What is cannabutter?

If you have ever looked at recipes for making “edibles”, you may be wondering…

What is cannabutter?

Cannabis-infused butter, also known as “cannabutter,” is a staple of making homemade edibles. It is a cooking ingredient that can be added to any recipe you want, just like regular butter or olive oil, once it has been prepared correctly. Cannabis butter is a fantastic alternative to smoking marijuana, which can come with unwanted chemicals created in the combustion process.

When cannabis is combusted, it creates a tar-like substance that can cause lung irritation, coughing fits, and even potentially cancerous growths.

Infused butter is the perfect substitute because it’s easy to create, allows you to be discreet about using marijuana, and doesn’t leave behind any harmful byproducts.

what is cannabutter

Many people use this infused butter in recipes like cannabutter cookies, cannabutter brownies, and cannabutter snickerdoodles.

The basic concept of a cannabutter recipe is to use activated (decarboxylated) cannabis (THC and other cannabinoids) and combine it with fatty oil at a low temperature, like coconut oil or regular butter.

You could easily make your own cannabutter for use in homemade cannabis edibles by using a tried and true method like using a double boiler or small saucepan to infuse ground cannabis with your choice of fatty oil. However, these old methods used to make cannabutter can come with their own problems, like accidentally applying too much heat or not knowing how much cannabis flower to include in your recipe.

Several modern products have taken the hemp industry by storm in the past decade, allowing people to make their own infused butter, like the LEVO II. The LEVO works to decarb cannabis in a more precise and elegant way, preventing the sometimes bothersome odor created by using a slow cooker or double boiler.

Is eating cannabis butter different from smoking weed?

The answer is: Yes.

Smoking gives you the psychoactive effects quickly, whereas eating cannabutter takes a few hours to feel the effects. It seems smoking cannabis is “better,” but cannabutter also has its benefits.

There are two main reasons people prefer edible cannabis to smoking: cannabutter is healthier, and cannabutter has longer-lasting effects.

When you smoke cannabis, your lungs absorb the marijuana. This can cause some mild lung irritation if you use it a lot. Eating cannabutter avoids this risk because your stomach absorbs the THC and cannabinoids instead.

making cannabutter

Smoking marijuana gets THC and cannabinoids to your blood very quickly. If you use cannabutter instead, it takes a few hours for the cannabinoids to be absorbed into your bloodstream. The benefit of this is that cannabutter lasts longer — around five times as long, in fact. Even though cannabutter has fewer psychoactive effects per milligram, cannabutter has more cannabinoids overall because it lasts so long.

Does Eating Weed Butter Get You High?

Yes. When you eat cannabutter, the cannabinoids are converted into THC by your liver before reaching your bloodstream. Your digestive system processes food slower than smoking weed does, which gives cannabutter its unique effect.

The prominent cannabinoid in the cannabutter is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which needs to be turned into THC before it can give you a high. When cannabutter is made from the fresh buds of the cannabis plant, the THCA is converted into THC. This makes cannabutter the most efficient way to access the health benefits of cannabis (like its anti-nausea properties).

Recipes for Homemade Cannabis Edibles

It is actually relatively easy to cook with cannabutter. If you’re making cannabutter the right way, your butter mixture is easily interchangeable in virtually any recipe with butter or any other fatty oil. Since you simply swap your standard butter for cannabutter, there are usually no or only a few mistakes for people using the infusion process to make their homemade edibles.

cannabutter brownies

Popular recipes for those who want to make cannabis-infused baked goods are:

Cannabutter cookies, cannabutter brownies, cannabutter cake, and cannabutter Rice Krispy treats. Other baked goods like muffins and cupcakes can also be made using edible cannabis recipes.

Cannabutter can be added to almost anything for those looking to spice up their everyday recipes, from pasta to cannabis cocktails.

How do I make cannabis-infused butter?

Making cannabutter with cannabis is easy. The key is to use the right strain of weed and never burn your butter mixture while in the decarboxylation process. Here, we’ll go over a few of the most common methods:

Cannabutter in a slow cooker

This cannabutter method is usually preferred because it can be left alone while you do other things, and it slowly extracts all of the cannabinoids from the cannabis.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 ounce of finely ground cannabis buds or 1/8 ounce high-quality kief, shake, or leaf trim in its raw form. It is better to use fresh cannabis instead of drier cannabis.

Directions:

Place butter and water in a slow cooker. Add the ground weed, turn the slow cooker on low heat for 5 to 8 hours, and let the mixture simmer. Do not stir or open the slow cooker during cooking, or it could compromise the chemical reaction. Strain through double-layered cheesecloth into a bowl or onto a baking sheet, squeezing until you obtain all of the remaining liquid. Discard the plant matter and store the new butter product in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Be careful not to use too much cannabis. A good ratio of butter to cannabis is 1:2. Using a more significant amount of cannabis will cause the THC to become more concentrated in your butter (cannabutter) when it’s done cooking, which means you’ll need less butter if you’re making a recipe that calls for it.

