I can’t believe it’s not butter. Well, it kind of is—but not your grandmother’s butter. Or oil, for that matter. We infuse two popular cooking ingredients and explain the differences.
Many of us enjoy experiencing the effects of cannabis, but not everyone enjoys the process of smoking it. Lately, cannabis-infused edibles have grown wildly in popularity and are becoming a staple in every aspiring chef’s kitchen. This is an exciting new way to enjoy the effects of cannabis while also choosing which products or types of fat we prefer to nourish our bodies with.
Cannabutter is the infusion of cannabis and butter, preferably clarified or unsalted. It’s made by simmering the flowers in a blend of 50% water, 50% butter over the course of many hours. This process extracts the cannabinoids from the flower into the butter, making it easier for our bodies to digest. As opposed to inhaling, injecting the cannabis means first it will travel to the stomach, then into the liver. The liver then converts the THC into a stronger form, creating a more intense overall experience.
Making cannabutter is a simple and cost-effective way to enjoy any cannabis strain. It is used gram for gram in any recipe that calls for butter. Cannabutter is designed to blend smoothly into sweets like cakes, cookies or pastries. Alternatively, you can melt it into a rich soup broth or toss it into your favourite pasta sauce. Because it pairs equally well with both sweet and savoury dishes, cannabutter is perfect for both beginners and experienced users as they make their way through the journey of edible experimentation.
As with every product, cannabutter has its upsides and downsides. It is exceptionally easy to incorporate into a wide variety of dishes because of the creamy versatility butter has to offer. It also lends itself nicely to high potency cannabinoid strains, as the high fat content of butter allows it to absorb more THCA and CBDA. This creates a stronger cannabutter where less can go much further. This higher fat content also works against using cannabutter. Those who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply watching their waistlines may be opposed to infusing their cannabis with such a heavy dairy product.
So, what’s the difference between cannabutter and cannabis infused oil? Essentially, the only difference is the product you are infusing with cannabis; the cooking method is exactly the same. Due to dietary restrictions or personal preference, many cannabis enthusiasts have begun to experiment with infusing coconut, olive, walnut, rapeseed, or avocado oils. It all comes down to personal preference.
Using cannabis infused oil over cannabutter is a more attractive option for a large community of people. First of all, cooking oils are vegan and lactose-free. Olive oil and coconut oil are easily sourced in most grocery stores and they have a much lower fat content than butter. Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants, is protective against heart disease, and is rich in monounsaturated fats. Coconut oil has antimicrobial effects, has incredible benefits for your skin, hair and teeth, and actually encourages your body to burn fat.
One must be cautious when infusing cooking oils with cannabis. The oils tend to have low smoke points, so they’re easy to burn when cooking over a long period of time. This can be frustrating as higher quality cooking oils can be costly. Cannabis infused oil is extremely nutritious and versatile when used in savoury dishes; think salad dressings, glazed over a roast chicken, or tossed in with your favourite stirfry. The downfall is these types of cooking oils don’t lend themselves as well to sweets like cakes, cookies, and other forms of dessert.
If you haven’t yet had the experience of cooking with either cannabutter or cannabis unfused oil, it is highly recommended. Both are very easy to make; just keep in mind the infusion process happens over hours of time at a very low heat. Cannabutter is the more adaptable option as it can be added to almost any recipe that calls for the use of butter. Because of its high fat content, it is able to absorb more THCA to create a more potent product. Cannabis infused oils are better suited to savoury dishes and appeal more to those seeking a product that is dairy-free or lower in fat content.
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