Here is one of my favorite ways to make marijuana butter, cannabis oil, infused milk, honey, syrups, etc. It's simple, inexpensive, versatile, and uses tools you probably already have in your kitchen.
The Mason Jar method of making marijuana infusions uses indirect heat. You can use it to infuse most anything, but I especially like to use for delicate liquids like milk and cream, which can break down over long cooking times or high heat.
Now if I am making a big batch of marijuana butter or cannabis oil, I much prefer to use my slow cooker for infusing. But it is difficult if not impossible to make small batches of cannabis oil or butter in a slow cooker. So, when I want only want to make a cup or less, I will use this Mason jar method (or infuse in the Ardent Lift decarboxylator).
More About the Mason Jars for Making Marijuana Infusions
Even if you want to infuse a really small amount, say a 1/2 cup, the Mason Jar Infusion method works, as you can use a jar size that makes sense for the amount you are infusing.
Conversely, while I like this method for making small batches of marijuana butter, cannabis oil or other infusions, there is no reason you can't use a bigger jar and make a large batch. If you do use a larger jar, be sure to also use a larger pot, as you want the simmering water to at minimum reach the level of infusion liquid in the jar.
Mason jars, or canning jars (any brand will do), come in all shapes and sizes and you can use any of them for this cannabis infusion method.
You don't even have to buy special jars, you can save money and reuse food jars that are strong enough to withstand the heat of the simmering water. For instance, a jar that contained spaghetti sauce works great -- many of these are nothing more than canning jars and many are even labeled as such.
Another way to save money is to shop thrift stores and garage sales where you can pick canning jars up for pennies. Don't worry if they are not complete, you can buy canning jar lids separately.
Here’s what you’ll need for the Mason Jar Method of Cannabis Infusion
- A canning jar and lid
- A 2 – 3 qt sauce pan (larger if you are using a LARGE jar)
- A kitchen towel, folded up and placed in the bottom of the sauce pan to buffer the heat
- The food you’re infusing, for instance butter, milk, oil, honey, or whatever
- Crumbled decarboxylated cannabis
The amount of cannabis you will use will vary. Check out this article to determine your ideal dose. Also note that the amount of cannabis in the infusion is not as important overall as the amount of cannabis in each serving of your finished recipe. My free online Edibles Dosing Class (that comes with a calculator tool that does all the math for you), can help you refine the amounts you should use in order to make edibles with the dose you need (everyone is different when it comes to dosing).
How to make Marijuana Infusions in a Mason Jar
In these photos, I am using the Mason Jar method to make some cannabis-infused milk. Of course, you can use the Mason Jar method to infuse anything you like such as butter, coconut oil, olive oil and other oils, syrup, honey, cream, soy milk or other vegan milks, etc.
- Place your decarboxylated cannabis along with whatever you are infusing (I am using milk in these photos) in a jar. Cover and gently shake to mix.
- Place a folded up kitchen towel in a bottom of a saucepan.
- Place the filled Mason jar on the towel and fill the saucepan with as much hot water as possible, without the jar floating.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat, and let the water come to a simmer. Be sure to check the water level frequently during cooking, adding water as necessary. Open the jar every half hour or so while infusing in order to relieve any pressure build up. I also like to stir the contents around a bit at the same time.
How Long to Infuse Cannabis with the Mason Jar Method
As with most infusions, the exact amount of time you infuse is flexible. I like to leave it in the simmering water bath for a MINIMUM of an hour and a half, but depending on what I am infusing, I will often let it go much longer. This is a low temperature indirect method, so it's safe to let it infuse for 3 or 4 hours, as long as you continually monitor the amount of water in the pot to always keep it at a level if the infusing liquid in the jar.
Straining Marijuana Infusions Made with the Mason Jar Method
When done infusing, strain your infusion through a small screen strainer into another clean jar (photo above), or using a French Press coffee pot (photo below) to separate the plant material from the infused liquid in the same way you would separate coffee grounds when brewing a pot of Joe.