How to Decarboxylate Cannabis

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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!

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114 Comments

Hi I have been given some frozen cannabis and have been told I need to decarboxylate it. Is this possible with it being frozen? Thank you

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

I have difficulty sourcing the paper. :(

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

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

Decarboxylating turns THC-A into THC, which is available to be suspended in whatever medium you are trying for, and the requires heat.

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.

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

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

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.

you can generally buy parchment paper anywhere you get wax paper