How to Make Cannabutter at Home.

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.

I started taking a CBD oil a few years ago when I developed trouble sleeping and peri-menopausal induced anxiety. The sleep I could help by doing these few things every night.

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.

What’s THC

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.

What’s CBD

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.

THC/CBD combos

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.

Decarboxylation

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.

In fact, until you decarb the cannabis, what it contains is THCA and CBDA. It’s only when you heat it that it becomes THC and CBD.

You decarb cannabis by heating it on a baking sheet in the oven at 240 F for 40 minutes.

Ingredients

7 – 10 grams of dried, decarboxylated cannabis (CBD or THC) – About 1 cup

1 cup of butter

1 cup water

Method

  1. 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).

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Gold grinder on AMAZON in Canada.

Gold grinder on AMAZON in US


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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. Squeeze the cheesecloth to get all the butter in it out.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. Refrigerate until you want to use it.

THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET MATHY.

Dosing

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.

  1. 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% .

  1. 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.

TIPS

  • 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.

  • 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.

Printable Recipe

Whipped cannabutter in a small mason jar.

Cannabutter

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 12 hours

How to make cannabutter at home with CBD or THC.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cannabis (7-10 grams)

Instructions

  1. Decarb your cannabis but placing it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 240 F for 40 minutes.
  2. Let the cannabis dry a bit after removing it from the oven then grind it coarsely.
  3. Add butter and water to a pot and bring it to a simmer over the lowest heat you can. Add the cannabis and let it infuse the butter water mixture for 3 hours at a temperature of between 160 and 200 F. Do NOT let the butter mixture to get over 200 F. 180 is a good point to try to keep it at. A sous vide stick works wonders for this. Just pour the melted butter/cannabis mixture into a large mason jar and set a sous vide stick set to 180 F in it)
  4. Once infused, pour the butter through cheesecloth to remove the plant material. Squeeze the cheesecloth to get out all of the butter it soaked up as well.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. By morning the butter will be hardened on top with a greenish liquid below. Pop out the hard butter and put it into a bowl. Discard the water.
  7. Mash the butter with a fork and when it's soft enough whip it with a whisk. The butter is grainy so doing this will turn it back into regular soft, creamy butter.
  8. If you only plan to use it once in a while then freeze it, otherwise store in your refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Notes

  • To figure out dosing if you don't know the exact % of THC or CBD in your cannabis, 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.

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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.

How to Make Cannabutter at Home.

45 Comments

  1. Carol says:

    Great post, I been wanting a simple recipe for this, but a cup of bud and you only get a cup of butter, guess my question is do you get more out of the butter then you would get out of the bud? If you smoked it ? Just trying to figure out money wise where you get the most benefit.
    Thank you for you great post.

  2. Kim Dunshie Herning says:

    Good Job, detailed and concise instructions ! I love Cannabis and Cannabis loves me. I use my homemade cannabis concoctions to treat arthritis, carpal tunnel and insomnia in myself. I too started with cannabutter (dairy, or coconut oil) and as my tolerance eeked upwards I was forced to learn to make concentrate. It is amazing what can be achieved with cannabis medicine. Thank you for joining the conversation and teaching the methods to give others the knowledge to help themselves and others.

  3. Kl says:

    For anyone who isn’t interested in butter (or interested in using this as a face/body cream— hell yes it’s AMAZING for your skin) coconut oil can be subbed for butter.

    There is also a way to make it in the oven in a mason jar with less fuss. The internet can tell you how. 😆💁‍♀️

  4. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    If you are new to THC, remember that one person’s dose is not necessarily what will work for you. Everyone processes THC differently and your size has zero to do with it. You can be 6’4” and 250 lbs with a low tolerance and feel shitfaced with 10% THC or you can be 5’ nothing at 115 lbs with a high tolerance and function normally at 20%. It’s trial and error. Start small and work your way up.

  5. Annamay Adams says:

    Karen – did you buy plants or did you grow from seed? It’s been quite a few years since I’ve grown any plants and thats when seeds came with the weed! – Anna

    • TD says:

      I would love to know any info about a source as well, seeds esp. Interested in the CBD part to help with perimenopausal anxiety and insomnia.

