Cannabutter vs Infused Oil: Understanding The Differences


Historians have discovered weed-based recipes dating back to the 10th century. However, pot brownies got introduced to the general public only in the late 60s. Since legalized recreational marijuana is more widely available than ever before, it is vital to understand the different ways it can be used in meals. Mentioning edibles generally makes one think of cookies and brownies, but the effects of cannabis are best enjoyed by infusing it with meals.


Cannabis in the Kitchen

When it comes to using weed in the kitchen, both first-timers and long term stoners have divided opinions. Aside from baking it in brownies, cannabutter and cannabis-infused oil are the latest trends. What is the difference between cannabutter and infused oil? Despite the similarities between the two, it is important to understand the difference. Confusion between the two may lead to wasting the weed, ruining a pan, or even getting stoned uncomfortably.

Cannabutter and infused oil are produced and used in different ways. Making snacks with cannabutter is common and widely accepted, but baking with infused oil can be more effective. Their unique and similar qualities can be understood only when one knows how they are made, used, and where to get them. Cannabutter (aka marijuana butter, cannabis butter, or weed butter) is the biggest weapon of a weed chef.

Making Cannabutter

Cannabutter has been a part of weed culture since the late 60s. Best used for baking, cannabutter can be made in many different ways and is the key ingredient in space cakes, brownies and cookies. Topping butter containing milk fats with a decent dose of kush is the most delicious way of infusing cannabis in meals. Through this method, one not only consumes cannabis but also enjoys the rich and sweet flavor of quality butter.

Cooking flowers of the cannabis plant in butter draws out cannabinoids into butter, making them easy to absorb by the body. The effects of weed are much more potent when consumed in edibles this way. Depending on the chosen recipe, the cooking process can take up to 24 hours. In order to not burn the butter and damage weed compounds, it is suggested to keep the temperatures low while cooking.

Decarboxylation is an important process for creating a really active cannabutter. Though there are many ways of decarboxylating the weed, baking the weed at very low temperatures, say 110°C, for about 40 minutes is the most common. This process converts cannabinoid acids into non-acidic cannabinoids, thus making the edibles more potent. Prolonged baking or high temperature damages the ingredients and renders the cannabis ineffective.

Cannabutter: Advantages

Simple to make, cannabutter is how most weed chefs get started on their long, psychoactive journey with homemade edibles. Its rich taste compliments sweet and savory dishes both. One can either use cannabutter to make curries creamy, as a base for a delicious dough to bake cookies with, or even as a spread inside a grilled sandwich.

Being easy to prepare, full of flavorful goodness, complementing both sweet and savory dishes, comparative inexpensiveness, and lots of fat content that helps in making potent edibles are a few of the key advantages of cannabutter.

Cannabutter: Disadvantages

Dairy and fat content, evidently, are the main downsides to consuming cannabutter. Being a vegan or someone who likes to control their fat intake disqualifies one to use cannabutter. Cannabis coconut oil, luckily, can become a wonderful substitute for all such consumers.

The low smoking point of cannabutter, if not carefully watched while cooking, can ruin the flavor and dampen the effect of edibles made with it. Not being vegan, having a low smoking point, and huge fat content are the main disadvantages of cannabutter.

Making Cannabis Coconut Oil

As the source of numerous triglycerides of the medium-chain variety, coconut oil helps improve heart health, shed fat, and more. The body digests triglycerides easily and uses them as energy, thus making coconut oil a great substitute for other oils and butter. Some buds, patience, and guidance are all one requires to prepare cannabis coconut oil.

Combine cannabis flowers, distilled water and coconut oil in a pot and cook it for up to 24 hours. The cooking time purely depends on the chosen recipe and desired potency. It is important to keep the temperature low to protect cannabinoids and decarboxylate the flowers beforehand. The potent infused oil thus created (almost four times stronger than smoking weed) can be stored for months and is packed with fatty acids and antioxidants.

Cannabis Coconut Oil: Advantages

Coconut oil is already loaded with benefits. Infused with cannabis, it makes for one of the healthiest ways to create one’s favorite dishes. Some varieties of coconut oils do not have strong flavors, which makes them best suited for cooking both sweet and savory dishes.

When applied as lube, cannabis coconut oil can also spice things in one’s sex life. THC is known to be a vasodilator, which means that it gets one’s blood flowing when applied to the skin. Being extremely nutritious, vegan in nature, an adaptable fat source and possible usage as a lube or lubricant are the key advantages of cannabis coconut oil.

Cannabis Coconut Oil: Disadvantages

Cannabis coconut oil does not have many disadvantages. Coconut oil does not provide the creamy texture that cannabutter does, nor does it provide a rich flavor to curries. Its usage depends a lot on one’s dietary requirements, eating habits, and preferences. For example, infusing brownies is best done with cannabutter, while coconut oil will be perfect for a stir fry.

Slightly expensive, at times hard to access, and having less flavor than cannabutter are a few of the not-so-serious disadvantages of infused coconut oil.

Infusing Cannabis with Olive Oil 

If cost becomes a concern, opting for olive oil to infuse cannabis is the next best option. It is a cheaper but manageably healthy substitute for coconut oil. Its delicious flavor makes it suited for Mediterranean cuisine, as a dressing over salads and in dips or fresh sourdough. To make this kind of oil, one can follow the same process as infused coconut oil.

Cannabis Olive Oil: Advantages

Not only is olive oil widely available, it is also decently priced and easily accessible compared to most other oils. Above all, it is too delicious to resist. Rich in antioxidants and fats, it possesses tons of health benefits. Moreover, it does not lead to obesity or weight gain in any way.

High nutrition, mild flavor, ease of access, suitability for savory dishes and apt pricing are some of the key advantages of olive oil.

Cannabis Olive Oil: Disadvantages

As compared to other cooking oils, olive oil smokes at a much lower temperature; thus, one should avoid using it for cooking anything that needs high heat, such as stir-fries. It has a strong flavor that does not go well with sweets and desserts. Low smoking point and unsuitability for sweets are two of the main disadvantages of olive oil infused with cannabis.

Cannabutter vs Cannabis-Infused Oil?

When making a choice, consider how effectively the oil absorbs cannabinoids from the weed. This is the only rule when picking the right oil for cannabis cooking. The following three factors can be kept in mind while choosing the best oil for infusing with cannabis:

  • If cooking the most amazing potent edibles is the top concern, pick the option that absorbs cannabinoids at the highest level. Clarified butter has generally emerged as the best choice in this regard.
  • One can also infuse several different oils together to create variety. While some of the infused oils can be used for making savory dishes, butter or coconut oil could be used for desserts.
  • The texture of food, just like its flavor, plays a big role in the dining experience. Choosing the right kind of oil for texture is critical for cooking any dish. Oils mostly have similar textures, but ghee and butter have distinctively unique textures that complement certain dishes and completely change the look and taste.

Infusing Other Oils

If weed supply and money is not a concern, one can experiment with other oils. Some other oils that can be used to make cannabis-infused oils are:

  •    Avocado oil

Containing a fatty acid called oleic acid to the level of up to 70%, avocado oil effectively increases good cholesterol or HDL in the body. Avocado oil contains antioxidants and can increase the body’s capacity to absorb nutrients from meals.

  •    Walnut oil

Having a nutty and rich flavor, walnut oil goes well with salads, pesto, as well as dips. Walnut oil comes loaded with antioxidants and helps in decreasing LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol in the body. It improves skin and hair health, too.

  •    Rapeseed oil

Containing vitamin E and antioxidants, rapeseed oil makes for a great option for dishes that need high heat. It contains almost negligible trans-fat and very few saturated fats.