To save money, I learned how to make crock pot cannabutter that I could use in homemade edibles. I am by no means an expert, but what I’ve learned I’d like to share.
When it comes to medical marijuana, I prefer to dose up with edibles. For me, the pain-relief is more noticeable and lasts longer than with other methods of consumption. The downside? Dispensary edibles cost a small fortune.
Making Cannabutter is Easy
The first time I attempted cannabutter, I was overwhelmed with advice. Everyone I talked to had a different recipe, and every website was pushing a different method. My post-chemo brain just couldn’t handle all that, so I whittled away until I could identify the most basic steps:
Preheat your oven to 250 ° F. Place marijuana on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on the middle oven rack for about 30 minutes.
Break up whole buds into smaller pieces first. This increases surface area and allows things to heat more evenly.
Some people are very particular about breaking bud, recommending you do it by hand or with a manual grinder. (Get your pieces too small and they might burn or be hard to strain later.)
But because of cancer fatigue, I’m from the School of Do Everything the Easiest Way Possible. I recommend giving whole buds a couple of quick pulses in a clean coffee orspice grinder, being careful not to overdo it.
That said, it’s even easier if you use shake. Shake is essentially just the debris left after trimming and handling buds. There’s no need to grind it because it’s already the perfect size. Added bonus: because it’s ugly and contains some stem pieces, it’s a lot cheaper than whole flower.
Step 2: Steep the marijuana in butter
Small crock pot (1.5 to 2 quart capacity)
Reusable basket coffee filter
3/4 c. butter
Warm 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter in the crock pot on the lowest heat setting until it is completely melted.
Put the decarbed weed in the reusable filter and place the filter in the melted butter. Steep for about three hours, stirring occasionally. The butter will turn murky and green.
Turn off the crock pot and let the cannabutter cool for about an hour so. The goal is to cool it enough it won’t burn you, but not so much it becomes too thick to strain.
Lift the filter basket out of the cannabutter, letting the liquid drain completely back into the crock pot. If the cannabutter looks disgusting, you’re doing it right. Discard the used marijuana.
There may be fine bits of marijuana and really gross looking milk solids floating in your butter. To strain these, simply pour the cannabutter through the emptied filter basket and into a clean container.
After straining you’ll end up with about a 1/2 c. of cannabutter.
Notes on Potency and Dosing
The most important thing to keep in mind if you’re new to cannabutter or edibles in general: YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY. Start small, give it a couple of hours to kick in, and adjust as necessary.
Personally, I find the cannabutter I make using these ratios to be nice and potent. But then I’m really sensitive to edibles. For example, if I use cannabuter as-is on an English muffin, I will only need a pat about the size of a pea.
If I make a pan of brownies, I will only need a piece about the size of a mini candy bar (that’s right Mini—the smallest size, not to be confused with her big sister Fun Size).
Since I typically only take weed before bed, a 9 x 13 pan of brownies can last 9 months—no exaggeration—saving me literally a thousand dollars over dispensary prices. (Pro-tip: Cut cooled brownies into full-sized candy bar-ish portions, vac-seal, and freeze. We use a FoodSaver.)
Step 3: Use cannabutter in a normal recipe
Keeping it real here. Cannabutter has a distinct flavor that you might find off-putting, especially if you’re a first-timer. I think it tastes the least offensive in things like brownies and peanut butter cookies.
You can use cannabutter in any recipe you want, though, not just sweet treats. If it calls for more cannabutter than you have on hand, simply make up the difference with regular butter.
When I make a 9 x 13 pan of Real Good, Feel Good Brownies (recipe to come later), I use 1/2 c. cannabutter and 1/2 c. regular butter.
You probably already know this, but just in case you don’t: you can replace most fats in your recipes at a 1:1 ratio. So you could swap 1 c. of vegetable oil with 1 c. of butter (and therefore cannabutter) if you wanted. What I’m trying to say is: you can also turn that boxed brownie mix in your pantry into something SPECTACULAR.
Do you make your own cannabutter? What advice would you give someone making it for the first time?
