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Contrary to what some say, the 1 gram cannabutter recipe is real and it works!
A few weeks back I got my hands on some pretty potent Lemon OG Kush (read our Complete Guide to Choose The Perfect Marijuana Strain for Your Lifestyle) - 2 grams of flower to be exact. Rolling one gram up into a nice joint, I sat leisurely and well-medicated in my kitchen thinking, 'Maybe I can make cannabutter with this other gram.'
Related article: Susan's Marijuana Baklava Recipe, With Love!
Me being the need-to-know-it-all that I am, made sure to do some research before whipping up this marvelous 1 gram into a cannabutter recipe. Anybody who has ever researched the small batch recipe knows that most people out there believe it’s simply not possible to turn 1 gram of cannabis into cannabutter. Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, all of those people are simply wrong, it IS possible, it IS easy, and it IS fantastic! Below is the recipe that I used.
*Check this Cannabis Cooking Calculator for the perfect dose.
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You start with checking the THC percentage on the package. It will be impossible to determine when you got your bud from a dealer, because the "packaging" will be simply a bag of weed.
Low-quality bud (or trim) can contain as little as 3% THC. On the other hand, top-shelf marijuana strains can average 28%.
Total THC refers to the maximum decarboxylated THC that is presented in a product; it's why it's very important to decarb your bud before cooking it to get the best results out the process. Read our blog post "How To Decarb Weed in 3 Simple Step? And Why You Should?"
Total THC can be calculated using the following formula:
Total THC = THC + (THCa x 0.877)
Let's do a quick calculation, for 1 gram that contains 20% THC and 15% THCa.
1g = 1000mg
20% THC of 1000mg of bud, that means you will have 200mg THC for every 1g of flower.
15% THCa of 1000mg, that means you will have 150mg THCa for every 1g of flower.
Using the formula above: Total THC = 200mg + (150mg x 0.877) = 331.55mg
Under ideal conditions, you get a 60% efficiency of extraction in dairy butter, so 331.5mg x 0.6 = 198.93mg maximum THC likely to be extracted.
Eventually, if you made a small batch of brownies using this one gram marijuana cannabutteer, the whole batch will have around 198.93mg THC.
To put this number in prospective, please check out our blog piece Marijuana Edibles for the First Time, Dosage and What to Expect.
Before I get started, keep in mind that any good recipe requires diligence, patience, and awareness of ingredient ratios. These three principles are not to be taken lightly! Nobody wants to waist their medicine and end up with burned flowers and a stinky kitchen, not to mention the frustration of not being medicated.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
1-2 grams grounded of mid to top shelf flower. (FIRST and foremost, make sure to decarboxylation your Marijuana. Again, ALWAYS DECARB. Read our blog post "How To Decarb Weed in 3 Simple Step? And Why You Should?"
3-6 ounces of butter - Butter has a high concentration of lipids which allows THC compounds to bind easily to the fats. Make sure to use real butter and not a low fat version, in this case fats are your friends (I would suggest Land O'Lakes butter). This explains why people prefer butter over most oils. If you'd rather use oil, your best bet is either Grapeseed or coconut oil; they have a higher cooking temperature than most oil. 1 cup of either grapeseed or coconut oil is enough for the recipe.
A spoon for stirring
1 cheese cloth or a relatively dense paper towel, although the cheese cloth is the ideal choice. You can also use a tight wire pasta strainer but you may get plant particles in your oil. If you use a strainer, be sure that it’s metal and not plastic; learned that one the hard way.
A bowl for pouring your strained THC infused butter
1/4 cup of water
Place your butter in the saucepan at medium-low heat. As the butter begins to melt, mix in your ground decarbed flowers/leaves.
At this point, the butter may begin to reduce at an exceptionally fast rate. This is when you slowly pour in the 1/4 cup of water so that your butter doesn't burn on you.
Now that you have your butter, flower, and water coming to a boil, lower the heat to allow for a gentle simmer. Do not let the butter continue to boil, remove from heat and let cool for a few seconds if necessary.
Keep in mind that our proportions are small, so to have the best marijuana butter results, timing is everything. If you are using one gram of flower, let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes with frequent stirring. If you are using 2 grams of flower, let your mixture simmer for an 1 hour-1 1/2 hours. Although I don't know the exact science behind these ratios, I found that in my controlled environment they worked best. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below.
After the first 15 minutes, you should begin to see the hue of the butter turn from gold to a murky brown. Avoid a black or very dark brown color, this may mean that you are burning your flower and the butter itself. If this starts to happen, either reduce the heat or add no more than 2 tablespoons of water.
Now that your cannabutter mixture is ready for straining, put your cheese cloth (recommended) or dense paper towel over a bowl. Here I would suggest either having someone hold the cloth or rubber banding the cloth to the bowl with relatively tightness so that the weight of the butter doesn't force the cloth to cave in on the bowl.
Slowly pour your cannabutter mixture into the bowl covered by the cloth. It warrants repeating, slowly pour your weed butter mixture into the bowl covered by the cloth! If you simply dump your mixture into the covered bowl, you may run the risk of collapsing the cloth into the bowl.
If some of the reduced flower gets onto the cloth that's fine, just be super delicate when wringing the cloth out so that the you don't tear it and your flowers end up in your marijuana butter. Using a spoon or other utensil, press any leftover butter out of the plant remains to ensure that all butter gets into the bowl.
Instead of throwing out the strained bud after straining it, keep it in a ziploc bag and put in the fridge or freezer for safe keeping. the bud may still have a little bit of THC left in it, you can still eat it and it will make you high since it's already decarbed. It won't take very good, again, it's for frugal stoners, as I am.
You can also mix it into half of a stick of butter, but this time instead of straining the bud, leave it in. It won't be strong at all, but it works very well to make, for instance, a frosting or icing or some kind of topper on the more potent that you made with the strained bud.
Related article: Marco's Gluten Free Almond Butter Weed Brownies Recipe
Here’s what you should have at this point:
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Place your liquid butter in the fridge (or freezer) and let it solidify; anywhere from 4 hours to overnight (for optimal results).
Now you should have what looks, tastes, and smells like an almost greenish-brown marijuana butter that can be used on just about anything! I prefer a nice tablespoon in my eggs and toast or even spread some on a piece of toast with cinnamon to make cinnamon toast. Whatever you decide though, the butter is yours for the cookin' and can go into any recipe! More importantly, this isn't a big batch recipe, leaving large bowls of cannabutter in the fridge for others to find. In fact, I would say it's being able to make cannabutter a condiment rather than the main ingredient!
Hopefully this 1 gram cannabutter recipe works just as well for you as it did for me! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask and I will be sure to address them ASAP.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated as needed for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
All GIF photos credited to giphy.com
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