Introduction: How to Decarboxylate Cannabis

If you're wanting to make edibles or tinctures from cannabis, decarboxylation is a crucial step! Decarbing the cannabis you use in medibles and tinctures will make them safer and more effective.

Decarboxylation happens very slowly when cannabis is cured, but we can use an oven to speed up and complete the process. Decarbing your cannabis allows you to convert the THCA found in your dried buds and trim to THC. This will allow your medibles and tinctures to be more potent and take effect more quickly. Decarbing most often occurs when cannabis is smoked, so this process doesn't have an opportunity to occur when making butters, oils and tinctures - you have to do it beforehand!

Beyond turning the THCA found in cannabis to THC, decarboxylation also has one other awesome benefit: lowering the risk of botulism in your medibles. If you don't properly decarb your cannabis, the moisture from it can cause botulism bacteria to grow in your tinctures, butters or oils. And I'm assuming you probably don't want that on top of why you're medicating with cannabis already. ;)

For more information on decarboxylation and also a nice scientific experiment, I recommend reading this article.

In this instructable I'll cover how we choose to decarboxylate cannabis - there are loads of ways to do it, but this is our preferred method.

Step 1: Tools + Materials

To do this you'll need:

  • an oven set to 220 F/105 C
  • a baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • sugar leaf trim, ground bud, or kief

If using sugar leaves or kief, no other processing is necessary. If you're using full buds, grind them roughly before proceeding. You want things to be broken down well so the cannabis releases all the moisture it's holding.

Today I'm decarboxylating 40 g of Doctor Who trim - we're going to turn it into coconut canna oil.

Step 2: Prep

Preheat the oven to 220 F / 105 C.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet and spread your cannabis out over it. If you see any large pieces, break them up with your hands.

If you have more cannabis than will fit nicely on one sheet, divide it in half. You just want one fairly thin layer. If you crowd it it will not dry out properly.

Step 3: Decarboxylate

Place the baking sheet in the oven and let it hang out for 25 minutes.

For well dried trim, kief, and bud this should be long enough. However, if the cannabis you're using is more fresh you may want to take it an additional 25 minutes.

A hygrometer can be useful for double checking to see how much moisture is left, too - just put the cannabis in a closed jar or bag with it.

Once the cannabis is nice and dry, let it sit out on the counter until it's entirely cooled. Now you can use it for whatever medible application you'd like!

Comments

author
brownsarah made it!(author)2016-12-05

I just started decarbing for my butter, but can someone clarify for me why the process of decarboxilation doesn't happen while I'm cooking my butter. Or is it just making it stronger to first decarb?

author
Kimi0925 made it!(author)2017-07-08

Decarbing, removes the acid, makes it more potent, & removes the moisture. It's the same as drying fresh herbs in the oven. When you do it with fresh herbs, it brings the oils out, enhancing the flavor.
You want a dry mix to make your butter.

author
JackOfHeartsSRL made it!(author)2017-05-19

You decarb in the oven before to convert the THCa to THC. The THCa can't be processed by the body. This doesn't happen unless you get the temperature over 100C, higher than the boiling temp of water or butter.

author
G-Nasty+ made it!(author)2016-12-17

I've been wondering this too! The moisture in the butter may inhibit decarb. However, I'd bet using clarified butter (ghee) would do the trick of decarb as this type of butter contains no water.

author
mbecks made it!(author)2015-03-02

that all sounds great. Its illegal here so it hard to get the right stuff unless you get a prescription.

author
crank_girl made it!(author)2015-03-06

That's what the dark net is for. :)

author
DarleneD13 made it!(author)2016-05-29

Yes. That's all good IF you know how to get onto the dark net . I sure would like to know!! Can't get ever clear here. Or a few other things I'm looking for.

author
StephenH111 made it!(author)2016-06-27

you can use 91% or better isopropyl alcohol instead!

author
radradley made it!(author)2016-07-19

Do not use isopropyl for anything you're going to put in your mouth! It's poisonous if ingested! It's a poor substitute for ethanol (even for making shatter, imho)!

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

We use 99.9% isopropyl alcohol all the time........there is no alcohol left in the oil extracted, as it is all boiled off. IF there is any residue left after boiling the alcohol off it is such a tiny amount how would one know it is there? My husband has been making RSO for months with this method, and I have been curing my cancer with it, and have had NO ill effects what so ever, and no spread or return of my cancer (Breast cancer with 2 positive nodes and NO clean margin on lumpectomy)!!!!

author
G-Nasty+ made it!(author)2016-12-17

The isopropyl has to be fully evaporated afterward it's done it job

author
Ekincaidaz made it!(author)2017-06-05

I hear you on that. I'm in the same boat about understanding tech safety today

author
StephenH111 made it!(author)2016-06-27

you can use 91% or better isopropyl alcohol instead!

author
Curiouscat1 made it!(author)2016-10-05

Can you do this on wax paper,foil,or just on cookie sheet??

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

NO!!!

author
G-Nasty+ made it!(author)2016-12-17

Yes

author
The+Punisher-1 made it!(author)2017-03-17

G-Nasty - You are giving out bad info here. You do NOT want to use wax paper. It is much different than parchment paper and it will leave a waxey residue on the weed.

author
G-Nasty+ made it!(author)2017-03-18

Thanks for the clairification. I made the incorrect assumption wax and parchment paper were the same.

author
DarleneD13 made it!(author)2016-05-29

Why do some recipes call for ever clear during decatboxylizing and some do not? WHICH is the better method?

author
LucasW31 made it!(author)2016-10-14

It depends on what you are trying to create. If baking or using the extract in cooking you wouldn't want the alcohol because it is NOT SAFE around heat sources or can be unsafe for certain types of consumption. The alcohol does not have anything to do with decarboxylation process, it is used to extract the THC and CBD from the plant matter after decarboxylation

author
PJH10 made it!(author)2016-12-24

Hey I was wondering if I sprayed the everclear on before baking the flower @ the 240 did I ruin the process?

