Decarboxylation is a simple chemical process that can facilitate the process of making edibles. Before you light your bud, it will be covered with trichomes packing THCA, a non-psychoactive compound. As heat is applied to the bud with a lighter or through a vaporizer, THCA is converted to THC. THC is a psychoactive compound that is responsible for the high you feel when consuming marijuana. The decarboxylation process effectively allows you to convert THCA to THC without having to vape or burn your bud.
There are two stages where decarboxylation can happen: when flower buds are drying, or when they heated. When THC is burned, it is absorbed by our body’s cannabinoid receptors, interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Decarboxylation effectively removes the need to burn weed, allowing the conversion to take place simply through heating. After decarboxylation, marijuana becomes activated, allowing you to get high by simply eating it raw.
How Do You Decarboxylate Marijuana?
There are several ways to decarboxylate cannabis, but the two most common are by using an oven, or by boiling. Marijuana begins to decarboxylate at around 220 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are using an oven, make sure to preheat it to 220-245 degrees Fahrenheit. Grind up your bud and spread it out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the ground up flower for 30-45 minutes, depending on intended use and preference.
Kief can also be decarboxylated using the exact same method. However, kief should only be kept in the oven for about half the time. Once your decarboxylated bud is brown and dry, let it cool down before pulsing it with a food grinder for better consistency.
Marijuana can also be decarboxylated using a boiling method. This process requires you to place your ground up bud in an airtight ziplock bag. The bag is then submerged in boiling water for about 90 minutes. Make sure that the water does not evaporate to the point of no longer submerging the bag.
Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to check and maintain the temperature throughout the process. Household ovens tend to be somewhat inaccurate when it comes to temperature readings. Similarly, the temperature of the boiling method can also be somewhat volatile. Use a separate thermometer to make sure that the temperature remains consistent throughout the process.
How Can You Use Decarboxylated Marijuana?
Decarboxylated marijuana can be used in a variety of ways. The most obvious is as an ingredient for potent edibles. Decarbed weed can simply be sprinkled into other foods like pudding or yogurt. It can also be mixed into cake or cookie batter mixtures as an extra ingredient. Some people prefer to add it to liquids like water, tea, or coffee. Additionally, decarboxylated weed can be placed into empty gelatin capsules, allowing you to make your own THC or CBD capsules at home. Check out Google for more suggestions as to how to make the most of your decarboxylated weed.