Cooking with Cannabis: How to Make Edibles Part 1, How to Make Infused Butter
Along with cooking oils (next up in our cannabis cooking series), cannabis-infused butter (cannabutter) is one of the simplest and most common ways to make medicated foods, yet making infused butter properly can be a little bit tricky. In order for THC to properly decarboxylate—change from its acid form to its psychoactive form—the cannabis needs to be heated at low temperatures over long periods of time.
For the purposes of this article, we recommend simmering your cannabis either on the stove or in a slow cooker at a temperature range of 200F to 250F for a longer period of time. This will ensure that your cannabis does not become too hot too quickly and burn off active cannabinoids.
Two Variations for Making Cannabis-Infused Butter (or “Cannabutter”)
1 lb unsalted butter
1 cup water (add more water at any time if needed)
1 ounce of ground cannabis flower or 1 1/2 ounces of high-quality cannabis trim (this amount will make some pretty potent butter, so decrease the amount of cannabis if you want a recipe that delivers lighter doses)
Note: Some people also use the remnants of vaporized cannabis, as many vaporizers fail to decarboxylate all of the THC in flower.
Stove Top Method:
Add one cup of water and 1 lb of butter into a stock pot or sauce pan; let the butter melt and begin to simmer on low. Adding water helps to regulate the temperature and prevents the butter from scorching.
As butter begins to melt, add in your ground cannabis product.
Maintain low heat and let the mixture simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Make sure the mixture never comes to a full boil.
Slow Cooker Method (my personal favorite):
Turn slow cooker onto low and add in 1 cup of water, 1 lb of unsalted butter, and 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of ground cannabis flower.
Cover slow cooker and let simmer on low for 8 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. When it comes to infusing butter, the longer you let the cannabis product simmer, the more cannabinoids will be infused into the final product.
For Both Methods:
After simmering for your desired amount of time, pour the hot mixture into a glass, refrigerator-safe container, using a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer to strain out all plant product from the butter mixture. Squeeze or press the plant material to get as much liquid off of the plant product as possible. Discard leftover plant material.
Cover and refrigerate remaining liquid overnight or until the butter is fully hardened. Once hardened, the butter will separate from the water, allowing you to lift the now infused canna-butter from the water to use in your recipes. Discard remaining water after removing the hardened canna-butter.
Let the canna-butter sit at room temperature to soften for use. Do not use a microwave to soften the butter.
Note: Dosing homemade edibles can be tricky (click here to check out part four of our cooking series to learn why), so the best way to test for potency is to start with one portion of a serving, wait one to two hours, then make an informed decision on whether to consume more. Always dose carefully and listen to your body, and never drive under the influence of cannabis.
Next up: Learn how to make other types of infused cooking oil in Part 2 of our cannabis cooking series!