Cannabutter (or weed butter) is regular old butter that’s been infused with dry cannabis to use for cooking, baking, or spreading onto a hunk of bread that you can eat so your menopausal self will finally clunk out and actually sleep through the night. Or ya know, you can just have fun with it.
The anxiety was tougher.
It saw me greet every morning by jumping out of bed, saying here we go again, and promptly forgetting how breathing works. In and out, I knew that much, but how often?, should I count my breaths?, I feel like I’m breathing too many times, why can’t I get a deep breath?, I’m dizzy, let’s curl up in a ball on the floor next to the dirty cat food dish while I contemplate why my stomach is in a constant state of trying to turn itself inside out.
It was that experience and the success of CBD that prompted me to grow my own cannabis plants this summer.
Cannabis can be split into 2 groups – THC dominant strains and CBD dominant strains.
STUFF YOU WANT TO KNOW
THC is psychoactive and it’s what gets you high. THC is just a nickname for its more formal name: tetrahydrocannabinol, which nobody ever uses ever. It’s one of the two most prominent cannabinoids in cannabis.
So a THC dominant strain is what you want if you’re looking to get Snooped.
CBD is also psychoactive, in that it affects your brain, but it does not get you high. CBD is, again, just a nickname for its given name cannabidiol. It’s the other most prominent cannabinoid in pot.
In order for CBD to do its job it needs some THC to work. The THC is what helps the CBD bind to your body’s cannabinoid receptors.
So a CBD dominant strain of cannabis is what you want if you’re looking for more of the medicinal effects and less of the laughing hysterically at a balled up wad of Kleenex that you think looks like Alfred Hitchcock.
These balanced (or hybrid) cannabis plants can give you the benefit of both CBD and THC. 1:1 is a common ratio for people. That would be too strong for me in terms of THC but might be great for you.
Using cannabis with equal parts of CBD and THC has been shown to reduce chemotherapy induced nausea and vomitting.
The plants I grew are high CBD strains of cannabis, with some THC. It’s a 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC.
Alright, now that you’re well versed in the world of cannabis, here’s where we get into making Cannabutter.
In order for Cannabutter to have any of the beneficial effects of the CBD or THC your cannabis flower (bud) needs to be activated by decarboxylating (decarbing) it.
It’s a big scary, sciencey looking word, but all it means is you need to heat up the cannabis to activate it. You need to decarb both THC and CBD to get the benefits out of them.
You decarb cannabis by heating it on a baking sheet in the oven at 240 F for 40 minutes.
7 – 10 grams of dried, decarboxylated cannabis (CBD or THC) – About 1 cup
1 cup of butter
1 cup water
- Decarb your cannabis by breaking it into pieces and laying it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes in a 240 F oven.
You’re working with the buds for this (on the left), not the stems or the leaves (on the right).
- Remove the decarbed cannabis from the oven and let it cool a bit. It’ll have lost some of its green colour and turned crispy.
- Now you have to either cut or grind the buds so that it’s smaller but not a fine powder, which is best for infusing. You can use a grinder (I have a fancy gold, metal grinder) or just cut it up with scissors.
TIP: A weed grinder is also perfect for grinding dried herbs. I use one for the grinding up the thyme, basil, oregano and sage that I grow and dry. It makes it the perfect consistency for cooking.
- Combine 1 cup butter and 1 cup water in a pot and bring to the simmer until butter melts. Once you add your cannabis in the next step you don’t want your mixture to go over 200 F.
Anything between 160 F and 200 F is O.K.
NOTE: The reason you add water is to prevent your butter from scorching and burning. You’ll separate the butter and water later.
- Add your decarbed cannabis to the pot of butter and water and stir.* Let it steep at a temperature of around 180 for 3 hours stirring fairly often to keep things mixed up. Use a thermometer in your pot so you can keep an eye on it. If your mixture is at a boil you KNOW you’ve gone over 200 F. :(
*TIP: TO MAKE THIS EASY AND EXACT, AT THIS POINT POUR THE MIXTURE INTO A LARGE MASON JAR AND USE A STICK SOUS VIDE TO MAKE YOUR CANNABUTTER. JUST SET THE SOUS VIDE TO 180 F, FOR 3 HOURS AND WALK AWAY.
