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!!
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.
You know how to grow and you’re sure you are good at it. Then you grow a nice clone-plant of nice sativa family full of positive genetics from the proper mother, containing proper number of trichomes and you know for 100% that you cut it right in time.
Well done! What’s next?
Marijuana Drying Techniques
It’s obvious that a true professional grower develops the relation with the every single cannabis plant. And it’s quite well-expected that the most active part of this development happens on the growing stage. Say, when the plant is alive, and it is kind-of very logical, but here we have another pot of puzzles to solve: the very professional cannabis growers all know that in the moment of cutting yet another extremely important period only starts — drying and then storing the cannabis product to have the best glorious pot out of it.
Why Drying / Curing is so important?
There is chemistry behind all this cannabis treatment always. Yes-yes, again that chemistry and as soon as we are dealing with the living thing, the carbon form of life, we never get rid totally of cannabis chemistry. It is the very same process why fruits get ripe after being harvested. The chemistry continues working.
There shall be NO! Light!
Cannabis is the complex organic matter. All organic thingies lose properties under exposure to the sunshine or another good light. Like, chlorophyll is giving green colour to the buds, and your buds will be ugly if you not hide them in the dark. And it’ll certainly loose the high components too, I think, not completely, yet we do not want it to happen, as we are to keep all! Easy to understand the conception, when you think about usual paper getting yellow and less elastic when exposed to the sun for long, or a paint on your walls or on your cloth: the sunlight is merciless, it gives everything and it takes everything, keep it in mind.
Mind THC (and CBD) when you dry cannabis plant
There is no pure THC inside the plant, read more about it: THC: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol There is THCA which changes into THC when the temperature hits and then vaporizes. By curing you increase the effects and the amount of THC that shall work on you, means: better cure give more potent buds and less loss of the desired components.
While curing is technically the other process, it’s still very close by the idea. And the official difference that you cure it enclosed, that the plant (already dried as the curing goes after drying) gives away less of its moisture, rather than when is being dried. Under some conditions we can skip curing or combine it as one process (until you do it for yourself, not commercially, and can try this quality vs the other, experimenting).
Can it be too much of drying cannabis plant?
Anything can be too much. Many think weed and cash cannot, but they can, and the drying marijuana either. Many professional growers mention, that the best cured buds happen after a month or about of very proper curing. Never tried by myself tho, as my buds are burnt into smoke much earlier, all of them. However, one obvious problem of a ‘too dry’ is that trichomes start braking easily and you loose the potency. I think in time THC should start disappearing either, so you need to pick it up at its prime. Matter of XP (experience), no less, and I never heard about a stoner able to wait to long, which makes this issue theoretical, yet others are real.
External threats and issues for drying cannabis
Mold id the Enemy. Hopefully there is no mold around in your place, but you need to keep an eye, checking it carefully. It may also hit live growing cannabis plants too. See the head picture? It’s a mold on it! Bugs and pests are to avoid, and the other house animals, cats, dogs, also small children, elder brother maybe, and of course – a mom sometimes may ruin the harvest even worse than the others mentioned here, hahahaha ) ) )
Drying cannabis in One piece
There is a certain misbelief that drying a plant in one piece may allow more THC come up from the stem to leaves and buds. A total untrue. Among other reasons there is a simple fact that the water moves up in stems and branches, due to water surface tension, which is stronger than the gravity when it comes to micro pipes (and this is how water elevated from the ground to the very top of the cannabis plant.
And a complete total untrue for those couple of plants of indoor cannabis that you grow at home in personal-consumption volumes. Significantly longer drying is the only thing that may happen and you definitely do not want it. If you still feel explorer then try it and make your own conclusions.
Best Drying Conditions, Temperatures, Humidity for Weed
From 18 to 24 degrees Celsius (65 to 75 Fahrenheit). Humidity 45-50 percent. Darkness is essential for marijuana buds through all drying process. If all is done correctly then in 6-10 days the plant starts being dry. Check how far it is dry by tactile check and apply for the ultimate phase — curing.