In 1954, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook was published, which includes the recipe for Haschich Fudge, contributed by Toklas’ friend Brion Gysin, in the British edition of the book. Created to “provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the Daughters of the Revolution”, this may be the first published recipe for pot brownies. Over 60 years later, edibles have been made in many different and creative methods rather than just putting cannabis flower into desserts. Butter can be one of the more versatile mediums for infusing cannabis in its ability to be added to both sweet and savory dishes. Infusing butter with cannabis flower is more than possible but what other types of cannabis products can be added to butter? Let’s explore!
Considerations Before you Get Started
Choosing Primary Recipe
The first step is figuring out if the cannabutter will be used in a recipe or as some type of
spread. Cannabutter can be used to infuse baked goods or to add flavor to bread, meats, or fish. If the goal of using cannabutter is to use it in many different recipes, sweet or savory, creating an all-purpose cannabutter that only includes cannabis and butter is the better option. If (you) want to flavor your butter with herbs or fruit to create a compound butter but don’t want a whole batch, it might be a good idea to split the recipe in half and create one half of the recipe as regular cannabutter, while the other half can have a different flavor.
Choosing your Product (one reason to use and one way to modify to get what you need)
Three commonly sold cannabis product you can use to infuse to make cannabutter is cannabis flower, concentrate, and cannabis powder.
Using raw cannabis flower can be a cost-efficient way to create potent cannabutter if you are making batches of edibles from home. If you infuse your butter using flower, you will get all of the plant’s natural cannabinoids and terpenes. Finding the types of cannabinoids and terpenes can usually be discovered by asking your local budtender/wellness advisor or asking for a certificate of analysis on specific strains. This process of making cannabutter can be labor intensive, but it can also allow (you) to get all the compounds you want from cannabis without the need to add in other botanical elements not native to the plant. To properly dose your flower, use this formula, use this example:
Say you have a cannabis strain that tested at 25% THC
- Understand that 1 gram= 1000mg
- Multiply 17% by 1000mg (.25 x 1000mg)= 250mgTHC/g. This means that there is 250mg of THC in each gram of this cannabis strain
Now, calculate the amount of THC in your butter recipe. Say you are making 8oz of cannabutter using 7g of flower.
- Multiply the weight of your flower in grams and the mg of THC on each gram of this strain found above. (7g x 250mgTHC/g)=1750mg/batch of cannabutter
Say you are making 36 cookies and the recipe calls for ½ cup of butter.
- Multiply the mg/batch of cannabutter by 0.50 cut it in half (1750mg x 0.5 =875mg/cookie batch).
- Divide this by the number of servings (36 cookies) (875mg/cookie batch)/36= 24mg THC/cookie. This means every cookie produced will have 24mg of THC. If this number is too strong you can always reduce the amount of cannabutter and cut with regular butter.
Using concentrate is a good option to choose when you are looking for the pure form of a cannabinoid, such as THC and CBD. Concentrates, such as RSO, and distillate, may be preferable as they may not have to be decarbed prior to infusion and for those who don’t like the “weed” flavor, this might be a better option. Concentrates, such as CO2 concentrate, BHO concentrate, kief, or hash, will need to be decarbed before infusion using this process:
- Preheat oven to 200°F
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Spread an even layer of concentrate on the pan
- If using kief, bake for 20 minutes. If using concentrate, bake for 20 minutes or until soft and bubbling.
Depending on the product, the terpenes can be added back into the product which can alter the taste and the sensations, or may be added by the concentrate producer. Choosing the right concentrate product makes a difference depending on what recipes will be incorporated into cannabutter. To calculate dosing, use the formula in the article Correctly Dosing Cannabis Edibles.
Using cannabis powder may be the easiest, most convenient way to infuse your butter. There are brands that are separated by packets and well-dosed so you know exactly how much is going into your batches. They are usually flavorless so not only can they be used as an all-purpose dosing option for butter, but can be used for all food and beverages due to their ability to be dissolved in water. To balance the cannabinoids, there is an option to add CBD oil to balance the THC if needed. (dosing formula). Using Sprinkle Nitro THC as an example, when dosing butter, say 50mg of nitro THC is the desired dosage in an 8 oz batch of butter. When calculating how much THC is in one ounce of butter, divide the mg of THC by the oz of butter (50mg THC/8), which will contain about 6.5 grams of THC. This is preferable for people that might be more sensitive to cannabis and may want to use cannabutter as a spread.
