As the world moves closer to universal cannabis legalization, chefs and foodies are finding new and exciting ways to add cannabis flower, cannabis oil, or CBD oil to foods. If you’re new to culinary chemistry and looking to dip your toe into cannabis cuisine, a great place to start is by making vegan CBD butter.
What Is CBD Butter?
Contrary to internet rumors, vegan butter is not hard to make—we’re not talking about churning dairy here. The most important step in the process of making vegan CBD butter—or any foods that contain cannabis flower—is to decarboxylate the cannabis flower. This process involves applying low heat over an extended period of time to transform the non-intoxicating THCA cannabinoid into THC, the compound that causes psychoactive effects. You don’t have to be a chemist to do this, either. You can use your oven, a baking sheet, or even a mason jar.
Then, add to your favorite brand of vegan butter, and voila! This recipe calls on higher concentrations of CBD and lower amounts of THC, so you can use it in all your favorite recipes for a little boost of relief. THC and CBD, the primary compounds in the cannabis plant, are known for their medicinal qualities, including to ease pain and anxiety, combat insomnia, and improve overall mood.
Vegan cannabis butter can be substituted in anything that calls for regular butter—even on your morning toast—to turn any snack or meal into a gateway for calming relaxation.
For those who prefer to avoid their homes taking on the odor of cannabis, using a sous vide circulator to decarboxylate the flower is a great, discreet option: Set up a water bath for your circulator and program to 185ºF(85ºC). Place the ground CBD flower into a heavy-duty zip-top bag and use a vacuum sealer or the water displacement method to expel the air from the bag, and seal tightly. Once the water reaches this temperature, lower the bag into the water bath and cook for about 45 minutes, until the cannabis is golden brown in color (no longer green). You may need to clip the bag to the side to keep it submerged.
The water level will drop during cooking time, add water as needed throughout the process to keep the water level above the butter line.
3.5 grams CBD-dominant cannabis flower, ground
2 cups vegan butter
Decarboxylate the cannabis flower.
Preheat your oven to 240F. Spread the ground CBD flower on a clean sheet tray and place in the oven (ensure the convection fan is OFF, if your oven has this feature). Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cannabis is golden brown in color (no longer green).
Place the cannabis in a mason jar and add vegan butter, ensuring at least 1-inch of room at the top. Close the lid finger tight and place the jar in a large pot. Fill with water, ensuring the water level does not exceed the top of the jar and lid (the water level only needs to be above the butter level). Heat on high until simmering, then lower the heat to a bare simmer for 3-4 hours.
Carefully remove the jar from the water and let cool enough to handle. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into a clean storage container and let cool completely. Store the vegan cannabis butter in the refrigerator.