What is cannabutter? Cannabutter is one of the most popular bases for cannabis edibles. It can replace regular butter in boxed brownie, cake, and cornbread mixes, or can be used to thin out and infuse chocolate, as a spread on toast with jam, or consumed in other from-scratch recipes of all kinds.
Ancient Indians frequently cooked with cannabis and knew that the plant material needed to be cooked with ghee, or clarified butter, to obtain the full bioavailable medicinal benefit. Ancient Indians, however, didn’t have Ardent technology, so the decarboxylation process wasn’t nearly as precise as it is today, and likely left behind many cannabinoids in the process.
This article will teach you how to make cannabutter, step-by-step, using the starting material of your choice.
How to Make Cannabutter
- Decarboxylation method such as Ardent’s FX, or Nova decarboxylator (if you want to get the absolute most out of your THC or CBD), or an oven, crockpot, or toaster oven
- Ardent Infusion Press, Frainer, cheesecloth, or other strainer.
- Infusion Sleeve or tempered glass jar (if decarbing wax/concentrates) plus the Lifter of your choosing to make placing materials into and out of the FX or Nova device a breeze.
- Airtight container for storage like the Ardent Vessel or Ardent Infusion Mold
- Silicone spatula
Cannabutter is a lengthy project that takes roughly 3-5 hours to complete from beginning to end in one shot. You can, however, store decarbed plant material for infusion at a later time. If you’re decarbing and/or infusing using the oven, toaster oven, or the stovetop, you also must keep a watchful eye on your material the entire time. When using the Crockpot, you should frequently stir to bring the temperature down and prevent your material from overcooking. When using the Ardent Nova or FX, there’s no need to do anything other than press the button to change cycles between decarb and infusion. If you’re just learning how to make edibles, this recipe is a great starting point!
Cannabutter Ingredient List
- 1 gram cannabis flower*, (or 1/4 gram cannabis concentrate, a bit of kief, or handfuls of stems and sugar leaf)
- 1 stick, or 8 tablespoons, of butter or ghee*
*The amount of plant material and butter can be scaled up or down based on personal preference.
Check the label on your cannabis or hemp material for the percentage of THCA or CBDA it contains. Let’s say your flower starts with 23% THCA. After precision decarb in the Ardent Nova or FX, the material will contain roughly 200 mgs of activated THC; however, if you’re using an oven, toaster oven or crockpot, you will be losing about 30-40% of the final THC or CBD in your material by either failing to fully activate, or burning off the remaining cannabinoids.
Decarboxylation is a precise function of heat and time: because ovens and crockpots weren’t created for decarb, and environmental factors like temperature fluctuation often gets in the way during the activation process, the results are usually lackluster. The only way to achieve over 97-100% activation each time, is through precision decarboxylation.
Tips to Getting Started
Decide on Dosage
Dispensaries usually divide edible portions into 10 mg pieces, however, many brands are also making microdosed foods so you can eat/snack on a full portion with just a bit of elevation, or enjoy individually portioned mood enhancers, such as mints or gummies for on-the-go dosing without losing your function. Others need extremely high doses to match their high tolerance, or for relief from various ailments. It all comes down to preference.
When planning your dose, keep in mind how many pieces or portions your recipe will yield. If you’re making 24 cookies and are using cannabutter infused with 200 mgs of THC, each cookie will come out to roughly 8 mgs.
During decarboxylation, you’re removing the acid molecule from the THCA to convert it into THC (or in the case of CBD, decarboxylation turns CBDA to CBD – also by removing the acid molecule.) Calculate the amount of THC or CBD in your butter by multiplying the amount of THCA or CBDA by .87%. Just move the decimal over one place to the right. For example, with starting material at 23% THCA, your butter will yield 200 mgs of THC. Factor in 30-40% loss if you’re using another method of decarboxylation such as the oven, crockpot, or toaster oven.
If you have strongly dosed cannabutter on hand, feel free to use just a portion of the cannabutter, replacing the rest of what the recipe calls for in unmedicated butter. In the same vein, if you want to make your infusion stronger, check out our blog on Infusion Boosting.
Remember to Decarboxylate or “Activate” your Cannabis
This is a critical step for making edibles, topicals, and other cannabis remedies that should never be skipped! Although there are many ways to decarb, including using the oven, a crockpot, the sous vide method, etc., the most foolproof, efficient, and cost-effective way to decarb is by using Ardent technology. We have cannabutter recipe instructions below, which will teach you how to make cannabutter in three ways: using the Ardent Nova, the Ardent FX, or the oven/stovetop method.
Easy Cannabutter Recipe
- Decarboxylate your cannabis. If you’re using the Ardent Nova, place your plant material inside the unit and begin the cycle by pressing the activation button. If you’re using the Ardent FX, use the A1 setting to activate THC-rich material, and the A2 setting to activate CBD-rich material. If decarbing in the oven, place the bud on a foil-lined baking sheet on 230 degrees fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes (although time and temperature varies greatly, along with results, as appliances range in quality and effectiveness.)
