Everything you need to know decarboxylation

June 2, 2021

Everything you need to know: Decarboxylation


Edibles as we know, are one of the cleanest way of consuming cannabis, and decarboxylating your bud is the first and the most critical step for making edibles.


Why do we need to decarboxylate

If you know anything about how cannabis works and affects your brain, you know that there are two major compounds that get you high or stoned per se – Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Raw cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) and cannabidiolic acid (CBD-A), and in this state THC-A and CBD-A don’t interact with your brain in the familiar way.


What is decarboxylation

Decarboxylation is the process of replacement of the carboxyl groups (-COOH) present in THC-A & CBD-A with a single Hydrogen molecule. In layman’s terms, it converts the inactive THC-A & CBD-A into the potent THC & CBD by heating it.

When you’re smoking, decarboxylation occurs as you burn the bud.


While decarboxylating weed you have to be careful about the temperature, subjecting to extreme temperatures can burn the THC along with terpenes. These terpenes are responsible for the distinctive flavour of the plant, they also have some medicinal affects.


How to decarb weed

Now people will tell you that you can also decarb weed while making cannabutter but that just results in uneven activation and an odd aftertaste, the best way of decarbing weed (without using specialized devices like Nova) is: baking it.

Here’s everything you’re going to need: a regular baking tray, an oven, some aluminium foil, a grinder and obviously some of that dank bud.


Step 1: Grind it and pep the baking tray

Start by covering the entirety of the whole baking tray with aluminium foil. Use the grinder to grind your weed to a coarse powder and spread it out evenly on the tray, you want to have a thin layer of evenly distributed cannabis without any lumps, if possible. Spreading it out evenly will help ensure that it gets heated even and every mg of THC-A & CBD-A are activated without burning any.


Step 2: Bake it

Now that you’re done prepping it, it’s time you popped the tray into the oven. Preheat the oven to about 240° F (115°C) depending on how strong it is and how much time you have.

For best results, bake half an ounce for 40 minutes and then adjust accordingly. Make sure you keep stirring it every 10-15 minutes and keep your eyes on the timer, you don’t want it to burn.

If you’re in a hurry you could bake it at about 300° F to 310° F for 10 minutes, but the general rule of the thumb is, the slower the process, the better the products.


Step 3: Cool it down, make some edibles

Take out the tray after the time runs out, your cannabis should be a light brown crumbly powder by now. Let it cool for a while, and you use the decarbed weed to make edible you want to.


Here are a couple of simple recipes to get you started:

  • Make your normal tea with some decarbed weed and a dash of butter.

  • Take a hint from our friends at VICE and make a simple cracker edible, spread Nutella on a cracker,put some of that decarbed weed on it and place another Nutella covered cracker on top of it, bake it for 10 minutes and you’re done.

Note: Both of these recipes and almost every other recipe that directly uses decarbed weed will have a strong herby flavour, to avoid this we have to infuse the weed into some fat and then use it aka cannabutter.

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