The science of making cannabutter has always been a difficult one. While cannabutter is a delicious way to enjoy marijuana as an edible without having to chew a sweet, it can also seem a bit too complicated.
This isn’t helped by the fact that there seems to be an almost endless amount of information online. From unique tips and tricks to full-blown analysis of the entire process, trying to figure out a specific plan to make consistently good cannabutter is a pretty hard challenge.
One small detail that many overlook is the decision of whether or not to wash your cannabutter before you make edibles from it. So, how about it? Should you wash your cannabutter or not?
What Is Cannabutter?
Cannabutter is one of the simplest cannabis edibles and is essentially nothing more than butter infused with cannabis.
The cannabinoids present within cannabis are dissolvable within fat. This means that, to make an edible that actually works, you need to mix it with fat.
Cannabutter is made by heating a mixture of water and butter, along with some decarboxylated cannabis. This low-heat cooking process converts some of the THCa and CBDa into their more readily accessible and commonly known forms, THC and CBD.
Once done, you mix the cannabis with the butter and water solution and gently simmer it. This slow heating process cooks out the cannabinoids into the butter and water solution, gradually ensuring the mixture contains all the cannabinoids you want to imbibe.
After the cannabis is exhausted of its cannabinoids, it is discarded. The butter and water mixture is then left to cool and harden in the refrigerator. This allows the butter to set, while the water remains liquid, meaning you can quickly pour off the rather gross-smelling water and store your cannabutter.
The precise temperatures, timings, and even order of the steps are up to your individual recipe, but the basics of it remain the same. To make cannabutter, you need to move the cannabinoids from cannabis to butter, and use it wherever you would usually use butter or other fats in your cooking.
While it does keep a pretty funky taste, it is useful as a way to get high and enjoy cannabis without having to smoke it.
But what about washing it? Why on earth would you wash your cannabutter first?
What Does Washing Cannabutter Do?
When it comes to the world of marijuana and specific etiquette, there isn’t any right way to do things. Everyone has their preferences for what they like to do, including guidelines for making things like cannabutter.
One of the things that people cannot seem to agree on is whether or not you should wash your cannabutter after making it. But didn’t you just make it with water anyway? What purpose would there be for adding more water?
The process of washing is designed to remove excess compounds or chlorophyll that might remain in the butter. Once the butter has been refrigerated and separated from the initial batch of water, you then immerse your butter solution in an equal amount of freshwater.
The best way to do this is to re-melt the cold cannabutter, as this means that the cannabutter solution will mix better with the water and allow excess chemical compounds to leech into the water.
The exciting thing about this process is that you can do it multiple times in a row, day after day, for the purpose of chasing different results.
After one single weed wash, your cannabutter will lighten in both texture and flavor; it’s a bit more like coconut oil thanks to the coagulation of milk solids in the butter. After two washes, you will find that it hardens up even more. It becomes nuttier in flavor and far more concentrated in its THC intensity.
However, this doesn’t answer the question of whether you should wash your cannabutter. Is it worth it?
Should You Wash Cannabutter?
The thing about washing your cannabutter is that it, like pretty much everything in the cannabis world, is entirely up to you. There are plenty of reasons to wash your cannabutter, but the decision rests with the user.
The main reason people wash their cannabutter after making it is to improve the taste. The taste of unwashed cannabutter is distinctly more hash-like and closer to the original taste of unprocessed marijuana nugs.
Some people prefer this raw, unfiltered taste, but many others find it especially unpleasant. By washing your cannabutter, you can modulate and control the intensity of your final product.
Another great reason to wash your cannabutter is that it changes the texture on a chemical level. When you introduce water to the mixture, freeze it, and then thaw it, you are breaking and reforming the fat molecules within the cannabutter solution.
This allows excess compounds to drain away with the water, allowing the fat molecules to clump more tightly together. When they do this, the cannabutter has a tighter and silkier texture when you bite into it or use it.
If you plan on using your cannabutter for baking, you will want it to have as smooth a texture as possible to encourage better mixing and folding with other ingredients.
However, you might want to keep your cannabutter rough and crumbly in texture, possibly for the purpose of using it as a crumbly topping or in specific recipes. In this instance, you definitely want to keep it unwashed.
Fundamentally, it is a personal decision that no one can make for you – you have to consider what you want to use your cannabutter for and then make the appropriate decision.
Final Thoughts on Washing Cannabutter
Washing cannabutter is something that many people think of as a pretty strange idea. However, it’s actually something that can make your final product tastier. While many purists try to espouse using totally unadulterated cannabutter, others wash their cannabutter for its flavor.
So, if you are planning on using cannabutter in a baked recipe, or simply just want a smoother texture and more uncomplicated flavor, there is no real reason not to wash your cannabutter.
The only thing to keep in mind is that you will lose the crumbly texture. To make sure you know what to expect, do an experiment and try out different levels of washing. The only way to know what you like is to try it out!
For more creative ways to use cannabutter, check out the recipes section of the website. Enjoy!