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How to Make cannabutter

Weed butter or cannabutter is what you get when you extract all the medical goodness from cannabis plants and trap it in fat.  You can then ditch the bulky plant matter (try the compost bin) and use your bud butter to make yourself some yummy cannabis edibles. 

The basics of weed butter 

There are three parts to weed butter.  The first is the weed, the second is the butter and the third is time.  The first two of these will be strongly influenced by your medical condition.  You can use any sort of weed to make weed butter, so just go ahead and choose the most appropriate strain for your needs.  You can also use any sort of fat you like.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be butter.  You could, for example, use vegetable oil.  Coconut oil is especially popular.  This may be a topic for you to discuss with a doctor or nutritionist.  The key point is to be aware that the option is there.  We’ve mentioned time to highlight just how important it is.  The best weed butter is weed butter which has had plenty of time to cook slowly.  This means that you need to plan ahead.  Many people opt to cook their weed butter at night so it can simmer peacefully without the cooker being needed for something else. 

Proportion and potency control for weed butter 

Cannabis edibles have the reputation of being a bit tricky to dose.  There is some truth in this, but this truth is often overstated.  The reality is that you need to apply some basic maths and biology - and a bit of common sense. 

Let’s start with the maths. 

All marijuana contains THC and/or CBD.  The strength of any given strain is usually stated as a percentage figure.  Let’s say your strain has 10% THC and 1% CBD.  This means that if you have 10g of marijuana, then it will contain 1g of THC and 0.1g of CBD.  If you infuse this marijuana in 100g of butter then you will make cannabutter with 1% THC and 0.1% CBD.  Alternatively, if you infuse it in 10g of butter, then you will make cannabutter with 10% THC and 1% CBD.  Last but by no means least, if you infuse it in 1Kg of butter, then you will make cannabutter with 0.1% THC and 0.01% CBD.   

You then have to calculate the percentage of cannabutter in your recipe in order to know the exact potency of your cannabis edibles.  For example, let’s say you have 100g of cannabutter at a strength of 1% THC and 0.1% CBD.  You use 50g of this to make a recipe with 250g of ingredients.  That means your cannabutter is a fifth of the overall food content.  Hence, the resulting edible will contain 0.2% THC and 0.02% CBD. 

Now let’s look at the biology 

When you smoke or vape marijuana, it’s processed by your respiratory system.  When you eat cannabis edibles, they’re processed by your digestive system.  The speed with which food is digested depends on how easy it is for the body to separate it into its component parts.  Rather than get into in-depth nutrition, you can use the straightforward “sleepiness test”.  The more sleepy you feel after eating a food item, the harder it is to digest - and vice versa.  Therefore, the same dose of cannabutter can be felt more or less quickly depending on the exact nature of the cannabis edibles you make with it.  It’s important to remember this, so you don’t end up eating more than you need to try to make your cannabis edibles work more quickly. 

Finally the common sense 

The same dose of the same weed butter in the same cannabis edible can have a different impact on the same person depending on the circumstances in which it is eaten.  For example, if you eat a cannabis edible right after exercise, you will metabolise it more quickly.  Be aware of what you are doing and be prepared to adjust your dosage accordingly. 

How to decarb cannabis for your cannabutter recipe 

Decarboxylation or decarbing basically means cooking your cannabis to release the beneficial cannabinoids.  This is done by applying heat and so it happens automatically when we smoke or vape cannabis.  When using cannabis to make weed butter, you need to decarb it first as a separate process.  In case you’re wondering why the heat from cooking won’t do the trick, the answer is that the process needs to be really low and really slow.  Very few foods cook this way, especially not if they include liquid or sugar. 

To do this, grind your bud and spread it out over a lined baking tray.  Put this in an oven at around 100°C (Gas Mark 1) and leave to bake for at least 30 minutes.  Around 45 minutes is even better and you could make it up to an hour. 

How to make weed butter (cannabutter) 

Making weed butter is really easy.  You just need standard kitchen tools, basic cooking skills - and a lot of time.   

Use the maths above to decide on the right proportions for your bud and your butter. 

Grind your bud coarsely.  You probably want to use a hand grinder for this. 

Alternatively, pop it in a bag and go over it with a rolling pin or other heavy item. 

Make a Bain Marie (or double boiler).  In other words, fill a saucepan with water, put a heatproof container on the water and put your butter in the heatproof container. 

 

As the butter melts, add your ground bud. 

Simmer at around 100°C (Gas Mark 1) for at least two hours.  Longer is better, in fact, overnight would be great.  For safety reasons, however, you’d probably only want to leave it overnight if you had an electric cooker. 

Strain gently.  Basically, don’t get too enthusiastic about squeezing out every last drop of butter.  If you’re too heavy-handed, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up pushing through plant matter. 

Refrigerate the cannabutter.  After about an hour, the butter will be solid and you can remove any remaining water. 

 

 

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