How to make cannabutter with trimmings

We”l show you how to make cannabutter from trimmings so you can make your own edibles. This recipe to make cannabutter with trim is great for growers looking to put sugar leaves and wispy popcorn buds to productive use. It can also be used with weed buds.

How is making cannabutter with trim different than making it with concentrates or kief?

Making cannabutter from trim is a bit of a different cooking process than if you made your marijuana butter out of concentrates for several reasons. Cooking with concentrates offers several advantages over cooking with buds or sugar leaves. But the big difference is the taste of the final product.

If you make cannabutter with trimmings, the green plant material usually simmers in the butter for a long period of time during the extraction. This slow heating activates the THC and incorporates it into the fat of the butter.

But the long cooking time combined with the high chlorophyll content of the trim also allows for a strong plant flavor to enter the butter. This strong taste can easily overpower the recipe you’re cooking with. The butter will also take on a darker green color.

Since concentrates lack the leafy green material, the taste is much less “weedlike”. It is recommeded that you choose stronger-flavored edibles recipes to help mask this taste when you make edibles with cannabutter made from trimmings.

Recipe: How to make cannabutter with trim

Here is an easy recipe for how to make cannabutter with trim (the sugar leaves removed from harvested plants).

  1. The first thing you should do is let your trim dry out for up to a week until it’s dry to the touch. To dry trim, place the sugar leaves in a paper bag or cardboard box and gently ruffling them daily to break up clumps and expose the damp portion.  Avoid using large fan leaves, they don’t have much THC content compared to the frosty sugar leaves and popcorn buds. Once dried, you’re ready to make your cannabutter.
  2. Prepare a double boiler or make one easily by placing a wide mouthed mason jar (the 1 quart size works great) or large pyrex measuring cup in a saucepan surrounded by 4-5 inches of boiling water. Since boiling water only reaches 212 degrees, using a double boiler ensures the butter/weed mixture won’t exceed this temperature either.
  3. Add two sticks (which is 8oz, or 1 cup) of butter to the mason jar and let it melt. In this recipe we’ll use two sticks, but you can vary that amount based on how much you need and how much trim you are cooking with.
  4. Add marijuana trimmings. Make sure the trim is cut into small pieces, especially if you’re using popcorn buds.
  5. Continue to boil the water to simmer the butter and marijuana leaves for 1 hour.  Add more water to the saucepan if the level of water drops below the level of butter/trim in the mason jar.
  6. Remove from heat and cool. Strain the butter through a fine mesh screen, pressing hard to remove all butter. You can use a colander too, but chunks of green will make it into the butter mix.


How much trim for cannabutter

Typically a home grower will have a good sized pile of trim after each harvest. To make cannabutter from trimmings, first separate out the larger fan leaves and discard. Try to use just sugar leaves and wispy larf buds from the bottom of the plant.

The best answer to the question “how much trim for cannabutter” is: how much ya got? The recipe above calls for 2 sticks of butter. Crumble up as much dried trim and you can and mix into to the melted butter, making sure the trim is fully submersed. This is the best way to determine how much trim for cannabutter that is needed – add as much as you can but make sure that it can be fully submersed.

If you have a lot of trim and want to use it all, simply increase the amount of butter used as needed so that the trim can be properly covered and extracted. Since trim has a relatively low THC content, try to add as much trim for cannabutter as possible to ensure your final product is potent.

Things to consider before making cannabutter from trimmings

If you want to use trim to make cannabutter but want to improve the taste and smell of your final product, it is highly recommended that you try to extract the psychoactive trichomes in your trimmed leaves and popcorn buds using a method like dry ice hash, bubble hash, or other extractions rather than cook directly with green plant material. The improvements in flavor of the butter are dramatic.

Making dry ice hash is much easier than you’d think. Your edibles will be much better tasting due to a less “planty” taste, and you’ll have an easier time gauging the THC content of your cannabutter.

But if extraction isn’t an option and you’re looking to make your weed butter with trim using the recipe above, avoid overcooking as prolonged cook times increase chlorophyll taste.

To simplify the process you can consider a product like the Magical Butter Machine, which is specifically designed to make cannabutter using weed flowers or trim.

How much THC is in cannabutter made from trim?

Determining how much THC is in cannabutter made from marijuana trimmings is a very difficult thing to do. It depends on amount of trim used, the potency, and whether all of the cannabinoids in the trim get successfully extracted during the cooking process.  Because of this, it’s much easier to determine THC content in marijuana butter when using concentrates or kief.

