On a very hot summer night in NYC, I opened the freezer door of a friend of mine to see a box of butter taking up room on the door shelf. On one hand, it made sense – if you go for several weeks between uses, keeping it frozen seems like the sensible thing to do. But isn’t butter (for the most part) dairy? In my mind, the unfolding of the future butter debacle went like this: butter frozen, butter thawed into a strange, globby, simulacrum of its former butter self, just like frozen milk turns from smoothly potable to textured and grainy. Yuck.

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So say you’ve got cannabutter in the house and have made those delicious brownies and tasty cookies, but now you’ve got a bunch of leftover cannabutter and no plans to use it in the near future. Can you keep cannabutter in the freezer to use it again, or will it meet the milk's fate?

Can You Freeze Cannabutter?

As it turns out, I was completely wrong about freezing butter – and by extension, cannabutter. In fact, very cold butter is frequently called for in recipes where crisp and flaky pie crusts and crunchy cookies are the desired result. Cannnabutter is wonderfully versatile in all its iterations – from frozen to melted – and can be added to any recipe that calls for butter or simply spread on toast.

A silver pot on the stove that is filled with yellow liquid and a white plate with green ground-up cannabis Cannabutter is very versatile and can be used in endless recipes. photo credit

So yes, you can indeed freeze cannabutter! In fact, if you have no plans to use it within a week or so you should plan on it. But remember, in order to keep cannabinoids and terpenes in tip-top shape, you will need to store it properly.

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Cannabinoids and terpenes naturally degrade over time, but proper storage can elongate their life and keep them efficacious for longer. Even when freezing, cannabis products need to be kept in cool, dark, and dry places in airtight containers. Think mason jars, but any repurposed jar that can be sealed tight will do. Stored properly, cannabutter can last up to six months in the freezer, but its quality and taste will be better and more potent if you use it before then.

How Do You Store Cannabutter?

If you’ve made your own, you may be tempted to take your creation and stash it right away in the freezer, but be patient. Introducing a steaming hot container to the freezer can introduce moisture into the freezer environment, and moisture often produces bacteria that could contaminate other freezer products. Let cannabutter cool to room temperature before transferring it to the freezer.

Two mason jars on a wooden board Mason jars are great for storing your cannabutter, in the freezer. photo credit

When using a glass jar for storage, do not fill it to the top, give it a little room to “grow” or it may crack the jar. Next, put it in an opaque bag to protect it from light.

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Here’s a fun and creative alternative to the glass jar storage: if you have a BPA-free silicone ice cube tray, let the cannabutter freeze in the tray overnight, then wrap the cubes in wax paper and store in an airtight freezer or Ziploc bag. This is a super convenient method if you’d like to spread it on toast or add a couple of tablespoons to a recipe like pancakes, for example.

Pro-tip: label your cannabutter storage so you know its best-by date.

How Do You Unfreeze/Thaw Cannabutter?

There are a couple of ways to thaw cannabutter, and both of them are super easy. One method is to transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight. If you need it sooner, you can submerge it in its storage container in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes or so.

Before jumping into thawing, you’ll want to consider how much you’ll need. If you thaw, then refreeze any kind of butter, its taste will definitely be affected, so plan ahead so you don’t waste it.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Store Cannabutter After Making it?

That mostly depends on how long you plan to keep it around. If you anticipate using it within a week, store it in the fridge. If you’d like to keep it longer, go for the freezer. Put your cannabutter in airtight containers like a mason jar to keep cannabinoids fresh and potent.

How Do You Defrost Cannabutter?

Easy as pie. Either transfer it to the fridge or submerge it in a container of warm water.

How Long Should I Freeze my Cannabutter?

Cannabutter can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.

Can I Freeze Cannabutter in a Mason Jar?

Sure can!

What Color Should my Cannabutter Be?

Aim for a nice buttery yellow, but a slight green tint is common.