Decarboxylate weed is the crucial step, especially if you are about to cook your buds (or shake – stems and leaves) to make weed edibles, which are a lot of varieties: CBD or THC tinctures, or THC infused candies, brownies, cheesecakes or whatever else eatable: find weed recipes in our cookbook app – anyway they all require the weed, the buds or shake – stems and leaves and they work good too, to be decarboxylated in advance, and packed into a butter or oil for storage and for further use in weed edible recipes.
Decarboxylation (as it follows from the name) is a chemical process that removes a carboxyl compounds and mainly releases from the cannabis plant carbon dioxide which is CO2. The reverse reaction is called carboxylation and is basically a part of photosynthesis, which is the addition of CO2 to a compound.
When you cure cannabis it is decarboxylation that happens, when the THCA acid (where “A” stands for “acid” and it is not yet a THC) which dominates in trichomes in a raw plant, slowly turns to be a THC. You smoke – this is the same chemical process, but we need now to make the half-way, to generate THC, and keep it, but not to burn or otherwise destroy it. This is a simple yet comprehensive guide on how to activate THC in your stuff for cooking the best cannabis edibles from it.
Why do I need to Decarboxylate weed?
Sometimes referred as “to decarb” — a fancy word:
— Dude, for how long d’you decarb in the oven, man?
It is already a very well known information that it’s heat you need to activate THCA in cannabis, by burning it down you convert THCA into THC, consequently the latter one is affecting the consumer’s brain in the desirable way but not THCA itself. Technically speaking there are two processes running when you bake it, firstly the THCA-molecules turn to be a THC (decarboxylation) and then secondly under more heat THC changes from solid state into gas (vaporization) and you puff it and it absorbs into body and then blood delivers it into brain and finally it hits into your mind! Bham! The same release of water and carbon dioxide naturally occurs during the drying process (curing) and the same runs but instantly when you burn one down.
It’s alright when puffing, yet it’s still recommended to decarboxylate weed for smoking too, and this is called to cure. Why so? Because it’s a waste of material: burning in flame in a blunt is too fast and too hot, a whole lot of your THCA does not react. When you cure before smoking you get more of THC in the same blunt, which evaporates completely kind-of skipping Phase-I. It’s also important to worry about trichomes’ colour when you grow as it is milky or amber by the reason.
For the edibles decarboxylation is even more critical, and without it it’ll be waste of time and material. Unless you want just a yummi, but obviously you’re not for that reason here. Long story short, the Decarboxylation will allow your edibles and tinctures to be potent.
How to Decarboxylate weed?
Basically it’s heat that your need. Not too hot to prevent THC from being destroyed and this temperature limit is 350℉ (176℃), neither too cold in order to ignite the THCA conversion into THC compound. And you wish to hold it around 220-235℉ (105-112℃) during the entire process. Because the heat regime is sooo critical, I’d recommend using your own calibrated cooking thermometer (the one used for candy-making or steaks) and be in charge when doing, consider rolling in advance before you start, hahahaha ))
The note is that the main factor is temperature. Prepare everything ready in advance, grind buds gently, do everything with care – and keep an eye on temperature. Since its value lies between 220-235 Fahrenheit (104-112 Celsius) and all will be fine. Do not hesitate to use a cooking thermometer, maybe the most useful gear for cannabis edibles. And a quick stir every 10-15 minutes may be helpful for the best decarboxylation too.
To start it – Grind your stuff. Unless this is a trim or shake by itself already, which btw can fit to all your CBD/THC edibles very nicely (and recommended at times!) with the pretty same effect but just a bit more of stuff you need to get the same high amount of THC or CBD whatever of these two you’re chasing, or both XD
Cooking slowly is always the proper approach for the cannabis edibles as soon as they are sooo critical to heat. Also keep doing experiments of your own bravely yet applying some caution. Keeping notes is another perfect idea to master your skills.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet and spread your cannabis trim out over it into a one fairly thin layer. It may not dry out properly if you crowd it.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and let it hang out for 25-35 minutes. Always stay below 235℉ (112℃) it’s important. If a trim is dry enough it rarely takes longer than 20-25 min, but for a completely raw plant, it may take even a double amount of time. As many 420 Chefs, as many tricks and opinions, and you try experimenting by yourself to discover the best way of your own. It’s only you who knows your stuff well, an it’s you having preferences for your favourite CBD edibles.
