Marijuana is a fascinating substance that can cause a range of interesting effects when consumed. When you smoke or vape marijuana, you’ll experience a euphoric mind state and relaxing body effects thanks to a chemical known as THC. However, if you try to consume marijuana without heating it, you won’t feel any of these effects whatsoever. This is why you should know why and how to decarb your weed.
Decarboxylation is a process that simply involves exposing dried Cannabis Flower to heat for enough time to activate the THC. Initially, raw cannabis is full of THCA- a non-psychoactive form of the chemical. To experience the psychoactive effects of marijuana, decarboxylation is essential and without it, you won’t feel the same kind of effects.
When you smoke or vape marijuana, decarboxylation happens naturally due to the weed being heated. However, there are many situations where you might need to decarb your weed in other ways- especially if you plan to make marijuana edibles or other marijuana-infused products. Here’s a guide on why and how to decarb your weed.
What Is Marijuana Decarboxylation
If you want to experience the psychoactive effects of marijuana, then decarboxylation is necessary. Decarboxylation is a chemical process that involves converting the non-psychoactive THCA into the psychoactive form of the chemical- THC. For this to happen, weed must be exposed to a certain level of heat.
Many users won’t ever need to worry about decarboxylation. When you smoke cannabis, the THCA is naturally converted to THC when the weed burns. Vaping cannabis gives you even more control over the temperature your weed is exposed to, allowing you to bring out more of the terpenes or cannabinoids depending on the kind of high you want.
However, if you plan to make certain cannabis-infused products, you’ll need to know how to decarb your weed. For example, decarboxylation is necessary for users who want to make homemade marijuana edibles. It’s also important to decarboxylate your weed if you want to make products such as marijuana oils.
The good news is that decarbing your weed is easy and you don’t need any specialist knowledge or equipment. While there are a few different ways you can decarb your weed, it generally doesn’t take anything more than an oven, a tray, and your choice of marijuana.
How To Decarb Your Weed In The Oven
Decarboxylating your weed in the oven is simple enough for anyone to carry out at home and only takes a few basic pieces of equipment. Before you start, make sure you have a baking tray, some parchment paper, and some of your favorite marijuana to decarboxylate.
The products you make with your decarboxylated weed will be infused with the effects of the strain you use. As such, you can pick based on the kind of high you’re looking for. If you enjoy relaxing, body-focused effects, then you can choose from a wide range of indica strains. If you prefer stimulating, mind-focused effects, then sativa strains are a better choice. Hybrid strains give you a mix of both.
Start by preheating your oven to 240°F. This temperature is enough to decarboxylate your weed without burning or ruining it. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and place your buds of weed across the tray. You don’t need to grind your weed before decarboxylation, but it helps to break it into small nugs.
Place the baking tray in the oven and let it sit for around 40 minutes. You might want to shake the tray every 10 minutes or so to ensure that your buds of weed are heated evenly. By the end of this process, your buds should start to turn golden brown. Take the tray out of the oven and let it sit on the side to cool. You can then store it in a glass container or use it for edibles and other marijuana-infused products.
How To Decarb Your Weed In The Microwave
The best way to decarboxylate your weed is in the oven, especially as you have control over the temperature and can easily activate the THC in your buds without charring them. However, if you don’t want to wait 40 minutes for your weed to decarboxylate, decarbing your weed in the microwave is also an option.
Start by grinding your weed into small pieces and putting it in a microwaveable bowl. Cover the bowl and microwave it on high heat for 90 seconds. After 90 seconds, take the bowl out and smell the weed to ensure it hasn’t been charred. It’s best to repeat this process at least 3 times. By the end of it, your weed should be pungent without being burned.
Checking your weed between each heating cycle is important as you need to ensure it’s been decarboxylated but hasn’t been burned. Unlike decarboxylating your weed in the oven, your weed won’t turn golden brown so this step is especially important for checking whether your weed is ready.
This method can be tricky, especially as some microwaves produce more heat than others. If you’re worried about accidentally burning your weed, you might want to use a low heat and repeat the process of heating your weed and smelling it more than three times. Once your weed is ready, simply place it on the side and allow it to cool.
How To Decarb Kief/Hash
Alternatively, you can also decarboxylate Kief and Hash. These are cannabis concentrates that contain much higher levels of THC than weed. After decarboxylation, Kief and Hash can also be used in cannabis condiments such as marijuana butter or oil, as well as other marijuana-infused products.
The process of decarbing Kief or Hash is similar to decarboxylating weed, although there are some slight differences. Preheat your oven to 245°F and put your Kief or Hash in an oven-safe glass dish. Take a large sheet of aluminum foil, fold it over to make it thicker, and cover your dish with the foil.
