How to Make Cannabutter from Scratch

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Our step-by-step guide will show you how to make cannabutter in a slow cooker. No special equipment needed!

Cannabutter—cannabis-infused butter—is a key ingredient in infused edibles. It’s generally less expensive than buying CBD oil, and learning how to make cannabutter is easier than you’d think (especially if you have a slow cooker).

Starting with CBD-rich cannabis flowers infuses the edibles with valuable plant terpenes. CBD or hemp flowers don’t contain cannabinoids with psychoactive properties the way THC-rich cannabis does, so they can be consumed without mind-altering effects. (Find out more about the differences between THC and CBD.)

This essential recipe can be made with butter or coconut oil for dairy-free, plant-based cooking. Once it’s ready, spread it on toast or use it to make your favorite sweet and savory edibles, from CBD brownies to pancakes and spaghetti sauce. If the original recipe is made with oil or butter, you can probably turn it into a CBD-infused concoction!

The best part? This recipe makes almost two pounds of butter that can be stored in the freezer, so you’ll have it ready to go whenever you need it.

Editor’s note: CBD isn’t legal in every state. Be sure you know local laws before making your own cannabutter.

Do You Need to Decarb Cannabis Flowers?

Yes. To benefit from the cannabidiol (CBD) contained in the flowers, you’ll need to decarb the cannabis. In short, decarboxylation is a process that uses low heat to slowly convert the cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) into CBD. That makes it more readily absorbable to the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The traditional way to decarb cannabis flowers involves baking them in a 240°F oven for 40 minutes. You can absolutely use this method if you like, but we find it’s easier to let the slow cooker do the work for us. The slow cooker holds the cannabutter at the perfect temperature to both extract the necessary compounds and infuse the butter. You will need to cook it longer than traditional slow-cooker recipes, though, so make sure you leave it on the low setting for 8 to 24 hours.

Tools You’ll Need

We make our cannabutter with dried CBD-rich flowers or trim, which can be found at online retailers if they’re not sold locally. It’s best to coarsely grind the flowers before getting started to ensure the cannabinoids and terpenes are infused into the butter. You don’t want to grind them too finely, though—that will make the butter too herbaceous and bold. An inexpensive handheld grinder does the trick perfectly. If you don’t want to buy a specialized gadget, use a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder with a coarse grind setting.

Since we’re grinding the flowers before adding them to the butter, we definitely recommend straining the finished product through cheesecloth. It’s OK if a few bits get through, but the texture will be smoother and more agreeable if you can remove as much flower as possible.

Finally, it’s worth investing in a butter mold if you plan to make cannabutter regularly. You can cool the cannabutter in any airtight container, but the mold makes it easier to estimate the amount to use in baking recipes.

Cannabutter Recipe

This recipe is excerpted from The Essential Guide to CBD. Learn step-by-step how to safely make your own budget-saving CBD products and edibles in this all-new resource. Get your copy now.

Yield: Approximately 2 pounds of butter

Ingredients

  • 1/2 to 1 ounce dried CBD-rich cannabis flowers or trim**
  • 2 pounds unsalted butter or unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 quart hot tap water

**Unlike edibles made with CBD oil, it’s difficult to estimate the dosage of cannabutter made from cannabis flowers. The cannabutter’s potency depends on a variety of factors, including flower variety (indica vs. sativa) and the time and temperature used to cook the butter. We recommend starting small—1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon—to see how the butter affects you before increasing the dose.

Directions

Step 1: Grind the CBD cannabis flowers

how to make cannabutter: Grind the CBD cannabis flowersLindsay Mattison for Taste of Home

Using a hand grinder, mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, coarsely grind the dried cannabis flowers to turn them into smaller pieces.

Editor’s tip: Grinding the flowers helps release the cannabinoids and terpenes, but the butter can taste too intense if the flowers are ground too finely. If you’re using a coffee grinder, be sure to use the coarsest setting. You can clean the grinder by grinding uncooked rice before and after grinding the flowers.

Step 2: Cook on low heat in the slow cooker

Cook on low heat in the slow cooker how to make cannabutterLindsay Mattison for Taste of Home

Place the ground CBD flowers in the bowl of a 2.5-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Add the unsalted butter and hot water and turn the unit on low. Cook the cannabutter for 8 to 24 hours, adding extra water if needed. The water helps regulate the butter’s temperature to keep it from burning, and it’s easy to remove after the butter sets if you accidentally add too much.

Editor’s tip: To make dairy-free, vegan cannabutter, use unrefined coconut oil instead of butter.

Step 3: Strain through cheesecloth

how to make cannabutter: Strain through cheeseclothLindsay Mattison for Taste of Home

When the butter has simmered for 8 to 24 hours, it’s time to remove the CBD flowers. Line a colander or sieve with cheesecloth and set it above a heat-proof bowl. Let the butter drain unassisted for 10 minutes.

Editor’s tip: Resist the urge to squeeze or press out any remaining butter from the cheesecloth. It can push some unpleasant-tasting plant material into the finished product.

Step 4: Chill

how to make cannabutter: chillLindsay Mattison for Taste of Home

The butter will appear separated after it’s been strained, but don’t worry. The milk solids and oil will come together as the cannabutter chills. You can chill the butter in the bowl, or ladle it into a silicone butter mold or airtight container. Cover the bowl and chill the butter in the refrigerator until it’s solidified, about 3 to 4 hours.

Editor’s tip: If you notice any small bits of CBD flower left behind in the butter, don’t fret. If they’re small enough to make their way through the cheesecloth, they’ll be barely noticeable in your baked goods!

Step 5: Discard water and store

Remove the cannabutter from the mold or bowl and discard any water that remains behind. Pat the butter dry with paper towels and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For extended use, store the cannabutter in the freezer for up to six months.

how to make cannabutterLindsay Mattison for Taste of Home

How to Store Cannabutter

The cannabanoids in cannabutter are most stable when stored in a cool, dark place, so it’s best to store cannabutter in the fridge or freezer to maintain its potency. Store the solidified butter in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. If you’re making sticks with a butter mold, you can wrap them in waxed paper to protect them from freezer burn.

How Long Does Cannabutter Last?

Cannabutter has a shorter shelf life than regular butter because it’s been infused with CBD flowers. It should last about two weeks in the fridge or up to six months in the freezer.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.