Don’t throw them out. Save those sticks in a jar until you have plenty set aside. You can extract the THC by making butter with everyday kitchen items you probably already have. Here’s what you need:
- Food processor (cutting with sharp scissors is doable, but tedious and more dangerous to fingers)
- 1/4 oz stems, shake, kief, & flower (the stems alone will make decent butter, but every bit helps)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup water
- Stovetop pan or slow cooker
- Pyrex glass bowl (heat safe)
- Fine strainer (cheesecloth works great).
Step 1. Chop finely
This can take some time to chop up your unwanted stems, and use caution when using scissors, or even some cleanup. It is far easier to throw it all in the food processor and do it in a couple minutes. The finer grind, the better extraction.
Step 2. The cooking
Keep your temperature low. Mix your butter and herb in a stovetop pan just above where it will melt, (ideally 240°F). A stovetop cook will take 2-3 hours. For your slow cooker, just put it on the lowest setting, and let it go for 8-24 hours, checking on it every few hours to make sure it doesn’t dry out. If necessary, add a bit of water or more butter.
The 2 main aspects to control are your plant material being fully submerged, and keeping the temperature high enough to decarboxylate your THCa into THC, without evaporating the THC away.
Step 3. Strain
Take the butter and remove from heat. Place your strainer over the Pyrex bowl. To keep it from falling in, you can use large rubber bands or some tape. Slowly pour the entire mixture into the bowl. Once it has fully dripped out of your cooking vessel, let it sit for about 10 minutes to drain. Finally, take the cheesecloth (if that is what you are using) and twist it to squeeze any remaining butter off the plant matter.
Using a metal mesh strainer instead? Then simply press down on the material with the bottom of a spoon.
Step 4. Cool and harden
Once in the bowl, you want to solidify your butter by putting it in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 5. Separate the layer of butter
When the butter chills overnight, it separates into two layers. The top will be a hardened layer of butter, and the bottom will be watery. Gently remove the top layer and store in wax paper in the refrigerator. Toss the water.
If you use nothing but stems, don’t expect the butter to blow your socks off, but it will still do nicely. You will just have to adjust your cooking for the potency. Strong edibles aren’t always the way to go for everyday use.