What the Heck is Decarboxylation?
There are lots of big words being tossed around when it comes to marijuana and cannabis and when people start saying Decarbing or Decarboxylation it can cause your eyes to roll into the back of your head!
So what’s it all about?
Decarboxylation is a big fancy word that means pulling the carbon out of a molecule. In the case of Cannabis, there is THCA which when heated transforms into THC. The A is an acid and it is heated away so the THC can work it’s magic in the bloodstream. Once this Decarbing happens, then the cannabis is ready to be used for cooking or making oils, honeys or tinctures. When people smoke marijuana, they are actually decarbing it as they inhale, heating the cannabis using a match or lighter. That results in burning the herb into an ash, which happens at high temperatures.
Since we will be making edibles, we don’t want a burnt flavour and we want all the healing properties of the cannabis extracted so there must be another way. The easiest process is to decarboxylate using your oven. There are lots of ways to decarb your marijuana, but this is the easiest and is fool-proof.
This is how properly decarbed cannabis should look
Preheat oven to 250*F or 122*C Break your bud or herb into small pieces and spread evenly onto parchment paper on a sheet pan Place in oven Toast slowly for 30 minuets Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature It will be slightly brown and crunchy. Just like that and you’re ready to start cooking! You can store your dried, cooled decarbed herb in glass jars in a cool, dry place but try to use it as soon as you can after decarboxylatation so you receive the maximum benefits.
Some people think that if they are making baking brownies or making honey that the heating temperatures will be high enough to extract the THC. By decarbing the cannabis first you will be able to know that your product is active. If you cook without this step, you won’t truly know if you will extract all the THC. Always use caution when baking herbs because they can go from toasty to burned in a matter of seconds!
This is what happens if you overheat or overcook cannabis.
Be safe, use a timer, check your product. And when in doubt, go low and slow not hot and fast!!
By Auntie Mary
The infographic below courtesy of Steep Hill Labs is an analysis of raw cannabis, then how it changes as it gets heated. Then what happens as it ages. All the information you need at a glance…