It’s always disappointing when your edibles don’t work and regardless of where they came from, the problem is usually that THC was not infused properly. THC is a fat-soluble molecule meaning it can be dissolved into butter to form weed butter or cannabutter but many of the popular methods circulating on the internet contain serious procedural flaws that yield disappointing and unreliable results (most of which have to do with temperature control).
With this one-pot method, you will be able to make perfect cannabutter every time– it’s low mess and we’ve got the science to support why this is the best method for making cannabutter. So without further adieu…
Step 1: Gather Materials
1. Butter (for this tutorial we’ll use 1 stick aka 1/4 lb)
2. Marijuana, preferably mids or higher, an 1/8th per stick of butter (you can adjust this to taste… if I’m making smaller edibles like cookies I like to make them weaker so you can eat more without going full-space-cadet)
3. A pot
5. A Grinder
Fill your pot about half full of water and bring it to a boil. While that’s heating up, grind up the weed to maximize the surface area that will come in contact with the butter (this will increase the efficiency of our extraction).
This is where the magic happens! Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add your ground-up weed and butter and throw a lid on there (our pot above could use some more water). Water boils at 212°F and will not get much hotter (even with the lid on) and as it just so happens, this is an excellent temperature for extracting and decarboxylating THCA to its psychoactive form THC. Caution: Watch the heat level! Maintain a boil, but make sure that the heat is not so high that it will cause the water and ingredients to boil over. Below is a chart showing the rate of decarboxylation of THCA suspended in n-hexane with respect to time:
as you can see, too little heat leads to significant amounts of unactivated THC but too much heat for too much time causes a degradation to the overall THC content. Since a little decarboxylation will take place during the process of baking, the ideal cannabutter is not 100% decarboxylated.As both theoretical and experimental data suggests, it takes ~90 minutes to achieve optimal extraction and decarboxylation of the raw plant material.
Step 4: Be Cool, Baby!
After you’ve boiled the water and butter and weed for 90 minutes, take it off the stove and let it cool off a bit before setting it in your fridge (you don’t want to heat your fridge up too much now!). You only have to leave it in for a few hours but I tend to leave it overnight. Some people prefer to pour the butter and water through a strainer or cheese-cloth into another container (to filter out some of the plant material)… but then this wouldn’t be a one-pot extraction would it? Besides, who needs another mess to clean up?
Once the pot is chilled you’ll now have a beautiful green disk of cannabutter floating on top of the water with most of the plant material sitting on the bottom of the pot. Carefully remove the disk with a knife by cutting around the edges until you can lift it out of the pot. Don’t worry if it breaks into the pieces, they’ll just float on top of the water so you can fish them out with a fork or spoon. You’ll probably have some plant material stuck to the underside of your cannabutter disk– I just lightly scrape this off with a knife. I don’t go crazy about getting every little speck out because its not noticeable in the final baked product and sometimes… I’ll just leave it leafy to add a hint of earthiness and weediness to chocolate edibles (seriously! It’s pretty subtle).
That’s it! Substitute this cannabutter into your favorite recipes and see what you like! (pro tip: 1 stick of butter = 1/2 cup of shortening, make sure to mix everything really well or some bites will be stronger than others). Remember that internal baking temperatures are always much lower than what you set your oven at (cookies tend to reach internal temps of 200°F) so do not bake at a lower temperature in an attempt to avoid degrading the THC! If anything, baking at regular temperatures will help decarboxylate any remaining THCA into THC!
I hope this method serves you well! No more ruining crock pots or sitting over a hot pan of oil just to get sub-standard results… 90 minutes with the lid on and stick it in the fridge– you’re done!