There are many different methods a person can use when baking with medical cannabis. Many people still rely on the old-school method of physically baking the plant material right into the cookies or brownies. However, making a cannabis-infused butter prior to making baked goods is a great way to remove the plant material but still retain the medical properties of the cannabis plant.
Cannabis-infused butter, or canna-butter, can also be refrigerated or even frozen for long-term storage. Personally, I like to make large batches of canna-butter, separate it into individual containers and store it for whenever I feel like making a batch of cookies or brownies. The following is the method I use for extracting the medicinal properties of cannabis into butter.
Materials Needed to Make Your Own Canna Butter
- 24 sticks of butter
- Ground or broken-up cannabis (2-3 oz.)
- Large pot (for cooking the butter and cannabis)
- Cheesecloth (for straining the plant material)
- Large bowl (for catching the strained canna-butter)
- 20 4-oz. plastic containers for storing the finished product
This recipe will yield roughly 20 4-oz. containers of canna-butter. Each 4-oz. container can then make one batch of cookies or brownies. Ratios can be changed to make smaller or larger batches.
Step 1. Unwrap butter and place it into cooking pot over medium heat. Allow the butter to begin to melt before adding the ground cannabis.
Step 2. Add ground cannabis to melting butter. Continue to stir the butter and cannabis until the butter is completely melted.
tep 3. Decarboxylate. Continue to stir the butter and cannabis mixture until a white foam starts to appear on the surface. This is the beginning of the decarboxylation process. The decarboxylation process is when the THC in the cannabis is heated and becomes psychoactive. This same process happens when cannabis is burned or vaporized for inhalation. When making canna-butter you do not want this process to happen too rapidly or aggressively. It is important to stir continuously, watch for a white foam to develop on the surface, and wait for the distinct cannabis odor.
Step 4. Once you smell that distinct cannabis odor, turn the heat down to low so that the remainder of the decarboxylation process can proceed slowly. Continue to cook the cannabis butter mixture on low heat for the next 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The white foam will settle and, in some cases, disappear entirely. This is just fine. After 2-3 hours, turn off the heat for a few minutes to let the canna-butter cool a little before processing further.
Step 5. Strain the canna-butter. Place cheesecloth over a large bowl to act as a strainer for the cannabis butter mixture. Pour mixture through the cheesecloth. After gravity does all it can do, lift up the cheesecloth and twist it so you can squeeze the remaining canna-butter into the bowl without spilling any plant material. Once the cheesecloth has been squeezed, dispose of the plant material.
Step 6. Separate into individual containers. After the canna-butter has been strained, pour it into individual containers for storage and later use. Pour approximately 4 oz. into each container and let sit or refrigerate to solidify the butter. The finished product should have a bright green color. Canna-butter can be stored for a month or two in the refrigerator or for much longer in the freezer.
Now it’s time to bake with your canna-butter to create medicinal baked goods. The simplest way to get started is to head to the grocery store for a prepackaged cookie or brownie mix. The reason I use 4-oz. containers for canna-butter storage is that many prepackaged cookie or brownie mixes call for around four ounces of oil or butter. This makes it really easy to quickly make a batch of medicinal baked goods whenever you feel like it. For those of you who enjoy baking from scratch, canna-butter can be substituted for oil or butter in virtually any recipe. This recipe is one of my personal favorites:
Lee’s Recipe for Medicated Chocolate Cupcakes
- 4 oz. canna-butter
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set dry mixture aside. In another large bowl, cream together the canna-butter and the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture until well combined. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry mixture and the milk alternately. Beat well until mixture has a uniform consistency. Pour mixture into greased or lined muffin cups. Bake at 350˚F for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes then add your favorite frosting. Makes 24 cupcakes.
Baking with cannabis is a fun and effective way to create a medically infused treat. Making canna-butter is a great way to create a cannabis-infused product capable of long-term storage. After you have made the canna-butter, you can get creative and start experimenting with cannabis in different recipes. You can even take your favorite recipes and give them a new twist.