- Infuse your cannabis. If using the Ardent Nova, place butter or ghee inside the unit over the decarbed material and run it for an additional cycle. If using the Ardent FX, insert butter or ghee into the unit over the decarbed material and allow it to run on the Infuse setting. If using the stovetop, place 1 ½ cups of water, 8 tablespoons of butter, and decarbed bud wrapped in a cheesecloth (fastened with a rubber band,) in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring frequently for 2-4 hours.
- Strain plant material out of the butter or ghee, using a strainer, cheesecloth, Ardent Frainer, or if you have the FX, using the Infusion Press.
- Pour your mixture into an airtight container, the Ardent Vessel, or the Ardent Infusion Mold, and refrigerate or freeze until use. If you made your cannabutter on the stovetop, discard separated water from the infused butter and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer for storage.
Weed Butter Uses
If you’re wondering how to make edibles with your cannabutter, simply replace the butter your recipe calls for with cannabutter, or a portion of infused butter alongside additional unmedicated butter. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Mac and Cheese
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Whoopie Pies
- Key Lime Pie
- Corn on the Cob
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sugar Cookies
- Brussel Sprouts
- Grilled Cheese
- Coffee Cake
How to Store Cannabis Butter Once Made
So long as you keep your cannabutter in an airtight container, it should last a little while. In the refrigerator, your properly stored cannabutter should last a few weeks, in the freezer, up to around 6 months.
How to Make Cannabutter Stronger
If your marijuana butter infusion isn’t as strong as you like, you can always run another infusion cycle to boost your infusion strength in the Nova or FX with more decarbed bud to infuse it further.
If you’re a more experienced consumer, you should consider using cannabis concentrates to make your final product stronger. You can infuse hundreds of milligrams at a time into butter with each gram of decarbed material. Concentrate usually lies somewhere between 80-90% THCA, yielding a whopping 800-900 mgs of THC once activated. You can also add a bit of decarbed concentrate to a previously infused cannabutter mixture to “infusion boost” it further.
If you’re a first timer or edible newbie, don’t forget the magic phrase, “go slow and start low.” You can cut your cannabutter with non-infused butter to reduce the amount of milligrams present in your edibles. Remember: you can always take more edibles, but it’s a bit harder to do the reverse, and edibles can take up to 3 hours to fully hit!
Common Pot Infused Butter Questions
Can you make cannabutter without decarbing?
Yes, but don’t. Seriously, don’t. Without activating your material, you’ll only activate a few cannabinoids here and there during the cooking and baking process, if tYes, but don’t. Seriously, don’t. Without activating your material, you’ll only activate a few cannabinoids here and there during the cooking and baking process, if that. It’s a colossal waste of money, and should not be done unless you’re interested in the health properties of THCA or CBDA, which are also found in less expensive plant parts like cannabis fan leaves. Fan leaves are a much more economical consumption option if you’re looking for THCA, otherwise, please decarboxylate your material to make pot butter!
How Can I Make Cannabutter with Wax?
Easily! Decarboxylate your cannabis in the Ardent Nova or FX, using the Concentrate and Infusion Sleeve for mess-free cleanup. Infuse your butter or ghee into the decarbed material by running another cycle in the Nova, or pressing the Infusion setting on the FX. No need to strain – just refrigerate, then enjoy your THC butter. You just learned how to make cannabutter with wax!
Since wax is much stronger than flower, consider starting with ¼ of a gram, and working your way up with experience.
Why is my Cannabutter weak and how can I fix it?
If you’re wondering how to make cannabutter stronger, you must first ask yourself if you decarbed using a method of precision activation. If not, that’s your first mistake! Check out Ardent’s kitchen cannatechnology for help with decarb at home. If you used an Ardent device to decarb, but are still unhappy with the yield, you might want to consider using stronger material like a concentrate, or “wax.” You can also add more cannabinoids to a previously infused batch of butter (or oil, even) with a process called infusion boosting.
Does cannabutter lose potency?
When properly stored in the fridge or freezer, cannabutter does not lose potency. If you’re baking or cooking with the infusion, try not to let the edibles reach over 212 degrees F internally, or else the butter can lose a bit of potency, but your food burning is usually a tip-off there.
Does Microwaving Cannabutter Ruin it?
Nope! However, if you’re trying to make cannabutter inside the microwave, that’s not the best option. The microwave will not give your bud precision decarb, and will likely create a ton of wasted cannabis material. If you’re warming up your cannabutter for a weed butter recipe, no worries, your cannabutter should remain potent and bioavailable.
If you tried out our classic infused cannabutter recipe, you might want to look into our from-scratch cannabutter recipes: they’re delicious, versatile, and skip the day-of infusion step.