Best Cannabutter Recipe: How to Make Weed Butter
What makes the best cannabutter recipe?
- Simple, easy to make recipe
- Captures THC and other cannabinoids from your cannabis
- Less cannabis taste and smell than many other weed butter recipes with higher or same potency as similar recipes
The best cannabis edibles start with potent cannabutter (or canna oil). Edibles that produce the desired effects without the “weed taste”. Your edibles should also smell like a normal product or close to it, without a lingering smell of cannabis.
Butter or Coconut Oil?
There are two really popular oils/fats to use when making weed edibles. Butter and coconut oil. Coconut oil is healthier and has a mild taste that integrates well with baked goods. Coconut seems to help cover up the cannabis flavor and I have used it hundreds of times with great success. However, some people don’t like coconut or may have allergies.
Butter also has a great taste (opinion) and is much easier to work with when baking since you can do a straight substitution for regular butter. This tutorial is specific to cannabutter as it is the simplest 1:1 substitution with most recipes for baked goods.
How to make cannabutter
This recipe for 1 Pound of butter makes…
- 15 “strong” portions
- 30 “regular” portions
- 50 “light” portions
Best Cannabutter Machines
Want an easier way to make weed butter or infused oil? Sometimes it’s easier to let a machine do all the work. Find the best cannabutter maker or best cannabutter machine (cannabutter infuser or cannibutter machine). Use a cannabutter machine listed below to quickly, easily, and automatically make awesome weed butter that is ready to use!
- 1 oz dried cannabis bud or 3 oz dried trim
- 1 pound butter (usually 4 sticks of butter)
- Cheesecloth (used to strain plant matter out of butter)
- Baking sheet
- Turkey bags – much less weed smell during the “decarb” step in the oven (optional)
Note: Cannabutter needs to sit in the fridge overnight before it’s ready, plan ahead and make your cannabutter before making your edibles.
Cannabutter Recipe Directions
Step 1 – Decarboxylation
Can I use fresh weed? Drying your weed first is highly recommended. Even though you’ll be heating the plant matter in this step (which would dry it out if it was wet), dry weed is much easier to measure out properly (1 oz of dried bud, or 3
oz of dried trim per 1 lb of butter).
If you skip the decarboxylation step the recipe will still work, but the resulting butter will be less potent.
1) Preheat oven to 250° F (120° C) and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil so the buds won’t stick to your pan.
2) Lightly grind your cannabis buds/trim and spread it over the aluminum foil on the baking sheet.
Lightly grind up cannabis, in this case using a food processor (though a grinder or even breaking weed with your fingers works, too)
Sprinkle the ground up bud over your cookie sheet so it’s all spread out
Alternative: Put weed in a turkey bag, tie the end, and place the turkey on baking sheet. Since this encloses the weed completely, you will end up with far less weed smell in your house. As another alternative, you could also decarb your weed in a glass mason jar. A glass jar may be convenient since many growers already have these jars for curing, but it is possible for the glass to crack in the oven from the heat so be gentle!
Cooking weed in a “turkey bag” helps prevent the smell from overtaking your house
3) Bake for 30 minutes at 250° F (120° C).
It will get smelly in your house unless you enclosed the weed in a bag or jar, so be prepared! It’s normal to see some steam and vapor while the cannabis is cooking. This isn’t all the potency evaporating away!
4) Remove the dried cannabis from the oven and crumble up any bigger leftover pieces between your fingers.
It’s normal for it to look very brown. You don’t need to make it into a powder, but there shouldn’t be big nugs either. Now it’s time to cook the decarboxylated cannabis with butter and water. This will infuse the butter with cannabinoids, and the water will protect everything from burning while leaching away some of the green plant taste.
Now you’re ready for the next step!
Step 2 – Cook cannabis together with butter & water
1) Bring 4 cups (950 mL) of water to a boil.
4 cups of water boiling
2) Turn heat down to Medium-Low, then add the butter and wait until it melts into the water.
Take your butter
Add butter to hot water (which is now on a burner turned to medium-low) so it melts
3) Add your decarboxylated marijuana to the water.
The cannabis plant matter will float, and there should be at least an inch or two of clearance under the cannabis.
If not, add more water. Don’t worry that adding more water will change the potency, as you’ll be separating the water out later. The “good stuff” in cannabis doesn’t “stick” to water. In fact, water actually filters out a lot of the stuff we don’t want that makes butter taste bad!
Stir in the cannabis so it can start cooking. Now we wait!
4) Allow the mixture to cook on Medium-Low for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The bubbles should be gently rising to the top of the water but not actively boiling.
Step 3 – Separate Butter from Water
In this step, you separate the potent butter from inert cannabis plant material and water.
1) Line a large bowl with two layers of cheesecloth.
We’ll be using this to strain out the inert plant matter from the butter!
2) Strain the water/oil/cannabis mixture through the cheesecloth.
It’s hot! Don’t wring it out with your hands or you’ll burn yourself! Take a spatula to press it against the sides to squeeze out the last bit of butter. Be careful not to let the cheesecloth fall into the mixture and spill all the plant
matter back in.
Pour your cannabis/water/butter mixture through the cheese cloth
This filters out the plant matter which would otherwise add a terrible taste.
At this point, the cannabinoids are already infused in your butter, so the plant matter can be discarded.
3) Put the bowl in the fridge overnight.
All the “good stuff” is contained in the butter/oil, which floats to the top. The water and any remaining plant matter will sink to the bottom.
When you open the fridge the next day, the butter will have hardened and appeared much lighter in color.
4) Use a knife to cut around the outside edges and it usually will “pop” off in a big piece.
Run a knife around the edges of the cannabutter to loosen it up
The weed butter usually “pops” off in one piece
The water filtered out all this! None of the “stuff” in the brown water would have added to the potency of your butter, but it would have made your butter taste worse!
By filtering it out with water, you’ll end up with better tasting cannabis butter with less of a strong smell (without affecting the potency).
5) Put your finished cannabutter in its own container for storage/use!
Turn it upside down on a plate to help the bottom dry out and store in the freezer
You can use cannabutter just like regular butter in any recipe, just do a 1:1 substitution.
The resulting potency (more on that below) of your cannabutter is heavily influenced by the amount/strength of your starting cannabis. Additionally, each people is affected by edibles differently. It’s highly recommended you start with less and build up to more. Edibles can take up to 2-3 hours to take effect, especially if eating them on a full stomach, so don’t eat any more during that time period because you think “it’s not working!” To get the cannabis effects to come on more quickly, try to eat edibles on an empty stomach. However, that can give some people indigestion so listen to your body.
Weed butter Storage
You can store cannabutter in the fridge for a week, but cannabutter can mold especially if it never really got a chance to totally dry out from the water. Only leave it in the fridge if you plan to use it immediately.
However, your cannabutter can go in the freezer and will be good for months without losing any potency!
Common Questions About Making Cannabutter
- Why cook cannabis ahead of time (decarboxylation)?
- Why use water while cooking the butter?
- How much cannabis should I use when making butter to get the right dosage?
- My favorite cannabutter recipes
Why decarboxylate the cannabis before simmering in butter?
I know that it may seem counter-intuitive to cook your cannabis first but trust me on this. Decarbing your weed first will increase the potency of your butter. I have skipped the decarb step because I felt it was a waste of time since I was already cooking the herb in oil, and I didn’t want to “burn away” the potency, and I can tell you it’s extremely noticeable how much less potent your butter ends up being if you don’t decarb your buds first.
Cannabis is expensive, so why not get the most potency out of yours? Let me quickly explain the “how and why” of decarbing cannabis:
Decarboxylation “activates” the cannabinoids (potent stuff) in your cannabis. The non-decarbed bud contains a lot of THCa, which produces relatively weak psychoactive effects on its own. The decarb process converts the THCa to usable THC,
resulting in much stronger effects. During the smoking process, decarbing happens as plant matter burns, but when using cannabis for cooking, you should do it manually to get the most potency in your cannabutter. If you don’t decarb, the cooking process with the butter will do it partially, but you get stronger edibles by decarbing the weed first. It can also cause brown burned cannabutter, which makes your end baked good taste bad. Always a good idea to decarb!
Cannabis is fully decarboxylated when it’s dried to a crisp, golden brown, and crumbly. If your cannabis is older, it may already have partially or fully decarboxylated already just from contact with the air over time. If your cannabis is already very dry, brown, and crumbly, with no green, you could probably skip the decarboxylation process altogether, though I personally wouldn’t.
Why use water instead of cooking cannabis directly in butter or oil?
You don’t have to use water when making cannabutter, but it has a few benefits over using just butter by itself:
Pros of Using Water
- Water leaches out chlorophyll during the cooking process so when the water is removed the resulting butter has less of a green taste and color
- During separation, any remaining plant matter sinks out of the cannabutter into the water below, further filtering out inert stuff that tastes bad
- Cannabinoids are not water-soluble, so the potency is unaffected
Overall this results in a reduced taste, color, and smell of cannabis, while the potency remains. This keeps the cannabutter from tasting too much like cannabis or smelling like fresh green leaves. There will still be a slight cannabis taste/smell whenever you make butter, but this process helps keep it to a minimum.
