One of the simplest and most common ways to manufacture infused cannabis edibles is to utilize cannabis-infused butter (cannabutter). Making infused butter, on the other hand, can be a little complicated. The flower must be slowly roasted at a low temperature to activate its psychedelic capabilities. This recipe POTENT PEAK will first guide you through this process–called decarboxylation–before walking you through a step-by-step guide to infusing butter.
Note: Homemade edibles are very difficult to accurately dose. This guide will give you some tips for more precise dosing, but all DIY cannabis cooks should be aware that there’s no way to guarantee the potency or homogeneity of their batch.
How to make cannabis-infused butter
Butter, albeit not the only one, is a delightful and versatile carrier for THC and other cannabinoids. Infusions can also be made with coconut oil, olive oil, or any other rich oil. Keep in mind that butter can easily burn, so keep an eye on your cannabutter while it cooks.
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup (7-10 grams) of ground cannabis, decarboxylated
The essential (and often missed) first step: Decarboxylating the cannabis
You’ll need to decarboxylate, or “decarb,” the cannabis flower you’re working with before preparing cannabutter. If you skip this stage, your end product will be weak or inactive. This is why: THCA is a non-intoxicating acidic cannabinoid produced by cannabis buds. Heat transforms THCA into THC, the chemical that causes euphoria, when we smoke or vaporize cannabis. The same procedure should be followed while making CBD edibles.
Although some recipes call for decarbing cannabis straight in the hot butter, the shorter time you spend soaking the buds, the better your infused butter will taste. As a result, we recommend decarbing first in the oven.
Basic cannabutter recipe
- Decarb the cannabis. Preheat your oven to 245ºF. Place cannabis buds on a non-stick, oven-safe tray. Cover the tray with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Insert the tray into the oven and set a timer for 30-40 minutes. Older, drier cannabis may require less time. (Tip: you can also set your oven to 300ºF and heat for 10 to 18 minutes, although low-and-slow is the recommended approach when decarbing to better preserve the cannabinoids.) Every 10 minutes, gently mix the buds with a light shake of the tray to expose the surface area of the buds equally.
- Grind. Grind the decarboxylated cannabis coarsely with a hand grinder.
- Melt the butter. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of butter into a stock pot or saucepan. Simmer on low and let the butter melt. Adding water helps to regulate the temperature and prevents the butter from scorching.
- Add the cannabis. As the butter begins to melt, add in your coarsely ground cannabis product.
- Simmer. Maintain low heat (ideally above 160ºF but never exceeding 200ºF) and let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The mixture should never come to a full boil.
- Strain the cannabutter. Set a funnel on top of a jar and line it with cheesecloth. Once the butter has cooled off, pour it over the cheesecloth funnel and allow it to strain freely. (Tip: Squeezing the cheesecloth may push more bad-tasting plant material through).
- Refrigerate the jar of butter. If excess water forms at the bottom of the jar, you can remove the solid butter with a knife and drain the water out. (The butter will need to refrigerate for about an hour before removing the water.)
- Dose carefully. Refer to dosing information below before adding your butter to any snacks, dishes, or desserts.
Directions for slow cooker
- Grind your cannabis coarsely with a hand grinder. (Tip: A coffee grinder will finely pulverize the flower and prevent effective straining of bad-tasting plant material.)
- Set your slow cooker to low, or somewhere around 160ºF. (Tip: Avoid exceeding 200ºF to prevent burning or wasting cannabinoids. You can also add a little water to help prevent scorching.)
- Add the butter and ground cannabis. Stir occasionally.
- After about 3 hours, turn off the crockpot and wait for the butter to cool.
- Strain as above.
The strength of your butter is determined by a variety of factors, including how long and how hot it was cooked, as well as the potency of your starting material. Even the strain of cannabis used (indica vs. sativa) might play a role. Spread 14 or 12 teaspoon on a snack to watch how it affects you after an hour to test the efficacy of your finished product. Reduce or increase the dose as needed. This individualized “standard” dose can then be used as a starting point for your recipes.
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