Cooking with the cannabis flower

What is Decarboxylation

What is Decarboxylation

Decarboxylation is a cornerstone of making marijuana edibles. Without it, all you’re going to end up with bad tasting baked goods and wasted cannabis.

Activating Your Cannabis

There’s a lot of information about this out there and it can be easy to go into information overload on this topic, so I’m going to keep it basic here.

Decarboxylation is the term used to describe the process of converting the THC-A molecule into THC, which is the active, bioavailable form of THC that we can enjoy through our internal endocannabinoid system.

What Happens if You Don’t Decarb

You WILL waste your weed. Plain and simple. Without converting the THC-A that is contained within the plant material, you will not feel the psychoactive effects of THC.

Essential Equipment

Decarbing marijuana is a matter of time and temperature, and one piece of kitchen equipment that you must have for effective decarboxylation is an oven thermometer.  Every time you decarb or make Cannabutter you should always use a thermometer. Home ovens are notoriously inaccurate. My own oven is 15 degrees off, so be sure to check that temp, and adjust as necessary. Use the timer on your phone for timing recipes and extractions.

Activating cannabis through decarboxylation.
Cannabis before and after decarboxylation. Notice the darker brown color of the decarbed marijuana.

What’s the Right Method? The Great Decarbing Debate

After a great deal of research and personal experimentation, these are the two methods that produce the best results for me.

Midnight Decarb Method

Christened as such because I do this only after midnight due to the very smelly nature of this process.

  • Preheat oven to 240 F
  • Line cookie sheet with foil
  • Chop cannabis, then spread evenly on cookie sheet. Cover loosely with foil, crimping around all edges to seal and form a pocket over the weed.
  • Bake for 60 minutes
  • Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container

No-Odor Decarboxylation Method

Used for when I need to decarb in the middle of the day without letting the entire neighborhood know about it. Recommended for smaller batches of 7 grams or less.

  • Preheat oven to 240 F
  • Chop cannabis and then put in quart size jar with lid
  • Place the jar on a pie plate in the oven for 60 minutes. Every 15 minutes, ‘burp’ the jar (carefully open the lid just enough to vent) in a ventilated area.
  • Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container

And that’s it!

If you’d like to learn more about decarboxylation, there are a ton of very informative resources and write-ups on the subject out there that go much deeper into the subject such as activating other endocannabinoids, for example, CBN. Your best teacher is research and experimentation, so I strongly encourage you to do plenty of both. Happy baking!


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