Cons of Using Water
- Cannabutter made with water should be used within a short window. Freezing your cannabutter will dry it out. Leaving cannabutter stored in your refrigerator too long and you flirt with the potential for your cannabutter molding. It is best to use your cannabutter within 7-10 days.
When using water as part of the process, there will be less of a cannabis taste in the butter since the water binds to chlorophyll and other undesirable parts of the plant that don’t actually affect the potency
Additionally, less plant material makes it into the butter for two reasons. First, melted butter and water easily flow through cheesecloth so you can strain out the plant matter without using a lot of physical force. When using just butter you have to press everything through a mesh strainer, which introduces a lot more plant material in the final product. Second, during the separation process, any extra inert plant matter that somehow did make it through the cheesecloth will sink to the bottom so it doesn’t end up in your butter (which floats to the top).
The water filtered out all this! None of the “stuff” in this brown water would have added to the potency of your butter, but it would have made your butter taste and smell worse
Dosing – How Much Cannabis to Use When Making Butter?
The “standard” amount for a butter recipe is 1 oz of cannabis buds to 1 pound of butter. If using trim, you should use 3 oz of trim to 1 pound of butter for the same standard dose. But you can use more or less depending on the potency you’re looking for. If you want very strong butter, use more cannabis with less butter.
It’s very important to be careful at first because it’s no fun to eat too much cannabutter. Test your butter by using less than you think instead of more, especially if this is your first time. Edibles can be far stronger than any type of cannabis you smoke, and although you can always eat more edibles, you can’t take them back after the fact. A too-strong edible dose can be overwhelming and last all day, so err on the side of less when dosing! Once you are better aware of your tolerance, you can raise the potency as needed.
The ratio of cannabis to butter in this cannabutter recipe is considered a “standard” dose. It’s going to be strong but not insanely strong. If you’re starting with high-quality marijuana, this strength butter should be enough to be very medical for most people by simply replacing it in recipes where butter will be used.
Using straight bud will produce oil that is stronger than if you use trim or leaves. In general, the more potent the starting plant matter, the more THC and other cannabinoids you will end up in your cannabutter.
If you want the “strongest” butter possible, you can increase the amount of cannabis, but there is a point where adding more won’t help and can actually make things worse since things won’t cook properly. During the recipe, you will be cooking bud and butter together in the water. Your cannabis will float in the water and there needs to be at least an inch or two of clear space under the floating plant matter. That’s how to make cannabutter.
- Starting with a stronger product will yield stronger cannabutter
- Use a high-quality strainer/cheesecloth to separate plant matter from your butter. Makes for a cleaner, high-quality finished product. RSVP Conical Strainer or High-quality Cheesecloth.
Calculating Potency of Homemade Cannabis Edibles
Although there is no way to know your edible’s potency without a lab, we do have an easy calculation you can do to estimate the potency of your edibles.
Below is a simple formula for calculating the strength and potency of your homemade edibles made using a single batch of cannabutter:
- How many grams of flower did you use to make your cannabutter? Multiply this by 1,000 – this converts it to milligrams (mg).
- What is the THC percentage of your flower? Multiply the weight of your flower in milligrams (from step 1) by the percentage of THC in your flower.
- This is the estimated total milligrams in the whole batch. Divide this by the number of pieces you cut your batch into – now you know the dosage of your edible.
If we used 28g of flower with 15% THC:
- 28g x 1,000 = 28,000mg
- 28,000mg x .15 = 4200mg
- Cut into 12 pieces: 4200mg / 12 pieces = 350mg per piece!
Cut into 24 pieces: 4200mg / 24 pieces = 175mg per piece!
Cut into 36 pieces: 4200mg / 36 pieces = 116.67mg per piece!
Cut into 48 pieces: 4200mg / 48 pieces = 87.5mg per piece!
Now that you know your dose, how much should you eat?
We recommend starting out low and slow – try a low dose, and give it extra time to take effect before consuming more. A good rule of thumb for a new user is to try an edible with 5mg of THC, and wait 2-3 hours before taking any more. Take notes of how strong the high feels, and how quickly it kicks in. Even if you are an experienced edibles user, or have a high tolerance, it is still a good idea to start low and slow with the first bite of every new batch of edibles.
Does making cannabutter smell?
Yes, making cannabutter can smell and leave an aroma in a room for some time.
Does making weed brownies smell?
Yes, making weed brownies can smell and leave a weed aroma in the room during and after baking.