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!

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?
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
I accidentally left my canibis and coconut oil simmering ? Ment to turn off .. was gone 35 mins , came back and my stuff was boiling , did I ruin my batch of oil ? Had already simmered for 3 hours. Thanks for your help in advance .
Can you do this on wax paper,foil,or just on cookie sheet??
<p>Yes </p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>Thanks for the clairification. I made the incorrect assumption wax and parchment paper were the same.</p>
Do you keep the oven door cracked for air flow? I know it's not the same, but I put an oven mitt in the oven door to prop it open about an inch when drying hot peppers. Would it help with the decarboxylation?
<p>We don't just because we've got a gas oven and it kinda fumes us out if we crack the door. But it couldn't hurt if you have an electric one!</p><p>The airflow shouldn't affect the decarbing, though - it'll just speed up the drying.</p>
<p>Bad advice. Proping the door open does not help by providing &quot;airflow&quot;. It will reduce the heat in the oven - not allow the oven to amintain a set temperature, as is required for the process to work!</p>
<p>If your oven is on, meaning it is lit, how are they any fumes? There shouldn't be any, maybe you have a gas leak? This sounds dangerous. Better get your oven checked. Soon.</p>
<p>I see your post is old but you shouldn't vent your oven, a constant temp is important!</p>
Why do some recipes call for ever clear during decatboxylizing and some do not? WHICH is the better method?
<p>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</p>
<p>Hey I was wondering if I sprayed the everclear on before baking the flower @ the 240 did I ruin the process?</p>
<p>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?</p>
Is there an easier way to decarb so I can make butter and corn syrup
Like to where is doesn't smell as bad. Can I do it while cooking the oil?
<p>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</p>
<p>think you're confusing decarbing for edibles versus making qwet </p>
Probably are... Even when making qwet you are better off decarbing first
Oh OK! Thx....have bought a few books and done some research. Got great results w/o the spray on :)
<p>I make lemon drop hard candies from keif. Is Decarbing necessary? The ingredients are boiled for approx. 5-7 mins at about 300 F.</p>
<p>Hi, If I'm using the NOVA machine what do I do next to make the tincture using glycerin not alcohol or everclear. thanks!</p>
<p>that all sounds great. Its illegal here so it hard to get the right stuff unless you get a prescription. </p>
That's what the dark net is for. :)
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.
<p>you can use 91% or better isopropyl alcohol instead!</p>
<p>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)!</p>
<p>The isopropyl has to be fully evaporated afterward it's done it job</p>
<p>you can use 91% or better isopropyl alcohol instead!</p>
<p>Wouldn't decarb happen when I'm boiling my coconut oil/water/bud mix for over 3 hrs at 212℉?</p>
<p>The water may inhibit decar</p>
<p>Cant we simply place the leaves+buds directly onto the tray instead of the parchment paper?</p><p>I have difficulty sourcing the paper. :(</p>
<p>You can use the bare tray, foil or whatever you'd like. </p>
I wondered same thing...did u ever find out?
<p>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</p>
<p>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.</p>
I'm wondering how you decarb? I know the oven but it there another way that doesn't smell as strong?
<p>Look in the same place you find aluminum foil in the grocery store.</p>
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
I'm so confused. I looked up how to dehydrate but some say you can do it with out a strong smell. Can someone please let me know how they did it besides the oven. Thanks
<p>If our weed is already completely dry, do we still need to put it in the oven?</p>
<p>Yes. The heat will activate the THC, just drying does not activate. When you smoke it the flame activates it, when you cook with it you still need that heat to activate.</p>
Can someone buy a 1/2 gram of harlequin from a dispensary and make tinctures out of it?
<p>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 </p>
Great write up, thank you!. Just a heads up, whenever you carboxylize your buds, you must always seal it airtight, or your cannabis will vaporize and you will lose those precious cannabinoids.
<p>You won't taste most of those cannabinoids after making your tincture. THC is what you're really after!</p>
<p>damn straight I realised that only after I wasted a few batches..... Well not wasted but they could have been better!</p>

About This Instructable




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 »
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