  6. Pat says:

    That’s a great way to ruin a Sous Vide Immersion Circulator! The immersion circulators are designed to work with LOW viscosity fluids like water. Using one with butter and solid substances will destroy the device in record time. I make our cannabutter using an immersion circulator, but the mason jar is sealed. I place the sealed jar in a large stockpot, clamp the immersion circulator to the inside of the stockpot and fill it with hot tap water. Then I bring it to 180°F for 3 hours. There is no need to stir the butter inside the jar this way. Nothing will stick and nothing will burn.

  7. Susan says:

    Great post, Karen. I wonder what the leaves can be used for? Seems a shame to waste them.

  8. Chicagorandy says:

    It’s use is a topic about which I plead mostly ignorance and maybe slight apathy – lol. But I have been investigating CBD to perhaps aid my arthritis.

  9. Bonnie V says:

    Great post! Quick question – I have a dehydrator. Can I use that to decarbon… er… that step instead of the oven?

    • Littlewhitegreenhouse says:

      I use the dehydrator first, then the process mentioned in the article. If you have a lot to process, then the dried stuff can sit in jars until you’re ready to make butter.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bonnie! I haven’t used the dehydrator for it so I couldn’t say, but if your dehydrator goes to the correct temperature I believe it would work. ~ karen!

  10. Hollis says:

    I would highly recommend purchasing either an Ardent brand NOVA or FX to simplify the whole decarb and infusion process. I have a NOVA and love how it takes out all the guesswork. The machine–along with a good dosage calculator, like the one you provided–basically does it all for you. It’s great.

  11. Deb from Maryland says:

    Thanks, as always, for such a thorough post. Hopefully, the gov’t will figure out how to get their cut on this amazing product sooner rather than later so that it can be widely (and safely) available. I know so many people who benefit from CBD including my 86 year old mother. I so appreciate what you do in this corner of the interwebs.

  12. Jeanne says:

    I’m glad you found something that works for you, Karen! One question, when you take it at night, does it help you with your anxiety the next day? Or is it the fact that you are able to sleep well that helps you through your day?
    Thanks for everything you do.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jeanne. I take CBD oil every morning and afternoon to keep anxiety at bay every day. And many nights I sleep fine, but then I get into a cycle where I can’t sleep AT ALL. When I’m in a cycle like that I just eat a small hunk of bread with butter an hour before bed and I know that I’ll be able to sleep. ~ karen!

  13. sideroad40 says:

    Thanks for a very informative and well written post Karen. I’m wondering about the ‘aroma’ in the house when cooking? Tolerable?
    Grew my first plant this summer :)

  14. Tammy Smith says:

    Oh Karen, where were you with this back when I was a teenager in the 90’s?

  15. danni says:

    A chemo survivor here, over a decade ago so my niece hooked me up with some emergency joints . :D
    Anyway, chemo was horrible and the last round was so bad I finally crawled up to the bathroom, put on the exhaust fan, and blazed ‘er up.
    Saved me, and I have been a vocal supporter ever since, and have homemade cannaoil in the refrigerator now. The hype is real. Just needed the government to figure out how to tax it to legalize.
    BTW!! I actually grew some a few summers ago, just as weeds, not to use, and let them go to flower. The bees were ALL OVER IT, NEVER seen a plant draw them in like that!!

  16. THANK YOU for sharing your take and recipe. I appreciate you.

    Started growing last year, we are 64 and 67. My husband suffers with generalized anxiety, depression, and ADD. For the uninformed, those things go get worse as you age. Then, he got shingles on his face/eye and was hospitalized with cellulitis. First time ever being in hospital, he wasn’t even born in one! He refused gabapentin for post neuralgia, as we’ve seen the damage it does to people.

    I have been gardening since I was 4, so the transition to herbal remedies was easy. I’d also like to point out that I had not smoked MJ since I was 16, and hubby NEVER. We don’t drink, and won’t even take acetaminophen unless absolutely necessary.

    Our grown sons, all in their 40s, helped us. We grow legally here in Virginia. We are on IG as grannyganja.va if you’d like to follow. We are using old ways for a new age, and changing how we look at health and wellness for a new millennium. Our MAIN goal is to help others, with a specific goal of helping people to manage without alcohol and opioids and Big Pharma.

