Whenever someone is making cannabis-infused edibles, they oftentimes must decarboxylate, or decarb, their cannabis buds first. But why must they do this? As a collector of edible recipes, I wondered why buds need to first be cooked to be added into a recipe, often to simply be cooked again. So I dug out some facts and brought them here.
Simply put, if your buds are never decarboxylated, you would never get high from them. Decarbing is very important, so make sure not to skip over it! There is one cannabinoid that is the main reason why we must decarboxylate, and it is called THCa.
In fact, cannabis does not directly produce THC, which is the main cannabinoid responsible for psychoactive effects. Because of this, we must turn another cannabinoid, called THCa, into THC before consuming it. But how?
The answer is simple: decarboxylate it! By blasting THCa with high temperatures, the cannabinoid begins a natural process of transforming into THC. Heat activates psychoactive effects within the cannabis buds, allowing users to get high.
THCa’s name obviously derives from THC, it’s literally called “THC acid”. And this cannabinoid is not the only one that begins as an acid. Another example is CBGa, which turns into CBG. But let’s not get off topic, because we could talk about different cannabinoids all day…
What about smoking cannabis? Yes, decarboxylation also occurs when smoking weed. The high temperatures from combustion allow the natural THCa to convert into THC. This means that, when you smoke weed, you are combusting THCa while inhaling THC.
What Needs To Be Done
So what exactly needs to be done when decarboxylating? Does a certain temperature need to be hit? For how long should I bake my cannabis buds?
There are a few factors to consider when decarbing your buds. First, how much cannabis are you decarbing? Larger amounts will need to be baked for longer, while a few grams can take around 25-45 minutes. Use a baking tray and place your buds on a sheet of parchment paper when decarbing in an oven.
Some users prefer to bake their buds for longer at a lower temperature. This way, they are preserving most of the terpenes without burning them off. Either way, you will need to turn the heat up to at least 220 degrees F (105 C) for THCa to convert into THC.
After your buds have been properly decarboxylated, remove them from your oven and start cooking! These buds will be ready to use in any edible recipe, such as making cannabutter. Hopefully your edibles come out delicious and you reached the right levels of THC! Thanks for reading!