How to Make Cannabutter with Kief

Cannabis kief being dropped from a white plate into a pot with melting butter.

As many countries worldwide continue to legalize recreational marijuana, people are coming up with many new ways to incorporate cannabis into edibles, and with good reason, considering the many documented health benefits of the glorious herb. This is why learning how to make cannabutter with kief is a great idea-

Cannabutter, as the name suggests, is butter infused with cannabis. It’s popularly used as a condiment, particularly for baked edibles like brownies, cookies, and even cakes. Kief butter has a mild nutty flavor, and so if you belong to the group that loves cannabis without the intense “weed” taste, this is for you.

Depending on the laws governing marijuana in your state, you can walk into a cannabis dispensary and buy your cannabutter, particularly if you’re not fussy about taste and potency. However, what’s the point of spending top dollar on something you can easily make from the comfort of your kitchen? Here is a step-by-step process of how to make cannabutter with kief, even with no kitchen experience!

How to Make Kief Butter

Equipment and Materials

  • Baking container
  • Kief (1-4 grams is enough for most people)
  • 1 pound of unsalted butter
  • Sieve and cheesecloth
  • Mason jar or any storage container with a lid
  • Parchment/wax paper (optional)
  • Stirrer/spatula
  • Scale 
  • Saucepan 
  • Refrigerator

Part 1: Decarbing the Kief

Before incorporating the kief into butter, you need to decarb it to activate the cannabinoids – THC or CBD. The success of this entire project rests on this single activity. 

Raw kief is full of cannabinoid acids THCA and CBDA, which are pretty much inactive in their standard form. They must be decarboxylated to convert into THC and CBD

Decarbing is simple: you just have to bake the kief. 

Decarboxylation can also be done using light, solvents, and cofactors. Each cannabis plant is unique and contains various compounds, including terpenes and cannabinoids that decarboxylate under different conditions.

In this tutorial, we will use heat because it’s the easiest method for an at-home environment.

How to Decarb your Kief

  • Line the inside of the baking container with parchment paper (for better results).
  • Evenly spread your kief in the baking container. 
  • Secure the baking container with a lid.
  • Preheat the oven to 230°F and place the baking container. Leave for 30-45 minutes while occasionally stirring to ensure it heats evenly. If it begins to turn brown, remove it from the oven immediately! 
  • When the time lapses, remove the baking container from the oven and set it aside to cool. Your kief is now sufficiently decarbed and ready for infusion.

Just to be safe, here are general decarb temperature recommendations for cannabis flowers.

Part 2: Melting the Unsalted Butter

  • Place the saucepan on the burner and turn on medium heat. 
  • Drop in two sticks of unsalted butter and allow to melt. Do not let it boil!
  • Uncover the kief and add it to the saucepan once the butter has melted. Stir to make sure the kief mixes well with the butter. 
  • Continue cooking in low heat until the kief thoroughly mixes with the butter. It should take you at most 10 minutes with constant stirring. A slow bubbling simmer is an indicator that you’re doing it right.
  • Remove from the burner and strain your newly infused butter into the Mason jar through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Straining isn’t really necessary, but it adds texture and improves the overall quality of your kief butter, so why not?
  • Gently squeeze the remnant matter on the sieve to remove as much kief butter as possible. Take care not to press so hard as to force unwanted material into the mixture.
  • Finally, place the Mason jar with the kief butter in the refrigerator to cool and acquire that butter-like consistency. 
  • If you intend to use your kief butter for long (up to 6 months), store it in the freezer. Otherwise, it’s good for up to 2 months if you use a fridge. 

Takeaway

Kief contains high THC content, with some reports suggesting THC content of up to 70%. This requires knowing the amount of THC in your kief butter. If you use too much kief, you are likely to end up with a product you cannot use. Therefore, we recommend 5 to 6 grams of kief per butter cup.

If this is your first attempt at making cannabutter with kief, we’d advise that you under-dose the batch. Generally, if you’re a high-tolerance cannabis user, you can go for kief with 20% THC content or higher. Low-tolerance or new consumers are better off with high-CBD variants or hemp strains.

However, for purposes of ‘guesstimating’ the THC content in your cannabutter, use this simple but effective formula:

(Weight of flower in grams) x 1000 x (percentage of THC) = total milligrams

However, be advised that half of the THC content could be lost during infusion, so this should not pass off as an exact science. Nonetheless, it can help you calculate the best serving size. In our case, we can make:

  • 8 brownies, each packing 62.5 milligrams of THC 
  • 12 brownies, each packing 41.6 milligrams of THC
  • 14 brownies, each packing 35.7 milligrams of THC

THC edibles take a while before the ‘high’ kicks in. For this reason, it’s much easier to overindulge. To avoid an awful experience, take long breaks (30-90 minutes) between servings.