5 Benefits of Canna-Butter, and How To Make Your Own

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Did you know that the infusion method used to create an edible has a noticeable impact on the final effects you will experience?

The two main infusion methods for creating edibles are:

  • Distillate or Isolate Infusion, in which isolated cannabinoids (THC or CBD isolate only, or the two isolates combined in the case of distillates) are added to an otherwise standard recipe to create an infused final product

  • Full Spectrum Infusion, in which whole plant cannabis is used to infuse the edible and capture the full range of active compounds, including minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

One of the most popular and effective ways of creating full spectrum edibles is to roast cannabis flower in butter, capturing the active cannabis compounds in the fat-rich butter. The final infused butter product is called “Canna-Butter”, and it can be used in just about any recipe that calls for butter to create edibles with ease!

Canna-butter edible infusion has some benefits over other cannabis delivery methods that you may not be aware of - here are the top 5 benefits of canna-butter edibles, plus if you stick around until the end, we’ll show you how to make your own at home!

1. Full-Spectrum Compounds are Preserved
                We briefly touched on this benefit in the introduction, but it’s important enough to discuss in a little more detail - canna-butter infusion is a lower temperature extraction method than distillate or isolate extraction, so not only do you get the THC and CBD from the flower, but you also preserve the effects-driving terpene profile, the medicinally-beneficial minor cannabinoids, and the mysterious-yet-promising flavonoids.
You may have heard the term “Entourage Effect” used in relation to cannabis - this is a description of the way in which all of these active compounds work together synergistically, creating a different final experience and more complete medicinal benefits than just isolated THC or CBD. Full-spectrum edibles will provide an Entourage Effect-driven experience and medicinal benefits, while distillate or isolate infused edibles cannot.

2. Whole-Plant Medicine Without Lung Involvement
                Speaking of health benefits, many medical patients and health-conscious consumers want or need the benefits of whole-plant cannabis, but cannot (or choose not to) smoke or vaporize cannabis products for those same health reasons.
Full spectrum edibles are the perfect way for those with lung or respiratory health concerns, coughing issues, or those who lead a smoke-free lifestyle to get whole-plant medicine without having to inhale burning material or smoke. This allows more people to have access to the amazing benefits of cannabis without exposing themselves to potential negative side effects.

3. Easy to Ensure Single-Strain Infusion
                Canna-butter is often created with cannabis flower from a single strain source, rather than a mix of different strains in one batch of butter. This means that the final canna-butter has the same full-spectrum profile of compounds as that source strain, and will produce final effects that are similar to the mood and overall feel of the experience gained from smoking or vaporizing that strain (though the effects of edibles are usually stronger and longer lasting than the effects of smoking, which we’ll discuss in our next point).
Edibles with single-strain infusions should list the exact strain of cannabis used on the packaging to help you predict the general type of experience that edible will provide. The experience that you get from edibles made with the same batch of strain-specific canna-butter will be very consistent on repeated consumptions, helping to take the often worrisome guesswork out of edibles experimentation.

4. More Well-Rounded Cannabis Experiences
                In addition to providing more complete medicinal benefits through synergistic action, the Entourage Effect will also produce more well-rounded “high” experiences in full-spectrum delivery methods. You can think of full-spectrum edible infusion as being more similar to smoking whole flower and distillate/isolate infusion edibles as being closer to dabbing pure-THC extracts. Both will certainly produce strong psychoactive effects, but you can expect more bodily involvement and a longer-lasting euphoric experience from full-spectrum delivery methods due to the complete profile of active compounds being consumed.
Canna-butter is an optimal medium for creating powerful edible experiences, not only because of the captured terpenes and flavonoids, but also due to the high fat content of the butter providing a great metabolic vehicle for transforming Delta-9-THC (the activated THC that produces psychoactive effects) into 11-Hydroxy-THC, the form of activated THC that produces the stronger, longer-lasting effects typically experienced from edibles. It is usually suggested to eat something fatty with an edible to help achieve these stronger effects - with canna-butter, this step is already taken care of by the infusion method.

