If you’re reading this, you’re likely planning to make yourself a batch of cannabis edibles. Maybe you know what decarboxylation is, or maybe you only have a vague idea. Regardless, we’ll tell you what it is, and how to do it!
Decarboxylation, or decarbing weed, is essential if you want to feel the effects of THC. Find out more below.
Simply put, decarboxylation is the process where you heat your raw, dried buds to a certain temperature. The objective here is to activate those precious cannabinoids to bring the desired effects you’re looking for.
Decarboxylation isn’t necessary if you choose to smoke or vape your buds. Those consumption methods already include high temperatures, meaning decarbing happens implicitly. But if you’re planning to make edibles, oils, and cannabutter, it’s a process you need to go through.
As we mentioned in the previous section, decarboxylation activates the bud’s cannabinoids. In their raw form, the cannabinoids in cannabis are acidic compounds, meaning they interact differently with the body's endocannabinoid system compared to their activated counterparts.
A good example to jump off from is THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. THCA is present in the plant’s trichomes and it is not intoxicating at all. So if you eat your buds on their own, you won’t feel the same buzz that you’ll feel after smoking or vaping raw bud.
Likewise, you also have cannabidiolic acid, otherwise known as CBDA. Just like its THC counterpart, this cannabinoid also requires activation via heat exposure.
When THCA or CBDA become THC or CBD, respectively, they interact with the body differently, exerting their desired effects.
Heat is an integral element in decarboxylation. Specifically, you need to expose your raw buds to a temperature of at least 110°C (230°F) for 30–45 minutes. Some suggest doing it at a temperature of up to 120°C (248°F), but you should treat that as the upper limit.
The key here is to not overdo the decarboxylation process. Once the temperature climbs to 150°C (302°F), the cannabinoids and terpenes will begin to be compromised. The result would be less potent weed.
Below, we’ll show you two ways to decarb your cannabis. Let’s start with the oven, an appliance many are likely to have in their kitchen. Decarbing with the oven is also the most practical way to do this process.
One way to do this is with the use of a baking sheet:
Another way to do this is with the use of a mason jar; one that is oven-safe. The upside here is that you don’t stink up your kitchen the way the baking sheet method can. Essentially, follow the above steps, but place ground weed inside the jar.
Be extra careful with this method, as you don’t want scalding hot broken glass everywhere!
Now, if you have a sous-vide at home, this section’s for you. The upside here is that you get a more even decarboxylation and prevent burning. Here’s how to do it.
Decarboxylation isn’t that complicated, but it’s not so straightforward, either. Here are some tips you need to keep in mind.
As you’ve seen in this short guide, decarboxylation isn’t exactly a complicated process. Yes, it will require some patience, but if you want hard-hitting edibles and concentrates, this is something you will have to accept.
Hopefully, this article serves you well. Now go ahead and do some decarbing!