Legally purchased cannabis can mean new food options to experiment with

Cannabis-infused butter is a versatile and delicious alternative to smoking or vaping your legally-obtained cannabis. Known as cannabutter, it can be made with regular butter or ghee, a clarified butter commonly available in stores. Once your cannabutter is made, you can use it in a variety of ways.
This recipe features cannabutter with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. One of 113 known canna-binoids, THC is responsible for the euphoric highs associated with consuming cannabis. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another cannabinoid known for its reported health, pain relief, and mood restoring effects, but those effects are not immediately felt like THC. You can use this same recipe and calculations to make a beautiful CBD-forward cannabutter, just choose a cannabis strain that is high in CBD.

When making your cannabutter, the most important things to keep in mind are knowing the THC content of your strain and always using precise measurements. This will make it easier to approximate the final THC content in the end. As well, you need to decarboxylate your cannabis first. This crucial step is a chemical reaction caused by heat that’s necessary to activate the THC.

Raw cannabis Photo credit: Emilee Sorrey

This recipe has been tested but your results will differ depending on how much cannabis you use and the THC content of the strain. To calculate the total THC content in your finished batch of cannabutter, start by weighing the cannabis to be used precisely, or converting the total weight in grams to milligrams by multiplying by a factor of 1000. For this recipe, I used 6 grams of a strain containing 16.7% THC. The calculations look like:

6 g cannabis = 6,000 mg cannabis
Multiply the weight in milligrams by the THC percentage of your strain, in this case 16.7%
6,000 mg cannabis X .167 = 1,002 mg THC

The result is the total amount of THC you’ll be infusing into butter. To find the strength of your cannabutter, divide your total THC content by the weight of the butter in grams.

1,002 mg THC / 500 g butter = 2 mg THC per every 1 gram of cannabutter.
From here you can calculate total THC in any recipe based on how much cannabutter the recipe uses. Individual servings, while not precise, can be estimated by dividing the total amount of cannabutter used in the recipe by how many final servings you end up with.

1 Tbsp = 14 g cannabutter = 28 mg THC per Tbsp

Cannabutter Recipe
Requirements: Digital scale, Cheesecloth

500g Ghee or unsalted butter
3.5-7 g Cannabis
4 cups water

Turn oven to 225°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Loosely grind or use your hands to crumble the cannabis onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 20-30 minutes to decarboxylate, until lightly golden brown and fragrant, keeping an eye on smaller amounts to prevent burning.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot.
Turn temperature down to medium and add ghee or butter, stirring until fully melted.
Turn temperature to minimum and add the decarboxylated cannabis to the butter and water mixture.
Stir to combine maintaining a very light simmer for 2-3 hours, adding water if needed.

Infused butter Photo credit: Emilee Sorrey

Do not bring to a full boil or let the water level get too low.
Line a deep container or bowl with a couple layers of cheesecloth.
Pour ghee/water/cannabis mixture through the cheesecloth into the container.
Remove cheesecloth and squeeze excess after it cools to extract more cannabutter.
Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours. The cannabutter will rise to the top and solidify. Gently cut around the edges with a sharp knife to release the cannabutter onto a plate. The leftover water can be discarded.

Cannabutter Photo credit: Emilee Sorrey

How you choose to use your batch of cannabutter is limited only by your imagination (and a low heat requirement as cannabutter shouldn’t be cooked at high heats). Try Salted Crispy Rice squares or drizzling some over your popcorn or granola. Never fry cannabutter as you’ll scorch the important cannabinoids. Always carefully label your cannabutter or any edibles you make with it and be sure to store away from children and pets.


Please note that in the print version of Salty, the final calculation of cannabutter and THC content was incorrect. 1 Tbsp is equivalent to 14g, not 28 grams as was printed.

About Emilee Sorrey

Emilee Sorrey is a musician and marketer with a foods & nutrition foundation. She lives and works in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

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