If you’ve taken so much time to nurture your cannabis crop and get it ready for harvesting, you’ll certainly want to make the most of it. Once you’ve got those high quality buds and leaves off and are doing your drying and curing, our advice is don’t just throw away the rest.
There’s plenty that you can do with those leftover trimmings and the lower quality great buds. Here we’ll show you how to make cannabutter, a favorite with many who grow crops regularly.
What is Cannabutter?
Cannabis is great for using in edibles and not just the traditional brownie. In US states where cannabis has been legalized, there’s a whole industry that has grown up around them. You can get everything from crisps and nuts to pineapple bites.
One of the long times staples of the homemade edibles is cannabutter or cannabis butter. If you prefer not to smoke or vape or simply want to use up your leftover plant cuttings, the recipe is pretty simple.
Cannabutter is basically cannabis infused butter and it can be used as the base for many recipes, including those scrumptious traditional brownies. The cooking process is designed to extract the terpenes and cannabinoids found in the less enticing cuts of your plant, ensuring that they don’t go to waste.
If you prefer to ingest cannabis rather than smoke or vape it, a product like cannabutter can als be made from the high quality buds and leaves of the harvest to make something that is more potent and better tasting. For most, however, it’s seen as a way of getting a little bit extra out of the harvest.
There is plenty of advice on how to make cannabutter online but one thing you will need is a bit of time on your hands. You are going to need between about 2 to 8 hours to simmer the recipe before it is ready for use. Some advocates have been known to cook their cannabis for a whole day to get the most out of it.
The Benefits of Cannabutter
- You can use it in baked goods without having to worry about the carcinogenic effects of smoking or vaping – it’s an ideal alternative for those who take medicinal cannabis.
- Butter contains high levels of saturated fat which THC binds to and so doesn’t get ‘cooked out’. It’s also really easy to make and can be stored in your fridge for a couple of weeks.
- Cannabutter tastes a lot better than other recipes where cannabis is combined with a fats and oils.
- You can use it in a wide range of different recipes, in fact any that uses butter, both sweet and savory.
- As an edible, cannabis can take longer to have an effect but it also stays in the system longer.
Basic Ingredients for Cannabutter
First you need your trimmings and they should, of course, be properly dried and even cured. The best parts of the plant for cannabutter are the smaller, sugary bud leaves and the blossoms. You should have a mix of each to make your butter but the big challenge you are going to face is making it at the right strength. Of course, a lot is going to depend on the potency of the cannabis plant you are using and you need to take this into account when measuring out the ingredients for your cannabis butter.
- We suggest that you start with about 28g of leaves and half that of blossoms of a moderately potent cannabis plant. If you want a less strong cannabutter, you need to reduce the quantities by a half or more.
- Most connoisseurs say that you should dry and cure the trimmings for around two weeks before you do the cooking.
- You’ll need about 250g of salted butter – the reason we use salted is because it can be heated to higher temperature and is less likely to burn if the water runs low.
- You’ll also need around 300ml of ordinary tap water to start off the simmering process.
What Utensils Do You Need?
You don’t need much in the way of equipment – a reasonably sized pot, something to stir with and a cooker ring, that’s about it. You will need some cheese cloth or a very fine sieve to strain the end product once you have finished simmering.
The final thing you need are good storage jars – these can be either glass or plastic depending on your preference. As with any container, you should wash and sterilize before you use each time.
Word of warning: Smell is a factor here and if you don’t want the aroma wafting through your home, you need to choose your location carefully. At the least, you’ll probably want to do it in an area where there is plenty of ventilation.
Step by Step Process for Making Cannabutter
This is a pretty simple cooking process that involves infusing, simmering and then straining. It can take anywhere from 3 to 24 hours depending on your own personal preference. Some people use kitchen equipment like an electric crockpot to keep things simmering for longer cooking times.
If you’re cooking in your kitchen, make sure you have good airflow so that you can disperse the smell. The first thing to do is finely chop your trimmings and buds. This can be a little laborious and there’s no problem with shoving everything in a blender if you have one.
Some recipes advise you to put your trimmings on a tray and throw them in the oven for about 40 minutes. This is to activate the THC in the cannabis and is a process called decarboxylation. In this recipe, however, we’re looking to do everything through simmering and taking it slow.
Take your pan and gently melt the butter in the 300ml of water. The water is vital as it stops the butter from burning on the pan. You will need to add more water for long simmers. The butter will dissolve and form a yellow, oily liquid.
The success of your butter depends on how long you cook it for and the amount of heat that you use. A slow, gentle simmer is better than a hard boil.
The next step is to add your finely cut cannabis trimmings and buds. Stir the mixture together and bring it gently to the boil and then turn down to a constant simmer. Don’t be tempted to put a lid on the pot as you want the water to evaporate but don’t be afraid to top up with fresh water if the pan begins to get low.
The key here is time: The longer you simmer your cannabutter mixture for, the better strength you should get out of it. Many experts say that a minimum of 3 hours is required and the average should be around 8. That should give you a relatively potent butter that can be used in future cooking.
Here are some quick tips:
- Make sure that you have enough water to cover your cannabis cuttings.
- Top up water when it seems to be getting too low. You’ll probably need to do this around every hour.
- Small, fine bubbles are what you are looking for with the simmer so the lower the heat you can use to achieve this the better.
- As time goes on your mixture will darken as the cannabis infuses fully into the butter. Don’t let this worry you.
After about 8 hours, your cannabutter mix is ready. Turn off the heat and let it cool down a little. Before you put it in your jars, the final step is to filter out the cannabis cuttings. That’s what the cheese cloth is for and the finer the better. The best way is to put the cheese cloth over a bowl and slowly pour the butter mix over the top.
What you will find is that the mixture may well split into two layers as it cools – a brownish water substance at the bottom and your butter at the top.
Once this is achieved, transfer the butter part to your jar. Next screw on the lid and put it in the fridge as you would with normal butter. You can throw the liquid residue away. The final product will be green/brown in color but should retain the texture of butter and can be used in a wide range of cooking. You simply add it according to the recipe.
There should be another word of caution about eating cannabutter (in fact, any food product that contains cannabis).
You can’t always be certain about the potency but the big issue you need to watch out for is the delay in the effects of the cannabis. It can take much longer than with other methods of taking cannabis such as smoking. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your freshly made brownies aren’t having any affect – give yourself at least a couple of hours before you decide to eat more.
Eating too much can have all sorts of side-effects, of course, including making you sick as well as affecting you if you are driving a car. In other words, don’t simply assume nothing is happening!
Have you tried Seedsman’s white widow? A great strain for edibles!