How to Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
If you’ve spent any time in your local dispensaries or cannabis stores, chances are you will have seen an abundance of edible products made from cannabis or cannabis extracts.
Edibles are great - they can be delicious, healthy, and deliver many of the same effects and benefits as consuming cannabis in other forms. Luckily, it’s also fairly simple to make your own cannabis edibles at home. While there is nothing wrong with buying pre-made edibles at all, many patients and recreational consumers want to be selective about their ingredients, and cooking at home allows this. When talking about cooking with cannabis, we are really talking about decarboxylation. Decarboxylation means that the cannabis (and the compounds therein) must be heated to a temperature it would be impossible to attain inside the body. Whether smoking, vaporizing, or cooking, cannabis must be exposed to heat in order to activate the compounds. THC, for example, will not become psychoactive until decarboxylation occurs. This is why simply eating raw cannabis won’t have any noticeable effects. It is important, however, not to overheat or overcook your cannabis during the decarboxylation process. We don’t want to burn it all away. The easiest and most common method for cooking with cannabis is to infuse decarboxylated cannabis into oil or butter, and then substitute that infusion into a given recipe.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 225F or 110C
Step 2: Line a dish or baking sheet with parchment paper
Step 3: Break your cannabis up into smaller pieces. It doesn’t need to be fully ground, but you do want to increase the surface area being directly exposed to the heat. Aim to have an evenly spread amount across your whole dish or sheet.
Step 4: Once the oven has reached temperature, bake the cannabis for ~20 minutes. The goal here is to remove moisture, and the time may vary depending on how fresh/moist your cannabis is, so keep an eye on it as it heats. You’ll know the cannabis is ready when it begins to change colour.
Step 5: Remove cannabis from the oven, and preheat again to 240F or 115C
Step 6: Break your cannabis into smaller pieces and space evenly across your dish or baking sheet.
Step 7: Cover your dish with aluminum foil and seal as tightly as possible. Bake for 45-60 for strains high in THC, 60-90 minutes for strains high in CBD.
Step 8: Remove from the oven and let cool. If you wish you can further grind your decarboxylated cannabis with a normal grinder or with a food processor, coffee grinder, etc.
Store the same way you would fresh cannabis - in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Now that your cannabis has been properly decarbed, you can infuse it into oils, butter, or other fats and use it in any way you see fit. Use your imagination!
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