How to Decarboxylate Weed

by Leslie McMann

How do you decarb weed?

Decarboxylation: a big word for a simple process. Before attempting any homemade edibles, tinctures or other cannabis craft, you have to make sure to decarb your weed. If you ingest weed that hasn’t been decarbed, there will not be enough active THC to bind to your body’s receptors. In plain English, you won’t get high without decarbing your weed.

Cannabis flower itself doesn’t have active THC that can be absorbed by the body – that’s why we have to light it on fire and breathe in the smoke to feel the psychoactive effects. If you use raw flower to cook with, then at best you’ll end up with cannabis-flavored treats, but not cannabis-infused edibles. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that turns the cannabinoids in raw flower into active THC that can be absorbed by the body. And the only thing you need to start this chemical reaction is a little heat.

Decarboxylating weed in an oven at home

Thankfully, your oven is a perfect place to decarb your weed for DIY edibles. Who’d have thought?

Here’s what you’ll need:

With the below instructions, you can turn your oven into, basically, a giant vaporizer that will rapidly decarboxylate your flower without burning the plant material or losing THC. The final product will be ready to use in recipes or topicals.

  1. An oven set to 240 degrees F is the perfect tool to decarb your weed. While it heats up, break your flower into small pieces, but don’t grind it too finely or it could burn. Spread it evenly on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, shiny side up. The foil will protect your weed from getting burned by the baking sheet, which can become hotter than the oven temperature. Layer another sheet of foil across the top.
  2. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for 45 minutes. Though you will start to smell a strong, weedy scent in your kitchen, it should NOT smell like burning weed. If you smell burning, turn the oven temperature down.
  3. Remove the weed from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. The weed should have turned a golden, toasty color. You can store your decarbed weed in an airtight jar or use immediately in a recipe.

Use your decarbed weed for new recipes

Now you have cannabis full of activated THC, ready to use in edibles or topicals. We suggest checking out a few of the recipes below!

Have other recipes that require decarboxylation? Tell us about them in the comments below!

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