Decarboxylate – The first time I heard this term was at a Women’s Grow meeting a couple of months ago. The sponsors were a company called The Herbal Infuser, and if you haven’t heard of it you should check it out! Anyway, they were very informative and one of the things they were talking about was that if you only wanted the CBD effect in your cooking then you didn’t have to decarboxylate your weed, but most people like the psychoactive effect, so in this case you should decarboxylate. (From now on every time you read the word decarboxylate in this blog you should take a hit!)
Anyway, I was fascinated by this because I always knew that there must be a science to cooking with weed. So the quick long and short of it is this:
Most of us know that the main psychoactive component of marijuana is THC. This is what’s responsible for making us feel stoned. However, THC starts as THCA (THC Acid) and must be heat activated to be converted to THC. This process of heat activation is called, you guessed it -decarboxylation (hit).
So, for example, if you were making edibles, some of the THCA is converted to THC during the process of making cannabutter, but not even nearly all of the potential is reached without decarboxylation (hit). In the 70’s I remember watching my sister in law make pot brownies for a party. I watched her slowly saute the weed in some butter on the stove at a low temperature before using it in the recipe, I also remember them being some pretty potent brownies! But still, had she decarboxylated (hit) properly, they would have been even more potent!
How, you may ask, does one decarboxylate? (hit) All you need is an oven, a cookie sheet or baking tray and some parchment paper and of course weed.
Preheat your oven. 225 F, as this process is best between 200F and 250F depending on the time you have to cook. A too low temperature, will take much longer and it may not convert all the THCA into THC, and a too high temperature could burn your buds and you risk losing flavor and terpenes.
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper and lay out your buds. Make sure you lay them out evenly on the tray so that the heat can be dispersed evenly.
- Cook at 225F for 50 minutes, or at 250F for 25-30 minutes or if you have a lot of time and want maximum retention of the flavor and terpenes, put it in the oven at 200F for 75 minutes, and definitely set a timer so you don’t forget your buds!!!
- When it’s time to take it out of the oven, you will notice that the color has changed to a slightly darker green, or more brown color, your buds will look lightly toasted. (and soon you will be too!) Now let it cool. That’s it! Your buds are ready to be put into oil, butter or tinctures! They are now full of THC. You my friend will have successfully decarboxylated! (hit)
I hope I’ve cleared up the mystery of how to get the most out of your weed cooking and helped you feel a little less intimidated. And now that you know how to decarboxylate (hit), check out Magic Butter as well as the Herbal Infuser (love them both)! Bong Appetite!
Thanks Brett Jordan for our blog cover photo