If you enjoy making edibles, then chances are you’ve been doing it wrong! Decarboxylating cannabis is a vital step prior to making edibles or elixirs. We’ve got you covered with our concise guide on how to get the most out of your cannabis by decarbing it!
How to decarboxylate cannabis
What you will need to properly decarboxylate your cannabis:
- Cannabis or Keif
- A Baking Tray
- Parchment Paper
- Aluminum Foil
1. Let’s begin by preheating the oven
Luckily for us, scientists have performed a study on the optimal temperatures for decarboxylation.
For optimal decarboxylation to occur, 300 F is the suggested temperature that isn’t too high or too low for the process. If the temperature is too low, then chances are that it will take too long to decarb and may not convert all of the THCA into THC.
2. While the oven is preheating, grind up your cannabis until it is freshly ground.
This will help the thoroughness of the decarboxylation process as heating the buds will be more effective on things with lesser surface mass – such as ground up ganja instead of fresh buds.
3. Line the baking tray with the parchment paper and spaciously place your freshly grounded buds.
Ensure you lay your ground herb out evenly on the baking tray so that the heat can be evenly dispersed.
4. Leave the freshly ground cannabis in the oven for approximately 15 minutes.
This gives an appropriate amount of time to convert all of the THCA > THC and the CBDA > CBD without burning off excess amounts of CBG that may be present in your herb.
Be alert and keep your kitchen timer close, because your herbs chemistry is sensitive.
5. Remove your cannabis from heat.
When it is time to remove the herbs from the oven, carefully place the hot baking tray away from the stove and let it cool.
You may notice that the color of the cooked cannabis has changed somewhat to a dark green or more brownish color. It should appear as if they have been lightly toasted. You may also be able to smell the cannabis more than you would fresh out of your dispensary jar.
Now is when your cannabis is ready to be put into oil, butter or elixirs! They are now full of our psychoactive friend THC. Decarboxylation is great for medicating cookies, brownies, cakes, pies and whatever else you can imagine putting your oil or cannabutter into!
If you need another fresh how-to guide, check out How To Make Cannabutter.
What is decarboxylation?
If you haven’t noticed, almost every recipe for cannabis edibles requires you to ‘decarb’ the cannabis if want to get medicated properly.
Decarbing refers to the process of decarboxylation. Decarboxylation, in scientific terms, is a chemical reaction in which carbon dioxide, or CO2 is released while removing carboxyl groups in the cannabis. In short, decarboxylation basically means heat activation for your cannabis. Conversely, when you smoke cannabis, this process of decarboxylation occurs naturally due to the burning of the medicated flowers. The same also holds true of vaporizers and the decarboxylation process.
The main psychoactive component within cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is what is the main component for the euphoric feeling that cannabis brings. However, when cannabis is harvested, it technically does not have any THC present. The chemical present is THCA. It has an acid group attached. Through the process of decarboxylation, the acid group is dropped and THCA is converted in THC.
During the process of making edibles, some of the THCA is transformed into THC during the process of making your cannabutter. Decarboxylation is important because only a small amount of THCA is converted without it. It is extremely important to properly decarb your cannabis before making medicated treats so you receive the high feeling from THC.
There are also additional benefits related to the decarboxylation of cannabis. If you don’t heat activate your herb prior to preparing butters and oils, the moisture in the flowers can cause Botulism bacteria to grow in your infused products. Botulism is a fatal illness that resembles traits similar to that of food poisoning and salmonella. So please, take the proper steps if you decide to create homemade edibles.