CBD infused butter, otherwise known as cannabutter, is a primary ingredient in many CBD-infused recipes. CBD butter is technically an ‘extraction’ method whereby the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are extracted from the cannabis plant and infused into the butter fats. Your CBD infused butter can then be substituted in place of butter in any recipe you wish!
CBD butter is often used in decadent edible recipes (such as brownies), but ultimately its use depends on the cook and his/her personal preferences and/or their dietary needs. It can be made from dried or decarboxylated cannabis buds, trim, solvent-less hash or even sugar leaf.
Patients seeking relief from the many side effects of various ailments can tailor their medication to their personal circumstances, preferences and dietary needs by creating their own edibles. CBD butter can be used in practically any recipe that calls for butter by simply substituting CBD butter in equal measure. The trick is to dose the amount of butter you use with the desired dose you want to take.
How To Make CBD Butter
When you’re making CBD-infused butter (cannabutter), the key thing to remember is “low and slow” (eg, low temperature, slow cook time). Infusing the butter over low heat for several hours allows for full activation of the CBD without scorching the herb or wasting material.
CBD is not soluble in water, but it is soluble in certain carrier oils. Therefore, the butter fats act as carriers and “soak up” the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, leaving any impurities in the water.
Important: In order to fully activate the cannabinoids for oral consumption it is recommended that you completely decarboxylate your hemp before cooking with it. The ‘decarbing’ process ensures the cannabinoids are activated and no longer in their acid-form (CBDa, CBGa etc.).
You Will Need
½ ounce decarboxylated CBD hemp flower
1 pound butter (unsalted preferred)
1 quart (4 cups) of water
Medium saucepan / pot (2 or 3 quart)
Glass or stainless steel bowl (2 quart)
Metal strainer or colander
2 pieces of cheesecloth (approx 8” x 8”)
Food handling gloves
Plastic wrap or airtight container(s)
Directions for Cannabis Infused Butter
Combine water, butter (cut into several pieces) and hemp into pan and cook over low heat – the mixture should never boil but simply simmer. Continue cooking for 3-4 hours.
Every 30 minutes or so stir gently. The mixture will thicken as the water cooks off. Don’t allow mixture to become too thick. The hemp should float about 2 inches from the bottom of the pan and should never touch the bottom. If necessary, add water.
After 3-4 hours, when the mixture looks glossy and is more dense and compact (most of the water has evaporated), turn off heat and allow to cool.
While the butter mixture is cooling, line a metal colander or strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth (be sure to allow a few inches of overhang).
When mixture is safe to handle, pour the butter and cannabis mixture into the colander/strainer, pressing down with back of spatula, allowing the butter to drain into the glass bowl.
With gloved hands, bring together the corners of the cheesecloth and twist tightly to squeeze out all of the butter. Discard cannabis.
Using the spatula, scrape out any residual butter left in pan into the bowl.
Place bowl in fridge for about 2 hours, or until butter has solidified.
After the butter has solidified, the next step is to remove it from the water. Run a knife around edges to separate the butter from the bowl, and then cut a small piece from edge (but large enough to feed spatula underneath).
Carefully lift the butter layer and place wet side up on wax paper or cutting board and dab off any excess water with dry clean cloth. Your finished butter will have a green tinge.
Place the cannabutter into an airtight container, and store in fridge until ready to use.
It is recommended cannabutter be used immediately, or within a few weeks for optimal quality.
Tips For Making Cannabutter
Cannabinoids, specifically CBD and CBG, exist in acidic and activated forms. In the plant, these cannabinoids exist almost entirely in the acidic forms known as CBDA and CBGA. When heated, these acidic forms undergo a chemical reaction converting the CBDA to CBD and CBGA to CBG. Because the water method for making cannabutter uses very low heat, it is recommended that you use decarboxylated cannabis to get the full benefits of the constituents of your hemp.
Any kind of butter – not margarine – can be used (unsalted preferred), though we find that using high-quality, organic butter tends to provide a better effect and taste. This is most likely because high-quality butter has less water and foreign substitutes, essentially guaranteeing that more of the cannabinoids and such will be “soaked up” by the butter fats.
Written By: Nanette Porter
Edited By: Joseph Jackson