Cooking with grass (Cannabutter)

by Kayla Johnson

There are a wide variety of ways to consume cannabis, but one of the most common (and increasingly popular) methods is to eat it. Foods that have been infused with THC are called edibles. They range from being simple gummy candies to a classic brownie. They can also be gourmet chocolates or even teas.

There are a few benefits that come along with edible consumption. First is a longer lasting body high for most people. There is also a delay to the start of the effects. Lastly, and for patients who prefer it, it is also a smoke free way to consume THC. Many edibles start with good quality cannabutter and, by learning to make it yourself at home, you can make your own edibles in the comfort of your kitchen. You can even use it to turn old family recipes into edibles as potent or low-dose as you need.

Cannabutter is exactly what it sounds like: cannabis butter. If you prefer, you can also swap out the butter for a different type of fatty oil, like coconut or olive oil, but using butter is somewhat of the classic method that helped get the edible industry rolling. Making the cannabutter is pretty straightforward, but there are some basic supplies you should make sure you have on hand to make the process go smoother.

Taking care to follow all of the steps is key, but it is also important to remember that the stronger the cannabis, the stronger the butter will be. Keep this in mind if you’re just starting out with cannabis. Start out low and slow to make sure you do not make it too potent for your use.

You’ll need:

A flat baking sheet with edges
A medium to large saucepan
A glass or plastic sealable container
Cheesecloth or a reusable mesh coffee filter
½ cup of butter
¼ ounce of cannabis (7 grams)

**You can increase the amount of butter you make at one time. For every pound (four sticks) of butter, you can use up to an ounce of cannabis. Add up to 15 minutes onto the cook time in the melted butter if you increase the size of your batch.**

Step 1: To activate the THC in the cannabis (this allows it to bind to the butter’s fat molecules), the bud should be heated in the oven at a low temperature. Heat the oven to 240 degrees, spread the cannabis into an even, single layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes, making sure to turn the pan a few times for even heating. The cannabis will dry out and become crumbly. This process is called decarboxylation, or decarbing the weed.

Step 2: Melt the butter over low heat in your saucepan. Use a manual grinder or your hands to break up the cannabis, then add it to the butter.

Step 3: Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 4: Use the cheesecloth or reusable coffee filter to strain the butter into the sealable container. Use a spoon to press as much of the liquid out as possible.

Step 5: Use immediately, or refrigerate or freeze it until you are ready to use it.

You do not have to use your butter in a baked good to reap the benefits. Stir butter into freshly cooked pasta, or melt a little over popcorn in the evenings. You can basically use it anywhere you would use regular butter in cooking, but ALWAYS make sure the other people in your household are aware that there is cannabutter in the fridge or in the food that has been prepared. That way there are no surprises when the THC kicks in.

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