Whether edibles, vaping, or dabbing, concentrates are fast becoming the go-to delivery method for many cannabis consumers. Packing a huge punch in a tiny package is only one of the many benefits concentrates offer. In this five-part series, I’ll take a closer look at this not-so-new trend.
This week, I’m going to start with three of the most familiar concentrates: butter, oil, and tinctures. All three are edible and extremely easy and safe to make at home.
A staple in many stoner-chef cookbooks, cannabutter is relatively cheap to make and doesn’t require any special equipment or ingredients. It is also multifunctional, working as both a topical balm and a foodstuff. Nearly anyone can make it; all you need is butter, grass, a filter, and a heat source.
In the past, cannabutter was often made with the leftover plant parts after the buds have been trimmed away. This practice exacerbated one of cannabutter’s few drawbacks: While it captures weed’s signature “nutty” flavor, the subtler flavors in individual strains are often lost. Another drawback is that cannabutter is notorious for being unpredictable in strength. Modern chefs are solving both these problems by utilizing specific strains and dialing in the very best ways to control and maintain specific THC levels to guarantee consistency.
Made much like cannabutter, canna-oil possibly goes back thousands of years. We know humans have been soaking herbs and spices in oils to extract their effects since at least 5000 BCE, so using this method has some cool connections to our past. This concentrate was often used topically, but was, and is, a staple in many medicinal users’ diets. If you wanna be real old-school, soak your ground weed in some extra-virgin olive oil in a ceramic jar on a windowsill in the sun. With some extra techniques, like using a pressure cooker, one can acquire a significantly potent oil.
Until the mid-1930s when cannabis was illegalized, tinctures were the most commonly prescribed form of medicinal cannabis. Possibly the very easiest method, all you need is cannabis, a jar or bottle with a lid, a filter, and a clear spirit like vodka. If you care for your tinctures, keeping them out of the light and tightly sealed, they can last for years, making them one of the most economical ways to store and use cannabis.
Of these three, cannabutter is nearest to my heart. As a young stoner, I made a pan of pot brownies. I cut all the brownies into tiny pieces and passed them out to friends and neighbors, effectively getting my whole apartment complex super-high. Since then, the Satanic Brand Brownies have become a standard birthday present to the special stoners in my life. MEAGAN ANGUS