How I make 'clean' cannabutter- a tutorial

Discussion in 'Edibles' started by stinkyattic, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    I like to turn my 'popcorn buds' and shake into cannabutter for making caramels and chocolate truffles. A problem with confectionery is the high temperatures that one needs to bring the sugar to before it is at the correct stage for making candy. Typically, caramels will be brought to 245 degrees F, and if there is any plant material or even excess chlorophyll in the butter, it will have a scorched and very unpleasant flavor.

    So this is a little tutorial on the process by which I make my washed cannabutter.

    Step 1 is to grind up the herb. I just run it through a hand grinder but if you feel sassy, a $15 coffee grinder just for your pot is really trick. Next, I weigh it out and decide what I want my dosage to be. I like to dose butter at 2 grams per tablespoon. The butter should be of decent quality. It doesn't matter if it is salted, because we are going to 'wash' it later.

    Next, take your butter and ground herb and put it in a wide-mouthed canning jar. Add enough water to fully wet the herb.

    Put the jar with the butter, water, and cannabis in a large stockpot with enough hot water to reach up to the shoulders of the jar. Screw on the band but don't tighten it down- hot air and water vapor must be able to escape. Bring the water bath just to BARELY a simmer.

    Periodically, remove the jar from the water bath, tighten the lid, and gently shake the contents to re-mix, as they tend to stratify. Loosen the band again before returning the jar to the water bath. Heat for about 2 hours, then pour into a second jar, through a potato ricer to strain, and squeeze out ALL the liquid.

    Place this jar in the refrigerator until the two phases stratify and the butter sets into a solid mass. Poke a large hole through the butter and pour out all the water through a strainer to catch any butter pieces floating in the water. Re-fill with clean water and return to the hot water bath. HOT WATER ON COLD GLASS WILL CRACK THE GLASS! Bring the bath back to temperature gradually.

    Now repeat the heating and shaking process. You will see that the water becomes cloudy. This is all contamination leaving the butter. Chlorophyll, plant matter, even excess fertilizer salts are washed away, leaving pure butter with the psychoactive compounds.

    This is called a liquid-liquid extraction, and takes advantage of the different solubilities of polar (salts) vs nonpolar (hydrocarbons) compounds in polar (water) vs nonpolar (oil) solvents.

    Repeat the chilling and separating process, re-fill with water, heat again. The third time, the water should remain quite clear, and when you pour it out, pour it through a permanent coffee filter (the metal kind) to remove any large particles still remaining. This time when you chill it, you will notice what a lovely pale green color it is, and also that it smells like sweet butter and hash, but not really like pot.

    When you cook with washed butter, the cannabis flavors are very subdued, to the point where you may not even notice any at all. Nice stuff.

    Here's a couple pics of different techniques and pieces of equipment- note that in some pics, the product I'm making is actually heavy cream, but the straining technique is the same.

    Attached Files:

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  2. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    The last set of pics are:
    1- Ground bud, shake, and the best butter ever, from Cabot in Vermont! :D
    2- A nice big pan of nice hot water
    3- The potato ricer. Brilliant invention- WAY better for making cannabutter than ricing potatoes, lol!
    4- Pouring heavy cream through a permanent coffee filter
    5- Pouring heavy cream and plant material into the ricer to be pressed

    Pics of the chilled butter and water showing separation of the aqueous and lipid phases, as well as finished product, to come later!
    • Like Like x 2
  3. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    I really like your method :thumbsup: ... I've gotten lazy, and been doing the crockpot way, but the cleanup and straining is still a pain ... I like your way better (except when ya had to throw in that 'solubility' and 'non-polar' talk, made me feel dumb again :wtf:) ... :S2:
  4. Storm Crow

    Storm Crow Registered+

  5. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    Would this be necessary if one were to make gummy hash and then mix that in with the cannabutter. Or would it still leave a strong/bad taste?

    Just curious which method would be easier or more effective.
  6. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    I've never made water gumby hash. If you are talking about isopropanol hash, I'd skip that step and go right into butter, not isopropanol. The point is the liquid-liquid extraction takes a lot of contaminants out of the lipid phase and into the aqueous phase to minimize unwanted flavors.
  7. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    nope, I meant gumby hash; AKA ghetto bubble hash.

    I'll definitely be giving this a go (liquid - liquid extraction) with my trimmings and popcorn budlets.

    I find I usually need a fix around middle of the day at work to lower anxiety and stress levels.

    I would love to use this method to make some candy or something I can snack on discretely. Thanks for yet another excellent post
  8. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Cool, glad you like it. I really recommend doing caramels. They are pretty freaking easy, and come out delicious- use a touch more almond extract than a normal caramel recipe recommends, because you still get just a slight 'toasted' flavor to the finished product, and the almond is very complementary. I think I posted my recipe, adapted from PharmaPharmer, around here somewhere. It might even be in my Donkey Dick grow log.
    In fact, I am eating one right now!
  9. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    When you say earlier to add enough water to wet the herb, do you literally mean JUST to wet it.. to make sure it's evenly wet?


    Do you mean to get it wet and have the water slightly pool/ super saturate the herb?

    I'm pretty bad in the kitchen so excuse the dumb questions.
  10. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Saturate the herb. Then the sticks of butter will melt and further float it. Don't forget to gently agitate it periodically during heating.
  11. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    What would you suggest for ratio when using shwag?

    I picked up some shwag last night (don't have any quality hook ups) and wanted to use a bit to make butter and pump out like 7 cookies or so. 1 for each day of the week. I was thinking 7-8 grams split between 2 tablespoons.

    I will probably be doing this tomorrow, but I'll probably try to obtain another ounce to make a more suitable quantity of butter.

    How would you personally dose when using shwag?
  12. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    oh man.. what a weird experience.

    So I made some cannabutter this past weekend using this method. Only I wanted to do it in a hurry and didn't have any of the supplies. So I head down to the chain store "99 cents". Some of you may have them in your city/state.

    I buy 2 glass jars, not mason jars but I figure they'll do.
    1 container with 4 sticks of butter.
    some sink wiremesh strainer things to replace the potato ricer and the permanent coffee filter (use overlapping strainers for the coffee filter portion).

    I got through the first portion just fine. Used 10-12g of shwag and 2 tbsp of butter. Let it simmer for 2 hours; taking the time to stir vigorously about once every 15-20 minutes.

    Butter came out a nice pale green. Although this looked good enough for me I decided I should probaby do it again. Stinky is just about always dead on about everything so I wanted to do it right.

    Well the second time it didn't go so well. I got through simmering it a second time after it hard hardened from the first time. Afterwards I thought it would be smart to give a luke warm water bath and then a cool water bath to help aid the stratisfying process... well bad idea. I accidentally let the water run while I was trying to pull a trashbag out of my trash can and it filled into my jar some how.. I lost a signifigant amount of melted butter and probably thc.. I would say roughly half of it was lost..

    well I decide to trek forward.. after losing half my batch I decide to go ahead and cook it a third time. No reason to let my own mistakes hold me back.

    The third time it's simmering I notice a crack form in the bottom of the glass jar. I take the entire pot off the burner and let it cool slightly. I pull the glass jar out of the pot I'm using to simmer it in and the entire bottom circular part of the jar falls out... WTF.

    So after about 12 morehours of attempting to let that entire pot cool and the jar cool and doing what I can to salvage something I was left with slightly less than 1 Tbsp of cannabutter. probably about 60% less thc than when I started.

    I went ahead and baked my cookies. I made half the package.. which stated I would get 9 cookies.. I used the slightly less than 1 tbsp of cannabutter I had and 1 tbsp of normal butter. I cooked my cookies for 10 minutes.. let them cool for about 3 minutes and ate 2 of them initially. I got a slight buzz but it didn't really do much. waited a few hours and had 2 more... waited another hour and had 3 more.. There we go. It finally hit me. the high was very weird. Very alert and focused high, but I could only maintain focus on one thing at a time.

    I was overall very happy and in a great mood. The high was definitely an uppity high, but at the same time I could feel some tingling throughout my body.. so it was almost like taking a pain killer at the same time.

    Definitely both interesting and a disappointing weekend for sure.

    I'm going to give it another try though this coming weekend hopefully.

    I have my mason jars and will be getting a potato ricer as well as a permanent coffee filter.

    With as many mistakes I made early on in my grow you would think I would learn not to half ass things

    Better luck to me next time... :jointsmile:

    Oh... on a side note.. the cookies did not taste like weed at all. I had to stop my non weed smoking buddy from eating one becase he didn't know they were special.. heh :thumbsup:
  13. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Hi Daihashi! Thanks for sharing! Yeah, the 'head' effect surprised me too- I was expecting all 'body' but the warm tingly feeling was about it- pleasant, but not debilitating. I also find that a sub-recreational dose keeps me very focused at work, despite feeling NO 'high' effect at all.
    Thermal shock sucks. Always put your glass down on potholders- hot liquid + cold surface = cracking. Even mason jars do it if the difference is great enough.
    As for the schwag ratio, if you collect shake for cooking, it should be pretty close. 2 grams per tablespoon butter is easy to work with. Take out seeds; they don't count as bud weight. I've been buying shake cheap from a couple folks who go through a lot of brick. It's very nice to work with.
  14. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    Trying it again with 29 grams of vape left overs, 5 grams of trimmings and 2 grams of shwag mixed with 3 tbsp of butter.

    We'll see how it goes. I read you can make cannabutter with left over vape duff. Let's see how well it works.

    Can't be any worse than my 10-12grams that probably got reduced to 4-5 grams.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  15. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    That ratio among all the things in there sounds just about right. The bonus of the wash step is that you can remove most of the scorched taste of vape duff too.
  16. veggii

    veggii Registered+

    Hi stinky nice washing recipe! I have gotton confused on the extraction of thc. I wanted to find out proper temps and time
    the extract the thc from the plantmatter to the oil
    I have been a chef my whole life and proper temps and time is essential for every recipe. So I have seen that some say you have to heat it to 325 to 350 for 5-15min to convert the thca to thc, then simmer for ??minutes to extract it
    what temp do bring it too? for how long?
    some say that heating it that high will ruin the thc
    and too not let the heat get above 250 and let cook 24hrs.
    now I am so confused I should've only read one recipe.:(
    Have you ever made BB. I'm going to make some, but put in some ground cannabis. the BB has a nutty flavor so pick a strain that taste good with nutts.=BrownButter=
    must go I gotta take my meds I'm gettin nutty here.
    ps: tryin to figur out how to pm u:D
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  17. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    I certainly do my share of cooking, including restaurant line and also ships galley experience, but I have no formal training, and rely more on instinct than thermometers. Maybe that is why I rarely venture into pastries or confectionery, haha! But I'll try to answer as best I can.

    I've just been putting it either in my crock pot on 'low' overnight, or over a double boiler held at ~180-200'F for a couple hours to do the initial extraction. IMHO while it CAN be as exact a science as you would like to make it, you have plenty of leeway to work within and still reap the benefits of the psychoactives in your original plant material.

    If you are going through the brown butter process, I would do the 'browning' step of the butter first, and then just treat it [the brown butter] as if you'd just opened a fresh box of butter and do the longer cooking with the herb after that. I try to avoid taking the cannabutter up too hot (hot enough to brown butter) because yes, I'm afraid of breaking down the compunds. Caramel, for reference, goes to 245'F. But you knew that ;)

    I've tried infusing my pot butter with a few things- cardamom is one that comes out VERY powerful- rosemary is another, if you like savory rather than sweet. I just toss some cracked cardamom pods in however much I need for a recipe and heat it again for long enough to extract THOSE oils. lol... gotta make it super complicated, right?

    There's no pm here, but check your rep messages in a sec, okay?
  18. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    Well.. reporting back.

    So last night I load up about 36 grams worth of vape duff, trim and a little budlet I found under my couch into a jar along with 3 Tbsp of butter.

    I was trying to compensate for the 25% shrinkage my last batch had.

    I only did two washing steps as I had to get to sleep. So I left it at that over night to harden. In the morning I scooped it all out and it came out to 1.5 tbsp worth.. wow that butter must've really sucked compared to the last butter I had.

    In any case I mixd it up into some chocolate chip cookies.

    Well my last batch was dissappointing to me so I figured this duff would be on par with that. So I ate 1 cookie.. didn't feel much of anything.. 30minutes ate another one... slight buzz.. Waited an hour... still slight buzz... so I ate another one...

    OMFG I AM SO HIGH RGHT NOW IT'S RIDICULOUS!!!! I am never throwing away my vape duff again.

    I manged to make 12 cookies and it's look like like 3 cookies is a recreational dose and 2 cookies would be a mild high. Luckily for me this is a real uppity focused high. So I'm being very productive at work... Man I love my vaporizer so much more now.

    I feel like I'm getting two bags of shwag for the price of one. :thumbsup:
  19. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Daihashi, you will have less 'shrinkage' if you do three things:
    -Make larger batches (it's more efficient)
    -Get that potato ricer- that's exactly why you use it- to squeeze out every last drop of stony goodness
    -Stay out of the pool if it's too cold ;)
  20. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    Well 6 hours after the initial onset of getting buzzed I've finally am pretty close to being back sober. Not bad at all. It's a great way to get through my work day.

    Who would've thought that vape duff would work so well.

    Thanks for taking the time to type up this technique. I don't think I would've bothered with the vape duff without it. I'd hate to taste burnt/scorched weed in my food and this solved all those problems. :thumbsup:

    :( *hangs his head in shame*

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