Weed Decarboxylation: How to Decarb CannabisErica Smith
Decarboxylation is activating compounds or cannabinoids by heating cannabis to a particular temperature. This process converts cannabinoids, a group of compounds THCA and CBDA, into THC and CBD. In the absence of Decarboxylation or decarbing, we will not be able to know a lot of health benefits of the plants. But, on the other hand, you will be able to relish medical cannabis and can create edible foods at your home when you get to know everything about decarbing.
Why Decarbing cannabis is important
THC (the primary psychoactive compound) is not enough in raw cannabis. That’s why the natural cannabis flower does not make you feel high, nor does CBD, a cannabinoid known for curing anxiety and depression.
In scientific terms, Decarboxylation eliminates organic acid carbon dioxide from the carboxyl group. The molecular form of the carboxyl group is the carbon atom or COOH, a chemical bonded to an oxygen or an OH group. Decarboxylation naturally arises at a prolonged rate. Still, it can precipitate when the heat is applied to a molecule, allowing it to break down and release carbon dioxide.
Remember to decarb edibles at a lower temperature.
Decarbing of cannabis is generally done in high temperatures. On the other hand, you are decarbing a joint, bong, or vape pen by applying heat to them. But edibles like cannabis should be decarbed at lower temperatures for longer as cannabinoids can burn off quickly when you use the wrong temperature or decarbing it for too long. Cannabinoids can also be preserved when the decarbing of edibles is done for a more extended period on a lower heat (mainly THC, which produces psychoactive effects) along with terpenes (a compound found in plants which gives flavor to cannabis)
In addition, THCA is converted to THC when Decarboxylation is done at a lower temperature.
Let’s know more about how to decarb in detail.
Does heating up Weed make it stronger?
Heating makes cannabis stronger because decarboxylated Weed contains psychoactive compounds. The process of heating weed is essential as it converts THCA and CBDA into THC and CBD.
Should you use a grinder before decarbing?
The cannabis community debates whether, before decarbing, the flower should be ground in the grinder or simply by hand. Cannabis consumers who consume seasonally say using hands to break the flower derange trichomes (small hair on unicellular buds). On the other hand, it is said that for some people, it is an integral part of the ritual and experience to feel the cannabis with your hands.
Breaking cannabis with your hands prevents stickiness and leaves your fingers sticky. It is because the trichomes stick to your skin which also loses some potency. Many people who use the grinder method say that using a three-chambered grinder collects knives. In addition, one can also use the decarbed kief in cannabis edibles, tinctures, cannabutter etc. There are different varieties and prices of grinders available, but it depends on whether you use them or not.
Different ways to decarboxylate cannabis
Combustion and smoking are among the most accessible and appropriate forms of decarbing cannabis. It can be achieved by various approaches, including lightning, a joint, pipe or handmade device. Also, you can use the vaporization of cannabis with portable vaping devices instead of smoking, which is the most effective method for decarbing.
Decarboxylated cannabis can produce a solid and aromatic smell in your home, which also depends on the size of your house and the area for ventilation. However, the smell will vanish within an hour after decarboxylating.
There are different ways to decarboxylate; let’s get clearer and look at other ways with their steps to decarb.
Describing in the oven-
It is the easiest way to decarb the cannabis in your kitchen. It is also budget-friendly as you don’t need to buy fancy equipment.
- Preheat the oven to 240°F
- Grind the cannabis flowers and spread in thin layers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Heat the flowers for 30 minutes.
- The flowers should turn light brown and thoroughly dried.
Using Mason jars
Masons jars help to reduce the smell of cannabis in the kitchen. Hence this is an excellent option to decarb your cannabis.
- Preheat the oven to 220°F
- Put the ground flowers in the jar and close the lid tightly
- Place a moist towel on the baking sheet and lay the pot on the sheet
- Place the sheet in the middle of the oven
- Take the pot out every 15 minutes and shake it well. Remember to use oven mitts.
- Heat the pot for an hour.
- Let it cool for 30 minutes before use.
Precision cooker or Sous Vide
Using a Sous vide bag with Sous vide helps preserve the natural flavour and components of the plant. There is precise monitoring of the temperature. Moreover, there is very little smell.
- Place the ground cannabis in the vacuum-sealed Sous vide bag.
- Now fill a pot with water and put an immersion circulator in it, setting it to 203°F. Place the sealed bag in the water for 90 minutes. A Sous vide precision cooker is fit for this process.
- Take the bag out and let it cool for around 20 minutes before use.
The decarboxylation machine is easy to use and convenient as it is designed to decarb cannabis. Although this machine can be a little expensive option, it is the most hassle-free way as it does not require close monitoring. The device automatically controls the temperature and timing during the entire process of decarbing. All you need to do is place the cannabis in the machine, plug in the device and switch it on.
Some famous decarboxylation brands include Levo II, Ardent FX, Ardent Nova, Magicalbutter, Gearbox, and MB2e Magicalbutter Machine.
The process of Decarboxylation in cannabis occurs naturally over some time in which the THCA will convert to THC. One of the examples of this process is when the older Weed starts to turn brown. However, this process takes a long time. Therefore, to get the most out of your stash, you should decarb the flower by different methods.
After the decarbing is done, the cannabis is ready and activated to use. Decarbing cannabis is the first step in most cannabis recipes. You need to take extra care not to burn your cannabis because burning the cannabis will ruin it.
What happens if you forget to Decarboxylate Weed?
If you forget to Decarboxylate your Weed, the infusions will have no psychoactive effects. Likewise, consuming cannabis without applying it to the heat will result in no impact because the THCA and CBDA will not be able to convert it into THC and CBD compounds. Always ensure you decarb cannabis correctly because decarbing is better than wasting plant medicine.
Do you have to Decarboxylate Weed for butter?
To get the best result, the Weed gets decarboxylate for butter. Therefore, if you don’t want an inactive product, you must decarboxylate Weed by infusing butter. Various decarboxylation devices available in the market allow investing butter directly into the machine. You can also use infused coconut oil.
At what temperature does CBD decarboxylate?
CBD will not get destroyed when the Decarboxylation is done within the given time frame. The correct temperature at which the CBD should be decarbed should not be higher than 230°F so that there is no compound loss.
Storing decarbed cannabis
Properly storing the decarbed Weed will allow and maintain the freshness and will also extend the shelf life of the decarbed Weed. You can also use an airtight container like a mason jar and keep it in a cool, dry and dark place and can use it within three months to avoid loss of quality.
Decarboxylating is just the simple process of applying heat to raw cannabis flowers to get the activated cannabinoids. The word Decarboxylation might make the process sound very complex and cumbersome, but it is easy and convenient. It is necessary to decarb to enjoy the benefits and effects. Once you have learnt the process of decarboxylating cannabis, you will want the help of cannabis.