How to Make Canna Oil and Cannabis Butter with the Perfect Potency
Making delicious cannabutter or infused oil with the right dosage of cannabis is an artform. Even some of the best cannabutter recipes leave out critical details and leave you questioning how much cannabis is in your product!
Learning the right technique and the science behind making cannabutter will leave you with the right dosage every time.
That’s right, we’re going to be getting into some weed science here. All the best cannabutter recipe posts should include a dash of chemistry and dosing know-how, after all.
If you want to make the best cannabutter ratio or canna oil, use the following tips, along with our quick cannabutter recipe, as a reference.
How to Get the Right Dosage and Cannabutter Ratio
There are several complex factors that go into calculating the final potency of your cannabutter. Each step involved as you create the product reduces the amount of available THC, for one.
You may not know the actual potency of your dried, ground cannabis. If that is the case, then you will need to make an estimate somewhere in the ballpark of 10 percent THC potency by weight. Adjust for the strength and quality of the weed. “Schwag” weed, for instance, may only have 5 percent potency.
Assuming you do procure your cannabis from a source that tests and labels their flower, you can use this number to estimate your starting potency. The bag should be labelled something like “18 percent THC,” which means that every gram (1,000 milligrams) will have 180 mg of THC.
Note that if the bag says “THCA,” then the final THC number will be lower. “Raw” cured marijuana flowers do not actually have THC in them. Instead, they have THCA, which must be heated to transform into THC. Only about 88 percent of THCA becomes THC, though, so adjust your calculations accordingly.
Doing the Math to Create the Best Cannabutter Recipe
Once you know your THC amount by weight, you can then divide this amount throughout the batch. Let’s say you intend to make a batch of pot brownies, which calls for a 1/2 cup of butter (115 g). The recipe yields 16 brownies, and you want a moderately strong potency of 10mg of THC per brownie.
16 brownies x 10 mg THC = 160 mg THC in 1/2 cup of butter
So, your quick cannabutter recipe now calls for a ratio of 160 mg of THC for every 115 g of butter. Assuming you buy a 454 g (1 lb) package of butter to melt:
454 g ÷ 115 g = 3.95 1/2 cup butter portions (around 4)
160 mg THC x 4 = 640 mg total
This calculation means you need 640 mg of THC for the ideal cannabutter ratio. If you have a moderately strong cannabis strain used for pain treatment with 18 percent THC, then you will need 3.56 grams of ground cannabis.
But wait! Extracting THC into butter or oil isn’t a perfect process. Only around 30 to 60 percent of the THC will fully extract. So, if you’re worried about things being too weak, double the amount of marijuana you’ll need so that you can account for incomplete extraction. In this case, you’ll need 7.12 grams, which is a little over a standard quarter ounce of marijuana.
How to Make Canna Oil and Infused Butter with Our Quick Cannabutter Recipe
Now that all that math is out of the way, let’s get down and dirty in the kitchen!
To make cannabutter properly, you need to heat your ground cannabis to the point where it transforms THCA into THC, as mentioned above. To do this, you need to heat the cannabis to 107°C (225°F). You can accomplish this by simply letting the cannabis “stew” in the butter for several hours, but that would lead to some nasty-tasting butter.
Instead, we recommend you decarboxylate in the oven. Spread your ground weed out on a baking tray atop parchment paper or foil. Make sure it’s spread evenly so everything cooks at the same temp.
After around 50 minutes to an hour, your weed should be fully decarbed. You can remove it and let it cool.
Now you can start cooking!
- 1/4 ounce to 1/2 ounce finely ground, decarbed cannabis
- 454 g butter (four sticks or a pound)
- OR 2 cups desired oil
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) water
- Fine mesh sieve
How to Do It:
- Simmer butter and water on medium-low heat in a saucepan until better is fully melted and you get a slight foamy layer.
- Add ground cannabis, stirring until evenly distributed.
- Cook until mixture begins to simmer once more. If you have a candy thermometer, the ideal temp is between 88°C and 93°C.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes and checking temperature if desired.
- Once mixture is fully infused, pour into heat-safe container through sieve and cheesecloth. You can squeeze the cheesecloth to extract more cannabutter and potency, but you’ll be adding unpleasant flavors. Your choice!
- Allow mixture to cool for around an hour at room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze immediately.
If you’re trying to learn how to make canna oil, the joy of this recipe is that it can easily be changed around! Simply substitute coconut oil (best choice) or any vegetable oil instead.
More Advice for Cannabutter Dosing and Strain Selection
Our above suggestions apply to making a fairly “weak” batch of cannabutter, so feel free to add a half ounce or more to increase the potency. Keep in mind that the strain of weed you choose can change the potency and effects of the final product.
If, for instance, you want to use an indica strain that is one of the types of weed known to relieve stress, then anything made with your butter will likely be deeply relaxing. If, however, you use a strong sativa strain or hybrid that is good for working out while high, you may feel slightly more energized and uplifted than with the average edible.
Above all else, measure diligently, experiment often and learn from your mistakes in the kitchen. Since there are so many variables at play, the best cannabutter recipe is the one you make yourself after dozens of attempts and lessons learned.