The Importance of DeCarbing Your Cannabis

Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). Usually, decarboxylation refers to a reaction of carboxylic acids, removing a carbon atom from a carbon chain. The reverse process, which is the first chemical step in photosynthesis, is called carboxylation, the addition of CO2 to a compound. Enzymes that catalyze decarboxylations are called decarboxylases or, the more formal term, carboxy-lyases -wikipedia

When making edible Canna-Treats one of the most important parts of the process is decarboxylizing your raw materials, so that you have more than just “weed-flavored” brownies, or candy, or whatever you are making. To get the effect you are looking for you are going to need (whether you’re using buds, or body leaves and shake) to release the CO2 from the THCA molecules that reside in your cannabis, turning them into THC. This process isn’t necessary when smoking cannabis, but as anyone who has experience can tell you, buds that aren’t dried pack less of a punch, and require more effort to smoke. When you smoke dried buds, the “decarb” happens most instantaneously , but it’s not so easy when you are cooking with cannabis.

Now I know what you’re saying, “But my herbs are dry!”, but you are not smoking them, and hopefully are not bringing the temperature to 350+ degrees (like when you smoke them). That would just vaporize the “goodness” right out of them. To get maximum effect here’s what to do.

  • Pre-heat your oven to 250
  • Grind the buds, leaf or shake as fine as you can (more surface area)
  • Spread the ground material as thin as possible across a sheet pan (or cookie sheet). Cover loosely with foil, but seal tightly at the edges (this traps cannabinoids, terpenes etc.)
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 250
  • Let cool completely before removing foil.

The CO2 will release from the THCA molecules when the internal temperature of the resin glands reaches 220 degrees, leaving you with wonderful THC; ready to absorb in to your preferred fat based emulsion. Add this to your Canna-Butter or Canna-Oil preparation, and in just a short while, and with a little more effort, you’ll have the basis for some Canna-Cuisine (read: yummy Canna-Treats).

One thought on “The Importance of DeCarbing Your Cannabis

  • August 17, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Wouldn’t it decarb while cooking edibles?


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