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

yes.

author
The+Punisher-1 made it!(author)2017-03-17

Why would you do that? The idea is to subject it to steady temperature for a specific period of time to activate the THC from the THCA. Why spray alcohol on it?

author
Stef4chase made it!(author)2016-10-16

Is there an easier way to decarb so I can make butter and corn syrup

author
Stef4chase made it!(author)2016-10-16

Like to where is doesn't smell as bad. Can I do it while cooking the oil?

author
G-Nasty+ made it!(author)2016-12-17

You can put it in a turkey bag in the oven. This will help to reduce, but not eliminate smell. As an added bonus, you can recover any resins that had settled on the bag surface. Can also use boiling water with the material in a mason jar in boiling water. Water boils at 212F so it's a perfect temp. Just make sure the cap on the jar is loose enough to allow pressure to escape otherwise the jar may pop

author
Max+Flors made it!(author)2016-06-14

think you're confusing decarbing for edibles versus making qwet

author
LucasW31 made it!(author)2016-10-17

Probably are... Even when making qwet you are better off decarbing first

author
DarleneD13 made it!(author)2016-06-15

Oh OK! Thx....have bought a few books and done some research. Got great results w/o the spray on :)

author
Booboogin made it!(author)2016-06-29

Can someone buy a 1/2 gram of harlequin from a dispensary and make tinctures out of it?

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

yes. My husband and I have been buying high CBD strains for months and making cannabis oil to treat my breast cancer (now, he has our own plants budding, so no more money going out to the dispensaries.....HOORAY). We have made really good high quality oil with Harlequin from the dispensary. P.S. (I refused chemo and radiation, and the cancer has not shown up anywhere else; they told me it would be everywhere by now without there poisons). :) :) :)

author
LucasW31 made it!(author)2016-10-14

1/2 gram of any bud will not generate any quantity of tincture. You need far more raw product to create any type of extract. When producing tincture you are extracting resin glands and minimal plant material. A .5g flower would leave you with MAYBE .025g of tincture

author
Envernie made it!(author)2016-11-03

I suffer with chronic migraines and Rhumatoid Arthritis, I have been on severel different medications that have really made me sick.. I'm been doing lots of research on how Cannabis is helping in treatment. I live in a state where it's not leagal.. a state that would rather pump you up with narcotics, and have passed the law saying it no longer works for Chronic pain .. How do I know what strains to use and how to make cannabutter

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

research. Leafly is a good place to get information. However, just Google 'medicale benefits of cannibis and you will find all kinds of information.

author
MobyNastro made it!(author)2015-12-11

Cant we simply place the leaves+buds directly onto the tray instead of the parchment paper?

I have difficulty sourcing the paper. :(

author
Curiouscat1 made it!(author)2016-10-05

I wondered same thing...did u ever find out?

author
Stef4chase made it!(author)2016-10-16

I'm wondering how you decarb? I know the oven but it there another way that doesn't smell as strong?

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

time will also decarboxylate THCa or CBDa, but it takes time and people usually don't want to wait. Flower that has been harvested for awhile has already lost some of the acid molecules and may not need to be decarboxylated, but if I were using it as medicaine, I would want to make sure to get the most benefit out of it.

author
LucasW31 made it!(author)2016-10-14

Wax paper is all you need or you can use a paper bag but keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn in the oven

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

bad advice. Wax paper has wax on it and gets into your product.

author
greenjeen made it!(author)2016-12-12

Nooooo, don't use wax paper! It will leave wax on your material, parchment paper is different, you can order it online, or they carry it at most grocery stores by the foil and wax paper, I buy it at Costco, also available online @ Costco. Very reasonable, it last a long long time, and I use it several times a week.

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

you can generally buy parchment paper anywhere you get wax paper

author
G-Nasty+ made it!(author)2016-12-17

You can use the bare tray, foil or whatever you'd like.

author
CherylP46 made it!(author)2016-08-22

Look in the same place you find aluminum foil in the grocery store.

author
radradley made it!(author)2016-07-19

Wouldn't decarb happen when I'm boiling my coconut oil/water/bud mix for over 3 hrs at 212℉?

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

No. You still need to START with THC or CBD, not THCa or CBDa, and decarboxylation gets rid of the acid molecule so that the cannibinoids are active.

author
G-Nasty+ made it!(author)2016-12-17

The water may inhibit decar

author
JacobNealsDad made it!(author)2017-01-28

I make lemon drop hard candies from keif. Is Decarbing necessary? The ingredients are boiled for approx. 5-7 mins at about 300 F.

author
jonesey0423 made it!(author)2017-06-06

yes, decarboxylation is still required. You need to start out with THC or CBD, not THCa or CBDa when you make your edibles. Decarboxylation gets rid of the acid molecule and makes the cannibinoids active.

author
Nabiel made it!(author)2015-02-27

May I suggest you place your parchment paper in a Pyrex dish with a lid. Then tie a turkey bag found at most grocery stores over the Pyrex w/ lid and seal it.
- helps to preserve essential oils from vaping into your oven. Lab test show higher presenage of terpines and higher levels of Thc and cbds.
I'm happy to see your post posted on instrucables:)

About This Instructable

435,258views

546favorites

License:

Bio: we're a couple of medical cannabis farmers that believe in responsible and educated use of cannabis for all! we hope our instructables will teach ... More »
More by cannalove:how to make an alcohol free cannabis tinctureHow to make cannabis coconut oil (canna oil)How to decarboxylate cannabis
Add instructable to: