In 2021, the edibles category experienced massive growth -- so much so that its growth outpaced the growth of the cannabis industry as a whole. And, some industry experts predict that cannabis edibles will continue to shine in 2022. If you’re curious about making your own edibles and aren’t sure where to start, you’ll want to start with high-quality cannabutter. Although some dispensaries sell cannabutter directly to patients, you can also make your own via a few different methods. From stovetop to an Instant Pot, here are all the different ways you can make your own cannabutter at home.
Though cannabutter is traditionally made on the stovetop with a saucepan and can also be made in an Instant Pot (see links to those recipes below), if you’d like to avoid your kitchen smelling strongly like cannabis you can use a Mason jar to decarboxylate. If you’d like to try making cannabutter using a Mason jar, here’s the equipment you’ll need:
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup of ground cannabis
- A Mason jar
- Baking sheet
Step 1: Decarboxylation
This step is essential to making cannabutter and absolutely cannot be skipped. If you do, you’ll end up with an inactive product, as this step activates the psychoactive properties of the THC molecules.
- Preheat the oven to 245ºF and place the oven rack in the center.
- Place the ground cannabis into the Mason jar, and close the lid tightly.
- Dampen the kitchen towel, place it on the bottom of the baking sheet, and place the Mason jar on top. This will keep the Mason jar in place.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and set a timer for an hour. Remove the Mason jar every 15 minutes and shake. This ensures that the heat reaches every part of the cannabis evenly.
- After the Mason jar has been in the oven for 1 hour, remove and let it cool for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Infusing, Straining, and Storing
This step involves melting butter and incorporating the cannabis into the butter. Then, you’ll need to strain and store.
- Add the cup of water and butter into a saucepan and allow it to simmer on very low heat until the butter melts completely. Stir frequently to avoid scorching the butter.
- Add the cannabis from step 1 into the butter and allow it to simmer for 3-4 hours. Use a thermometer and make sure the temperature doesn’t exceed 180ºF. Stir the contents of the pan every 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the cannabutter cool for 30 minutes.
- Set a funnel on top of an airtight container (preferably a Mason jar), line it with cheesecloth, and pour the cannabutter into the funnel.
- You can either use the butter right away or keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Making cannabutter in an Instant Pot is very similar to the method outlined above, except the Mason jar of ground cannabis goes into the Instant Pot instead of into the oven. And, since an Instant Pot speeds up virtually any cooking process, the cooking time is cut roughly in half from start to finish. If you have access to an Instant Pot and want to try your hand at making cannabutter in it, here is the full recipe.
This is the most traditional way to make cannabutter and doesn’t require any specialized equipment, meaning anyone with access to a kitchen and basic cooking supplies can make this recipe. All you’ll need is equal parts butter and cannabis flower, a strainer, and a receptacle to store the cannabutter (preferably something airtight with a lid that screws on and off.) A food thermometer is nice to have but isn’t essential. The entire cooking process from start to finish should take about 3-4 hours, but most of that time is simmer time so it’s less time-consuming than it seems. Check out the full recipe here.
Cooking tips to keep in mind
Cooking with cannabis isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but many medical cannabis patients prefer to make their own edibles so they know exactly what goes inside. Once you have your cannabutter recipe perfected you can use your homemade cannabutter to make savory meals, quick snacks, and sweet desserts. Regardless of how you make cannabutter, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Eating edibles tends to be a more intense experience than smoking. Start small and slow. You can always eat more, but you can’t eat less. In case you accidentally over-indulge, here are some tips.
- The effects of edibles can take anywhere from 30-190 minutes to kick in. If you’re concerned about dosing, speak to the doctor who prescribed your medical cannabis for more information.
- The potency of cannabutter depends on a variety of factors, including cook time, cook temperature, and the type of cannabis you used. If you’re looking for more consistency, professionally made edibles may be a better option for you.
To brush up on even more cannabis cooking tips, check out Edibles 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Edibles and Top Eight Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking with Cannabis.