Choosing your Butter
Choosing good quality butter is just as important as choosing good quality cannabis products. Unsalted butter may be the preferable choice so as to not add more salt to your chosen recipes. Using fat-free butter or margarine to infuse cannabis is not recommended. Cannabis has a fatty content on its own and should be infused with a fatty oil in order to bind fat to contain oils and butter to be more digestible. If a heart-healthy infused option is recommended based on lifestyle, try coconut oil or olive oil.
Choosing Preferred Sensations
An enjoyable experience is very important. Asking the questions ‘what sensation am I hoping to get from cannabis and what sensation was enjoyable for me in the past?’ will be helpful. This will be dependent upon your sensitivity to cannabinoids and terpenes within the plant. For those who haven’t used cannabis or are cannabis sensitive, try to low-dose your butter. The lowest dose for those who have not used cannabis before is 1-2.5 mg. If the effects aren’t felt after 60-90 minutes, (possibly) increase your dose by 1-2.5 mg when using a THC-based product to reach the desired effect. Another thing to consider when choosing cannabis products is the desired emotional state. Is the goal of cannabis use to be relaxed, energetic, or somewhere in between? Examine the cannabinoids, terpenes, and whether the cannabis product is indica or sativa at the dispensary.
Cannabis may also have its own therapeutic benefits. If you are currently suffering from certain conditions, choosing the right product may make all the difference. Pay close attention to the cannabinoids, and strain types for your needs. Some can help or make symptoms worse. For example, you may want to stay away from sativas with an energizing terpene profile if you’re having issues with insomnia.
Critical Temperatures for Terpenes and Cannabinoids
Be aware that some of the compounds in cannabis may break down when under higher temperatures. When baking or cooking with cannabutter, try to keep the temperature under these (requirements). For cannabis products that are THC-based, the THC will start to evaporate at 355° F, while CBD degrades at 392°F. The sweet spot for baking with cannabis will primarily be at 340°F for recipes with a baking time of 1 hour or less and 325°F for those that require more than an hour. Terpenes may have their own critical temperatures to be aware of. When infusing cannabutter and baking with it, find what terpenes are within your product and try to not go over these temperatures since the terpenes may influence the sensations.
How to Make Cannabutter
You will need:
- Herbal tea Strainer
- Distilled Water
- Glass or ceramic bowl
- Medium-sized pot
- Sheet pan
- Aluminum foil
- Dehydrator (optional)
- Glass or silicone butter mold (do not use plastic as the cannabinoids may leach into it)
- French press (note to use one with a heat-safe handle to pout in a pot of simmering water and that there are french presses that have a capacity of over 1 cup available
Optional Steps for lighter tasting butter:
- Grind flower and place it in an herbal tea strainer. Place a strainer full of ground flower in a glass bowl of distilled water for 6-24 hours. The longer the soak the lighter and cleaner the end product of the cannabutter will be
- After 6 hours, prepare half a glass bowl of ice water and set aside. In a saucepan, pour distilled water and bring to a simmer. Once the water is warm, place the strainer in the pot for 5 minutes. Remove the strainer from the pot and place it into the prepared bowl of ice water for 1 minute.
- Drying flower
Dehydrator: Line racks with parchment paper. Spread wet, ground flower evenly and set dehydrator to 120°-140° F for 8 hours
Air dry: Place parchment paper onto a sheet pan. Spread soaked, blanched flower evenly on parchment paper. Cover with foil and poke holes to allow for airflow. Leave to dry overnight.
- Preheat the oven to (200°-225° F).
- Line sheet pan with parchment paper. Grind flower and evenly spread onto a sheet pan
- Place sheet pan into oven and bake for 60 minutes
- Weigh decarbed flower and calculate the dosage.
- Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a simmer.
- Place butter into the french press with decarbed flower. Place the plunger on top. Do not press down
- Place the french press into simmering water. Let simmer for (length of time)
- Press down the plunger so that the loose, decarb flower is at the bottom of the french press and strained from the butter.
- Pour butter into the butter mold. Place into the fridge to set.
Note: Can keep the cannabutter in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and 6 months in the freezer.
- Glass or Silicone butter mold
- Glass bowl
- Concentrate (Distillate or RSO)
- 1/2 cup of butter
- In a glass bowl, melt butter.
- To loosen up the concentrate, place the syringe in warm water
- Measure the amount of distillate or RSO you would like to use in the butter
- Add loosened concentrate to melted butter
- Stir mixture thoroughly
- Pour mixture into butter mold and place into refrigerator until it sets.
- Glass or Silicone butter mold
- Glass bowl
- 1/2 cup butter
- In a glass bowl, melt butter.
- Measure out the amount of cannabis powder you would like to use.
- Whisk cannabis powder thoroughly into melted butter
- Pour cannabis powder into a mold
- Place butter mold into the refrigerator until set.