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:
- Prepare (decarb) the marijuana.
- Steep the marijuana in butter.
- Use the butter in a recipe.
Step 1: Decarbing marijuana
If you don’t decarb your cannabis, your butter will be really disappointing.
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 6-7 grams of weed
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 or spice 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.
Effects aren’t immediate. I usually feel them between 90 minutes and 2 hours after I’ve eaten. If, after only 15 minutes you think “this isn’t doing anything” and you keep eating more, you could end up like the cop who made pot brownies and called 911 because he thought he and his wife were dead.
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?
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