3 Tips for Decarbing Your Weed for the Best ResultsJuly 31, 2022
Marijuana Decarbing Tips For The Best Results
Decarboxylating marijuana properly is critical to making cannabis edibles and infused drinks.
Simply put, this process activates the cannabinoids in the plant – primarily THC and CBD into its bioavailable form – with the use of heat. Because when you use it in its raw form, the cannabinoids aren’t activated and therefore don’t produce the potent health benefits we know and love it for. Sounds simple enough, right?
But there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure that decarboxylation is done properly. Otherwise you can risk burning weed and wasting a lot of marijuana for nothing.
Decarboxylation is the name for the chemical reaction that takes place when raw cannabis buds are exposed to heat. THCA then converts to THC, and CBDA converts to CBD. At the right temperatures, the carboxyl groups are released and becomes psychoactive and bioavailable for infusion and consumption.
The right temperatures and time are critical for this process. The goal is to activate the cannabinoids, not destroy them, which can happen when you keep it in for too long or end up burning it.
Go Low and Slow
When you’re decarboxylating weed, never rush; trust the process.
Going low and slow is always better; it’s kind of the same principle as slow cooking as opposed to deep frying food. According to experts, the range between 230-250F is ideal for decarboxylation in an oven, and leaving the marijuana in there for 25 up to 30 minutes maximum will yield the best results. However, if you want to preserve more of the aromatic terpenes, you can use a lower temperature such as 220-230F and decarb it for up to 45 minutes.
Choose Your Raw Cannabis Well
It’s a generally accepted fact that if you’re going to buy weed for decarbing or infusions, you aren’t going to use top-shelf marijuana. Why? That stuff is best smoked straight out.
This is an opportunity for you to make use of your dispensary’s promos and buy cheaper weed by the ounce. You can also experiment with strains that are high THC or high CBD, though do take note that CBDA, the precursor to CBD, takes longer to activate into CBD than THC does. For this reason, if you are decarboxylating a high CBD strain, you’ll have to wait twice the amount of time.
In addition, the cannabis you should be using should already be dried and cured properly. Keep this in mind if you are going to decarb homegrown weed.
Preparing Cannabis for Oven Decarbing
Always ground up your cannabis before you decarb it. Doing so increases the surface area, increasing the chances of an even burn and will improve consistency. When grinding, look for a texture that’s similar to a grain of rice.
The most common way people decarboxylate marijuana at home is with the use of an oven. It’s efficient and there’s no need to buy any special decarbing tools (though these exist!).
If this is the method you’re going to go with, line a baking pan with a baking sheet and distribute the buds as evenly as possible. During the decarbing process, go in halfway through the time to turn the buds as quickly as possible to ensure even decarboxylation.
Once you’re done, remove the tray and let the material cool down properly for 10-15 minutes. You may notice that the color has changed from green to a shade of brown. After it has cooled, transfer it into an air-tight container until it’s time to make use of it.
Decarboxylated marijuana should be infused or consumed within 3-6 months, though for the strongest potency, the sooner the better.
Tools for Decarbing
An oven isn’t the only way you can decarb weed. There are many other options out there depending on what you have at home, or how much you’d like to spend for efficient and accurate decarbing.
Sous vide machines enables you to use controlled heat levels and a water bath for decarboxylation. One of the major benefits of using a sous vide machine is that it enables you to efficiently preserve the terpenes for maximum flavor.
Fill the sous vide tub with tap water.
Set it to 200F.
Put your ground up cannabis into the vacuum sealed bag, and dunk it into the water bath ensuring that it’s closed properly.
Leave it in for 90 minutes.
Remove the bag, and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
Decarboxylating weed in a mason jar is completely possible too. One advantage of this is that it reduces the risk of marijuana odors floating around your home, so you can decarb on the sly. The terpenes will also be well preserved, and it’s impossible to burn cannabis using a mason jar to decarb. If you’re one of those who wants to be careful about burning cannabis, this process is highly recommended.
You’ll need your ground-up marijuana, a baking tray, kitchen towel, and gloves.
Set your oven to 230-250F.
Place the oven rack center.
Put the ground-up cannabis into the mason jar, then seal the lid.
Lightly wet the surface of the kitchen towel. Place it on the baking pan, and put the mason jar on top. The dampness of the towel will prevent the jar from moving around during the process.
Place the pan into the oven and bake it for 60 minutes.
Use oven gloves to shake the jar every 15 minutes for even decarboxylation.
Never Use A Microwave
Last but not least, never use a microwave to decarboxylate cannabis. Microwave temperatures can’t be controlled as accurately as an oven. Remember, go low and slow; ovens, a sous vide, or specialized decarbing equipment are the best tools for the job.