Cannabis butter is a staple for many marijuana cooks. It’s the basis of most cannabis recipes that require you to infuse any form of fat or cooking oil with marijuana. So whether you want to add some pot flavor to your next batch of pot brownies or create an entire platter of medical marijuana edibles, cannabis-infused butter is where it begins.
So what kind of weed do I need for weed butter?
The quality and strain type will depend on your personal preferences in regards to taste and effect. Generally speaking, when creating your cannabutter recipe at home, it would be best to use shake (the small bits and pieces leftover from trimming) because it tends to have the worst flavor and, as a result, the smallest amount of weed taste. If you want to turn your cannabutter- making up a notch, and impress some guests, use buds from mid-grade marijuana. With this said, when it comes to making weed butter for brownies, you should use ground-up weed leaves.
Step 1: Decarboxylation
Before you cook with your weed, you need to decarboxylate it. This is a fancy word for saying that the chemicals in the plant material need to be activated before they can affect your body when eaten or otherwise introduced into your body.
Decarbing involves heating cannabis at a low temperature, so its chemical compounds break down and form new, more stable compounds with psychoactive effects, such as THC. There are a variety of methods to decarb your cannabis, the simplest way being to use a decarboxylation machine like the LEVO II.
Another method for decarboxylating your weed is by following the recipe below.
- ½ ounce of weed
- Scissors or Hand grinder
- Baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 220° F.
- Remove any stems or leaves from the cannabis, then break it up into a fine but not too fine texture with a scissor, hand-grinder, or hands. Anything more finely ground would slip through cheesecloth (or a joint). You want your infused butter and oil to be as clean and transparent as possible.
- Evenly cover the sheet pan or glass baking dish with your plant material. If using low-quality marijuana, bake for 25 minutes on the center rack; 40 minutes for high-grade cannabis; or 1 hour or more for the fresh harvest that is still wet.
- Check on the weed every 10 minutes while it’s in the oven, gently mixing it so as not to burn it. You’ll observe that your herb’s color changes from green to brownish green when it decarboxylates.
Step 2: Cannabutter Stove Top Infusion
You may make weed butter with this method, but the most efficient, time-saving technique for making cannabutter is to use the LEVO II, yes that’s right, the same machine used to decarboxylate your weed!
Butter is an excellent cooking medium because it has a very high smoke point, meaning that you can cook with dairy butter at hotter temperatures than you can with oils or shortenings without scorching or smoking. You also don’t need much heat to convert the weed into potent cannabinoids that are easily absorbed through your digestive system once ingested.
- Water (2 cups)
- Melted butter, clarified butter, or oil
- Decarboxylated weed from step 1
- Metal strainer
- In a medium saucepan, slowly melt the butter with water.
- When the butter is completely melted, add the decarboxylated weed. Using a wooden spoon, combine everything thoroughly before sealing with the lid.
- The butter-water mixture should simmer for around 4 hours. Every 30 minutes, gently stir to make sure your butter does not burn. Check the temperature with a thermometer.
- After four hours, squeeze the butter through a metal strainer or cheesecloth into a container. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature before using it. Keep in refrigerator or freezer for up to 6 months if stored correctly in a mason jar.
How to best use weed butter for brownies
Cannabis-infused foods are ingested orally, so the effects will be different than smoking, vaping, or dabbing. The onset time can range from an hour to two hours, depending on how much food is in your stomach.
If you choose to make weed brownies with infused butter, use cannabutter that is room temperature and not too runny. Some recipes call for using a specific amount of cannabis butter depending on your potency preference, but this isn’t necessary if you’re using decarboxylated weed. You’ll know by looking at it what its strength is. If it’s a dank bud, two tablespoons should be enough; 1 tablespoon for mid-grade herb; and up to 3 tablespoons for low-grade material.
Choose the correct container to bake your weed brownies in. We recommend using a paper baking dish or aluminum foil over a glass pan. Before adding the infused butter, grease it with coconut oil, shortening, canola oil, or olive oil to prevent sticking.
Then follow the recipe for your brownie mix but substitute the regular butter for infused butter in equal amounts. Sometimes recipes require more cannabis butter than others depending upon what is added to the batter.
- Stir cannabutter every half hour to prevent scorching or burning at the bottom of the pan.
- When using decarboxylated weed, don’t use more than one tablespoon for mid-grade herb; up to 2 tablespoons for average-grade bud; and three tablespoons maximum for low-grade material.
- Add cannabis edibles to recipes that call for small amounts of oil like cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins, and bar cookies. Start with a small amount of weed butter when adding it to vegan recipes because these do not contain eggs or dairy products that can act as carriers for cannabinoids.
- Remember that cooking temperatures vary across ovens, so start by setting your temp halfway between the suggested baking temperature and the lowest setting your oven offers. Then, monitor the brownies closely, turning them down if necessary to avoid burning them.
- In general, when consuming homemade edibles, you should wait two hours before consuming more of them so you can accurately assess their strength and medical benefits.