decarboxylation

Decarboxylation – An Essential Step In Experiencing Cannabis

Decarboxylation – much like brewing the perfect cup of coffee, activating your cannabis properly can mean the difference between a mediocre high and an outstanding high. 

When it comes to cannabis, there are several factors that come into play when you’re looking to create the best possible experience. 

Having the freshest and dankest bud alone isn’t enough. This is where decarboxylation comes into play. It’s the essential chemical reaction that is used to fully activate the cannabinoids in your cannabis.

So what makes cannabis decarboxylation so important? Decarbing is what brings life to your cannabis, keep reading to find out how.  

The Basics Behind Decarboxylation 

decarboxylation basics

Ever been in a situation where you’re out camping with your buddies and one of them brings out some meager looking pot cookies only to find out that they’ve effectively made you melt into the couch  while simultaneously launching you to the moon?

Turns out, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to making the perfect cannabis treats. 

The secret lies in the decarboxylation process. 

Basically, you can think of decarboxylation as a chemical reaction that is a function of both heat and time. If you didn’t already know, raw cannabis doesn’t have the proper cannabinoid content to make you high. 

Surprising right? 

Well, this is because the raw plant material is loaded with THCA rather than THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

When you decarboxylate cannabis flowers, you effectively remove a carboxyl group from its molecular structure, allowing the THCA to fully convert into THC. This is why you must light your joints or bake your weed before usage. 

Well, it’s easier said than done. Decarboxylation is actually a bit more intricate than one might think. It requires time and patience as you must keep the decarboxylation temperature within a certain range in order for it to be fully effective.

So What’s the Secret to Making it all Work?

Since decarboxylation is a function of heat and time, the secret to making the best decarboxylated cannabis lies in temperature control. 

Ideally, you’ll want to keep the decarboxylation temperature below 300 degrees Fahrenheit and instead around 250 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. 

If you have the patience, a temperature in the low 200s will be able to preserve the integrity of the terpene and cannabinoid content a bit better while the opposite is true about high temperatures.

Different Ways to Decarboxylate Cannabis

Using an Oven

decarboxylation in oven

This is by far one of the most common methods of cannabis decarboxylation. Simple and easy to do, this can be done effectively at home usually without having to make a trip to the store. Keep in mind, this method tends to leave a strong cannabis odor in the proximity, so running a fan and keeping the area well ventilated will make a huge difference.

Supplies

  • An oven
  • A baking sheet
  • Some parchment paper
  • Some fresh bud

Steps

1) Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit

2) Break your weed apart either with your fingers or a grinder

3) Line your baking sheet with some parchment paper

4) Spread your ground bud out on the parchment paper, making sure it is in a thin and even layer

5) Bake the cannabis for approximately 25 to 30 minutes

6) Remove your cannabis once it has reached a brownish hue

Using a Mason Jar

A more advanced method of decarboxylation with the benefit of preserving terpenes and containing the cannabis odor. 

This method involves heating the cannabis in a mason jar by submerging it in a boiling water bath or heating the jars in an oven. This method may take a little while longer compared to baking your weed, but the smell will be contained in the mason jar, without having your whole place reek of weed. 

Supplies

  • An oven
  • A couple of mason jars
  • Some fresh bud
  • Some oven mitts or a thick towel to absorb heat

Steps

1) Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit

2) Break your weed apart either with your fingers or a grinder

3) Place your ground bud in your mason jars

4) Screw the lid on as tight as possible to ensure it is fully sealed

5) Carefully place your cannabis filled mason jars on the oven rack in your preheated oven, make sure you have some oven mitts or a thick towel on hand as it will get hot

6) Bake the cannabis for approximately 25 to 30 minutes

7) Using oven mitts or a thick towel, remove the mason jars once the cannabis inside has reached a brownish hue

8) Open the jar and let everything cool before you attempt anything with it

Using Oven Bags

Similar to the first method, however it is a bit easier to do. There is much less risk of burning yourself compared to using the mason jar method and much less work when compared to simply baking your cannabis, not to mention this method leaves a less potent odor as well. The only caveat is that it may require you to go out to the store and pick up some supplies.

Supplies

  • An oven
  • A baking Sheet
  • Some oven bags
  • Some fresh bud
  • Oven mitts or a thick towel to absorb heat

Steps

1) Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit

2) Break your weed apart either with your fingers or a grinder

3) Place your ground bud in your oven bags

4) Tie a secure knot at the top of your oven bags, this will aid in containing the odor within the bag

5) Place your cannabis filled oven bags on your baking sheet and insert it into your preheated oven

6) Bake the cannabis for approximately 25 to 30 minutes

7) Using oven mitts or a thick towel, remove the baking sheet from your oven once the cannabis inside has reached a brownish hue

Concluding Thoughts Behind Decarboxylation 

There you have it!  A basic guide on how you can decarboxylate your cannabis at home and begin to make some dank edibles.

 Be sure to exercise caution when consuming as edible dosages are nearly impossible to accurately measure without lab testing. Enjoy!

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