Citation: ChemTech3. "Budder Recipe Verification via HPLC: An Experience with Cannabis (exp112930)". Erowid.org. Feb 27, 2019. erowid.org/exp/112930
Cannabis Butter Recipe Verification via HPLC
Using HPLC testing I have developed and refined a method for producing high potency cannabis butter that can be substituted in various quantities in recipes for desired potency. Note that the potency of the butter may not be exact because of the varying nature of marijuana and its cannabinoid content. I recommend purchasing a high grade marijuana with an average potency around 18%. I have included that the back story of how I developed this method and an experience report based on dosage after the recipe.
Yield: ¾ lb. of budder
Potency: 180 mg/tbsp. decarb THC
4 mg/tbsp. CBN
1 lb. of butter (4 sticks)
1 oz. of marijuana – average potency around 18%
Small pot with a lid
A means of filtering the plant matter from the butter
A tall container with a lid
Place marijuana and butter in the pot and fill with enough water to get the marijuana wet. Heat covered to a steady slow boil, just barely more than a simmer, for 3 hours stirring occasionally. Add water as needed. Filter the butter/water mixture; if more water is needed use hot water from a tea kettle. Place butter water mixture in a refrigerator for a few hours. This will allow the water to settle to the bottom along with any contaminants from the marijuana. Once the butter is separated and solid, pull the puck of butter off the water and place it back in the pan on the stovetop to temper. Temper the butter on a low heat for 100 minutes, use a thermometer to check that the temperature does not climb above 300 F. If you don’t have a thermometer keep a close eye on it and watch for any wisps of smoke that will indicate that the temperature is too high. As the butter tempers you should notice any residual water boiling off, it may crackle as the water escapes into steam so watch for spatters. Once the water is gone you should notice the butter fizzing, this may be carbon dioxide released as the cannabinoids decarb. Pour tempered butter into a tall container and allow to cool. Store refrigerated.
For years I have been making cannabis butter or “budder” as I call it. I had always wondered if I was getting full decarboxylation with my budder recipe. I had always made my budder to “taste” and came up with a rough recipe based off of many trials and errors. I have always maintained that using a kitchen oven to decarb marijuana was a poor method. Ovens heat by convection and as the heating element cycles on and off the temperature of the air circulating around the weed can vary drastically. This means that at times the cannabinoids are likely getting too hot and breaking down. THC converts to CBN at high temperatures and CBN is the ultimate sleep drug. I always felt that decarbing in the oven made knockout cookies too easily.
I always felt that decarbing in the oven made knockout cookies too easily.
Personally I like to be awake to enjoy my edibles so I was interested in controlling these variables to minimize conversion to CBN and maximize decarboxylation.
To do this I used the physical properties of water and butter to my advantage. I would skip the oven and boil the weed and the butter in water. Water cannot exist above 212 degrees F and takes a while to heat up and cool down. It acts as a buffer to shield the cannabinoids from the temperature fluctuations in the heating element on your stove. The water serves another purpose as well. It washes the butter. Chlorophyll is not a particularly tasty substance and other water soluble things will be removed from the butter. The cannabinoids are hydrophobic so they dissolve in the butter instead. However, there is a downside to water mediated extractions. The temperature of the water boiling is too low to get significant amounts of decarboxylation to occur. Butter, on the other hand has a smoke point of about 300 F. If you take care you can heat the butter to less than 300 degrees F without scorching it. This also clarifies the butter and removes any residual water. A candy thermometer is very useful at this step because as the butter clarifies the smoke point starts to rise. The big question was how long to temper the butter? I had always just guessed and did it for 30 minutes to an hour. This usually produced fairly good budder so I was satisfied enough.
I have been working as a QC tech at a cannabis testing facility for some time now and have free access to the instruments we test with for my own R&D purposes. Recently I decided to try out my old budder recipe and determine if I was taking enough time to decarb fully. I performed the extraction process as stated above at home with an oz. of weed I had purchased and tested the resulting budder using high pressure liquid chromatography to determine the cannabinoid content. The budder contained roughly 200 mg per tablespoon of cannabinoid, though at this point it was largely in acid form. I then tempered the butter as described for 30 minutes and tested it. At this point the budder contained approximately 160 mg of THCA and 40 mg of THC per tablespoon. I tempered the budder again for 30 minutes and tested it. At this point there was a THCA content of 110mg of THCA and 80 mg of THC per tablespoon. At this point I had reached the amount of time that I usually spent tempering the budder. It was fairly potent at this point yet less than half of the acid had been converted. Using the three data points I had collected I was able to extrapolate a probable time at which decarboxylation would be complete. I tempered the butter for another 45 minutes, or 105 minutes in total. The final results were as expected. The original 200 mgs of THCA had converted completely to 180 mgs of decarb THC per tablespoon. 10% loss is well within expected range for this conversion. A small amount of CBN was present but is also to be expected towards the end of the conversion process. This could be avoided by tempering for a slightly shorter amount of time. All and all I was pretty happy with the results of my dinky little side experiment at work and figured I would share it to those who are interested in oven less budder.
Dose: 1/3 tablespoon of budder (roughly 60mg of THC)
Subject: 27 year old male, 6’ tall, 165 lbs. Daily heavy marijuana user, smoked.
Time: Breakfast, around 10 am
T=0:00 5 grams or approximately 1/3 tbsp. of budder was placed on 2 eggos. These were eaten for breakfast. Prior to this I had drank my morning coffee. The budder is clear and has a light flavor though it needs salt.
T=2:00 I have slowly felt the effects of the budder grow over the past 2 hours. First relaxation and then the warm stoney feeling crept in. I have pretty bad dry mouth and feel slightly drowsy. I have no feelings of anxiety or overwhelming tiredness presently. Just a nice heavy buzz.
I would say that this is a good dose for myself personally.
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