Cannabutter 101

Cannabis Education, Lifestyle

If you’re like many cannabis aficionados, you enjoy switching things up now and then. Sometimes, you may prefer to relax with a blunt or a bong. Other times, you may find yourself craving edibles. You can’t just bite into a bud, however. For the best -and tastiest- effects, enjoy a tantalizing treat made with cannabutter.


Why Not Just Add Grass to Goodies?

Good question. The reason you can’t catch a buzz from eating raw bud has to do with chemistry. Fresh cannabis contains THC, but not the kind that will get you high, explains High Times magazine. Instead, raw buds contain something called THCa. It’s not psychoactive, but it does convert to buzzworthy THC when exposed to heat. An important process known as ‘decarboxylation’ occurs whether raw bud is smoked, vaped, or made into cannabutter.



DIY Cannabutter Recipes

There are two schools of thought regarding cannabutter. One time-honored recipe uses butter and water. Another calls for nothing but butter and decarboxylized weed. Each makes a decent cannabutter that you can use to prepare a range of cannabis edibles.


Butter and Water Method

1 cup butter 

1 cup water 

1 cup coarsely ground dried cannabis 

Spread dried cannabis on a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet and bake in a 325° F oven for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even dryness. Once your herb is evenly toasted, melt butter and water together in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in coarsely ground herb, cover pan, and allow mixture to simmer very slowly for 2-3 hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring the mixture through cheesecloth into a clean, wide-mouth jar. Place jar in refrigerator and wait. It won’t take long for the cannabutter to separate from the water. Discard water and return cannabutter to fridge.

Tip: Low and slow is the key making first-class cannabutter.


Slow Cooker Cannabutter

1 cup coarsely ground dried cannabis 

  1 cup butter 

Decarb herb as outlined above. Set your crock pot to low and add butter. Once melted, stir in coarsely ground cannabis, cover pot, and allow to simmer for three hours before cooling and storing. This recipe does not call for water, but you can add some to prevent scorching.

Tip: Start simmering early in the day, and have a batch of cannabutter by lunchtime.


Cooking With Cannabutter

Most veteran cannabis consumers know that cannabutter is a key ingredient in get-you-baked goods such as brownies, cookies, and cupcakes. What you might not know is that cannabis infused butter can be used in any recipe that calls for fat, oil, or shortening. We’ll start with a surefire brownie recipe before exploring how to make other cannabis dishes you may not have considered.


cannabutter brownies



Switch up your grandma’s brownie recipe for chocolaty edibles that are gooey and delicious. To start, gather the following ingredients:

4 oz. cannabutter 

6 oz. dark chocolate 

1 cup unbleached flour 

2 large eggs 

  ½ tsp. baking powder 

1 cup sugar 

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

​​​​​​​¼ tsp. sea salt 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt cannabutter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Remove from heat and set aside. Grease the inside of an 8″ square cake pan, or coat it with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside. In a bigger bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in melted cannabutter-chocolate mixture and blend well. Add half the flour mixture and stir until combined. Then, add the rest of the flour mix and blend with a wooden spoon. Pour mixture into greased cake pan and place in oven for around 20 minutes. When brownies are done, the edges will pull away from the sides of the pan, and the top will be shiny.



Granola Bars

Gather the following ingredients:

4 ½ cups quick-cooking oatmeal 

1 cup unbleached flour 

1 tsp. baking soda 

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

2/3 cup honey 

2/3 cup cannabutter 

1/3 packed cup brown sugar 

​​​​​​​2 cups of your favorite things (think chocolate chips, raisins, pecans, coconut flakes) 

Heat oven to 325° F. Grease the inside of a 9″x13″ pan or coat it with non-stick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with clean hands. Spread the mixture into the pan and press to distribute evenly. Bake about half an hour or until done. Allow to cool before cutting into 24 bars.

Tip: Wrap individual bars in plastic or foil and store in refrigerator.



Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Once you have a stash of cannabutter in your fridge, you can bake a fast batch of cannabis infused peanut butter cookies anytime. Here’s a recipe that makes a dozen cookies in a flash:

1 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth 

4 tbsp. softened cannabutter 

½ cup white sugar 

½ cup brown sugar 

½ cup unbleached flour 

1 large egg 

Pinch of sea salt 

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. With clean hands, divide dough into 12 balls and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Dip a fork into sugar and press a classic crosshatch pattern into each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes.



Marijuana Infused Mac ‘n’ Cheese 

Sweet treats are outstanding, but sometimes you want a meal, not a snack. Here’s a comfort food recipe that is sure to satisfy:


½ lb. macaroni shells 

1 tbsp. olive oil 

​​​​​​​1 tsp. sea salt 

Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Drain well and set aside. To make the cheesy sauce, gather the following ingredients:

5-6 tbsp. cannabutter 

½ cup unbleached flour 

2 ½ cups warm milk 

8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated 

4 oz. smoked mozzarella, grated 

1 tsp. kosher salt 

1 tsp. smoked paprika 

½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper 

​​​​​​​½ tsp. ground nutmeg 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt cannabutter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir constantly for five minutes. Whisk in warm milk and stir until thickened. Add cheeses, sea salt, and spices. Stir in cooked macaroni, then scoop into ramekins or a buttered baking dish.


1 cup breadcrumbs 

1 tbsp. olive oil or melted cannabutter 

​​​​​​​2 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated 

Combine topping ingredients, then sprinkle mixture on top of macaroni mixture. Bake for around 30 minutes or until top is browned and bubbly.

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