Published In The Great North Arrow, February 2021: Making Cannabutter

- jim Young

“Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said this butter’s bitter. If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter will but make my batter better. So ‘twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter.” - anon

I have suffered chronic back pain for many years. Chiropractic, physio, cortisone shots, electric acupuncture - nothing has proved to bring me much lasting relief. I am not too keen to undergo surgery which my doctor has suggested might be my last resort.

I have grown tired of trying home remedies from herbal teas to standing on my head that have been recommended by well meaning friends, but when it was suggested that cannabutter might be the answer, I decided to give it a try.

If it didn’t work, at least I might enjoy a good high and as I had all the ingredients on hand anyway, all I needed was a recipe. 

Whereas Google will usually provide me with an adequate traditional recipe, I opted to search for a recipe for Cannabutter on YouTube instead. YouTube would provide me with a video giving me foolproof step-by-step instructions.

This was the first video I watched. 

How To Make Premium Cannabutter | Food & Wine Recipes

The 3 minute 11 second video was very professionally produced and obviously intended for the more affluent, snobby people. You’re not just making cannabutter, you’re making “premium” cannabutter that is somehow associated with “wine recipes”. There is no narration, just online detailed instructions as you watch the process.

From beginning to end everything is very sterile and white. The countertops, the background, the bowls and the spatula are all white. The cannabis grinder is gold and obviously very high end.

The butter may not be white, but it is “cultured”.

The mildly funky, background elevator music is white as well or should I say nondescript.

Even the person making the cannabutter is white, although you don’t see much of that person except for their white hands and a bit of their white clothing that stops just short of being a white, clinical lab coat.

They use fancy terms, items and ingredients such as: 

  • decarbing,

  • immersion stick circulator, 

  • citrusy, earthy or berry-like strain,

  • High quality, organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter, 

This process looks a little more complicated than the next video and requires the use of specialized equipment such as the “immersion stick circulator?” What the hell is that even?

Apparently an "immersion stick circulator” is basically just a fancy blender. According to Wikipedia, "It is used in process, environmental, microbiological, hazardous waste, and other laboratories" and I presume can also be used in the kitchen for making “shit to get you high."

The second video on making cannabutter is much less professional in its production but a lot more down to earth.

High Activity - How To Make Cannabutter

This video is a little longer at 4 ½ minutes.

The opening background is black.

The narrator/instructor is black. At the risk of sounding racist I’m already starting to think this video is a little more credible.

Everything is in street language. This recipe requires the process of decarboxylation as well, but it explains the purpose of it in simple easy to understand terms.

The instructor starts out by smoking a joint and taking you on a “high trip” to Walmart to buy the ingredients. Enjoy the scenery along the way as the background music is the car radio playing a "real" song that you typically might expect to be grooving to. The instructor points out a “demon” he passes by on the way to Walmart.

At Walmart your instructor  chooses "Land O Lakes" butter that has a Pocahontas-Indian-Looking-Squaw for a logo. How did that escape the Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben Product Endorsement bans?

You have to guess at some things. Like how much water to put in the pot. (I'm guessing since the water is a waste product at the end anyway it doesn't really matter. Or you can read the reviews for tips from his fans.)

And you have to pay attention too. The instructor will show you the list of ingredients, but as he reads through them, he doesn't specifically mention the butter in the audio portion even though that was the specific ingredient he took you on a road trip to purchase.

The onscreen written list of everything you need includes the Reynolds wrap and parchment paper but not the cheese cloth.

The kitchen where this video was made was relatively clean and tidy; in fact cleaner and tidier than my own. You will see some ingredients in the background which aren't required for the recipe which kind of make you wonder why they are there.

But it's certainly not a sterile environment like the first video. As the instructor begins to strain the cannabutter, which he describes as looking “as gross as hell”, into the cheesecloth, you will notice some spots of dirt on the stove. I backed the video up for a closer look to see if it was dirt that was already there or spillage from his pouring. 

A closer look showed me that at least some of the dirt was actually on my computer monitor and not on his stove at all but what was there was not spillage - at least not from the final take.

What the second video lacked in professionalism and detail it made up for in character. Somehow it just seemed to be a little more authentic. It was certainly a lot more fun to watch and it seems to be a lot easier to follow. Best of all - the yield is about double that of the first video. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!

So did the cannabutter actually relieve my back pain? Not really. But at least now I just don’t seem to care as much.

- 30 -


  1. great write up! I find the product works better if I apply it externally on really bad fibro days.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I will give this a try.

      I had wondered if this would be effective, but was reluctant to waste my butter if not.

      Do you also get any kind of a high as the butter is absorbed into the skin? (Asking for a friend. Ha Ha.)


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