It’s a lot easier to estimate THC content in cannabutter made with marijuana buds then it is with trimmings. Unless you get your pot from a dispensary with a clearly marked content label, you’ll have to estimate. The best examples of the best strains can go to 25% and upwards. Old dried out brown brick schwag can go as low as 3%. Most likely your bud falls in the 10-20% range.

You’ll need to make that determination yourself, and this is why estimating the THC percentage of the resulting cannabutter is so hard. It’s even harder when making cannabutter with trim, because you’ll have no way to accurately estimate how much THC you’re starting with.

Are you using just sugar leave trim? Or fan leaves too, which are far less potent that sugar trim. How frosty are your trim leaves — are they completely covered with trichomes, which contain the psychoactive cannabinoids? Less frosty leaves equals lower potency.

The “test and see” approach

It’s always better to over-estimate than underestimate to prevent accidental overconsumption. But whenever you make cannabutter from trimmings you need to take a “test and see” approach to determining potency.

One way to do this is to take a small, measured dosage of your final product. Try taking 1 teaspoon of your butter and spread it on a piece of toast and wait 3 hours. If you don’t feel enough, next time take a larger measured dose. Once you determine how much you need for a comfortable buzz, then you can use that to factor it into your edibles recipe.

For example, if you know you need one teaspoon of butter to get high and you want to make a weed brownie recipe that has 12 servings, make sure that you use 12 teaspoons  of cannabuter (which equals 4 tablespoons, or 1/2 a stick).  If the entire recipe calls for more than 1/2 a stick, then add regular butter as needed to reach that amount.


How to make cannabutter with trimmings using a crockpot

If you don’t have a double boiler you can modify the above recipe to make cannabutter with trimmings using a crockpot. You can also make larger batches of marijuana in a crockpot than you can in a mason jar, allowing you to process lots of butter for future usage.

Some crockpots cook hotter than others, ideally you want to keep it around 250 degrees. But if your crockpot only has a high or low setting, you won’t have that level of control. Too much heat will destroy THC, so be mindful of this and don’t let the butter boil for hours in a crockpot. Try to cook for about an hour maximum, starting the timing once the butter has gently started to simmer. Turn the heat to the lowest setting once it heats up.

Can you make brownies with marijuana trim?

A lot of silly tv shows show people sprinkling a few grams of what appears to be finely ground oregano directly into the batter mixture and making “special brownies”. The shows’ laugh tracks seem to find it hilarious.

Since THC is fat soluable, bypassing the step to prepare cannabutter isn’t going to help bring out the maximum potency of your weed brownies. It’s always best to make cannabutter and then use that in your recipe to fully extract the THC. Plus if you cook directly with marijuana buds you’ll have some odd textures in your edibles.

Best bet if you want to learn how to make brownies from marijuana trim: make cannabutter and cook with that. But if you simply must use marijuana trimmings or fan leaves in your edibles, make sure to finely chop them and use a recipe with lots of fat. Don’t let the recipe get too hot or you risk destroying THC as well.

It isn’t recommended to use marijuana trim directly in brownies.  Weed leaves don’t have much of a THC percentage, you’d be adding too much plant material to get a decent potency level. If you want to cook with trim and leaves, use the cannabutter recipe above for best results.

Can you make cannabutter by simmering trimmings and butter in a pan?

Cooking marijuana directly in butter in a pan can work to release and activate the THC to make cannabutter, but there are some drawbacks. It’s hard to control the temperature of the butter simmering in a pan, and you risk overheating your weed trim and destroying THC.

Cooking weed trim in butter too long will also convert THC (which you want) into CBN (a cannabinoid that makes you sleepy).  This is great if you’re looking to make edibles for nighttime sedation, so you can sleep. But it sucks if you’re looking to party at an all day concert and an hour after you eat your edibles you’re falling asleep in your chair.

That being said, many people’s first experiences with making edibles from buds or trim involve simmering pot for up to an hour on a burner. Not recommended. Your brownies will likely put you to sleep due to higher CBN content.

Summary: How to make cannabutter from trimmings

To make cannabutter with trim and popcorn buds, first dry it out.   Use a double boiler and melt butter. Add marijuana trimmings cut into small pieces. Simmer the butter and marijuana leaves for 1 hour, strain, and cool.

Test a measured amount for potency, and then use this as a baseline to calculate how much you’ll need in your edibles recipes.

While it’s easy to learn how to make cannabutter with trimmings, for better taste and to more easily measure potency consider using cannabis concentrates, kief, or buds.

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