How to make cannabutter

There are a variety of Cannabutter recipes that call for anywhere from ¼ ounce to 4 ounces of cannabis per 1 pound of butter. The potency of the recipes on this site depends on the concentration of cannabis in your essential ingredient. The amount of cannabis in the recipe below is just a suggestion and can be modified according to your personal dosage.

Time Required: 3 hours

What You Need:

  • large saucepan
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce cannabis
  • cheesecloth
  • spoon
  • Tupperware container with lid
  • rubber band (one that will stretch around the rim of your Tupperware)


  1. Fill the saucepan with enough water so that when you add the marijuana it will float at least 2 inches from the bottom of the pan.
  2. Boil the water.
  3. Add the butter to the pan after the water starts to boil. Watch the pan to make sure the butter does not burn. Once the butter has melted turn the heat down to low.
  4. Stir the cannabis into the butter. Make sure that the mixture is simmering on low. You should allow cannabis to simmer for at least 3 hours (the longer it sits the better it will be). It is important to stir the mixture frequently, especially when it starts to bubble.
  5. Prepare your Tupperware container by taking 2 sheets of the cheese cloth and securing it over the lid of the bowl using the rubber band.
  6. Pour the cannabis mix slowly over the top of the cheesecloth and into the container. When you have poured all the mixture from the pan, carefully unfasten the cheesecloth from the Tupperware and squeeze the rest of the butter out.
  7. Place the lid on the Tupperware with the butter in it and put it in the fridge to separate and solidify.
  8. Wait until the water and the butter separate. You will know it is ready when you see the cannabutter floating on top of the water. Carefully pour the water out by pinching the sides of the Tupperware. You should be left with the block of cannabutter.

How Can I Use Cannabutter?

Most of the baked edible confections like cookies, brownies and cakes use cannabutter as a base. Almost all of the cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in these confections comes from the cannabutter used in their recipes. Anyone who has made marijuana edibles will report that the secret to a potent, enjoyable cannabis treat is to start with a great cannabutter recipe. The more potent the cannabutter, the better the end result will be.

Generally, you can replace the regular butter in some of your favorite recipes with cannabutter to enjoy a marijuana-infused version of your favorite treats. However, some factors like the ingredients, cooking time and cooking temperature of those recipes may reduce the effectiveness of your cannabutter. While you may be able to simply swap butter for cannabutter in some recipes, it’s best to try and find a cannabutter-ready version of the recipe you want to cook and compare ingredients, cooking time and cooking temperature.

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How Does Cannabutter Work?

Cannabutter achieves potency thanks to a chemical reaction called decarboxylation. During this reaction, the compounds in the marijuana break down, release carbon dioxide, and then activate the psychoactive compounds and release them into the butter. Making cannabutter is relatively easy, but it’s important to follow your recipe carefully or you risk wasting quite a bit of cannabis.

It’s also important to remember that achieving decarboxylation is crucial for both CBD and THC strains. Achieving this reaction is the only way to fully activate the psychoactive compounds in marijuana. Most THC strains actually contain THCa, an acidic version of THC. The decarboxylation process breaks this acid down into THC, which produces more potent effects in cannabutter-infused foods.

Cannabutter-Friendly Recipes

While most people may think that cannabutter is only useful for baked goods and desserts, there are countless possible uses for cannabutter. You can use cannabutter to create cannabis-infused:

  • Hamburgers
  • Nachos
  • Pies
  • Pasta
  • Popcorn
  • Roast turkey
  • Scrambled eggs
  • And much more

Infusing marijuana into different foods with cannabutter is a great way to consume your medical marijuana. Better yet, experimenting with different recipes can add variety to your medical marijuana experience.

Cannabutter Recipe: How to Make Cannabutter

Before beginning this recipe, it’s very important to remember to complete the decarboxylation process before adding your cannabis to the butter. If you skip this step, your cannabutter will only be a fraction as potent as it would be after achieving decarboxylation. Do not skip this step.

Ingredients and Cooking Tools

  • ¼ ounce of cannabis buds, finely ground with stems and seeds (if any) removed
  • ½ cup (one stick) of unsalted butter
  • One cookie sheet
  • One large saucepan
  • Spoon
  • Metal strainer (you may also use a cheese cloth for straining)
  • Wooden ladle
  • Container with a tight-fitting lid (for storage)

First, bake your cannabis sample on a cookie sheet at 250°F/120°C for 30 to 60 minutes. This will complete the decarboxylation process and give the ground cannabis a nutty, roasted flavor.

Next, melt the butter in the saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the butter has completely melted, start stirring in your ground cannabis, a little bit at a time. Stir well after each addition.

Once you have added all of the cannabis, stir to incorporate all of the grounds. Simmer the cannabutter on low heat, stirring frequently. After about 40 to 45 minutes, you should start to see small foamy bubbles forming on the surface of the cannabutter.

