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Cannabis Decarboxylation: A Guide to Decarb Weed

Cannabis Decarboxylation: A Guide to Decarb Weed

The intricacies of the cannabis plant continue to be explored by researchers daily. Still, they don’t have all of the answers to everything. The cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant come in abundance, and we certainly don’t know every single compound. What we do know has already changed how we consume cannabis. For example, the myths surrounding the edible consumption of cannabis bud, which some feel can get you high on its own. We know this won’t get you high because you must activate compounds like THC and CBD through heat. Decarboxylation, otherwise known as decarb, is a process that activates psychoactive compounds. This process is how edibles are made, whether at home or ready to purchase at stores. 

What Is Decarboxylation?

Decarboxylation generally describes a chemical reaction that removes the carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide. This process is a common practice in science, but it’s also a necessary process in the world of cannabis. The cannabis plant, in its natural form, contains THCA — a compound that does not get you high until it’s converted to THC. Decarbing is why you need heat to light a joint, ignite a vape pen or vaporize concentrates with a dab rig. The heat removes the carboxyl ring from the plant’s chemical makeup, which turns the compound into THC. The buds, however, shouldn’t enter the heat in their original form. Instead, using grinders for weed will allow the heat to impact more compounds of the cannabis buds when it’s in the oven undergoing decarboxylation. You’ll be able to create incredibly potent butter and oils through this. 

How Long Do You Have To Decarboxylate?

The entire process surrounding decarboxylating isn’t necessarily tricky nor entirely time-consuming, although it can be stinky. To decarb weed, you must set an oven around 230-250°F, which experts have described as the “sweet spot.” From there, you’ll allow the cannabis to sit for roughly half an hour — usually in oven bags for weed — or until the broken-up buds are slightly on the golden brown side. Your weed won’t burn at this specific temperature, but it’ll allow the THCA to convert to THC. This process will also allow you to preserve other cannabinoids and terpenes to maximize the flavor of the edibles you plan on making. 

However, one should note that the time it takes to decarb your weed depends on the temperature. If you’re using lower temperatures, you’ll need longer to decarb your weed. On the other hand, if you decarb your weed at a higher temperature for a shorter period, the outcome might not be as great as you’d hoped. Similarly, decarbing weed for more extended periods at higher temperatures will ruin the active ingredients in the plant. 

Do You Need To Decarb Weed For Edibles?

The decarboxylation process is necessary for making edibles. Otherwise, the THC and other beneficial and therapeutic compounds won’t activate. The heat turns the THCA into THC, providing the high that edibles are known for.

You usually know if you’ve overdone the decarb process when making butter. Frequently, cannabutter comes out with a slightly green hue after going through a cheesecloth and being correctly stored. However, when the butter looks somewhat brown, it’s a sure sign that you’ve overheated the weed.

What Can I Use Decarb Weed For?

You can use decarbed weed for plenty of other products besides edibles. Although you’ll need decarbed weed for creating various kinds of butter and oils that you can store with parchment paper, it’s also proven incredibly handy for topicals. Some people use decarbed weed to make instant THC capsules, which qualify as edibles. However, facial toners, massage oils, and pain salves also utilize decarbed weed. Ultimately, it’s difficult for cannabis to effectively produce any psychoactive effect without activating the necessary compounds like THC. However, once activated, there’s a new world of marijuana products to explore. ​​

Edibles, precisely, need to go through the process of being turned into cannabutter or oil. Through that, it can simply replace any butter or oils in original recipes to have an infused touch. Brownies or any baked goods, for example, already require butter. So, replacing your regular dairy butter with cannabutter will transform your baked treats into a mind-blowing experience that might have you couch-locked.

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