Once the cannabis appears nice and dry in the oven, take it from there, and let it rest in room temperature until being entirely cooled. Now you can use your great decarboxylated weed for whatever cannabis cooking application!
Cultivating Proper Trichomes – colour matters!!
This is already a small scientific job for a true hobbyist, if you feel passionate enough to maximize yields greatly by using worms, sand, clay or some your very own unique mix of nutrients. Quite an exciting quest – to design your own recipe for the best performing cannabis soil.
The Easy Guide for cannabis soil
This basic guide explains where to start from and what are the options. The first step however is to choose your basic soil, that you’ll find comfortable and most exciting to work with. Explore what is in the market, maybe you wish some specific parameters of NPK of some specific basic soil to start your experiments from. All professionally mixed soils may have different origins or the purpose, and the most of the commercially distributed cannabis soils from the grow shops contain common components such as Vermiculite, Sand and of course Humus.
1. Sand Soil use for cannabis growing
The issue with the sand soil is that it allows water to go through too quickly, it may result more frequent watering if you do not wish your plants to suffer and produce less or less potent weed in the end, and also wastes a whole lot of minerals instead of giving them to plants. However, designing your own soil, you can add sand or silt for improving the drainage properties.
2. Clay Soil use for cannabis growing
Clay is basically made of fine-grained rock material with a little of quartz (SiO2), fully loaded with aluminium and magnesium oxides (Al2O3 and MgO respectively). Clay is plastic when well moisted and hard when dry, it hosts the roots of your plants quite badly due to lack of ventilation. However you can add clay as 5-10% of the soil mass to manipulate ventilation property, when designing your own most efficient soil mix.
3. Humus Soil use for cannabis growing
Humus is the mix of organic matters like dead plants, for example, rotten fully to the end and already became a soil, so this is a “usual soil” what everybody means saying “soil”. Any regular grow shop (even if not any special cannabis grow shop but the normal flower grow shop) can offer you this very basic soil. And for cannabis this is the main material too like for any other plant.
Sometimes humus may be called compost, but to be precise the compost is the mix of humus and manure, which is the great thing too – you can guess: Cows are poor digesters, they intake about 15% and the rest 85% of yummi stuff goes into manure full of nutrients by that reason – and this is what every cannabis plant wants the most. Also manure is good for worm casting [ read below – touch this link to skip to worm casting below on this page ].
4. Nitrogen and other NPK members in Cannabis soil
Nitrogen is produced from soil matter by bacterias “converting” organic forms of nitrogen into mineral forms of nitrogen, and the latter can be consumed by plants. Cannabis plants love nitrogen and especially on the vegetative stage it helps them to grow better with bigger leaves and stronger stems. The overdose of nitrogen fertilisers may result burns on leaves and weaker plant in general (see below for details).
Lack of Nitrogen in Cannabis soil
Nitrogen deficiency is the most common weed grower’s problem with nutrients.
— Older leaves become yellow or partly yellow;
— The oldest of them may even get completely dry being yellow in colour too;
— The veins (the vascular tissue) may get more of the red colour; Check the back side of the leaves too, sometimes they start from there on the early stage of the problem;
— Younger leaves can also contain yellow areas;
These all the above indicate that the nitrogen is low and you need to add it. Nitrogen fertilisers is the easy thing widely available everywhere. This is the basic compound of the very basic N-P-K model, vital for all plants. Sea bird guano or animal blood may serve as the fast and the potent source of nitrogen for your plant.
Intoxication of Nitrogen for Cannabis plants
— Big and a lot of leaves but they all appear weak and react any stress badly;
— Such plants are abnormally often attacked by pests and deceases, and quite badly in the result comparing to the normal healthy plant;
— Underdeveloped weak roots;
— Week and too plastic stems and branches;
— Small and loose flowers;
— Leaves may become brown and even fall;
Any of the above symptom may mean a serious intoxication from Nitrogen, and obviously this is the sign to decrease the use of Nitrogen fertilisers for your cannabis. And of course it’s better to react the earlier possible. Always keep an eye if any of your plants starts showing Nitrogen intoxication – this is way too important. Keeping notes is also another brilliant idea to master your grower’s skills.
