You might be wondering why every recipe for a cannabis edible asks you to begin by our weed. Decarboxylating basically means heat activating your marijuana. When you smoke your herb, this process of decarboxylation happens naturally in the act, because it is burning. The same is true of vaporizers.
The main psychoactive component of marijuana, THC, is what is responsible for the stoned feeling that marijuana induces. However, when marijuana is harvested, it is not actually containing THC. The THC is converted from THCA (THC acid) through the process of decarboxylation, or activation by heat.
In the process of making edibles, some of the THCA is converted to THC during the process of making cannabutter, but not even nearly all of the potential is reached without decarboxylation. When making tinctures, very little of the THCA is converted to THC. This is why it is so important to decarb your marijuana before making treats with marijuana. In order for your final product to contain its full potential of THC, it should be activated by heating it.
There are other handy benefits from decarboxylating marijuana, too. If you don’t heat activate, the moisture in the flowers can cause botulism bacteria to grow in your tinctures and cannabutters. This is a step by step instruction on how to properly decarboxylate your marijuana before using it to make tinctures or edibles so that you can ensure the highest possible THC content.
How to do it
You’re going to need much of your finely ground herb, a baking tray, parchment paper and some tin foil. You can also use kief for this, too!
- First, you should preheat your oven. 225 F is the recommended temperature as it isn’t too high or too low. At too low a temperature, it will take too long and it may not convert all of the THCA into THC. However, at too high a temperature it could burn and you risk losing flavor and terpenes.
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper and lay out your buds. Make sure you lay them out evenly on the tray so that the heat can be dispersed evenly.
- If your oven is at 225 F, you should leave it in there for 50 minutes. If you are on a bit of a tight time schedule, you can put it in there at 250 F for 30 minutes. If you have all the time in the world and want to retain as much of the flavor and terpenes as possible, put it in the oven for 75 minutes at 200 F. It’s also probably recommended that you set a timer…
- So, when it’s time to take it out of the oven, let it cool. You will notice that the color has changed slightly to a darker green, more brown colour. They look like they have been lightly toasted. This is when your buds are ready to be put into oil, butter or tinctures! They are now full of THC.
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