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Remove from heat and strain the cannabutter through the metal strainer or cheese cloth into your storage container. Use a spoon to press the melted butter through the strainer while trapping all of the ground cannabis grains.

When finished, your cannabutter should have a slightly greenish tint. Once it has cooled, you are ready to start creating your favorite cannabis-infused recipes! If you successfully achieved decarboxylation during the initial roasting process, your cannabutter should be potent and produce the effects you’d expect from premade edibles found at a dispensary.

You can store your cannabutter the same way you would store regular butter. You can freeze it for up to six months or keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Calculating the Potency of Your Cannabutter

You may be wondering how to tell how potent your cannabutter is before consuming it. It’s wise to have some idea of how to judge the strength so you don’t inadvertently make something too potent that leaves you “couch-locked.” And on the other hand, you want to ensure your cannabutter is potent enough to be noticeable in your infused foods.

Know the exact potency of your cannabutter by using our free online tool:

Cannabutter Cooking Calculator

It’s important to take note if the cannabis you purchased from your medical marijuana dispensary has a THC or CBD percentage listed on the package. If so, you can use that percentage as a baseline to calculate the potency of your cannabutter. As a rough guideline, cannabutter extracts about 60 percent of the psychoactive compounds (cannabinoids) found in marijuana.

Different Strains Matter

Remember, the strain you use will affect the final product when you cook with cannabutter. For example, if you use an indica strain with a high THC count, you can expect a very heavy body-centric high that will greatly help with stress relief, sleeping troubles and anxiety. If you opt for a sativa with a higher CBD count, you should expect a more alert high.

Not sure which strain would be right for the recipe you want to create? Stop in and talk to the budtenders at Kind Meds in Mesa, Arizona. Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the best indica, sativa or hybrid strain for you.

Of course, if you’d prefer to skip the work and enjoy a premade edible treat, Kind Meds has a wide selection of cannabis-infused edibles. We also carry edibles for customers with specific dietary concerns, including vegan and gluten-free options.

See Our Product Line, Including Edibles

You Will Need

  • ½ ounce decarboxylated cannabis*

*New patients should consider starting with a half ounce flower, gradually increasing the amount of cannabis after becoming familiar with the results. Those seeking more potent medication may tolerate effects of a 1:1 ratio (1 oz of cannabis to 1 lb of butter). Also, flower high in THC (15%+ THC content) will often deliver a heavier effect than trim or shake. If using all shake/trim, use 1 to 3 ounces. Try experimenting with a mix of flowers and trim/shake to maximize your medication supply. Adding kief or vaped bud will contribute to the effects, but doing so unfortunately cheapens the taste. Additionally, older/decarboxylated herbs/kief will typically yield a more sedative effect than fresh flower, so keep that in mind as well.

  • 1 pound butter (unsalted preferred)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) of water
  • Metal spoon
  • Spatula
  • Medium saucepan / pot (2 or 3 quart)
  • Glass or stainless steel bowl (2 quart)
  • Metal strainer or colander
  • 2 pieces of cheesecloth (approx 8” x 8”)
  • Food handling gloves
  • Knife
  • Plastic wrap or airtight container(s)

Directions for Cannabis Infused Butter

  1. Combine water, butter (cut into several pieces) and cannabis into pan and cook over low heat – the mixture should never boil but simply simmer. Continue cooking for 3-4 hours.
  2. Every 30 minutes or so stir gently. The mixture will thicken as the water cooks off. Don’t allow mixture to become too thick. The cannabis should float about 2 inches from the bottom of the pan and should never touch the bottom. If necessary, add water.
  3. After 3-4 hours, when the mixture looks glossy and is more dense and compact (most of the water has evaporated), turn off heat and allow to cool.
  4. While the butter mixture is cooling, line a metal colander or strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth (be sure to allow a few inches of overhang).
  5. When mixture is safe to handle, pour the butter and cannabis mixture into the colander/strainer, pressing down with back of spatula, allowing the butter to drain into the glass bowl.
  6. With gloved hands, bring together the corners of the cheesecloth and twist tightly to squeeze out all of the butter. Discard cannabis.
  7. Using the spatula, scrape out any residual butter left in pan into the bowl.
  8. Place bowl in fridge for about 2 hours, or until butter has solidified.
  9. After the butter has solidified, the next step is to remove it from the water. Run a knife around edges to separate the butter from the bowl, and then cut a small piece from edge (but large enough to feed spatula underneath).
  10. Carefully lift the butter layer and place wet side up on wax paper or cutting board and dab off any excess water with dry clean cloth. Your finished butter will have a green tinge.
  11. Place the cannabutter into an airtight container, and store in fridge until ready to use.
  12. It is recommended cannabutter be used immediately, or within a few weeks for optimal quality.
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