The term decarboxylation seems hard to pronounce and read but it really is more simple than it sounds. As a matter of fact, it’s an essential step in order to activate weed’s psychoactive effects, as if consumed prior to this step, it wouldn’t produce the desired effects. Now the question is, what is cannabis decarboxylation?

What is cannabis decarboxylation?

Decarboxylation is a chemical process that produces a chemical reaction that takes place when applying heat to non-psychoactive cannabinoids. When marijuana receives heat, it activates its psychotropic properties.

The reason for this is that raw marijuana cannabinoids are in their acid form, which means that they have THCA and CBDA and when such substances are exposed to certain temperatures, they transform into THC and CBD respectively and cannabis acquires its characteristic effects.

This does not mean that if you consume raw cannabis buds you aren’t going to experience any effects. That’s different because the decarboxylation process will take place automatically as soon as you smoke it or vape it, transforming THCA into THC instantly and granting weed all of its properties. However, smoking or vaping weed is not incompatible with the decarboxylation process, as doing so will activate terpenes and cannabinoids more effectively.

For decarboxylation to be successful, two things need to be under control: time and temperature. The most common method is to bake ground weed buds for 45 minutes at around 110ºC. It’s very important not to surpass 120ºC as some terpenes could evaporate and the weed would lose some aromas and properties.

Although the oven is the most common method, you can use other systems, such as the microwave or bain-marie, however, this last one isn’t very frequently used.

How to decarboxylate marijuana

Decarboxylation is only necessary to cook cannabis recipes, like brownies, cookies, cannabis butter, etc. When smoking it or vaping it, it’s not necessary because heat from a lighter or torch decarboxylates weed automatically and cannabinoids get activated instantly.

cannabis decarboxylation

These are the most common decarboxylation methods:

Decarboxylation in an oven

Different recipes indicate different temperatures, but the most common is to keep the oven at 110ºC for 45 minutes. Leaving it in the oven for a few extra minutes (45-50 min) with a bit less temperature (105ºC) is equally effective, in case you prefer a slower and more careful process. You can also opt to bake it for 30 minutes at 120ºC. However, this last option isn’t as recommended because some terpenes start losing their properties at that temperature and the risk of burning the weed is also higher.

oven cannabis decarboxylation

To successfully decarboxylate cannabis in an oven you need to follow some simple steps:

  1. Preheat the oven at 110ºC

2. Ground the weed, either with a grinder or any item that provides similar results, in order for all the material to receive the same amount of heat and get dry evenly.

3. Place some parchment paper in an oven tray and spread a thin layer of cannabis over it.

4. When the oven is hot, place the tray inside it and cook for 45 minute.

5. Take the tray out, be careful not to get burnt.

You’ll realize that marijuana has gone from bright green to brown-yellow. This is totally normal and it means that the process was carried out properly.

Decarboxylation in a microwave

This is the fastest way to decarboxylate cannabis. It’s also the most dangerous way because the microwave produces a faster and more concentrated heat, therefore, you need to control the temperature very carefully to avoid burning the material.

These are some of the steps you need to follow to decarboxylate using a microwave:

  1. Ground the marijuana with a grinder or similar.

2. Place parchment paper over a plate and stick it in the microwave.

3. Heat up for three minutes on medium temperature.

Warning! Each microwave is different, therefore, pay extra attention to make sure the decarboxylation process is done correctly. It’s possible that marijuana might need some more heat, if that’s the case, repeat the steps being careful not to burn the cannabis.

Pay special attention the first time you use the microwave, some of them are very powerful and could end up burning the ground buds.

You need to use your senses to figure out if cannabis is properly decarboxylated. Look for the same brown tones as if you were doing it in the oven. On the other hand, it has to emanate a strong scent, but it should never smell burnt.

Bain-marie decarboxylation

This is the slowest way to decarboxylate marijuana. The advantage of this process is that it doesn’t smell at all (until you open the bag), therefore, the house won’t be filled with an intense decarboxylated cannabis aroma and it’s harder to ruin the product.

Follow these steps to decarboxylate cannabis using the bain-marie method:

  1. In this case you don’t need to ground the weed, simply break it into big chunks.

2. Stick it in an airtight bag.

3. Boil water in a pot.

4. Lower the temperature to 95ºC when it starts boiling. This is the highest temperature at which water can be without reaching boiling point.

5. Place the bag in the water for one hour.

Other cannabis decarboxylation methods: Nebula Boost Decarboxylator

The Nebula Boost Decarboxylator is a device exclusively designed to decarboxylate cannabis buds or any other plant that requires it to make a botanical concoction. Its temperature controller provides constant heat during the exact amount of time for the process to work out perfectly.

As a result, the obtained weed will display great quality and intact properties regarding effects, flavor and aroma.

To decarboxylate cannabis with this innovative device, all you need to do is break the buds into small pieces, place them inside and choose the time and temperature. Now all you have to do is wait for the process to finish without having to keep an eye on the process.

Cannabis decarboxylation is especially necessary when you are going to use it for cooking. If you skip this process, the cannabinoids will remain in their acid form and you won’t notice its effects. There are multiple decarboxylation methods, all you need to do is choose the one that adapts to your needs.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Erik Collado

With more than 10 years of background in the cannabis sector, his experience and knowledge are the base of GB The Green Brand’s success

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *