The Glee of Cannabutter Utilizing Water Washed Plant Matter.
When the primary active constituent of cannabis, delta-9-THC, is consumed orally the majority of it passes through the liver and is subjected to “first pass metabolism.” The liver performs a metabolic process on the delta-9-THC altering the chemical structure to the more potent and longer lasting 11-hydroxi-THC. There are several reason why this can be beneficial to the therapeutic cannabis user. The user does not have to smoke or otherwise consume the drug through the lungs, reducing the most negative side effects from consuming the drug through smoking. The method of consuming lasts longer and can therefore be a more economical use of the drug. Many chronic pain sufferers find that 11-hydroxi-THC is more effective at relieving pain. However, before you get too excited, there are a couple drawbacks you should be aware of when considering eating cannabis. First, it is significantly easier to consume too large of a dose and have a negative experience which can seem to last for an eternity. Second, those who have Hep-C or other liver issues should not excessively use oral cannabinoids because the drug is metabolized in the liver and therefore puts undo stress on one’s enzyme balances.
Despite all the goodness that oral cannabis can bring the medical user, many patients are still quite reluctant to use their medicine this way because of one simple reason, Chlorophyll! The intense green taste that can come from using mostly leaf matter to make cannabutter can be downright excruciating or even nauseating to some. Some patients even find this taste so horrid that they flatly refuse to eat cannabis.
So what can be done to make my medicine more palatable you might ask?
There are a couple simple tricks that can radically improve the quality of cannabutter. One can add honey to make it Ghee, or spices to cover up the green taste, or take steps to remove the chlorophyll before the butter making process begins. Finally, one can combine all three steps for the best results.
Tools you will need:
Bubble bag, sheet of silkscreen, old cotton
T-shirt, or other functional filter
Slow cooker or large pan
Large bowl or second large pan
Separation funnel (optional)
Plastic storage container
Fresh frozen cannabis (any part of the plant besides the roots can be used)
Butter or canola oil or both (1:1 butter to plant weight ratio for leaf, as much as 4:1 for bud)
Honey (4 tsp – 2 tbsp per 1 lb butter or to taste) honey can be all or partially replaced with molasses or carob molasses
Ginger (1-4 tsp/lb or to taste, ginger promotes the absorption of cannabinoids)
Cinnamon (2-6 tsp/lb or to taste)
Vanilla and/or Almond extract (Vanilla: 1-3 tsp/lb, Almond: 0.5-1.5 tsp/lb or to taste)
Nutmeg (dash or two, optional)
Allspice (dash or two, optional)
Clove (dash or two, optional)
There are two primary ways of removing the chlorophyll from your plant matter. The easier but less effective method involves boiling the plant matter in just water for 60-90 minutes, filtering and then moving on to the rest of the cannabutter making process. This method is best utilized on leaf.
The second method takes a bit more work but is more effective and can be easily adapted to all types of plant matter. I take all my leaves and any kind of trim or bubble hash byproduct and keep them in the freezer so they remain fresh as possible until I can process them into butter. Once the plant matter is well frozen blend it in enough water to cover it for 20-60 seconds being careful not to over-stuff the blender. Now take this green liquid and filter it through whatever filter option you have at your disposal. If you are using bubble bags use your coarsest and finest bags only or you will only be providing more work for yourself. Once all the plant matter has been filtered toss out the waste water (or use it on your vegetative plants, you won’t regret it!). Finally collect all your remaining plant matter and place it in the slow cooker or first large pan.
Make sure the plant matter is well covered with water and add the butter and/or oil, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and leave for 16-24 hours on low heat, adding water as needed. Near the end, the plant matter should become more gray and less green while the oil should become dark green. At the same time the smell should be very “nutty” and the plant matter should begin to sink into the water layer, exposing pools of dark oil.
Place the colander into the large bowl or second large pan. Place your filter cloth (old sheets work well for this stage) over the colander and pour the plant/water/butter mixture through the filter. The mixture should still be hot so be careful. Squeeze the filter cloth to get the rest of the oil out of the plant matter and then toss the plant matter in the compost or trash. If you have some kind of separation funnel use it to get as much of the water out of your remaining mix as you can without risking your butter. Then place the oil into an appropriate container (bowl, large cup, pan) and place in the freezer until solid but before the water freezes. Poke holes in the side of the butter and pour off the remaining water.
Add the honey and spices to your butter/oil and warm it on the stove or in the microwave until it is at least all soft. Remove from heat and add the flavoring. Stir thoroughly and then place in the freezer or refrigerator. Every 10-15 minutes take it out and stir it until the honey has become well homogenized into the butter. Transfer your concoction into the storage container and place in the fridge if you plan to use it within 45-60 days. For longer term storage use the freezer.
Gheehehehe! Congratulations!!! You have just made Ghee.
Dosing is highly individual and depends on tolerance. For those with low tolerance, 1 tsp is a good starting point. For those with higher tolerance, doses as high as 3 tbsp can be easily tolerated. Your ghee can be used where you would normally use butter or oil. This includes toast, ramen, oatmeal, salad dressing, cookies, or even hot chocolate. Enjoy and medicate responsibly.
By: Ally (aka, pflover at TreatingYourself.com)
Anit harm none….