4 min

How To Make Cannabutter

4 min

Cannabutter, or marijuana butter, is the foundation of pretty much all cannabis cooking. Knowing how to make it will ensure that everything you cook has the potential to deliver you a great, vibrant buzz.

It should be noted that there are quite a few recipes to make cannabutter, the following is just one of many.

First of all a warning. Cooking with fats and water can be very dangerous if you are clumsy or unprepared. It is highly recommended that you wear long-sleeved clothing and gloves that can deal with heat. If you do not, you run the risk of burning yourself - which we take no responsibility for.

It is possible to make cannabutter with your bud, but many people see this as a waste of perfectly good smoking material. Alternatively, you can use the offcuts and trimmings from your harvest. This will allow you to make a marijuana butter that still has a decent kick, without eating into your personal stores.

When selecting your offcuts and trimmings, it is important to prioritize leaves. These have a much higher cannabinoid content that stems or branches due to having a higher concentrate of trichomes. This is not to say you should not use stems or branches. These can still be added in, it will do no harm whatsoever and can bulk up the amount you produce.

Recipe for Cannabutter

Recipe time:

3 hours - full day

What you will need:

  • Marijuana
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Cooking pots
  • A blender
  • A wooden spoon
  • Two sieves (and possibly cheese cloth depending on how finely you blend you marijuana)
  • Plastic containers


1. To prepare your weed you will need to grind it up as much as possible. This will increase potential surface area and allow for a much better reaction when the time comes to meld it with butter. The best way we have found to do this is by using a food blender. You can turn whole bags of trimmings into a fine paste in a matter of minutes.

The way the process of making cannabutter works is by bonding the oils of cannabis with the oils from the butter using heat - effectively merging the two separate entities become one. This is why it is important to get as much surface area as possible. More surface area equals more cannabis oil, which means better butter.

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2. Next, choose a cooking pot that you can fill to 1/3 capacity with your blended marijuana. If you are making a small batch, then choose a small pot; if you are making a big one, then choose a big pot/multiple pots in accordance.

3. Next add sticks of butter and water into your pots at a 1:4 ratio. So for every 250g stick of butter you add, add in one liter of water (1000 ml). Do this until you fill all the pots you are using to 2/3 capacity.

It is important to use the previous pot capacity measurements (1/3 and 2/3 respectively) because you are going to be adding heat to this mix very soon. Once the mix begins to boil you are going to be having scorching fats and oils bubbling all over the place. If you fill your pots too much you are likely to put the warning we placed at the top of this article into good use. Boiling fats and oils are going to go everywhere, burning you and making an absolute mess of your kitchen.

4. Now that you have a weed and butter “soup” in your pots it is time to start heating them up. There are two opposing options here, with options being hotly debated. You can either bring your water to a very high temperature causing a fast and violent boil, or you can hit 100 degrees Celsius and boil it slowly. Violent boiling will be much faster, but you run the risk of losing THC and CBD particles in the accelerated evaporation/vaporization. Lower boils will take much longer, but you are likely to lose less THC and CBD (see our articles on vaporizing your cannabis for more information on this process and the temperatures that cause it).

Advocates of the faster method will say the loss is minimal to non-existent, whereas those who prefer a slow boil will argue the opposite. We recommend experimenting and doing what you feel gets you the best results.

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5. As you boil the mixture, stir it regularly with your wooden spoon and keep topping it up with water when it reduces by half the original volume. Depending on the speed you boil it will dictate how frequently you have to do this.

6. You know your butter is ready when you see a separation in the liquid, with a decent layer of oil floating on the top. This can take anywhere from 3 hours to a whole day.

7. Once you have this, strain the liquid into a container, removing the blended marijuana. Take this marijuana, and with gloves on, hand squeeze it over the container and another sieve to get additional oil out of it. There will be quite a lot left in the weed you have taken out – you should be able to get some substantial amounts out of it.

Once you are done with the blended marijuana, you can put it aside for use in future endeavours, (should you wish). It can be used as a part of a salad dressing or a spread to supplement your other foods. It will still have a small amount of cannabinoids in it, so you can still put it to use if you are someone who wants to get the absolute maximum from your cannabis crops.

8. You are now left with a container that has a layer of cannabutter oils on top of a layer of water. Place the container in the fridge overnight. This will solidify the oils into your final cannabutter.

9. When you come back the next day, carefully remove the layer of cannabutter from the container. Be careful not to spill any of the water by-product or drop the butter into it, it can make a nasty mess.

10. Now that you have your marijuana butter, you can store it in the fridge. It should last about 2 weeks or so before it begins to go off. If you want it to last longer, you can store it in the freezer for use at you own leisure. Bear in mind you will have to let it thaw before use though, so it is best to cut it into portion sized chunks before you freeze it. This will mean that you do not have to thaw your entire stock when you want to use some.

There you have it! You now have cannabutter ready for use as base for all of your other cannabis cooking needs, or for simply using as a lovely buttery spread!

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Extra Tip: It is also possible to flavour your cannabutter for extra utility and taste. It can be enhanced with all manner of things, from fruits, sugars, spices and savoury herbs depending on how you plan to use it. Some favourite additions for tasty, savoury cannabutters are garlic, thyme or basil. Those looking for a spicy kick can add in chilli powder, pepper, hot sauce or 5 spice. Fruity cannabis butter can be made by adding such things as orange, lemons or apples. If you want to turn it into a sweet butter then consider adding sugar, coco powder or even crushed candy.

The possibilities are limitless, and because you are going to be making your cannabutter from bits that would have otherwise ended up in the bin or on the compost heap, you don’t have anything to lose – don't be afraid to experiment and make the tastiest butter you can!

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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