These plants have been widely used for centuries for both medicinal and recreational use.

While many people choose to smoke or vape cannabis, edibles have grown in popularity. These edibles often contain cannabutter — a cannabis-infused butter that can be purchased at a local cannabis dispensary or made at home.

Still, keep in mind that cannabis is illegal in many states and countries, so always check with your local government before using it or related products.

This article reviews cannabutter, including its main uses, how to make it, and common side effects.

What is cannabutter?

weed butter

As the name implies, cannabutter is a combination of cannabis and butter.

It’s most commonly used to make cannabis edibles, particularly baked goods like cookies and brownies.

Before buying or making cannabutter, you should decide what effects you’re hoping to experience.

Cannabis contains two main compounds known as cannabinoids — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is a psychoactive compound that leads to a high, while CBD is not mind-altering.

Depending on its intended use, cannabutter may contain only CBD or both CBD and THC.


Cannabutter is cannabis-infused butter. It can contain only CBD, which isn’t psychoactive, or both CBD and THC, which gives it mind-altering properties.

Main uses

Cannabis offers many health benefits and is becoming more accepted as a natural treatment for various diseases and ailments.

Cannabutter is a smoke-free option and can be used in different edible cannabis products, making it a popular choice.

Why Eating Cannabis (cannabutter) Is So Different from Smoking It

Lots of people know the physiological differences between eating cannabis versus smoking it: it takes longer to affect you, it lasts longer, and it can produces markedly different psychoactive experiences. The reason that these effects are so unique is that ingested cannabis lies in our digestive system.

When you smoke cannabis, active drugs like THC and CBD are taken in through the membranes in the lungs and passed into our bloodstream. Particles like THC that can pass through the lung membranes are delivered mostly unprocessed to our brain and heart, save for what the combusting process does. This creates a direct link to our nervous system, causing near-instantaneous psychoactive effects.

These effects differ from the way our body absorbs nutrients and compounds like THC through digestion. When we digest THC, it must first travel through metabolization enzymes produced by the liver before it can be completely absorbed in our intestines.

In the process of metabolization, our liver transforms THC into a slightly different compound, 11-hydroxy-THC. 11-hydroxy-THC is a far more powerful psychoactive compound than regular THC. The compound’s potency has its drawbacks, but it also creates the unique effects of edible cannabis. It is also delivered into our bloodstream through the slow process of digestion, creating time release effects even at low dosage.

These differences add up to quite a unique experience compared to smoking cannabis and a host of related benefits.

Preparing Cannabutter the Right Way

Part of the drawbacks of edible cannabis relate to people getting a much higher dose than they anticipated, causing discomfort and in severe cases nausea or paranoia. People like Chef Michael Cirino of Brooklyn believe that we can change that issue by being more scientific about the way we prepare products like cannabutter.

By continually experimenting with different cannabis strains and getting precise with the conditions in which they are prepared into cannabutter, he feels that one day “we can self-dose ourselves like we do with caffeine.”

If prepared correctly, we can enjoy a mild sense of euphoria along with the spike of creativity and energy certain cannabis strains inspire. Additionally, cannabis’s antioxidizing effects can benefit us nutritionally. Having a controlled dose is especially important for people who must use cannabis throughout the day but still work normally. That way, they can control their pain or stress or stimulate their appetite without having to feel distracted by heavy psychoactivity.


weed butter

Yield: Approximately 1/3 lb of infused Canna-Butter

Canna-Butter Recipe & Materials:

35g of cured cannabis flower
1/2 pound butter
3 cups water
Oven, pre-heated to 240 degrees F
Crock pot with temperature control settings
Cheese cloth, multiple sheets (Cheese Cloths Bags optional)
Heat-resistant gloves
Heat-resistant collection bowls/tubs

Canna-Butter Procedure:

1.       Measure out 35g of single-strain cannabis with known THC and terpene test results for a strong butter infusion.
Note: Flower THC levels of around 18% will yield infused butter with approx. 25mg of THC per gram of canna-butter.
Use a THC calculator to estimate the approximate THC yield you can expect from your flower.

2.       Roast flower on a baking sheet at 240 degrees F for 55 minutes to decarboxylate (activate) the THC.
Watch carefully to ensure that your flower does not burn or cook too long! This can over-decarb your THC and lead to the production of CBN

3.       Add roasted flower to a crock-pot with ½ pound of melted butter and 3 cups of water.
For easiest straining and clean up, place decarbed flower into a cheese cloth bag before adding to liquid mixture if possible.

4.       Simmer mixture on low heat for 8 hours.
Note: Use a temperature probe to ensure that the mixture holds at a heat between 170-190 degrees F consistently – adjust temperature setting if needed to maintain this temperature range.

5.       Once simmering is complete, use a fruit press to express the liquid from the bulk plant material, collecting all of the liquid in a large bowl. If a fruit press is not available, manually express as much butter from the plant matter by hand (with heat-resistant gloves) as possible.

6.       Twist the pressed plant matter into a clean cheesecloth, and use heat-resistant gloves to squeeze and extract any residual liquid from the plant matter. Discard plant matter once pressed dry.

7.       Set up a cheesecloth strainer in a funnel and strain collected liquid through multiple cheesecloth rounds to purify and separate out any fine plant matter. Twist and squeeze any collected material in cheesecloth as before to yield maximum canna-butter return. Collect all liquids in a single bowl to set.

8.       Allow liquid to cool completely and set in a fridge overnight. You will see a solid layer of butter form on top of a dark liquid layer once setting is complete.

9.       Use a butter knife to gently free the solid butter layer from the bowl. Discard the liquid underneath.

10. Remove any collected milk fat from the underside of the solid canna-butter puck by gently rubbing away the soft solids and pressing the puck dry with a paper towel.

11.   Crumble solid canna-butter layer into crock-pot on low heat, melt completely for secondary straining step.

12.   Using the same straining set-up as before with clean cheesecloth and a funnel, repeat straining for final purification of canna-butter.

13. Allow refined canna-butter to solidify completely before cutting down into measurable chunks for use in recipes.

Be sure to store your final canna-butter separate from regular butter, in an airtight container clearly marked with *CANNA-BUTTER – CONTAINS THC* to avoid any accidental consumption incidents.

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