Yes, you are reading that big word correctly: de-carb-oxy-lation. While most people just like to partake in marijuana consumption; others find it interesting in learning all the A-Z facts about it. How the plant is grown, harvested, sold and the different ways to consume weed, are all things that interest a wide range of users. Let us go over all you need to know about decarboxylation and how it relates to weed.
What is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is the scientific word used to describe removing a carbon atom from a carbon chain. It is because of this process that weed is able to give people that “high feeling.”
It might come as a shock to some, but even CBD needs to go through the decarboxylation process. Yes, CBD is a non-psychedelic on its own, however, if it is not heated it stays in its CBDA form and it will take your body a much longer time to feel effects from it, if at all.
CBD needs a higher heating point than THC in order for decarboxylation to occur. Users should keep that in mind especially when using vape pens. It is smart to purchase the correct vape pen for the strain you are trying to consume or you may not get the full benefits.
Not all vape pens are the same and you should not use an e-cigarette pen or E-juice pen for marijuana consumption. You will burn out the coil and waste the marijuana product.
When Does Decarboxylation Occur?
Everyone is a scientist and preforms decarboxylation as soon as they light a joint! When weed is heated it is transferred from the THCA form to THC form. The effects of this is what gives users that mind and body high.
Can Weed Be Consumed Without Decarboxylation?
The short answer to this is yes. When people refer to weed in its raw form, they mean weed that has yet to be decarbed. Weed in its raw form can be consumed and people typically look for THCA strains that are known for being consumed raw.
Raw consumption typically consists of edibles, juices, and smoothies. Users get benefits from THCA that they would from THC just not in such a strong form, and with zero psychedelic effects.
Consumption of Non-Decarbed Weed
Raw weed should be consumed from freshly picked buds or from fan leaves. Owners need to keep a close eye on raw weed because it mimics the plant it comes from. Wilting and molding can occur after a relatively short time. To prevent this, it is suggested you store your raw goods in the fridge, specifically the drawer you would keep your lettuce or kale in.
Those who want to use weed in homemade edibles need to decarb their weed BEFORE it is used to cook with inside any edible. There are certain temperatures, times and heating methods that can be used when trying to decarb weed, and just baking weed in a product itself raw is not going to cause the decarbing process.
If you don’t decarb marijuana before using it in edibles such as butter or oil, botulism bacteria can grow and make you really sick.
How to Decarb Weed
Remember, if you are smoking or vaping, you decarb the weed as soon as you light it. Buying weed in premade edibles, oils, or shatter is also going to be decarbed already. You only need to decarb weed if you are planning on using raw weed to making your own at home edibles, oils or butter.
Decarbing weed only requires a few, simple tools:
- An oven
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
- Leaf trim or ground bud
The first step to decarbing weed is to grind the buds down, making sure to take time and get the pieces really small. This process is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you take your time, the end result will be much better. While you are grinding you will want to preheat the oven.
Next, spread the parchment paper over the baking sheet, as if you were about to pop some cookies in the oven. If you do not use parchment paper you are going to ruin the buds and they can burn to the pan. Don’t skip the parchment paper and don’t use aluminum foil!
Spread the marijuana evenly across the pan, and break up any pieces you weren’t able to grind down all the way. If you run into a good amount of larger pieces you may want to re-grind your weed.
Once you have the weed spread out and your oven is heated, place the baking sheet inside. Below you can find a decarboxylation chart to show you at what temperature and at what length you should bake the weed for.
Dry weed typically only needs to be baked for 30 minutes, but if you notice your product is super moist it may take up to 90 minutes. It is a good idea to purchase a hygrometer so you can check your weed moisture so you can have a successful bake.
Once your weed is baked, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely. Once it is cooled you can begin the process of making your homemade edibles. If you are looking to use the weed in smoothies or juices then it is suggested you put it in a food processor and pulse it down until it is as small as dry oregano.
Decarboxylation Temperature Chart
Everyone has their own opinion on a temperature chart to get perfectly decarbed weed. Play around with your own oven because each will vary, and you will want to adjust time or temperature accordingly.
A basic temperature chart is as follows:
Plant Material – High THC
- Oven – Temperature 300 degrees F – Time = 10 to 18 minutes
- Boil Water Bath – Temperature 212 degrees F – Time = 90 to 120 minutes
Plant Material – High CBD
- Oven – Temperature 300 degrees F – Time=15 to 25 minutes
- Boil Water Bath – Temperature 212 degrees F – Time=2 to 4 hours
Kief/Has – High THC
- Oven – Temperature 300 degrees F – Time= 5 to 10 minutes
- Boil Water Bath – Temperature 212 degrees F – Time=90 to 120 minutes
Kief/Has – High CBD
- Oven – Temperature 300 degrees F – Time=10 to 15 minutes
- Boil Water Bath – Temperature 212 degrees F – Time=2-4 hours
Cannabis Oil Time
- Hot Oil Bath – Cook until bubbles taper off
Other methods of decarbing weed include a crockpot bath, but be careful; unless it is carefully monitored, you can overboil it and cause degradation.
A new product to the market is something called Nova, which promises to decarb weed while preserving 100% of the THC. While it is newer to the market, there have been lab tests done that have proven this method to be beneficial.
Decarboxylation is an interesting topic, but not necessary for everyone to know. Those who buy raw weed and want to make their own edibles are going to be just about the only people who benefit from knowing the decarbing chart. Remember, each oven varies by about 5-15 degrees. Test your oven out with some normal food to see how things cook according to the suggested time on the food package. This will give you a better gauge into how long and at what temperature you will need to set your oven to.
For the rest of the marijuana community, all you need to know is lighting up your weed is an automatic decarboxylation and you can get your high on while also feeling accomplished you made a chemical reaction occur. At the end of the day, weed connoisseurs are their own, Bill Nye the science guy, in a unique way.
Intrinsic Hemp does not sell any marijuana (THC) products. This article is provided for informational purposes only. View our full line of quality hemp-derived CBD products here.
Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on our website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.