WRITTEN BY RUTH WICKHAM
How to make cannabutter
The glorious aroma of buttery herbs filled my kitchen and spilled out into the living room. In that atmosphere, I couldn’t help feeling relaxed and smiling all day long.
I was so pleased that I had found out how to make cannabutter.
Making cannabutter is a whole lot easier than I expected, and I didn’t need any fancy equipment.
This article will walk you through the simple steps, along with the ingredients and equipment.
Is Cannabis Butter and Weed Butter the same as Cannabutter?
What exactly is “cannabutter”?
The name comes from “cannabis” + “butter”, and that is exactly what it is. It is the same as Cannabis Butter.
Sometimes it’s called it “weed butter”, but that is only when it is made from “weed” (i.e. marijuana) plus butter. However, not all cannabis is marijuana. Cannabis Sativa, known as hemp, contains cannabidiol (CBD) along with other helpful cannabinoids, but with very little of the THC that will make you high, and it can also be made into a healthy cannabutter.
So “weed butter” is just one kind of “cannabutter” or “cannabis butter”.
Now let’s go ahead and make some delicious cannabutter.
What you need to make Cannabutter
There are only two ingredients:
Growing cannabis is still illegal in Australia, but plant matter can be obtained under special circumstances through a doctor as medicinal cannabis. However you obtain your cannabis plant matter, you should be aware of exactly what type of plant it is.
The cannabis you use will decide the potency and potential use for your cannabutter.
– If you use cannabis flowers or buds with high THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), then your cannabutter will potentially make you ‘high’, and can also be effective for pain relief and other conditions treatable with high THC cannabis. Your cannabutter will also contain other cannabinoids such as CBD.
– If you are using flowers, leaves and trimmings from a hemp (cannabis sativa) plant, then your cannabutter will be rich in CBD (cannabidiol) and other cannabinoids, with healing properties, but it cannot make you ‘high’. (Hemp seeds contain little or no CBD.)
The proportion of plant matter to butter will also decide the taste and potency of your cannabutter. It is not an exact science, although you need to be careful not to overload your butter with too much cannabis.
The general consensus (in the US imperial measurements) is:
– 1oz cannabis – that’s about 28g
– 1lb butter – that’s about 450g
So I used 18g (dried, decarboxylated) cannabis in 250g butter, and it seemed to make a good mix, but it is a question of personal preference.
The only equipment you need is a saucepan with some boiling water and a stovetop.
The steps to make cannabutter
Step One: Decarboxylate
Cannabis needs to be “decarboxylated” to make the healthy ingredients bioavailable. This simply involves applying a certain amount of heat for a period of time.
– Grind up your plant matter into small pieces. Some people use a little hand operated grinder, or a knife, or a cheese grater. I found that using a blender was remarkably simple and quick.
– Spread out the broken up cannabis on a flat metal or glass baking tray
– Bake in the oven at about 105°C for about 30 – 45 minutes. It should be dry and dark, but not scorched.
Step Two: Make the cannabutter
Put enough water into your saucepan so that it won’t boil dry over 3 hours of gentle cooking. Depending on the size and shape of your pan, that could be anything from 1 cup to 4 cups.
– Bring the water to the boil
– Add the butter to the boiling water, and let it all melt.
– Stir in the decarboxylated cannabis.
– Simmer very gently for 3 hours, on the lowest possible heat so that it is just barely bubbling. Stir occasionally. (Keep an eye on the saucepan to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.) You will notice a change in consistency from watery to thick and glossy.
Step Three: Sieve and separate
Sieve your mixture into a glass bowl.
You can lay some cheesecloth over the bowl, gently pour the liquid into it, and then pick up the edges and squeeze the liquid through (with extra care if it is still hot). Or you can pour it into a sieve – the nylon type has smaller holes than the metal ones – and press it with a spoon to squeeze out all of the liquid.
Put your glass bowl into the fridge (or freezer) and allow the butter to solidify on the top of the liquid.
Finally you will have a disc of cannabutter that you can lift off and use. Run a knife around the edges of the disc in the bowl and carefully remove it. Turn it over and gently scrape off any bits of plant on the bottom of the disc.
Using the cannabutter you made
How you use your cannabutter will partly depend on the type of cannabis that went into it. If you have used a high THC blend, then you will need to be careful about how much you consume at one go. Start with a small amount, and take note of your reactions.
There are many recipes and ideas for using your wonderful new cannabutter, and maybe you can come up with some of your own.
Taste made: How to make cannabis butter
As a retired educator, after 20 years' teaching primary school children in Australia and 10 years' training adult ESL students in 6 countries around the world, Ruth Wickham is now a freelance writer with a special interest in Cannabis for medicinal purposes.
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