How To Make Clarified Marijuana Butter

Cindy Lou December 13, 2011 6
How To Make Clarified Marijuana Butter

There are thousands of recipes for making marijuana edibles ranging from the famous pot brownie to incredible gourmet meals. Though the possibilities are endless, each marijuana recipe contains one key ingredient at its heart, cannabis infused butter or oil. This recipe will show you step by step how to make clarified marijuana butter.

Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter so it can be used in frying without burning and is excellent for sauteing.  It doesn’t have the same rich flavor of unsalted butter but it still retains more of a buttery taste than other oils. Clarified butter is used in baking genoise, madeleines, and other baked goods where creaming the butter is not necessary, though you still want that nutty flavor.  It is also used in making hollandaise sauce and is perfect for dipping steamed artichokes.

Kitchen Tools

Just like cooking anything else, you are going to need some basic kitchen tools to make marijuana butter. This can get a little messy, so if you plan to make butter often, you might want a set of these tools specifically for making cannabis butter.

  • Crock-pot
  • Blender, coffee grinder, or Cuisinart
  • Large bowl
  • Large stirring spoon or spatula
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Scale for measuring marijuana
  • Measuring cups
  • Mason jars or containers that can be sealed

Estimating Dosage

Estimating dosage can be a bit tricky and will depend largely on the cannabinoid content of the marijuana you are cooking with. Clarified marijuana butter can be made from leaf, trichome rich trim or manicure, small scrap buds we like to call trim smoke, buds of any quality, as well as kief and hash. The best method is to make a batch and then test a small amount. Cannabis edibles take much longer to show their effects so make sure you wait about two hours before you increase a dose. If you are trying to maintain a consistent strength over time with different types of marijuana, consider having our friends in Santa Cruz at SC Laboratories check out a sample for you. They can test the cannabinoid content and tell you exactly what you are working with.

Use the following estimated amounts of marijuana for each pound of butter (1 pound = 2 cups)

  • Leaf – 1.5 to 2 ounces
  • Trim – 1 ounce
  • Trim Smoke and Bud – .5 to .75 ounces
  • Kief and Hash – 3 to 4 grams

It is my personal belief that it is better to make your butter strong than it is to make the butter too weak. If you are making a batch of 24 marijuana chocolate chip cookies then the recipe probably calls for one cup of butter. If a cup of your marijuana infused butter is only strong enough for 12 doses, then your only options are to ruin the recipe by adding twice as much butter as required, or by eating two cookies. My answer of course it to eat all the cookies, but this doesn’t make for good medical marijuana advice.

It’s much wiser to make the butter strong so that a cup of butter is enough for 24 doses. This way you have options. If you want a dose to be one cookie simply use one cup of marijuana infused butter. On the other hand, if you want a dose to be two cookies, you can use a half cup of marijuana butter and half a cup of regular butter. Problem solved.

Prep

Begin by taking a close look at your marijuana. Spread it out in the large bowl and sift through it with your fingers. Try to remove the stem and any foreign material. I am willing to bet that you’ll find at least some dog or cat hair. I don’t know why, but marijuana and animal hair seem to go hand in hand. Animal hair won’t hurt you, but I am familiar with canine behavior. Gag!

Add the marijuana to your blender, coffee grinder or Cuisinart. You are going to have to filter this plant matter with the stainer later so make sure you don’t over grind the marijuana. We are aiming for an even 1 to 2 mm grind, about the size you would roll into a joint.

Clarifying Butter

By clarifying butter through a slow cooking process, you can strain out milk solids that burn quickly and any water and salt. You’ll end up losing about 25% but you’ll have a much better butter for cooking meats and fish and can cook at a much higher temperature than with regular butter which makes it great for pan-frying.

Add the butter to a heavy saucepan and melt the butter on a stove-top set to low. Once the butter is completely melted remove the pan from the heat and let it set for 5 minutes or so. Skim and discard the foamed up butter that has risen to the top. Pour the remaining butter carefully into the crock pot and discard the milky solids in the bottom of the pan.

Room temperature clarified marijuana butter

Warm clarified marijuana butter

Infusion

Add the ground marijuana to the butter, stir together and bring to a simmer. Let the butter simmer for an hour or two stirring occasionally. Simmering for 1 to 2 hours is plenty for those cooking with kief, and I believe this is probably sufficient to extract most of the cannabinoids from other forms of marijuana. Some experts suggest going a few steps further to make your butter as strong as possible. If you want the strongest butter let the mixture cool completely, then simmer and stir again for another hour or two, let cool, and repeat again.

After the last simmer but before the butter cools, carefully pour the mixture through the mesh stainer and into a bowl or quart sized measuring cup. Squeeze the captured plant matter with a spoon or spatula to coax any remaining butter out of the leaf.

Before the butter begins to set up, pour the butter in 1 cup increments into resealable storage containers like mason jars or Tupperware. Frozen clarified butter will keep until needed. Refrigerated, it will last for about one month.

You’ve done it. Time to break out Julie Child and get to work.

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6 Comments »

  1. bryan March 6, 2013 at 5:19 am - Reply

    Had a high time book on cooking but lost it need to knw how much do u use to every stick of butter

    • Rambo March 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      It depends on how big of a batch you are making with the butter and what kind of cannabis you are using. Since most people use trim, lets use that as an example. If the trim test at say 5% THC (I really have no idea without testing) then It would take 20 grams of cannabis to make 1 gram of pure THC, this is the same as 1000 mg of THC. A normal edible dose is between 40 and 100 mg of pure THC depending on the person. Do the math from there.

  2. ilaini May 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    Thank you for your informative and helpful post!

    I’m a medical marijuana patient and am concerned about overall effects of the canna butter. I typically vaporize doses of pure Sativa strains or hybrids strains which are sativa dominant.

    Does it matter what strain or type of medical marijuana bud I use to make this butter?

    Also, I have some left over already vaporized ground bud; can this be used for butter?

    Thank you, I look forward to your response.

    Best, ilani

    • Rambo May 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure what you mean by concerned about the overall effects of canna butter. The effect will be different than vaporizing. The effects will likely last much longer for your and produce a bit different of a high. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for your symptoms. You’ll just have to try and see how well it works for you. Many patients find that edible cannabis works much better for their symptoms. Everyone is different though. I don’t know if you will notice much of a difference between a type of strain and the edible it produces. Most people would tell you it matters but I doubt the science is really there to back it up. Your liver is going to process it and do what it feels like with the chemical compounds so its really hard to say. As for making butter from herb that has already been vaporized… I guess it would all depend on if there were any cannabinoids left in the herb after you vaporized it. I suspect there would be very little left but we can’t tell without lab tests.

  3. Antony smith March 14, 2014 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Is their a certain amount of time I must Waite before I can use the dead leaves or plant matter . For the butter . ??? I just started the flowering yest ,i do reolize it takes a week pr so for FLOWEr sighs. But I REALY need to know about when the plant matter is potent enough as itself. To use for buttering process. Thank you

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