DIY Recipe: Cannabutter, or Cannabis Butter

by HelloMD Staff

For people who want to make medicated foods, cooking up a batch of cannabis-infused butter, better known as cannabutter, is one of the easiest ways to get started. Contrary to what most people believe, making your own cannabutter is quite easy as long as you follow the steps carefully.


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They key to making good a good cannabis-infused butter is to be cautious about heating the cannabis slowly. Heat allows tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main component in cannabis that also imparts plant’s characteristic high, to properly decarboxylate. Decarboxylating shifts THC from its acid form to its more psychoactive counterpart and is key to unleashing the plant’s myriad health benefits.

Below we outline two easy methods for making your own cannabis butter.

Method #1: Stove-Top Cannabutter

For this method, some people choose to use cannabis that has already been used via a dry herb vaporizer. Vaporization doesn't always decarboxylate THC completely but using the leftovers to make cannabutter is a great way to get a little extra use from your cannabis.

Ingredients for Stove-Top Cannabutter

  • 1 lb unsalted, high-quality butter
  • 1 oz ground cannabis or 1 1/2 oz high-quality cannabis trim*
  • 1 cup water, plus more as needed

*Adjust amount of cannabis used for desired potency.

How to Make Cannabutter on the Stove Top

  1. In a large stockpot, combine the water and butter over low heat.

  2. Allow the water to come to a simmer as the butter melts, adding water as needed and stirring frequently to prevent the butter from scorching.

  3. Once the butter is completely melted and the mixture achieves a smooth texture, add the cannabis.

  4. Continue to simmer the mixture on low heat for two to three hours, stirring occasionally. Don't allow the mixture to boil.

Method #2: Making Cannabutter in a Slow Cooker

If you're new to making cannabutter, you may prefer the slow-cooker method. This decreases the risk of burning the butter and ensures that the THC decarboxylates properly.

RELATED: DIY RECIPE: VERSATILE CANNABIS-INFUSED PIE CRUST

Ingredients for Slow-Cooked Cannabutter

  • 1 lb unsalted, high-quality butter
  • 1 oz ground cannabis or 1 1/2 oz high-quality cannabis trim*
  • 1 cup water, plus more as needed

*Adjust amount of cannabis used for desired potency.

How to Make Cannabutter in a Slower Cooker

  1. Place the water, butter and cannabis in the bowl of the slow cooker.

  2. Cover and allow the mixture to cook on low for 8 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer the butter infuses, the stronger you cannabutter will be.

4 Tips for Better Cannabutter

It takes some practice to make the perfect cannabis butter, so don't be discouraged if the first batch you cook up isn't what you had in mind.

Follow these tips for better cannabutter:

1. Store Your Cannabutter in a Glass Container

After you've simmered your cannabis butter for the desired amount of time, pour it into a clean, sterilized glass container. This prevents the transfer of harmful plastic chemicals into the hot butter.

2. Strain Your Cannabutter With Cheesecloth

For finer, silkier cannabis butter, pour the mixture through cheesecloth or a fine strainer to separate the plant material from the butter. Squeeze the plant material to rid it of all excess moisture before discarding it.

3. Allow Cannabutter & Water to Separate

Cover and refrigerate your cannabutter overnight before using it. This will cause the cannabutter to harden and separate from the water. Once this happens, you can remove the hardened cannabis for use and discard the water.

4. Soften Cannabutter at Room Temperature

Don't use a microwave to soften your cannabutter, as this may damage the chemical compounds in it. Instead, allow the cannabutter to sit at room temperature before using it in a recipe.

While many people believe that making cannabis butter at home is difficult, these simple methods make the process easy. By following the above tips, you can produce silky, delicious cannabutter that's ideal for use in a wide variety of medicinal recipes.

Photo credit: Debra Solomon

If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it's easy, private and 100% online.