Why You Want To Decarboxylate Weed For Weed Edibles

Decarboxylate weed is the crucial step, once you are about to cook your first-class bud or will it be shake (trim and leaves) for making good ol’ weed edibles. The great variety of weed cooking recipes — marijuana tinctures, candies, brownies, cheesecakes, gummy bears or whatever else weed infused yummies, they all require weed to be decarboxylated as the very first and the most important step!!

Buds are good for edibles; also shake (trim and leaves) may work perfect. Use either, but never you underestimate the decarboxylation and perform it in advance BEFORE making your pot be packed into butter or oil, either for storage or an immediate cooking. The resulting pot edibles shall not hit in full, if you skip decarb, or even shall not hit at all; simple as that.

Weed Decarboxylation

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 to as “decarb” — a fancy word.

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 makes you high.

Technically speaking there are two processes running when you light it up: firstly the THCA-molecules turn to be a THC (decarboxylation) and then under more heat THC changes from solid state into gas (vaporization) and you puff it up 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 (called “curing”, and that is why it is a so important step too); and when you burn one down it’s the same transformation on the molecular level but this time it is instant.

It’s alright to have a slightly under-cured weed when puffing, happens all the time and especially for the street weed of a lazy-greedy grower, however it is still recommended to decarboxylate weed for smoking too, and this is called to cure. Why so? Because skipping it is the waste of material: burning in flame in a blunt goes too fast and too hot, a whole lot of your THCA does not react properly. 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 on this page. 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 we use for candy-making or steaks) and be in charge when doing, and do not forget rolling one in advance before you start as such shall add patience to the whole decarb-operation, 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.

Step 1. To start — Grind your stuff. Unless this is a trim or a shake already. The latter btw can fit to all your CBD/THC edibles nicely, and recommended instead of burn as you most probably get more high out of it. For the similar effect more of trim or shake you need rather than buds, obviosly.

Decarboxylate weed for marijuana CBD edibles - notes, directions, edible recipes
Image — the courtesy of The real Chef 420

Step 2. Preheat the oven to 220 Fahrenheit which is about 105 Celsius. It is always preheated for marijuana edibles as te best recommendation. Btw for regular cooking preheat is often effective too (as soon as you start being a gourmet, and you are, because you read this page). Some sources state 240℉ as the main temp, okay, whatever, as soon as it is lower than a cannabis vaporization point. Keep it below 240℉, and 220℉ is just safer.

Cooking slowly is always the proper approach for the cannabis edibles because they are sooo critical to heat. Also: keep doing experiments bravely yet applying reasonable caution. Keeping notes of what you’ve done is another perfect idea to master the skills.

Step 3. 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.

Step 4. 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 favorite CBD/THC weed edibles.

Once the cannabis appears nice and dry in the oven, take it from there: when the dacarbing buds are ready they break easily apart in fingers as if they are some super-dry plant or a spice. Let it rest in room temperature until being entirely cooled. Now you can use your nicely decarboxylated weed for whatever cannabis cooking application!

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