Using a double-boiler

This method is perhaps the simplest cannabutter method, and it is most commonly used by first-time cannabutter cooks.

double boiler cannabutter process

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups water
  • Cannabis flower or kief/shake/leaf trim, broken up with a hand grinder (CBD or THC)

Directions:

Combine water and butter in a large, deep pot. Stir occasionally as it cooks on low heat. Make sure that the butter is completely melted into the water before you increase the heat. Bring mixture to a slow simmer and allow it to cook for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Allow the cannabutter to cool before moving on to the next step. Strain cannabutter by placing cheesecloth or coffee filter inside colander or strainer, allowing cannabutter to drain onto the baking sheet or parchment paper below.

Making cannabutter using the LEVO II

levo II cannabutter machine

Perhaps the best widely available method of making cannabutter is with the LEVO II Oil Infuser. Using botanical extractors to make cannabutter has been an industry standard for a long time now. Still, LEVO has made the process easy, mess-free, and odor-free. The LEVO can take all of the guesswork away from wondering how much cannabis to use. It will prevent burning by keeping your butter at the perfect degrees Fahrenheit. Their recipes make it easy to know just how much cannabutter your process will produce. Check out the LEVO II by clicking here.

How do I prepare my cannabis for use in a cannabutter recipe?

To prepare your cannabis for infusion, you must grind the cannabis flower down to a fine consistency. This ensures an even distribution of cannabinoids and removes any large pieces that would otherwise go unused.

To grind the cannabis, a hand-grinder is typically best.

When grinding in a hand-grinder, do not grind too much at once, or you will end up with cannabutter that has a hay-like consistency and won’t cook properly.

One thing to note is to try not to use a grinder with one of those removable mesh screens if it’s possible since they usually have a tendency to get stuck.

When grinding the cannabis, try not to expose it to too much heat, which can damage the product.

What is the shelf life of cannabutter?

If made correctly with weed that’s been decarboxylated beforehand, then the pot butter can last up to six months.

According to Chef Amber at Medical Jane: “Conventional cannabutter (made with unsmoked cannabis flowers) can be stored for up to 6 months in the fridge.”

If you intend on freezing cannabutter for more than six months, you should freeze it in portions. By doing this, the butter won’t take so long to thaw out when you need it!

After thawing the portion, you want to use, put it back into the fridge, and remember to label the cannabutter! This way, you know how old it is and whether or not it’s gone wrong.

How potent is cannabis-infused butter?

Cannabutter is widely used for making edibles. If the butter is not prepared correctly, it may contain a very low concentration of cannabinoids with little to no psychoactive effect. While cannabutter may have a higher potency, the amount dispensed in each cannabutter recipe can affect the overall potency of the final cannabutter product.

When cannabutter is made, cannabis buds are ground or cut into small pieces and infused in hot oil for several hours. The amount of cannabutter used to prepare an edible will vary depending on the recipe being prepared. Each recipe calls for a different amount of butter to be used.

The potency of cannabutter also depends on which particular strain of cannabis plant was used and the THC content of the flower. In general, indica strains have higher cannabidiol (CBD) content and are less psychoactive than sativa varieties. Sativa varieties often produce cannabutter that contains a greater concentration of cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabidivarin (CBDV).

How well does cannabis-infused butter melt?

There is nothing special about the weed butter that would make it different from regular butter when melting. The two kinds of butter have very similar melting properties, and cannabutter’s melting properties are the same as they would be if normal butter was used instead.

Can I purchase ready-made cannabutter?

cannabutter from dispensary

While cannabutter can be made at home, it is sometimes difficult to make from scratch. Some dispensaries will allow their customers to purchase cannabutter that has been prepared already, but be sure to read the ingredients label if you are buying from a local dispensary.

Most cannabutter products on dispensary shelves have preservatives and other ingredients that you might not want to have in your cannabutter. Making your own at home with high-quality butter is preferable to many people.

Can I buy cannabutter online?

If purchasing marijuana butter from a local dispensary is not an option, cannabutter can be purchased online in some places where marijuana is legal. Many websites sell cannabutter by itself or in ready-to-use cannabutter recipes. Many retail cannabutter products are high in both THC and CBD content because they are made with high-quality cannabis.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis cook or new to the world of edibles, you may be interested in trying out the LEVO II Cannabutter Machine.

levo ii cannabutter maker

This kitchen appliance makes it easy for anyone to make cannabutter at home without any fuss. It’s more precise than slow cooking and doesn’t require much work on your part; simply plug it into an outlet, put ground cannabis inside and press “Activate” to decarb your weed and activate the THC. The activation cycle takes about 30 minutes at 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once you’ve activated the THC in your dried herb, you add your butter and then wait about two hours for the infusion process to complete. The machine will automatically shut off when complete, so there is no need to worry about overcooking, often creating unpleasant odors.

LEVO has and will continue to do more research on the perfect way to infuse your butter and oils. For more information on LEVO, visit their website: levooil.com.

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A cannabis lifestyle magazine and blog that covers the latest in the industry, including news, product reviews, recipes, and more. With an experienced editorial team of experts from all walks of life, we want to take the stigma out of using cannabis.