Why and How To Clean Your Cannabis/ Hemp

Updated: Aug 11

Clean Your Cannabis/ Hemp to Make The Best Tasting Clean Cannabutter

When I started cooking with cannabis, I realized that there are three challenges everyone faces when making edibles: the herbaceous taste, proper dosing, and knowing how an edible will make you feel. All challenges that I became obsessed with solving.  Thankfully, after about months of tinkering, lab testing, and sampling, I came up with the process to make “Light Tasting”, strain-specific, easily dosed cannabutter and cannaoil.  Your cannabutter and cannaoil will be virtually tasteless if you follow the process properly.

Why Clean your Cannabis and Hemp?

Let's just say you took your weed and put it into a crockpot, like a lot of people do, with some butter, oil, and water and let it simmer. What you're really doing, in addition to simmering all of those cannabinoids into the butter and oil, is also adding in any impurities that are in that bud. So anything that tastes really bad could be something as horrible as insecticides, or it could just be the chlorophyll, which also has a specific taste that's pretty powerful and earthy.

Photo Credit: Mathew Masin

The root of the process is something we should all be doing with our cannabis, CLEANING IT! Just as we do with any other fruit, vegetable or herb. Common wisdom has always been to “never” get your cannabis wet, but that is precisely what you need to do in order to properly clean your bud. The best part is that you can easily do it yourself at home. The picture here shows you the difference between cannaoil made with cleaned cannabis (L) and non-cleaned cannabis (R).

So to take the taste out, you basically have to extract as much of that stuff as possible by soaking the bud for a couple of days in distilled water, and then after that, blanching it. By blanching, you're basically getting a much purer flower to start with and later to infuse into your butter or oil. It's still going to smell like cannabis, but if you cook with it, you won't as much like the dank flower it was. Most canna-butters are usually green or dark green. Mine is yellow and potent.

How to Clean Your Cannabis or Hemp Flower Choose a strain of cannabis that you like and that you know works for you. If you’re not sure, and this is your first time, ask your local budtender to suggest a strain that will impart the effects you are looking for or check out Leafly to find a strain that makes sense and get ready to hunt it down!  Make sure you note the percentage of THC in the strain you choose to use.  This is important information that you will need to calculate the potency of your finished cannabutter or cannaoil.

To make one stick of butter or 4 oz of oil I suggest starting with 7 grams of raw cannabis. To yield 1 stick of butter you will need to use 1⅓ stick of butter to make up for the lost volume of water and milk solids through the process.

Next you will need to have a French press (any size will work as long as it’s large enough to accommodate soaking your herb), a gallon of Distilled Water, a large tea strainer, a pot for boiling water, a bowl of ice water, a flat sheet pan or Pyrex dish, an oven (or toaster oven) and a butter mold or jar for oil.

Steps 1 and 2: CLEAN YOUR BUD (2-3 days depending on how dirty your cannabis is)

  • Break apart the buds and place pieces and stems into a french press

  • Soak cannabis for 2-3 days, changing the water about 12 every hours until the water runs clear


Photo Credit: Mathew Masin
  • When water runs clear, transfer the buds from the french press into a tea strainer

  • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and prepare of bowl of ice water

  • Immerse the tea strainer into the boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes

  • Immediately remove the tea strainer after 5 minutes and immerse in the ice water for 1 minute.  This stops the cleaning process and shocks the cannabis back to reality. It will also cool the cannabis or hemp enough for the next step.


Now we need to remove the excess moisture and decarb our cannabis or hemp. (Click Here to Learn More about Decarbing)

Photo Credit: Pixels and Crumbs
  • Spin out all of the water from the cooled cannabis in a salad spinner.

  • Preheat your oven to 240ºF

  • Break apart the bud ball into an oven-safe dish or pan

  • Cover tightly with foil. This is the one step that might infuse your kitchen or home briefly with the smell of cannabis. Covering tightly with aluminum foil will significantly reduce the odor

  • Place in oven to dry and decarb for 1 hour. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes after you remove it from the oven so any steam floating around can settle and dissipate

  • Remove the foil and ensure that your bud is COMPLETELY DRY! If there is any leftover moisture, it will impart moisture and an herbaceous taste into your butter or oil

  • If your bud is not completely dry after you remove it from the oven, cover it loosely with a paper towel and let it sit overnight. It should be completely dry by the morning

When your dried and decarbed bud is completely dry, weigh it. You will notice that what was once 7 grams of cannabis is now more like 3, 4, or 5 grams. Your difference between your starting weight and the final weight will vary based on how moist or dry your cannabis was when you started. Write down the final weight, you will need this to calculate the potency of your cannabutter or cannaoil. To easily calculate the approximate potency of your butter or oil, including the potency per serving, visit

Step 5: INFUSE

Choose the fat you want to infuse. Any high-fat butter or oil will work. I suggest grass-fed butter or a healthy high-fat oil such as coconut or olive.

  • Place dried and decarbed cannabis back into a clean french press and add your fat. If you are using butter or a solid oil such as coconut oil, melt it before adding the cannabis.

  • Bring the plunger down to the top of the oil line

  • Immerse the French press in a pot of water and bring the water to slow boil

  • Let cannabis steep in butter for 3 hours or oil for 4 hours

When steeping is complete, press plunger down all the way and pout into your heat resistant storage container and refrigerate. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months

Note: If you are making butter, there may be residual moisture from the butter once it has re-solidified. To remove the moisture, turn the re-solidified butter out onto a plate and dab the extra moisture with a paper towel. Re-refrigerate. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Mathew Masin and Pixels and Crumbs (Cascadia Blooms)

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