    • Carol says:

      What is ig? I would like to follow for tips on how to grow. We do not have very good luck with growing, my husband uses for pain I don’t use but would like to learn how to make edibles .

      • Jeannie K. says:

        Hi Carol. I am on Instagram (IG) and grannyganja.va is my user name. If you look at the profiles of some of my followers, there are many tips for growing! The recipe here for cannabutter is your base of making edibles, such as brownies. Pinterest is also good for cannabis recipes!

  17. Katie Hughes Murphy says:

    Just a heads up… Don’t buy the “less expensive” grinders that are made of plastic, all you end up with are minuscule shards of plastic in your weed or herbs. Dangerous for your health as well as a pollutant.

  18. Gayle says:

    A non weed person here. But you’ve helped me learn why my grandson is growing and selling it (medicinal) now. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

  19. paul Hodgson says:

    Very enjoyable blog, congratulations on finding a homemade cure!
    Can we please see photos of your growing set-up? :-)

    • Karen says:

      Oh there’s no big grow setup. :) I just started the plants inside under the same grow lights I start all of my vegetable seedlings and then brought them outside when the danger of frost had passed. I planted them in felt pots and stuck them in the sun. That’s it. That’s my grow setup, lol. ~ karen!

  20. Heather says:

    I love this post and love you for having the courage to do a diy on something so many people still have issue with. I have used cbd oil,dabs,flower,edibles, drinks ect. I am pro Marijuana and truly believe the benefits far out weight the negative if there is any. The only reason the laws are what they are in a lot of the US States is because big pharma has lined the pockets of our government. Thanks again for your recipe. On my way to the kitchen right now.

  21. Claire says:

    Or just take HRT. 😉
    Especially helpful for those people (like myself) who think that butter is the food of the devil. Bleuurrgghh! From the heading I knew immediately that I wasn’t going to be making or partaking or even agreeing with any of it! 😂 But I still read your post because you always make me smile 😊 and hey, we’re all individuals and whatever works for you, go for it!

  22. Sande says:

    What a great post! Recently, low dose pot gummies with 1:1 ratio are what did the trick for moving me out of intense chronic pain and anxiety and I know it would’ve been a real game-changer with my peri-menopause symptoms. Peri-menopause symptoms wreaked havoc for me and I didn’t think it would ever end. So glad you found relief Karen and I hope others are encouraged to give it a try.
    Before going further, pot is legal in my state, Illinois.
    Initially, I was hesitant to try something that wasn’t prescribed by a doctor but after talking to a variety of people who either had themselves or knew someone who had had such positive results, I was ready and I’m so glad I did. The gummies and tablets greatly diminish my pain and there is no down-side. I feel just like myself in every way – the difference is, I’m pain-free or almost so.
    I wholeheartedly encourage any one who is skeptical or tentative, to do further research. My words of caution that are also posted on almost every site: start with a very, very low dose and wait long enough for it to take effect. You can cut tablets or gummies to try half-dose or less. If you’re taking a tablet or gummies, you may need to take it with food. I was both surprised and happy that such a low dose could be so beneficial for me.
    As always, thanks Karen for sharing your experience & insight in such a thorough way.

  23. Elaine Connolly says:

    An Aeropress coffee maker would make short work of that squeezing step

  24. Petra says:

    Expertly done. Your information on dosing is really helpful and rarely addressed. Sometimes it’s so nice to get a full night’s sleep, isn’t it?
    These days I wonder why anybody with a brain isn’t loaded with anxiety….

  25. Chicagorandy says:

    Is weed legal in Canada? As in stores/dispensaries that sell the stuff? I’ve heard they sell edibles(?) like gummies in various doses? Might be an option for those in true need that this chemical helps without becoming a gardener and kitchen alchemist?

    I known it’s legal here in Illinois and while I somehow managed a tour in Vietnam and survived 72 years on this orb without every trying the stuff, I respect that it does have an honest medicinal use that helps many. Beyond that I got nuthin’ other than sympathy for your woes and happiness that you found a little relief from them. Peace.

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