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Written By: Emily Spring
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is the hemp extract known for a host of beneficial properties (from helping you destress to soothing bodily discomfort). Butter is, well, butter, the delicious, high-fat dairy product that can be elevated into the world’s most sumptuous pastries or enjoyed on toast.
And together, they may be the new PB&J.
When you combine CBD and butter, you open the door to a wide range of edible CBD products that you can snack on throughout the day, whether you’re looking to boost your mood or get restful sleep. This short guide explains how the two work together, and how you can make your own CBD butter.
CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids present in hemp plants. As you probably know, you can experience the benefits of CBD in a variety of products, including:
So how does CBD find its way into these products? It depends on the product. CBD can be extracted from the hemp plant with oil extraction, ethanol extraction, or CO2 extraction. All these methods are effective for extracting CBD. However, CBD oil (and products containing it) may have even more powerful benefits because of what’s known as the entourage effect.
In Frontiers in Plant Science, Ethan B. Russo explains that, “a variety of ‘inactive’ metabolites and closely related molecules markedly increased the activity of the primary endogenous cannabinoids.” To put it in simpler terms, CBD was shown to have a stronger effect when accompanied by other cannabinoids.
This indicates that CBD can have even more benefits when it’s extracted from hemp plants alongside “minor” cannabinoids that may have little effect on their own. These include terpenes like linalool and myrcene, as well as other compounds that scientists are just beginning to study.
You can also experience CBD's benefits by cooking with CBD infused ingredients, such as CBD infused butter. For centuries, oil extraction has been a method of transferring plants’ potent healing effects into fats. In another handy guide, we explain how to make CBD oil on your own. And, of course, butter is essentially a solidified oil. Therefore, CBD infused butter is an ideal way to experience CBD’s full spectrum of beneficial effects.
Here are just a few reasons you might want to experiment with CBD butter in a recipe:
You need two ingredients to make CBD butter: hemp flower and butter. From there, there are a variety of recipes for melting the CBD into the butter while maintaining its potency. However, the first step is finding hemp flower.
While both marijuana plants and hemp plants contain CBD, hemp contains higher percentages of CBD. If you want to make CBD butter, you need hemp flower.
Note: CBD won’t create the “high” psychoactive effects associated with THC edibles.
However, depending on where you live, hemp flower may not be easy to find. As we discuss in our guide on CBD in all 50 states, hemp is completely legal at the federal level. But state regulations vary. Some states that may allow a wide variety of CBD products (from serums to balms) might draw the line at raw, unprocessed hemp.
Can’t find hemp flower in your state? Wait until the end of this guide for a CBD butter hack.
Before you can make your CBD butter, you must bake your hemp flowers. Why? It all has to do with the chemical compounds in raw hemp oil. Healthline explains that, in its raw form, hemp contains cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), or an inactive version of CBD. Unless it is heated, CBDA will not convert to CBD, and your CBD butter will not deliver its potential benefits.
To decarboxylate your hemp flower, you will need:
Then, follow these steps:
Tip: Be sure to chop your hemp flower rather than grinding it. If the flower is too fine, you will not be able to strain it out, and your butter may have a gritty texture or bitter flavor.
The next step to making your CBD butter is infusing the hemp flower into melted butter. You will need the following:
The key to infusing CBD and other cannabinoids into butter is keeping the temperature low. At around 220°F, your CBD will start to degrade. Beyond that, butter begins to smoke around the same temperature, and it burns at 350°F. If you don’t want bitter, burnt CBD butter, keep the temperature low.
While you can heat your butter in any heating source—a saucepan, a crockpot, or a bain-marie—we recommend a crockpot for temperature control.
Follow these steps:
If you don’t eat dairy, no problem. Try the same recipe with coconut oil. The only difference? You won’t need to add as much water. Use just 1 cup.
How do you know the CBD content of your butter? If you purchased a package of hemp flower with a clearly marked potency, you can figure out how much is in the entire batch, and how much is in each tablespoon (there are 32 tablespoons in your 2 cups of butter).
As you get used to making hemp butter, you can adjust the recipe, adding more or less hemp flower as is needed. You can even get creative and infuse the butter with other herbs, too.
Now you know how to make full-spectrum CBD butter. So what can you do with it? You don’t have to be a master baker to make great use of your CBD butter. Try out the following ideas for simple snacks:
However, you can also go beyond simple snacks and use your CBD butter to bake a variety of CBD infused baked goods. Check out our favorite CBD rich recipes, or try out the CBD peanut butter cookie recipe below.
Take the following steps:
Tip: Are you wondering why the CBD rich cookies can be cooked at 350°F now that you know CBD loses its potency at higher temperatures? Once the CBD is infused by the butter and other ingredients, it can withstand more heat. However, don’t crank the oven up any higher than 350°F!
*Recipe adapted from Yummly.
Maybe you can’t find hemp flower in your state. Or maybe you don’t want your apartment to smell like hemp plant for hours on end while your CBD butter cooks. Whatever the case, there’s a way to enjoy CBD butter without going through the above-outlined steps.
CBD oil binds to other fats. If you want to know exactly how much CBD is in your butter, simply melt butter and add a drop (or two) of full-spectrum CBD oil. The “mg” per dropper will be clearly marked on your bottle. You’ll still experience CBD’s full entourage effect without the lengthy process outlined above.
Plant People’s CBD oil isn’t just 100% organic, but also formulated with other natural herbs and ingredients to help promote your well-being. Whether you’re looking to ease your soreness, soothe your nerves, or fall asleep, there’s a blend that’s right for you.
Written by Emily Spring
Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.
Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy
Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.
Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.
Frontiers in Plant Science. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2018.01969/full
Healthline. Cannabutter. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cannabutter#recipe
The Spruce Eats. Smoking Points of Cooking Fats and Cooking Oil. https://www.thespruceeats.com/smoking-points-of-fats-and-oils-1328753
Yummly. Peanut Butter Cookies. https://www.yummly.com/recipe/Peanut-butter-cookies-307241?prm-v1