5. Easy to Do, and Easy to Dose
Even if you know next to nothing about the different processes used to create distillates and isolates, you probably know that they are all involved, time-consuming processes that are easy to mess up, often with disastrous and very dangerous consequences. Making quality extractions requires patience and expertise, not to mention expensive equipment and volatile solvents that the average consumer will not have easy access to or know how to use safely. This is one of the main differentiating factors of canna-butter infusion - not only is it very easy to do at home, you may even already have the equipment that you need to do it in your kitchen right this minute!
You can also easily control your canna-butter dosing in many ways, such as varying the amount of flower used in the butter infusion, using a lower- or higher-potency strain to infuse your butter, or cutting the total amount of canna-butter used in your final recipe with some regular, non-infused butter to reduce the dosage in that edibles batch only. This makes it easy to create at-home edibles of your chosen strength from one butter batch.
Lastly, the process of creating canna-butter can be a fun group activity for adult friends and family; you could create a large batch of canna-butter together to share as a group, use your butter to have an infused dinner party, host an edibles bake-off with goodies made with your butter - the list goes on!

The different cannabis delivery methods all have their own benefits, but we’re big believers in the power of full-spectrum canna-butter infusion for these reasons and more. If you’re in Oregon and you’d like to sample our strain-specific canna-butter infused caramels, you can find your nearest retailer by visiting our Product Map.

If you’re interested in making your own canna-butter to create homemade edibles, use the step-by-step tutorial below, and watch the process video of our team in action to see how the pros do it!                             

How to Make Canna-Butter at Home

Yield: Approximately 1/3 lb of infused Canna-Butter

1.       Measure out 35g of single-strain cannabis with known THC and terpene test results for strong infusion.
Note: Flower THC levels of around 18% will yield infused butter with approx. 25mg of THC per gram of canna-butter.

2.       Roast flower on a baking sheet at 240 degrees F for 55 minutes to decarboxylate (activate) the THC.

3.       Add roasted flower to a crock-pot with ½ pound of melted butter and 3 cups of water.

4.       Simmer mixture on low heat for 8 hours.
Note: Use a temperature probe to ensure that the mixture holds at a heat between 170-190 degrees F consistently - adjust temperature setting if needed to maintain this temperature range.

5.       Once simmering is complete, use a fruit press to express the liquid from the bulk plant material, collecting all of the liquid in a large bowl.

6.       Twist the pressed plant matter into a clean cheesecloth, and use heat-resistant gloves to squeeze and extract any residual liquid from the plant matter. Discard plant matter once pressed dry.

7.       Set up a cheesecloth strainer in a funnel and strain collected liquid through multiple cheesecloth rounds to purify and separate out any fine plant matter. Twist and squeeze any collected material in cheesecloth as before to yield maximum canna-butter return. Collect all liquids in a single bowl to set.

8.       Allow liquid to cool completely and set in a fridge overnight. You will see a solid layer of butter form on top of a dark liquid layer once setting is complete.

9.       Use a butter knife to gently free the solid butter layer from the bowl. Discard the liquid underneath.

10. Remove any collected milk fat from the underside of the solid canna-butter puck by gently rubbing away the soft solids and pressing the puck dry with a paper towel.

11.   Crumble solid canna-butter layer into crock-pot on low heat, melt completely for secondary straining step.

12.   Using the same straining set-up as before with clean cheesecloth and a funnel, repeat straining for final purification of canna-butter.

Allow refined canna-butter to solidify completely before cutting down into measurable chunks for use in recipes.

Be sure to store your final canna-butter separate from regular butter, in an airtight container clearly marked with *CANNA-BUTTER - CONTAINS THC* to avoid any accidental consumption incidents.

Full instructions for crafting your own whole-plant canna-butter for use in creating full-spectrum edibles! Watch as the production team behind Periodic edibles, the #1 Cannabis Caramel company in Oregon, take you through their canna-butter creation process, and follow along with the detailed instructions to create your own batch at home!

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