Weed butter, also known as cannabutter, is a popular ingredient in many cannabis-infused edibles. With its versatility and the ability to bind THC and other cannabinoids to the fat molecules in butter, cannabutter is an essential component for anyone looking to make their own edibles.
This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about making weed butter, including the decarboxylation process, infusion methods, and tips for achieving the perfect potency.
What is Weed Butter?
Weed butter, or cannabutter, is a cannabis-infused butter that is used as a base for many edible recipes. It is created by infusing decarboxylated cannabis with butter, allowing the THC and other cannabinoids to bind with the fat molecules in the butter. The resulting product can be used as a substitute for regular butter in various recipes, such as brownies, cookies, and cakes, or simply spread on toast or other foods for a cannabis-infused treat.
Why Decarboxylation is Necessary
Before making weed butter, it is essential to decarboxylate, or “decarb,” the cannabis flower. Decarboxylation is the process of converting THCA (the non-psychoactive compound found in raw cannabis) into THC (the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” effect) through heat. Skipping this step will result in weed butter with little to no psychoactive effects.
When cannabis is smoked or vaporized, the heat from the flame or vaporizer decarboxylates the THCA, turning it into THC. However, when making edibles, decarboxylation must be done manually, typically by heating the cannabis in an oven before infusing it with butter or oil.
How to Decarboxylate Cannabis
Decarboxylating your cannabis is a crucial step in making weed butter. Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 220°F (104°C).
- Break up the cannabis buds into large pieces, but avoid grinding them too finely. Spread the broken-up cannabis evenly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-45 minutes, depending on the quality and moisture content of your cannabis. Check on it frequently and gently mix it every 10 minutes to ensure even decarboxylation.
- Once the cannabis has turned from bright green to a deep brownish-green color, remove it from the oven and let it cool. After cooling, break up the decarboxylated cannabis using a hand grinder, scissors, or your hands until it reaches a consistency suitable for infusion.
Choosing the Right Cannabis for Your Weed Butter
The type of cannabis you choose for your weed butter can significantly impact the final product’s potency and flavor. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your cannabis:
- Strain: Indica, sativa, and hybrid strains all have unique effects and flavors. Choose a strain based on your desired outcome and personal preferences.
- Potency: Cannabis with higher THC content will produce more potent weed butter. However, remember that it is easier to control the dosage of less potent edibles.
- Quality: High-quality cannabis will result in better-tasting and more effective weed butter. Look for cannabis that is well-cured, free of mold or pests, and has a pleasant aroma.
Cannabis to Butter Ratio
Determining the right cannabis to butter ratio is crucial for achieving the desired potency in your weed butter. A common ratio is one cup of butter to one cup (approximately 7-10 grams) of decarboxylated cannabis. However, you can adjust this ratio based on your desired potency or experience level.
For milder effects, use less cannabis or a mixture of cannabutter and regular butter in recipes. For stronger effects, increase the amount of cannabis used during the infusion process.
Infusion Methods for Making Weed Butter
There are several methods for infusing cannabis with butter, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Here are three popular methods:
- Stovetop infusion: Melt one cup of unsalted butter in a saucepan over low heat, adding one cup of water to prevent scorching. Add your decarboxylated cannabis to the melted butter and let it simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth and refrigerate to solidify.
- Double-boiler infusion: Similar to the stovetop method, but using a double-boiler instead of a saucepan. This method provides more precise temperature control, reducing the risk of burning the cannabinoids.
- Slow cooker infusion: Place one cup of unsalted butter, one cup of decarboxylated cannabis, and one cup of water in a slow cooker. Set the temperature to low and let the mixture cook for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain and refrigerate as with the other methods.
How to Calculate Edible Dosage
Calculating the dosage of homemade edibles can be challenging due to the many variables involved in the infusion process. To estimate the potency of your weed butter, start by determining the THC content of your cannabis. Multiply the THC percentage by the amount of cannabis used in grams to find the total THC content in milligrams.
Next, divide the total THC content by the number of servings in your recipe to estimate the THC content per serving. For example, if you used 10 grams of 20% THC cannabis and made 20 servings, each serving would contain approximately 10mg of THC.
Remember that these calculations are only estimates, and factors like infusion efficiency and heat exposure can affect the final potency. Start with a small dose (such as ¼ or ½ teaspoon of weed butter) and wait at least one hour before consuming more to avoid overconsumption.
Tips for Making the Perfect Weed Butter
- Use high-quality cannabis for better taste and potency.
- Always decarboxylate your cannabis before infusing it with butter.
- Choose the right cannabis to butter ratio for your desired potency.
- Experiment with different infusion methods to find the one that works best for you.
- Be patient and allow the butter to simmer for at least 2-3 hours for optimal infusion.
- Strain the mixture carefully to remove any remaining plant material and prevent a “grassy” taste in your edibles.
Storing and Preserving Your Weed Butter
Store your weed butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to six months. Be sure to label the container clearly to avoid accidental consumption by others.
Weed Butter Recipes and Ideas
Once you have made your weed butter, you can use it in a variety of recipes, from baked goods like brownies and cookies to savory dishes like pasta and popcorn. Experiment with different recipes and flavors to find the perfect combination for your taste buds.
Remember to start with a small dose of weed butter in your recipes and wait at least one hour before consuming more to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Happy cooking!