Before you get down to the serious business making edibles and tinctures this holiday season, it is important to first decarboxylate (or decarb) your cannabis for optimum results.
Decarboxylating cannabis is a crucial step in the process of cooking edibles. Raw cannabis is non-psychoactive when orally ingested. It only becomes psychoactive (partially) with drying and ageing, or when heated. When you smoke or vape cannabis, this process happens automatically through combustion or vaporisation.
Decarbing causes specific chemical reactions in the plant, transforming compounds called cannabinoid acids into a compound we can absorb, resulting in psychoactive effects when they bind to the cells in our bodies.
The main psychoactive in cannabis is delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is what gives you the ‘high’ feeling when eating an edible or smoking a bud. However, THC isn’t readily available on a raw cannabis plant. Instead you’ll find a chemical known as THCA, short for tetrahydrocannabinol acid. THCA is not psychoactive. In order to convert THCA to THC, the decarboxylation process is necessary in making it bioavailable – that is, readily available for the body to use.
It is also important to decarb CBD-heavy strains. CBD is short for cannabidiol, another common cannabinoid. CBD is present in its acid form in raw cannabis, much like THC, and is non-psychoactive. This acid form, CBDS, also has health promoting properties on its own, but like THCA the decarbing process changes CBDA into CBD also making it bioavailable.
It is important to decarboxylate before trying to make any edibles so you are not wasting THC, CBD and medicinal potential.
What to Do
Decarboxylation is a simple process which will ultimately provide you with the best edibles your weed could possibly offer.
The THC in cannabis begins to decarboxylate at around 115°C after 30-40 minutes, though many choose a lower, slower method to preserve terpenes. Terpenoids — responsible for the smell of a plant — are compromised at temperatures over 150°C. Most people opt for temperatures around 100°C.
So, here are your directions:
- Preheat your oven to 115 degrees celsius for a good 10 minutes.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- While your oven is preheating, lightly grind up your material. We’re not looking for dust, but something you can easily spread out thin on your baking tray.
- Wham-jammy that sucker in and allow it to bake for 40 or so minutes – longer if you so desire.
- Stir every 10 or so minutes, ensuring an even bake.
- Once out, allow your product to cool down.
- Store in an airtight container and use as needed!
That’s it. Really.
Ready for the next pitstop on the road to edibles? Check out our foolproof recipe for making cannabutter.