis butter is a great way to tailor it to your own taste.
Making Cannabutter at Home With Trim
To make the process of making your own batch of weed trim butter easier, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide.
Decarboxylation of Cannabis
Decarboxylating is essential to making cannabutter, and it’s the first thing you should do when you set out to make your homemade weed butter. Decarbing cannabinoids means that the tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) convert to the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, and the sedative cannabinoid CBD. The easiest way to decarboxylate weed trim is by using an oven.
- To decarb raw cannabis trim, you need to preheat the oven to 220-235 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Next, you need to grind the plant material with a grinder or a food processor to make it easier for the pieces to decarboxylate.
- After that, you should spread the weed trim evenly, and bake for around 30-40 minutes.
- Keep in mind that you should mix the plant material every 5-10 minutes so it doesn’t burn.
- Finally, weed is decarbed once it changes color and goes from bright green to dark green.
Weed Trim Cannabutter Recipe
- 2 cups of water
- 2 cups of unsalted butter
- Decarbed weed trim (about 30 grams of sugar leaves, or 60 grams of fan leaves)
- Medium saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Airtight container
Making Cannabutter Using the Stovetop Method
For this recipe, you can use everything from sugar leaves, to cannabis flowers, fan leaves and other trim from your cannabis plants. You can even add kief to your pot butter to increase its THC content.
- Place a saucepan filled with water on your stovetop and wait for it to boil on medium heat.
- Place all your ingredients on low heat on your stovetop, start heating the mixture at a temperature between 160-180ºF, and be careful not to let it boil.
- Once everything is mixed together, cook for about 3-4 hours to infuse the trim into the butter and stir frequently.
- The butter is done once it looks thick and glossy.
- Pour the finished plant matter and butter mixture through a cheesecloth or a strainer, and your final product is done. Now you have high-quality marijuana butter that you can’t find at any local dispensary.
- Wait for the butter to cool down at room temperature, and after that it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Make the Best Cannabis Butter in a Crockpot
Making cannabutter in a slow cooker is pretty easy. All you need to do is mix a pound of butter with the previously decarboxylated cannabis trim and a cup of water, placed in the crockpot. Start the slow cooker and cook on low anywhere between 6-12 hours. After about 12 hours, put the plant material through a cheesecloth and you’ve got some high-quality cannabutter on your hands.
Avoid Making These Mistakes When Making Cannabutter
Even though making cannabutter is fairly easy, you should keep in mind these potential mistakes, so you can make the best batch of cannabutter possible.
- Don’t skip the decarbing process as weed needs to be decarbed so the cannabinoids are activated and bound to the lipids of the butter to produce psychoactive or sedative effects.
- Avoid overheating the mixture since you can burn the butter and your cannabutter will taste bitter.
- Be careful what dose you use since ingesting cannabis takes a longer time to kick in compared to inhaling it.
- Don’t over grind weed as it can cause your butter to be more bitter.
How to Use Your Cannabis Butter?
You can use your cannabis butter to make edibles, to cook sweet and savory dishes, sauces, soups, smoothies, coffee, tea, and other edibles and drinkables. Moreover, cannabis butter is a more discreet method of weed consumption from which medical marijuana users will definitely benefit. The only thing you need to be careful of is dosing your cannabutter properly in your cannabis recipes in order to avoid potential side effects like nausea, headaches, paranoia, panic attacks, bloodshot eyes, cottonmouth, and the bad case of the munchies.
How to Store Your Cannabis Butter?
Storing your cannabis butter is the final step, and proper storage shouldn’t be overlooked. To maximize the shelf life of cannabutter and prevent unnecessary light exposure which degrades the cannabinoids faster and reduces the quality of your product, store it in an opaque container away from direct sunlight. You can do this by wrapping the cannabis butter in a piece of parchment paper and placing it in an airtight container.
The best place to store your weed butter is in the fridge where it can keep for about 3 weeks. If you’ve made a bigger batch of butter and don’t think you’ll manage to use it before it goes bad, store it in the freezer. There, your weed butter will keep fresh for up to six months without the risk of losing potency and precious cannabinoids and terpenes content. Another way to store it is by portioning it out in ice cube trays and then placing the frozen cubes in Ziploc bags. That way, whenever you need some weed butter, you can go to your freezer and take out as many cubes as you need for a certain recipe.
Below, we’ll answer the most common questions related to cannabis butter and its use.
Can I Use Clarified Butter?
You can definitely use clarified butter to make your homemade cannabutter, and this method may even produce higher-quality cannabutter. Let’s explain why.
Butter contains water, fat, and milk solids and has a smoke point of 302°F. Clarified butter, on the other hand, is purely fat because of the clarifying process that removes the milk solids and water, and leaves the translucent golden butterfat behind. This type of butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter (482°F), which allows you to cook at higher temperatures. Another benefit of this type of butter is that it won’t spoil as quickly as regular butter.
The reason why it may be better to use clarified butter when making homemade weed butter is the higher smoke point. If you don’t have a weed thermometer when you’re making your homemade weed butter, you could easily get the butter way past its smoking point and burn it. Clarified butter would be a better option here as you won’t risk overheating it as much as you would with regular butter.
What About Ghee?
Ghee is a type of clarified butter in which the milk solids have been removed, commonly used in Asian cooking. Traditionally, ghee was used in the Indian subcontinent as an ayurvedic medicine and in religious rituals. However, this form of butter is very versatile and you can use it to make weed butter. The process of making weed butter from ghee is the same as making it with any other type of butter.
What Is the White Stuff?
If you aren’t using clarified butter when making your homemade weed butter, you’ll notice white particles forming as you cook the butter. This white stuff is, in fact, the milk solids separating from the butter (and salt if you used salted butter). You can remove the solids once you strain the finished product, or remove them as they form on the top of the saucepan.
Why Did I End Up With Less Butter Than I Started With?
It’s normal to get less butter at the end of the process of making cannabutter, and the amount of butter you get generally depends on the type of butter you use. When using clarified butter, you don’t have any milk solids in your mixture, so the only butter you lose is the amount you can’t squeeze out of the cheesecloth or whichever material you use to strain your weed butter from the plant matter. When using regular butter to make the cannabutter, you lose about 30% of the volume as a result of the separation of the milk solids from the butter (which you later strain).
Do I Need a Thermometer?
A thermometer isn’t essential for making cannabutter, but it is recommended. When making your weed butter on the stovetop, it’s easier to regulate the temperature and prevent burning the butter if you use a thermometer. However, if you don’t have one, you can still make it. One method is using a crockpot and setting the temperature on the crockpot. Another way is using the stovetop method even without a thermometer, but stirring frequently to prevent the butter from getting burned.
Does the Final Green Color of the Butter Matter?
The color of your butter does matter and we’ll tell you why. The decarboxylation process of infusing butter with cannabis unintentionally releases some of the chlorophyll (the green pigment found in plants) in the butter. Some people believe that the greener the color of the butter, the stronger the weed butter is. However, this can’t be further from the truth. If your butter has a deep green color, that just means that you’ve been cooking it for too long. This doesn’t just affect the color, but it also makes the butter more bitter when you taste it. High-quality, infused butter will have a creamy, light-green hue, which will indicate that you’ve cooked the butter just enough for the weed to infuse.
How Do I Know How Potent My Final Batch Is?
You can’t determine exactly how potent your final batch of weed butter will be without sending it to a lab for analysis, and there’s a reason for that. The amount of cannabinoids in the weed aren’t proportional to the amount of cannabinoids in the final product, since only 60-90% of the cannabinoids will remain as a result of several factors that affect the potency of the weed butter:
- The decarboxylation process (decarbing the buds under the right temperature for the adequate amount of time will give you a more potent extraction).
- The type of butter used in the process (high-quality unsalted butter or clarified butter will give the best results).
- How well you stir (stirring your butter as often as you can during the decarboxylation process will give you more even distribution).
If you follow the exact steps when making a canna butter recipe, you can expect your final product to be nearly as potent as the cannabis buds you used to make it.
How Can I Make My Cannabutter Stronger?
If you want to make your cannabutter stronger, the answer is simple, you just need to place more weed in the canna butter as you make it. Keep in mind that everyone’s tolerance levels to THC are different, and edibles need a longer time to kick in. Therefore, it’s best to start with smaller doses and wait for a few hours before taking more.
Cannabutter is a versatile cannabis recipe that can be used in a lot of cannabis products, and can even be made with your leftover weed trim.
You can infuse your butter in a number of ways including on a stovetop and in a slow cooker, and you don’t need a lot of additional materials to make it at home. All you need is decarbed weed trim, a few blocks of butter, water, some standard kitchen equipment, and the desire to make a homemade weed butter.