Decarboxylation or “decarbing” is an essential step in making edibles and cannabis extracts. It’s not a step anyone should skip as it will make your product more potent and you will use less, making your stash last longer.
In its natural state, the cannabinoids in cannabis are considered “inactive”. Cannabis is filled with different cannabinoid acids such as tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) and cannabidoil acid (CBDA). THCA and CBDA are good, but they aren’t what we’re looking for when we want to make edibles or extracts. We want the cannabinoids to be activated and turned into Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidoil (CBD). There are many methods to decarbing but let’s look at the top 3:
Oven Decarb Method
Bagging and Boiling
Boil with Oil
This is a great way to decarb cannabis. It ensures all of the cannabis gets activated and it is also incredibly easy and affordable. The downside is that it can smell pretty intense and temperature fluctuations can cause a loss of THC. So it’s important to keep the oven door shut and not open it unless you have to or it’s ready.
You will want to preheat your oven to the lowest temperature it can go to, usually 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Bust the cannabis into smaller bits so there aren’t any large clumps. You can put it on a baking sheet without tinfoil, or you can add tinfoil, either way, works. You will want to make sure the cannabis is spread out evenly over the tray. Bake it for one and half hours and then allow to cool completely.
Bagging and Boiling
This is another simple way to decarb that also doesn’t cause a lot of smell. This is the most odorless way to decarb your cannabis.
You will want to bust up your cannabis again just like the oven method. Then you will seal it in a ziplock bag, ensuring to leave plenty of space for the heat to expand the bag. Try to remove as much air as possible before sealing it. You don’t want the heat inside the bag to expand and cause the bag to pop while boiling. Once it is in the bag, filled about ½-¾ full and all the air has been sucked out, you will want to bring a pot of water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, carefully place the bag into the water. This method takes roughly 90 minutes but it is definitely worth it. The water is a consistent temperature that allows cannabis to decarb evenly. Just ensure that you continue to top off the water and prevent it from boiling down too low. You can cover the pot with a lid to help reduce the amount of topping off you need to do. Ensure you’re keeping the water boiling and not simmering.
This is a great method when you’re wanting to make cannabis-infused recipes that require oil. It’s excellent for brownies, chocolates, salads, stir-fries, soups and dressings. You can use whatever oil you want however be aware that many oils if boiled or cooked at too high of a temperature can become toxic.
Bust your cannabis and place it inside the pot. Add your oil of choice, 1 cup oil to 1 cup of cannabis (rough estimate, look at dosage guidelines for further information). Place your pot on your stove and put it on a low temperature. For best results, simmer the oil and cannabis for 1-3 hours, depending on the potency you want. The longer you heat it, the stronger it will be. Once it’s cooked for as long as you want it too, strain out the cannabis by using the cheesecloth over a funnel and pour the oil into a jar.
Decarbing is the most important step when making cannabis edibles and extracts. Without doing it, you’re wasting your cannabis and ingredients and will surely be disappointed with the results. For recipes and other tips, follow us on Facebook!