NOTE: YOU CAN ALSO USE A SLOW COOKER FOR THIS PROCESS BUT REMEMBER TO STIR IT OCCASIONALLY.
- After 3 hours take the pot off the heat (or turn off the Sous Vide) and strain your mixture through multiple layers of cheesecloth to strain the cannabis from the butter.
- Squeeze the cheesecloth to get all the butter in it out.
- Refrigerate the mixture of butter and water overnight. The next day the butter will have hardened at the top of the water and you can use a spoon to lift it out and put it in a new dish.
- The butter will be grainy and weird. Mash it with a fork and once it’s softened enough, whisk it to smooth it out. If you want to be an overachiever you can use an electric beater to get it really smooth.
- Refrigerate until you want to use it.
THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET MATHY.
Dosing is a bit of a crapshoot but you can guide yourself if you know what you worked with to make your butter.
You can use this THC calculator for determining how strong your cannabutter is or you can calculate it yourself.
Note: THCA is just the name for THC before it’s been decarbed.
- Determine the THCA % of the cannabis you used. Either look it up online or check the packaging your product came in.
Mine is listed as 4% .
- Multiply your THCA % strength by 10.
This gives you the percentage of milligrams of THC in 1 gram of cannabis.
So for me I had a plant that produced 4% THCA.
4% x 10 = 40 mg of THCA per gram of cannabis.
When you decarboxylate the cannabis it changes the THCA to THC and you have to convert for that.
100 mg of THCA = 87.7 mg of THC.
So to convert you need to multiply your mg of THCA by 0.877
For me that means,
40 mg THCA x 0.877 = 35.08
That means I have 35 mg of THC in 1 gram of my cannabis.
Multiply the THC in each gram by however many grams you used.
For me that means,
35mg x 8 grams = a total of 280 mg of THC.
Since I used all of that in my 1 cup of butter, I know that my cannabutter has 280 mg of THC in it.
If I convert 1 cup of butter into teaspoons (1 cup = 48 teaspoons), I can determine that:
280 mg divided by 48 teaspoons = 5.83 mg of THC per teaspoon ( or serving )
That number will be different depending on how strong the cannabis you’re using is. Mine is not very high in THC but has a much higher concentration of CBD.
My 4% THCA cannabis will make have 5.83 mg of THC in it. If I wanted to double my intake of THC I would just double the amount of butter I use. Conversely for less THC I’d use less butter. 1/2 tsp., instead of a full tsp for instance.
I see you’ve skipped down to the tips. I don’t blame you one iota.
- To figure out dosing for yourself without all the math, just spread a small amount (1/4 tsp or so) onto a piece of bread and eat it. See how you feel 1 hour later and adjust from there.
- Using more flower does not = more potent. The butter can only absorb so much of the cannabinoids so stick to a maximum 1:1 ratio. 1 cup of butter to 1 cup decarbed flower.
- Homemade infused cannabutter will last for about 2 weeks in your fridge.
- If you’ll only use it occasionally store it in the freezer.
How to use it
- You can use this stuff in every day cooking just like regular butter.
Remember though if you’re doing something like putting 1 tsp of it on corn on the cob that a lot of that butter drips off and ends up on the plate. So either lick your plate or say goodbye to half your dose.
- Make homemade edibles, like pot brownies.
- Just slather it on a hunk of bread about an hour before bedtime, kick the cat dish out of the way and enjoy effortless breathing and sleeping like an actual well adjusted human person with completely unpredictable hormone levels and moods.
Oh hi. You’re still here. I know this was a mammoth post. As luck would have it, I’m well rested and feeling good so I have all the energy in the world to write 1,500 word posts.
Also, I don’t mean to brag but, I’m kind of a world champion breather. I don’t even have to think about it.