Lack of Phosphorus in cannabis soil – Symptoms
— Slow grow or even sudden stop of any grow;
— Dark leafs more blue than usual (well, they are still green but with certain blue component in the colour);
— Low height of the plants in general;
— Everything smaller and grim )))
However, the above symptoms may indicate that your soil require more Phosphorus now. But with the too high pH level, say higher than 7, the plant cannot intake Phosphorus efficient enough tho there’s plenty of Phosphorus in the soil. In this case – work with pH level instead of adding more Phosphorus.
Lack of Potassium in Cannabis soil
Potassium takes part in the photosynthesis process. And also participates in the synthesis of proteins and amino acids, which come from nitrogen in the form of ammonium, so the interaction between these two nutrients is vital to perform different metabolic processes of plants. Lack of Potassium is bad, and can be detected by the following visual checks:
— Leaves loose colour yet quite healthy looking;
— Increase in number of new branches but weak and thin ones;
— Old leaves are yellow with the certain rusty colour on the edges;
— Rust colour is on the younger leaves in a form of smaller stains, especially on the edges;
— Too late and too short flowering stage (this is the sign for the next harvest already, mind keeping the notes of whatever you’re doing to the plants, that’s the certain way to improve your grower’s skills to the highest levels).
Potassium intoxication however is a rare problem. Potassium also provides to the soil the better ability to resist pests and undesirable bacterias. Also affects chlorophyl positively increasing its amount, and enables the cell division processes – having sufficient amount of Potassium the plant takes light better and exchange with the air more effectively. In other words, more healthy and strong plant in general you will get.
5. The Pot
The roots of a cannabis plant require space, and it is a very common mistake when roots go curving around in some too narrow pot. Give space to your cannabis, a lot of space. Recommended 8 to 15 litres pot for a plant. Give a first-class space to your plants to reach the best results from your soil experiments!
6. Nutrients (fertilizers) for Cannabis, N-P-K
As soon as N-P-K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium where “K” comes from its Latin name and used in chemistry for Potassium) are the main elements required for the plant to grow well and healthy, the nutrients delivered to the market fit this demand nicely. They normally appear liquid in the bottle, and marked something like 12–6-6, which means 12% of N-Nitrogen, 6% of P-Phosphorus, 6% of K-Potassium. The rest may be water with or without other nutrients of the “second class” if I may.
7. Use of Worms in Cannabis Soil
The recommended worms are the Red Wigglers (on the upper picture), also known as Eisenia fetida or Red Californian Earthworm, and the other commercially distributed worm good for cannabis is the Night Crawlers (in the below picture). Both images are from wikipedia. Both these species of worms can be found anywhere, the Nightcrawlers are larger in size… I dun’no, try both to see the difference, or just choose one following your feeling, whichever of them seems more romantic to you, by the picture or for real in the grow shop, they are gonna be your pets for awhile, hahaha )))
Use cow manure for worms
If using worms for growing your cannabis, then mind the cow manure (if the situation allows – I mean mom or neighbours)))) Both worms and plants love cow manure, as soon as cows only digest 15% of what they eat and the rest 85% goes into manure, rich as hell with nutrients by that reason.
What worms do for the soil
Worms prove life and health to the soil and consequently to the plant. They are a natural fertiliser, making the environment of your plants rich in nutrients and minerals. Worms consume the organic matter and it goes through the digestion and what is left – called worm casting. Kind of a worm poo.
Their castings contain tons of bacteria, fungi, and other serious things.
— Worm castings improve the germination and the full growing process;
— More of your favourite fertilizer can be used with less fear to damage the plant;
— Worm castings in cannabis soil efficiently hold water and nutrients;
— Worms through their castings provide microorganisms and minerals to the soil, increasing disease resistance greatly;
They are good guys, these worms, you can see that.
