Canna butter, or cannabis-infused butter, is a simple, popular way to make edibles infused with cannabis. Despite its popularity, making this type of infused butter can be tricky in some areas. To activate the psychoactive potential of the cannabis in the butter, you slowly heat the flower at a low temperature, which is a process known as decarboxylation, or “decarb.”
To get your started on your journey to canna butter, you’ll first need to learn how to decarb your cannabis.
It’s important to keep in mind that it is not easy to accurately dose edibles. As a cannabis cook, you need to know that there is no way to guarantee your batches are potent or all that of your edibles are at the same level potency-wise.
Decarb Your Cannabis
Decarb the cannabis flower you are going to work with. If you don’t do this step, you’ll end up with an inactive or weak batch of edibles. Cannbis buds produce THCA, which is an acid cannabinoid that is not intoxicating. When you vaporize or heat cannabis, the heat is what causes the THCA to convert into THC, the molecule that is responsible for cannabis’ euphoric effect. If you are preparing CBD edibles, you still need to do this step.
You may find recipes that direct you to decarb your cannabis right into your heated butter, but your final butter will taste better if you spend less time soaking the buds. Because of this, it’s best to decarb in your oven first.
For decarbing, preheat the oven at 245ºF and place your buds on an oven-safe, nonstick tray lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Place the tray into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. During baking, lightly shake the tray every 10 minutes to expose all areas of the buds equally. Keep in mind that older cannabis buds will need less baking time.
Final Oven Butter Preparation
Once you have decarbed your buds, you can move onto the next preparation steps.
- Grind the decarb cannabis with a hand grind. Aim for a coarse grind.
- Mix the one cup of butter with one cup of water into a saucepan or pot. Simmer on low heat and allow the butter to start to melt.
- While the butter is melting, add in your coarsely-ground cannabis.
- Keep the mix on low heat — in the range of 160ºF to 200 ºF is ideal — and let it simmer for two to three hours. Stir the mixture occasionally and don’t allow it to come to a full boil at any time. Let the butter cool once done simmering.
- Line the funnel with cheesecloth and place it on top of your jar. Pour the cooled butter down the funnel and allow it to strain on its own. Don’t push the butter through by squeezing the cheesecloth, as this can allow the more bitter plant parts into your butter and alter the taste. Put the lid on the jar.
- Refrigerate the butter until use. If you notice water forming at the bottom of the jar, remove the solid butter with a knife and drain it. Allow the butter to cool in the fridge for at least once hour before you try to remove the water.
The Slow Cooker Method
If you prefer to use a slow cooker, simply place your butter and coarsely-ground decarb cannabis into the cooker. Set the cooker on low heat, around 160ºF, and add a little water into it to prevent scorching.
Leave the mixture in the cooker for around three hours, stirring occasionally. After three hours, turn off the cooker and allow for your butter to cool. Strain using your cheesecloth and jar, as in the oven recipe above.
Dosing With Your Butter
The potency of your butter will depend on several factors, including how potent your cannabis was and how long and hot it was cooked. To test the butter, spread one-quarter or one-half of the butter on a snack and see how it affects you after 60 minutes. From there, you can increase or decrease the dose as desired. You can now use this “standard” dose as the baseline in your edible recipe.