The cannabis plant has a variety of compounds, known as cannabinoids. These compounds provide medical and therapeutic health benefits. But some are inactive until they are heated up.
Decarboxylation is a chemical process that converts one type of cannabinoid, for example CBD-A into CBD or THC-A into THC. This process helps unlock the full medical and therapeutic potential of these compounds.
So, if you want to make cannabis edibles or tinctures, decarboxylation is essential.
The Cannabis Decarboxylation Process
Although there may be benefits of cannabinoid acids in raw cannabis flowers, these compounds are generally thought of as being less active. On heating, the molecular structure of these “acidic” cannabinoids change. Heat removes a portion of the molecule called the “carboxyl group”. This is why this process is called “de-carboxyl-ation”.
Why do you need to Decarboxylate your Cannabis?
There are numerous receptors, in our body that can be thought of as “locks”. When a “key” interacts with these locks, it creates a response. When we decarboxylate cannabis, we are turning cannabinoids into a form that activates certain, specific receptors, to achieve a certain response.
You can easily Decarb Cannabis at Home.
Here are the three methods you can use.
#1 Decarboxylation in Oven
First things first! Ensure that you keep an eye on your cannabis during the process.
If you sense a burning smell or the cannabis turns brown too quickly, turn the temperature down. You can buy an oven thermometer if you are going to use this method regularly for a more accurate reading.
Tools you need:
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and place the oven rack in the middle. Ovens remain colder at the bottom and hotter at the top. So putting the oven rack in the middle provides an ideal temperature for decarbing.
Step 2: While the oven heats, you can grind your cannabis flower into smaller pieces. Do not grind too fine as it will increase the risk of burning.
Step 3: Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. It minimizes the direct contact between cannabis and the baking sheet. Otherwise, the sheet can get hotter than the air in the oven.
Step 4: Spread your ground cannabis across the parchment paper in a single layer.
Step 5: Now, place the baking sheet in your oven. Cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring cannabis every 10 minutes.
Step 6: Once the cannabis turns darker in colour, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Let the activated cannabis cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. At this stage, your cannabis should look golden brown and lightly toasted.
Step 7: Now, store your decarboxylated cannabis into an airtight storage container.
#2 Mason Jar Decarboxylation
Mason jar decarbing is becoming an increasingly popular method. It minimizes strong odours, and you are less likely to burn your cannabis.
Tools you need:
- Mason jar with lid
- Kitchen towel
- Oven gloves
- Baking tray
Step1: Heat your oven to between 220 and 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Place the oven rack in the middle.
Step 3: Fill the mason jar with cannabis broken to the size of rice, and screw on the lid.
Step 4: Lay a damp kitchen towel over the baking sheet, and place the jar on the towel. The towel will anchor the jar to the baking sheet and prevent it from falling.
Step 5: Now, place the tray in the oven and bake for 60 minutes. Every 15 minutes, shake the jar to disperse the cannabis evenly.
Step 6: After 60 minutes, take out the jar from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes before using it.
#3 The Sous Vide Method
The sous vide offers precise temperature control. It further leads to greater control over the results. You can achieve convenience and discretion using this foolproof decarboxylation method.
The immersion circulator helps decarb your cannabis at the right temperature. This temperature preserves the flavour and terpenes. It also reduces odour while decarbing.
Tools you need:
- Immersion circulator
- A container for an immersion circulator
- Zip-top freezer bag or a vacuum sealer
Step 1: Pour hot the container with warm water. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the right water amount.
Step 2: Put the immersion circulator inside. Set it to 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3: Grind your cannabis finely; a finer grind is ideal for this method.
Step 4: Seal the cannabis as flat in the vacuum sealer as tight as possible. It maximizes the surface area and minimizes air pockets.
Step 5: Let the sealed cannabis bag into the hot water for 90 minutes.
Step 6: Then remove the bag and let it cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Step 7: Dry off the bag, open it, and store your decarbed cannabis into an airtight container for future use.
Decarbing your cannabis at low temperature protects the potency of its compounds. Temperatures higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit can compromise the integrity of cannabinoids. Higher temperatures can also lead to bad flavour and an unpleasant scent. That’s why temperatures in the 200’s are ideal for cannabis decarbing.
Make sure you store your decarboxylated cannabis in an airtight container. You can use this to make tea, butter, your cannabis to a lot of recipes. Make cannabutter, infused caramels, indulgent desserts, and many more. You can also make cannabis lotions, infused oils, and oral tinctures for topical use.
Now you know how easy cannabis decarbing is. Now you know how easy cannabis decarbing is. So, start processing your cannabis now. You can bake fresh, infused goods that are both delicious and healthy.
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