Have you ever considered making homemade edibles, oils, or cannabis-infused lotions? The process is quite simple and convenient and requires you to decarboxylate your cannabis first to active the THC. If you’ve never heard of this term or process, don’t worry! This article covers everything you need to know about decarboxylation including the science behind it and a step-by-step guide on how to decarb weed.
The results are totally worth it because once you are done decarbing your cannabis, you have the option to use it however you want. Whether that is some gourmet edibles even Gordon Ramsay would be proud of, or some medicated oils and all-natural lotions. The choice is completely up to you and the options are endless.
What Is Decarboxylation?
So now you might be wondering, what is decarboxylation? In the most basic terms, decarboxylation is the process by which we activate the raw cannabis into its active, potent form. You are altering the cannabis’s chemical structure, switching it from THCA to active THC.
While the cannabis is growing and eventually ready for harvest, the cannabinoids contain an additional carboxyl ring attached to their molecular chain. At this point, the cannabinoids are not active and will not be active until heated to the proper temperature. Once this carboxyl ring is removed from the chain (after being heated), the THCA becomes active THC. The goal of decarboxylation is to remove the additional carboxyl chain and activate the THC for use in either edibles, oils, or lotions.
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Why Would You Decarb Cannabis?
Within the cannabis community, the raw compounds or THC or CBD are referred to as the “acid forms” or THCA and CBDA. Both of these compounds are non-psychoactive and have very little medicinal value in this stage, so if you try to eat raw cannabis you will experience little to no effects or any type of “high” for that matter. Once the cannabis has been decarboxylated, it will now retain its psychoactive properties.
So, if you are someone who truly enjoys or benefits from the wonders of cannabis, decarboxylation is extremely important. It is the reason we can enjoy the variety of cannabis strains and the wonderful effects they express. There are tons of benefits associated with active THC and CBD including pain relief and inflammation reduction, relief from anxiety and depression, and various other medical issues.
Now, this is not to say that the non-active forms of THC and CBD have no medicinal value. There is some evidence that suggests both of the non-active forms still have some value and have some healing benefits all on their own, but there is further study and research that needs to be conducted in this vein.
How To Decarboxylate Cannabis In The Oven
Luckily for you, decarbing cannabis is a very simple process and does not require you to go out and purchase anything. The fastest and most efficient way to decarb weed is by using the oven. There are other methods for decarbing weed at home, like using a stove or a crockpot, but the oven the surefire way to success.
The easiest option to decarb weed is by using certain devices like the Magical Butter Machine that decarb the weed for you with precision accuracy when it comes to temperature and the various other factors weighing in on the process. However, if you are looking for an affordable and simple route, the oven works perfectly fine. It’s important to know that the name of the game is slow and steady, it’s vital that you not overheat your cannabis as you will lose some of the beneficial cannabinoids present. The perfect temperature range for decarbing weed is around 230-250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before going into the step-by-step guide, there is one more important element to mention when it comes to decarbing weed in the oven. This process will make your house or apartment absolutely reek of weed, so be mindful of this and prepare for it in advance. If the smell is not a concern, then pay it no mind and enjoy the wonderful aroma that fills your home during the process.
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Step One: Preheat Oven and Prepare Baking Dish
The first step is very simple, pre-heat the oven to 230-250 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you’ve done this prepare the baking sheet that you will place your cannabis on. It’s recommended to use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so you can collect all the cannabis when you are done baking it.
Step Two: Choose and Prepare Cannabis
Now, it’s time to choose your cannabis. This is completely up to you to decide and ultimately comes down to personal preference, but there are some things to keep in mind while choosing a strain. First, the fluffier and looser the buds are, the easier it will be. Also, choosing a strain with a higher THC and/or CBD content is recommended so you get the most out of your oils and lotions.
Once you’ve decided on the proper bud, you need to either break them apart or grind them down. The choice is up to you, either option works.
Step Three: Decarboxylate the Cannabis
Once the baking sheet is prepared with the cannabis, place it in the oven for around 25-30 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to preserve as many terpenes as possible, set the temperature to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also choose to cover your cannabis to protect it during the decarboxylation process.
Step Four: Remove and Let Cool
Once the time is up, remove the baking dish from the oven and allow the cannabis to sit and cool. It should no longer be green but light brown at this point.
Step Five: Place Cannabis In Air-Tight Contain and Wait
After the cannabis has cooled, transfer it into an air-tighter container and store it in a cool, dark place like you would any other cannabis.
Step Six: Make Homemade Lotions, Oils, or Edibles
The cannabis will be ready in about 3-6 months for making oils, edibles, or salves. At the high end, you could wait around a year, especially if you are looking for something that will knock you out and right to sleep, but within the 3-6 month mark is advisable.