Cannabis decarboxylation is the process of transforming relatively inert THCa into psychoactive THC. Technically speaking decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that releases water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2), what this means for you is more bang from your bud. Higher grade weed that has properly been cured before it gets to you may not require decarboxylation as much of the water content was removed during the curing process. Decarboxylation is a very important step to ensuring that tinctures and other uncooked edibles have proper potency.
Enough of the science, so how to you prepare your weed to increase the THC? Simply put, you need to either remove the water through heating or sufficient dehydration. There’s a few ways of accomplishing this with tools that your average weedist has around the house:
- Preheat your oven to 150º F (This temperature is well below the temperature at which cannabis compounds evaporate, but warm enough to cause decarboxylation).
- Grind up your cannabis into small pieces. You can do this with your fingers or scissors, but we prefer a tool made for the job, a cannabis grinder.
- Spread your cannabis into a layer no more than 1 inch thick on a cookie sheet or glass baking dish.
- Bake cannabis for 15 minutes, or until you just start to smell the cannabis, pull out of heat immediately.
- Place your bud in a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat on high for 1 minute (be careful that nothing catches on fire). Adjust timing accordingly so that you do not over-dry your weed.
- If you want to buy a specialized piece of equipment, you can find a bunch of Food Dehydrators on Amazon that would do the job. We don’t have any experience with them, so you’ll have to let us know how they work out for you.
What has your experience been with marijuana decarboxylation? What’s your favorite method and how do you use your decarboxylated weed?