How to Make Cannabutter: Marijuana Infused Butter (with Potency Calculator)

Learn How to Make Your Own Cannabutter for Cannabis-Infused Foods

“Cannabutter” is a special butter infused with marijuana, and this special butter is the base for many edible marijuana treats and foods. Edible marijuana products are an important form of medication for patients who may suffer from gastrointestinal or digestive issues, or those who cannot smoke marijuana flower.

While medical marijuana dispensaries like Kind Meds often have large selections of cannabis-infused treats and edibles, learning how to make your own cannabutter will allow you to create your own marijuana-infused recipes at home.

How Can I Use Cannabutter?

Most of the baked edible confections like cookies, brownies and cakes use cannabutter as a base. Almost all of the cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in these confections comes from the cannabutter used in their recipes. Anyone who has made marijuana edibles will report that the secret to a potent, enjoyable cannabis treat is to start with a great cannabutter recipe. The more potent the cannabutter, the better the end result will be.

Generally, you can replace the regular butter in some of your favorite recipes with cannabutter to enjoy a marijuana-infused version of your favorite treats. However, some factors like the ingredients, cooking time and cooking temperature of those recipes may reduce the effectiveness of your cannabutter. While you may be able to simply swap butter for cannabutter in some recipes, it’s best to try and find a cannabutter-ready version of the recipe you want to cook and compare ingredients, cooking time and cooking temperature.

How Does Cannabutter Work?

Cannabutter achieves potency thanks to a chemical reaction called decarboxylation. During this reaction, the compounds in the marijuana break down, release carbon dioxide, and then activate the psychoactive compounds and release them into the butter. Making cannabutter is relatively easy, but it’s important to follow your recipe carefully or you risk wasting quite a bit of cannabis.

It’s also important to remember that achieving decarboxylation is crucial for both CBD and THC strains. Achieving this reaction is the only way to fully activate the psychoactive compounds in marijuana. Most THC strains actually contain THCa, an acidic version of THC. The decarboxylation process breaks this acid down into THC, which produces more potent effects in cannabutter-infused foods.

Cannabutter-Friendly Recipes

While most people may think that cannabutter is only useful for baked goods and desserts, there are countless possible uses for cannabutter. You can use cannabutter to create cannabis-infused:

  • Hamburgers
  • Nachos
  • Pies
  • Pasta
  • Popcorn
  • Roast turkey
  • Scrambled eggs
  • And much more

Infusing marijuana into different foods with cannabutter is a great way to consume your medical marijuana. Better yet, experimenting with different recipes can add variety to your medical marijuana experience.

Cannabutter Recipe: How to Make Cannabutter

Before beginning this recipe, it’s very important to remember to complete the decarboxylation process before adding your cannabis to the butter. If you skip this step, your cannabutter will only be a fraction as potent as it would be after achieving decarboxylation. Do not skip this step.

Ingredients and Cooking Tools

  • ¼ ounce of cannabis buds, finely ground with stems and seeds (if any) removed
  • 1 quart water
  • ½ cup (one stick) of unsalted butter
  • One cookie sheet
  • One large saucepan
  • Spoon
  • Metal strainer (you may also use a cheese cloth for straining)
  • Wooden ladle
  • Container with a tight-fitting lid (for storage)

First, bake your cannabis sample on a cookie sheet at 250°F/120°C for 30 to 60 minutes. This will complete the decarboxylation process and give the ground cannabis a nutty, roasted flavor.

Next, melt the butter in the saucepan filled with water on low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the butter has completely melted, start stirring in your ground cannabis, a little bit at a time. Stir well after each addition.

Once you have added all of the cannabis, stir to incorporate all of the grounds. Simmer the cannabutter on low heat, stirring frequently. After about 2 to 3 hours, you should start to see small foamy bubbles forming on the surface of the cannabutter.

Remove from heat and strain the cannabutter through the metal strainer or cheese cloth into your storage container. Use a spoon to press the melted butter through the strainer while trapping all of the ground cannabis grains. Let cool in fridge for up to 1 hour and remove excess water.

When finished, your cannabutter should have a slightly greenish tint. You are ready to start creating your favorite cannabis-infused recipes! If you successfully achieved decarboxylation during the initial roasting process, your cannabutter should be potent and produce the effects you’d expect from premade edibles found at a dispensary.

You can store your cannabutter the same way you would store regular butter. You can freeze it for up to six months or keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Calculating the Potency of Your Cannabutter

You may be wondering how to tell how potent your cannabutter is before consuming it. It’s wise to have some idea of how to judge the strength so you don’t inadvertently make something too potent that leaves you “couch-locked.” And on the other hand, you want to ensure your cannabutter is potent enough to be noticeable in your infused foods.

Know the exact potency of your cannabutter by using our free online tool:

Cannabutter Cooking Calculator

It’s important to take note if the cannabis you purchased from your medical marijuana dispensary has a THC or CBD percentage listed on the package. If so, you can use that percentage as a baseline to calculate the potency of your cannabutter. As a rough guideline, cannabutter extracts about 60 percent of the psychoactive compounds (cannabinoids) found in marijuana.

Different Strains Matter

Remember, the strain you use will affect the final product when you cook with cannabutter. For example, if you use an indica strain with a high THC count, you can expect a very heavy body-centric high that will greatly help with stress relief, sleeping troubles and anxiety. If you opt for a sativa with a higher CBD count, you should expect a more alert high.

Not sure which strain would be right for the recipe you want to create? Stop in and talk to the budtenders at Kind Meds in Mesa, Arizona. Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the best indica, sativa or hybrid strain for you.

Of course, if you’d prefer to skip the work and enjoy a premade edible treat, Kind Meds has a wide selection of cannabis-infused edibles. We also carry edibles for customers with specific dietary concerns, including vegan and gluten-free options.


Updated 7/8/2019

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