Edibles and weed have gone hand in hand for a long time, but people have recently been getting more creative with their recipes. Whether it’s a cookie, a delicious brownie, or a scrumptious steak in cannabis butter, cannabis edibles all have one thing in common: decarbing.
Decarbing properly is just as important as how to store your cannabis properly or trying to rescue cannabis that had become to dry and has to be rehydrated. There are rules to attaining success, and decarbing is no different.
People are using decarbed cannabis in tinctures, lotions and, infused oils because the use of the raw plant won’t have much if any, effect on your body. Why is it important to decarboxylate weed? Long story short, the edibles won’t get you high if you don’t decarb and you will be left waiting for that intoxicating euphoria which will never come.
What is Decarboxylation?
When it comes to the cannabis plant it is important to understand that it doesn’t contain much THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) but instead, the raw plant has THCA which needs to be heated in order for the THC to be released.
There are 2 major things that have to be taken into consideration when doing a decarb; heat and time. Whenever you vape or smoke cannabis, the cannabinoids are easily absorbed through your lungs.
But if you are looking for other alternative ways to get all the benefits from weed, decarboxylation is the key. Edibles use normal recipes but instead of using simple ingredients such as butter, oil, or milk, they used cannabis-infused versions of the same. Edibles are so effective because our bodies will absorb THC and CBD through digestion
Even though it sounds simple, performing a decarb requires your careful attention. If the temperature is incorrect you end up with burned off cannabinoids and THC turns into CBN which has almost no psychoactive effect or THC won’t be activated all together.
Important: Decarboxylating weed at a lower temperature for a longer period of time will ensure that all the terpenes are preserved.
The terpenes are the flavorful compounds found in the cannabis plant and if the weed is baked at higher temperatures, those terpenes will evaporate and not only destroy the flavor but also destroy some of the effects.
Terpenes are at least partially responsible for much of cannabis’s various strain nuances in effects; terpenes are the reason that certain strains smell like lemon, others like berry, pine, etc.
The major benefit of a proper decarboxylation is that the THC is directly activated in the flower and second, the THC reaches its maximum potential per gram of cannabis.
What’s The Difference Between THC and THCA?
To further understand how decarboxylation works we need to take a look at the molecular structure of the cannabis plant. The cannabinoids acids found in the trichomes of the cannabis flower are inactive until they are heated or decarboxylated.
THCA has a carboxyl group present in its structure which is not present in THC and that is the reason why THCA doesn’t have the ability to connect to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. In order for THC to be activated, the carboxyl group must be taken out of the THCA.
The endocannabinoid system is in charge of the body’s functions such as feelings, movies, or reactions, and THC and CBD act as cannabinoid receptors. When the activated cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors interact they alter the release of neurotransmitters in the brain
Not only THC is activated during the process of decarboxylation but also CBD which is that chemical compound responsible for the calming and soothing effect.
What’s The Best Method to Decarboxylate Cannabis?
The process of decarboxylation may sound a bit complicated and confusing, find out it’s not as hard as it would seem. You can decarboxylate weed yourself with a few rules and a piece of basic knowledge.
THCA must be heated beyond 124-135 degrees C or 257-275 degrees F. That is the temperature weed reaches when it is smoked. There are a few ways to decarboxylate weed and if you have any of the following items you can start decarboxylating weed correctly:
- An oven and a mason jar
- a sous vide circulator
- a decarboxylator
The best method depends on what supplies are available for you but you should take into consideration that decarboxylating weed will make your house smell like weed if you’re not careful.
So, if you want to avoid any smells use the mason jar method or buy a Sous Vide circulator which ensures you not only a free of smell home but a cannabis plant that won’t lose any of its amazing qualities.
How to Decarboxylate Cannabis?
The process of decarboxylation is pretty straightforward. You need to heat your weed in order to activate the good stuff found in the cannabis flower. Here are the 3 methods explained for you and the simple steps you need to follow in order to get the best out of your weed.
If you decided to use your own oven, preheat it at 250°F or 120°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. You don’t need to use any special utensils just your everyday kitchen ones.
Break the cannabis flowers into smaller parts and spread them out on the baking paper. Try to create a thin layer and places it into the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the flowers start to become golden brown.
Make sure you stir the weed every 10 minutes. After it’s ready, allow it to cool and place it into an airtight container.
The mason jar method won’t allow the terpenes to evaporate during the process of decarboxylation. Set your oven at 240°F or 115°C, put a kitchen towel on a baking tray, break the buds into smaller pieces, and put them into the jar.
Place the jar horizontally on the kitchen towel. Bake it for 60 minutes and every 15 minutes take the jar out and give it a good shake.
You can store it in the same jar. When the 60 minutes is up, don’t open the jar right away because the terpenes need to cool and settle back onto the plant material. You don’t want them to escape the jar.
The sous vide method requires you to have an immersion sous vide circulator, a pot, and a sealable plastic back. Grind your weed and place it into the plastic back and set the sous vide circulator at 203 F or 95 C. Submerge the sealed back in the water and leave it there for 90 minutes. After it is ready, allow it to cool. 15 to 20 minutes.