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6 Easy Steps to Making Cannabis-Infused Butter and Oils

Posted by MMJ Jill on Sep 28, 2021

Ever wish you had some custom cannabis cookies, bhang brownies, or other marijuana edibles made with your own special recipe? Then you need to learn about cannabis infusion, the dope DIYer’s dream come true.

Infusion -- the process of transferring the taste and aroma of one thing into another -- results in a material perfect for making your own cannabis-infused edibles from your marijuana stash. Because you consume it orally instead of smoking it, you don’t have to worry about the potentially negative health effects of combustion or how to cover up that weed smell.

Follow these six easy steps to start infusing your baking and cooking with the wonders of weed. 

Step One: Buy Marijuana

Before you can infuse cannabis, you need to buy your weed. We’re pro-marijuana dispensaries here, obviously, for all of these very good reasons

As you choose your weed, consider the various strains available. The terpenes in marijuana can lend flavors of citrus, floral, herbal, pepper, pine, and more. For more on which terpenes produce each flavor, see our post, “Tasty Terpenes and How They Impact Your High.”

Step Two: Grind the Flower

Use a 3-chamber grinder (to keep your kief) or your fingers to break the bud up into small pieces. You should already have one as part of your stoner starter kit. Don’t crush the cannabis too small, or you’ll have trouble straining it out in later steps and you’ll have gritty edibles. Too fine a grind will also cause your cannabis to release chlorophyll, which will make your infusion taste more green.

Step Three: Choose a Base

You’ll need some kind of fatty base to infuse your cannabis into. Why? Because the cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) bind to fats. Butter works well if you’ll be baking with the infusion. For cooking, try bacon fat, and oils like olive, avocado, and coconut.

Step Four: Heat the Herb

Raw marijuana contains THCa and CBDa rather than THC and CBD. In order to be converted from THCa to THC or CBDa into CBD, the plant material must be heated -- this process is known as decarboxylation or decarbing. 

Cook the cannabis low and slow to activate the cannabinoids -- below 245 degrees Fahrenheit. The low heat retains the medicinal properties of the cannabis and prevents the mixture from burning. Don’t try to rush the process. It takes time to decarb and set all those lovely cannabinoids free. You can cook it in a pot on your stovetop, in a slow cooker, or in any number of gadgets available to make this process easier like the Magical Butter Machine or the Levo

  • On the stovetop, set the temperature to low and add your fatty base and marijuana. Cook for 3 hours, stirring often.
  • For a less hands-on approach, you can use the slow cooker. Set the temperature to low and let it cook for 4 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Step Five: Strain the Stuff

Remove all the ground-up marijuana from your fatty base by pouring the mixture through a sieve covered with cheesecloth. Once you’ve poured it through, squeeze the herb in the cheesecloth to get every last drop. If you are using one of the kitchen devices mentioned above, this step is moot as the machine strains the oil for you.

Step Six: Bake with the Bud

Let the baking begin -- literally and figuratively. Once the decarb process is complete, you can use your cannabis infusion in any recipe that calls for that type of fatty base. You can make a citrusy sinsemilla sauce for a fish dish, a Mary Jane meatloaf with bacon fat, or a salad dressing with vinegar and cannabis-infused olive oil. Just keep the cooking heat below 350 degrees to preserve the cannabinoids you worked so hard to activate.

Whatever fatty base you choose for your cannabis infusion, remember to always keep the heat low and go slow. The process of releasing the cannabinoids takes time, and can easily be ruined with high heat. 

Low and slow is also good advice for consuming your infusions. Remember that your high will take longer to kick in -- 45 minutes to a couple of hours -- when you eat your cannabis-infused concoctions. 

The important question is: What tasty terpene-enhanced creation will you make first?

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