Happy New Year, everyone. Historically, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have not been very big deals to me, but I felt like celebrating today with 9 goals for 2020 if for no other reason than I’m feeling a little optimistic. (Note these are not resolutions I’m doomed to fail, just little nudges for making 2020 more fun than 2019.)
Stream a video game on Twitch
My brother Ryan and I live a few hours apart, but we still manage to get together virtually once a week or so to play State of Decay 2. He and my sister-in-law brought up streaming on Twitch several months ago. The idea has been percolating in my brain for a while, and I want to give it a try. No commitments to anything more than seeing how it goes.
Write a crossword puzzle
With my brain being what it is, I do word and logic puzzles almost every day to try and keep the neurons firing. Recently while working on a crossword with a really weird answer to a horrible clue, I wondered if I could make a better one. Now I’m obsessed with noodling out how to create the pattern of squares, make a functioning grid of words, and write good clues.
Though I’ve had a medical license to consume marijuana for about three years, Illinois just made recreational use legal. The govenor is clearing thousands of convictions as we ring in the new year. (Halle-freakin-lujah! More criminal justice reform, please, Governor Pritzker!) We can now grow up to five plants for private, personal use. I have several seeds in my position, and intend to give it a try. No biggie if I fail, but it has the potential to help me save a lot of money. This is one medication that is 100% NOT covered by insurance.
Complete a 100 Things post
I started my first blog on AOL Journals circa 2006, and I made a ton of online friends through that platform. I still keep in touch with many of those bloggers to this day. In fact, AOL J-Land (as we affectionately called it) is how I met my husband Dan.
One of the fun things that swept J-Land back in the day was writing a 100 Things post. It’s where you cobble together 100 facts about yourself and post the list. It’s like an ice breaker for bloggers. I recently and randomly stumbled across the Twitter account of a name I recognized from the AOL days, Kelly Sedinger of Byzantium’s Shores. I saw he still had a One Hundred Things About Me post, and got sucker punched by the nostalgia.
I’m going to post a new one soon. Honestly, I’ve been working on it for a few days already, so it seemed like a good addition to my 9 goals for 2020 list. (Yes, I’m one of those people who writes shit in her to-do list that’s mostly done just so I can experience the pleasure of crossing it off.)
Make new Zentangle videos
It’s been a few months since I’ve created any new content for my YouTube channel, because life is just that way sometimes, you know? But the meditative aspect of creating the art and then watching the time-lapse playback is so good for me. It also seems to be something that others enjoy, because my channel keeps growing. I can’t commit to a schedule for health reasons, but I can promise myself to just make “more.”
Track Swagbucks for a year
Swagbucks is a cash back slash survey website where you participate in polls, submit receipts, watch videos, participate in special offers and other junk, and then earn “Swagbucks” which can be converted to gift cards and PayPal cash. The catch is that they collect your data and make use of affiliate links. But you know, data privacy is for the financially privileged, anyway.
Last year as a casual user, I earned about $150. Which isn’t much, unless you’re broke. In that case, it’s a tank of gas and Christmas presents for the family. This year I want to track how much I make in a full year from January 1 to Dec 31.
For reference, I’m starting today with 355 SB (roughly $3.55 when redeemed). If you want to try it, use my link and we both get 300 bonus Swagbucks if you reach 300 SB in your first 30 days. (FWIW, I got to 355 in just 3 days, so that is very doable.)
Learn Krita and make a printable coloring page
I gathered up the Amazon gift card money I collected and finally purchased this stylus for my computer so I can do some Zentangling and sketching without killing trees or using up all my Micron ink. Krita is the free drawing program I will be using, but it’s pretty complicated and will require setting aside some time to learn. It’s kind of like Photoshop. Except it’s totally free.
I think it would be really fun to draw a coloring page and maybe host a cheesy virtual coloring contest sort of like those ones I always participated in at the grocery store when I was a kid.
Reach 100 Patrons in 2020
My goal for Patreon this year is to reach 100 subscribers. I currently have 29. I chose a people-based goal as opposed to a money-based goal because despite our dire financial circumstances, I really just want to find and connect with people who want to read Who You Gonna Believe and watch my Zentangle videos.
