How To Infuse Butter With Herbs

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The high from edibles hits differently. And while it wont replace a regular cannabis vaping session, it can be a nice change of pace for a frequent marijuana user. The great thing is, making herb-infused foods at home is actually quite easy. To do that, the first thing you need to learn is how to infuse butter with herbs. While the concept is fairly simple, there are some tricky steps that you need to take to ensure that your herb butter is active, potent, and tastes good.

What Herb Should I Use?

Most cannabutter is made using trim, or the leaves trimmed from the cannabis flower after harvesting. However, trim contains a lot of plant matter, which can result in a bitter cannabutter.

Hash or kief is a great option. But for convenience and accessibility, a good-quality cannabis flower—the part that’s cultivated, harvested, dried, and cured for vaping or smoking—works, too. Some herbs have fruity or floral notes; choose whichever works for the recipe you’re using the butter for.

How To Infuse Butter With Herbs

If you’ve ever infused butter with cooking herbs, then you’ll know it’s a pretty straightforward process. You simply cook the butter and the herbs together, allowing the fat to extract the fat-soluble compounds in the oil, essentially flavoring the butter.

Infusing butter with cannabis is the same. But because you’re working with a herb that needs to be activated to produce its high-inducing effects, you must preheat the marijuana in a process called decarboxylation (or decarb, for short).

Step 1: Decarboxylating Cannabis

In its raw form, cannabis is non-psychoactive. Decarbing the marijuana activates the high-inducing chemicals. When smoking or vaping, you do this by burning or heating the herb, kick-starting its effects. You have to do the same with cannabis here.

Heating the herb low and slow in the oven is the most efficient way to decarb it. To do this, preheat an oven to 275°F. Take a non-stick oven-safe sheet pan, then cover it with a piece of parchment paper.

Break up your cannabis flower, then spread it on the sheet pan, making sure there’s enough surface area between pieces. Place the sheet pan into the oven, then bake it for twenty to forty minutes.

The longer it heats, the more potent it will be. But you don’t want to overdo it since the material can develop a burnt taste if you leave it too long. Plus, keep in mind that it’ll heat up again when you use it for baking or cooking later on.

Remove the sheet pan from the oven, then let the cannabis flower cool to room temperature before coarsely grinding it.

Step 2: Infusing Butter With Herbs

Using good butter doesn’t just affect flavor, it also helps the herb infuse better. You don’t need anything fancy, but a high-fat unsalted butter—like the European ones—is a safe bet.

The time it takes to infuse butter can take anywhere between thirty minutes to four hours, depending on what you want to get out of it. The longer it takes, the more the herb is infused into the butter. But leaving it to simmer too long also draws out the earthy flavors of the cannabis, giving the butter an unpleasant flavor.

In a saucepan over very low heat, add your butter, a splash of water, and your ground decarboxylated herb. Keep it at a simmer for forty five minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally. Your butter shouldn’t go over 190°F (you can use a candy thermometer to measure). By this time, 80 to 90% of the herb would’ve already been infused into the butter. If you’re not averse to the earthy taste, you can simmer it longer, for up to 2 hours.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, let it cool slightly, then strain it into a food-safe container. Cover then keep in the fridge or freezer.

Step 3: Using The Cannabutter

Cannabutter has a shorter shelf life than regular butter, so it’s best to use it ASAP. Tightly wrapped, it can last up to one or two weeks in the fridge. Frozen, it can last up to six months. Slice off a piece every time you need it, then place it back in the fridge for storage.

Use Cannabutter Responsibly

Now that you’ve made cannabutter, you can start using it for baking and cooking. That said, monitor on the dosage. While proper dosing can be difficult when making homemade edibles, you can control the experience by knowing the dosage of your herb and eating cannabis-infused food moderately. The right amount can give you a fun, relaxing experience, but accidentally taking too much can lead to an experience that can feel uncomfortable at times. Learn more about THCA and it’s legality.

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