Place your dish in the oven and allow it to heat for 30-40 minutes. This should activate the THC in your Kief or Hash. You might want to leave it for another 10 minutes or so if you want to activate more CBD. Once you’re ready, take the dish out of the oven and leave it on the side to cool with the foil still on top. Once it has cooled, you can store it or use it for marijuana butter, oil, or other products.
How To Make Marijuana Butter With Decarbed Weed
One of the most common uses of decarboxylated weed is making marijuana. After the THC in weed has been activated, it can be bound to fats in butter, oil, and other condiments which can then be used to make tasty marijuana edibles. Marijuana butter is great for making edibles such as brownies, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods. Here’s how to make it.
- 7-10 grams of decarboxylated weed
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup of water
Step 1: Add a cup of water and a cup of butter to a saucepan on medium heat and wait for the butter to melt. In the meantime, grind your decarboxylated weed in preparation for adding it. Once the butter melts, stir it thoroughly and lower the heat to around 160ºF-180ºF.
Step 2: Once your butter has melted, add your ground decarboxylated weed and stir it into the mixture. You can now leave it to simmer for 2-3 hours. Make sure you keep the pan at a low heat so your weed butter simmers without boiling. This will cause the THC to bind with the butter without burning your weed.
Step 3: After simmering for a few hours, your potent marijuana butter will be ready. For this step, you’ll need to strain the mixture into a container to separate the liquid from any excess weed. Place a cheesecloth over a clean glass jar and strain the liquid thoroughly.
Step 4: Seal your container of marijuana butter and place it in the fridge to harden. Once it has hardened, stick a knife through the middle and drain any excess water. Your marijuana butter can now be used in all kinds of delicious marijuana recipes.
How To Make Cannabis Oil With Decarbed Weed
You can also use your decarboxylated weed to make cannabis oil. Much like cannabis butter, cannabis oil can be used in various marijuana recipes. It’s especially useful for edibles like cannabis gummies but it can also be added to chocolate, baked goods, or even mixed into drinks. Here’s how to make it.
- 14 grams of decarboxylated weed
- 2-3 cups of coconut oil
- 1 cup of water
Step 1: To start, you’ll need a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make one simply using a large saucepan and a heatproof bowl on top. Add some water to the bottom of your double boiler and apply low heat. Put your coconut oil in the top of your double boiler. Let the oil simmer without reaching a boil.
Step 2: Once the oil is simmering, lower the heat, and add your ground and decarboxylated weed to the top of your double boiler. Mix your weed thoroughly with the oil and let it simmer for 2-3 hours without boiling. Stir your weed and oil occasionally and if it begins to boil, lower the heat.
Step 3: After your cannabis oil has simmered for a few hours, it’s ready to strain. Take a clean glass container and place a cheesecloth over the top. Strain your mixture through until the oil has been separated from any excess weed. You might want to squeeze the weed to strain as much oil as possible. After straining, seal your container and place it in the fridge or a cool, dry place.
Using Your Marijuana Butter/Oil
Once you’ve made marijuana butter or cannabis oil with your decarboxylated weed, you can use it in all kinds of ways. These cannabis condiments are often used for creating tasty marijuana edibles, but you can also use them for making other cannabis-infused products.
One of the best ways to use marijuana butter is to make baked goods infused with THC. You can make all kinds of recipes such as brownies, cookies, and cakes. Just substitute some regular butter for marijuana butter. Marijuana butter can also be applied on top of meals and snacks if you want an easy way to get high.
Cannabis oil can also be added to all kinds of recipes and is even more useful than marijuana butter in some cases. Cannabis oil is often used for creating cannabis gummies and hard candies. It can also be easily added to meals, especially if you mix it with liquid foods such as sauces or dressings.
You can also add marijuana butter or oil to drinks if you want a refreshing cannabis-infused beverage. For instance, you could melt a small dose of marijuana butter into your tea or coffee. You can blend cannabis oil into juices, smoothies, and shakes. You can even make cannabis-infused cocktails if you’re feeling creative.
Keep in mind that marijuana butter and cannabis oil can be quite potent and it’s often hard to tell how hard the effects will hit you, especially as every strain is different. It’s best to start by using a small amount to gauge how strong the effects are and how your body reacts to them. You should also consider that orally-consumed THC takes 30-90 minutes to kick in, but the effects can last for 4-12 hours.
Marijuana decarboxylation is important as, without it, you won’t get the psychoactive effects of marijuana. Heat is required to activate THC- the main psychoactive component in marijuana that gives you euphoric and physically-relaxing effects. Fortunately, decarboxylating your weed is easy and there are many ways to use decarbed weed.
Decarbed weed is great for using in cannabis-infused condiments such as butter or oil. With these, you can make amazing marijuana edibles. Of course, if you want to skip the process, you can also simply buy edibles online along with various strains of weed and other marijuana products at WCCannabis.