If you’re growing weed at home, you’re going to be left with a lot of extra material that doesn’t normally get smoked. One of the best things about weed butter is that you can make it from otherwise discarded parts of the plant. Trim, stems, kief from your grinder, the leftover bits in your joint, can all be used to make butter.
The process of making weed butter at home is actually pretty easy. In just a few hours, you can go from decarbing to finished product and you don’t need a lot of supplies.
- Grinder – coffee grinder preferably. This isn’t required but makes the process a lot easier and yields a better result.
- Baking tray
- Aluminum foil
- Mason Jar
- Cheese cloth
- Rubber band
Step 1: Decarboxylation
This fancy sounding process is the magic that unleashes the psychoactive properties of cannabis. In a very simplified explanation, all the great THC is locked up as THCA in your flower. THCA won’t get you high, although it has shown to have other potential benefits. In order to make weed butter that will have the psychoactive properties when you eat it, you have to transform the THCA in your cannabis to THC. Decarboxylation does just that!
There are two factors that can cause decarboxylation – heat and time. Heat is what we’re using for cannabutter. Don’t worry, it sounds a lot harder than it actually is.
Pre-heat oven to 240F
45 minutes to 1 hour for cannabis, fresh trim will need closer to 2 hours. The timing is a range because the material you’re starting with is going to vary and every oven’s temperature also varies. If it starts to smell burned, it’s too hot or it’s been in the oven too long. Start on the lower end of each of the ranges and go from there.
Break up the cannabis bits you’re working with to be about the size of a grain of rice. Some people use a coffee grinder to speed up this process. You also want them to be about the same size so they bake evenly.
Take a baking sheet and measure out a piece of aluminum foil to cover the entire top of it. Crinkle the aluminum so it has a bit of texture. The goal is to limit the surface contact between the cannabis and anything that conducts heat like the baking tray itself and the foil. The foil will conduct less heat than the baking tray and by crumpling it, you’re reducing the contact points even more.
Take tray out of the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Infuse the butter
Now it’s time to infuse the butter! Take your decarbed cannabis and coarsely grind it. If you don’t have a grinder, you can skip this step but it will increase the time it takes to infuse the butter.
Heat a stick of butter and a cup of water in a pot on the stove on low. Let the butter melt completely and stir occasionally. This recipe is for 1 cup of finished infused butter. If you want to make more or less, just match the cannabis with the butter and water at 1:1:1 ratio. 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of weed. 2 cups of butter, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of weed.
Once your butter is melted, add in a cup of your decarbed weed. Simmer on low for 2 to 3 hours and remember to stir occasionally.
If you want a vegan option, just substitute coconut oil for the butter and don’t add any water.
Step 3: Straining
We’re getting closer, now we need to strain the cannabis plant matter out of the butter.
Allow the butter to cool. Cheesecloth is the easiest way to filter the cannabis bits out. Take a glass container, many people use mason jars, and cover the top of the container with cheesecloth. A rubber band works great on a mason jar to keep the cheesecloth in place. Filter all your mixture through the cheesecloth without squeezing the cloth and now you have canna butter!
Step 4: Storing
It’s best to keep your weed butter refrigerated. If you see separation and you end up with water at the bottom of your weed butter container, take the butter out and drain the water.
Step 5: Baking
Now comes the fun part! Substitute normal butter with canna butter on a 1:1 ratio in any recipe! If the recipe calls for a cup of butter, you can use a cup of infused butter instead.
Important Note on Dosing
Start small. You can always eat more, you can never eat less. Anyone that’s eaten too much THC knows this all too well. ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cannabutter is a good starting point to test potency and how you react to it personally. Try a bit of the butter and wait two hours to see how you feel. From there you can gauge your tolerance and how much butter you should use in your baking. If you have a high tolerance, you can start with more.
Unless you send your butter for potency testing, you’ll never really know how strong it is. The starting material is going to naturally vary and decarboxylating cannabis at home always introduces different variants that can affect the finished potency. We’ll say it again, start small.