Reach 1,000 YouTube subscribers in 2020
Speaking of those Zentangle videos… 1,000 subscribers seems like a lot, but I’m giving myself a whole year to get there, and as of this writing I’m already at 485. The One Zentangle a Day series I did in 2019 really helped me establish my channel. This year I want to focus on producing higher quality videos. It should be doable now that I’ve got some of the basics sorted out.
So those are my 9 goals for 2020. What are yours? What are you looking forward to in the new year?
I tried making cannabutter myself for the first time because edibles are so expensive and I am on a really tight budget. I vlogged the experience, and as you can see the resulting brownies I baked with the cannabutter were, well, potent.
I’ve read that it can take a couple of months for the iron-deficient anemic to feel all better. I don’t know what that means for me, exactly. I don’t think I’m anemic per se; I think whatever is wrong with my body has depleted me of essential vitamins and minerals.
So what’s my next step? To keep taking the iron.
If everything is magically fixed because of it, hooray! If it’s not, at least I feel alive now. I’m also trying the probiotic thing again. I honestly don’t know if the Align helps, but the GI doc recommended it and I’ve got four weeks of capsules left.
I’m also now officially convinced that the weight I lost over the last few months had nothing to do with my willpower and everything to do with my IBS. Reversed course on the IBS and all the weight came back. But fuck it, weight is not my first priority. It’s not even top ten right now.
So pill roll call. Maybe TMI for some, but mostly posted so my fellow fibromyalgia patients can compare/contrast.
Levothyroxine*, daily AM Tri-sprintec lo*, daily AM Ferrous Sulfate (iron) 325 mg, twice daily with meal Zinc, D3, Magnesium, Calcium combo pill, twice daily with meal Align, daily with lunch Nortriptyline, daily at bedtime Nexium, every other day/as needed (Rx is for every day, but I discovered I could be symptom-free taking it less frequently) Medical marijuana, 1/4 gummy as needed at bedtime
* Prescribed many years before I had any fibro symptoms, but thought I should be thorough.
Last month marked the second anniversary of my fibromyalgia diagnosis. And even though the ICD code has been following me around for a while, I’m still having a hard time pinning down what that means for me, exactly.
I haven’t yet developed an elevator pitch for talking about my fibromyalgia because it’s just too damn complicated to sum up. The next best thing, it seems, is to just blog about whatever I need to put “out there” whenever I’m able and inspired.
Writing about my condition and my day-to-day happenings helps me sort out my own thoughts and feelings while giving me an opportunity to honestly answer a question I get asked all the time.
How are you doing?
Though the words that come out of my mouth might say otherwise, the reality is that I am never OK. There’s always a caveat. This is where I get to talk about the caveats.
Blogging has other advantages too. It lets me vent about what’s wrong while giving my husband a break from the sometimes hourly updates about what hurts and what is and isn’t working right. (Why is no one ever as excited as we are to have a good poop?)
It serves as a sort of patient log, helping me identify patterns and theorize about the cause of my flares. And sometimes it helps me accept that there is no pattern or discernible cause, that my condition just is.
My blog connects me to a large support group of other Spoonies and fibromyalgia patients, giving us opportunities to discuss what helps. Because, let’s face it, chronic patients are perpetual targets for anyone with a pill, a book, or a scented candle to sell. We have to look out for each other.
And it’s that “looking out for each other” thing that really motivates me to write candidly about my experiences. (Yes, even about medical marijuana and IBS.) Don’t get me wrong, this blog is for me, first and foremost. But I also want it to help other patients find ways to talk with their friends, family, doctors, and coworkers about stuff that’s next to impossible to put into words.
I want these conversations to meaningfully change our healthcare system, change the way we view and accommodate disabilities, and improve the lives of every patient with chronic illness.
Because laughter is cool and all, but empowerment is the best medicine.
This post is part of the Health Activist Writers Month Challenge (#HAWMC).
Prompt 1: What drives you to write about your health? What do you want other Health Activists to know about your condition and your activism?