What is THC in a simple explain. It is an abbreviation from: Delta Nine Tetra Hydro Cannabinol, often referred more shortly as Tetra-hydro-cannabinol, which is already better known as THC. Technically it is a chemical compound, and the main psycho-active component of marijuana, namely the very thing making you high. THC is delivered through trichomes — the holy grail for all home growers (and industrial too).
Below is the formula how the THC compound appears for a chemistry brainiac…
Here — the world famous formula of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, well recognised thanks to millions of t-shirts and touristic merchandise:
How It Works
Everybody knows? You close your eyes, relax and imagine a green valley of goodness and a sunshine and a girl. If it goes easy then your mind is open and therefore it works, but the case if not much green or not a valley […] Anyway, this state of mind and body is frequently highlighted in all kinds of motion pictures, in attempt to translate someone’s feelings into graphics and sound, practically this is the definition of art, innit.
Like this one, for example:
We’d better wrap it up in a form of:
Frequently Asked Questions about THC:
#1 — Where it belongs
THC, the most valuable out of more than 100+ cannabinols in a regular plant of cannabis, is stored in (or delivered through) trichomes of a cannabis plant. The quantity and the condition of trichomes define the amount of THC in buds, and also by color of trichomes you understand when it’s time to harvest the ready bud. How erect them practically big: find in tutorials, and this is a strong reason why those trichomes are so “photogenic” all over internet. They are the fabric of THC.
These crystal monstrosities are thrichomes (on the picture), magnified, and they still can be seen with a bare eye on a bud of a good quality: trichomes makes bud look frosty. Thrichomes are glands of the plant, they are full of rosin (or resin) and full of thc, thca to be precise, anyway that one eventually making you high.
#2 — The chemistry when you make a puff
On temperature 220-235℉ (105-112℃) carbon dioxide gets rleased from the THC-acid, called decarboxylation, transforming it into THC, and then on more heat on temperature 350℉ (176℃) the THC evapourates: gets from solid condition into gas. This is how THC is delivered into body when you smoke weed.
On molecular low level the molecular of THC has a very proper structure (in that molecular low level) so that THC-particles may perfectly fit to and may interact with specific cannabinoid receptors in human brain, and these receptors are specially designed by nature to accept cannabinoids. These cannabinoid receptors form into groups to be a sort of sites, and these binding sites altogether are an endocannabinoid system (wiki), working 24×7 to exchange cannabinoids. It’s not exactly that human brain or body by itself produce ‘controllable substances’ and have a delivery system and this makes you high free of charge – not that but the idea is something like that. Let me just think that the full system of our body is compatible with THC by luck.
Then THC when achieves one’s brain cells it connects to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system and ignites the chemical processes and some of them finally change your behaviour along with way of thinking. The receptors concentrated in the parts of the brain responsible for movement, memory, and frontal cortex – the thing we think with. Obviously these three of your ‘properties’ are being altered when you bake. And it is individual if you loose part of memory or obtain new memorising capabilities for awhile: only remember that THC is not only component of a weed. Tons of them and they are all affect something on some chemical level. Stay reasonable and listen to your body carefully and no rush.
#3 — What is anandamide
Reading some random FAQ’es you often think is it a frequently asked question for real?
“Listen, iam shy to ask dont you know what is anandamide”
– come on it cannot be a very frequent question.
The current study says this is how it works:
By some means, happiness and spirituality is the original purpose of this whole body system and those cells we only enable it working when getting stoned.
#4 — How much of THC in a weed
Think 20-25% of thc is a very good quality for a very good recreational weed somewhere in Amsterdam or in the middle of Colorado. 8-12% of thc is still very good, for a wild weed or some street dunk, pressed into bricks like they do it in Paraguay. In some countries governments practice to deliver official weed into pharmacies with the really low decreased amount of thc, it may go as low as 1-2% like they do in Uruguay (and it is still the recreation is the purpose, hohoho). In hemp, or medical weed the thc in US may not be higher than 0.3% by law.
#5 — How THC has been discovered:
The name of the hero is Professor Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli scientist, born in Sofia (Bulgaria). He has done to THC science pretty everything: discovered, isolated, fully synthesized, as well as identified the anandamide.