How to Decarboxylate Cannabis

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About: 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 you useful skills that you can use to grow, process, and medi...

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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123 Discussions

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Envernie

2 years ago

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

3 replies
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brainiakdumdumEnvernie

Reply 1 year ago

LSD and psilocybin has clinically been shown to reduce cluster headaches and some forms of neuralgic and neuropathic pains, as well as some psychosomatic pain, psilocybin has been linked to lowered frequency of migraines.

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RogerW98brainiakdumdum

Reply 17 days ago

That's micro-dosing and only LSD is used. And it is only used for cluster headaches.
They are trying to use micro-dosing with kids who are autistic or have ADD or other
similar disorders. I myself believe it should be used by everyone. Depression,
panic, anxiety, paranoia, I believe using LSD in a very structured environment that
will allow those who have these problems to experience this high in a protective,
peaceful, non-aggressive habitat, with both music and art to allow the patient
to be a little more open to other people. It really should be used in a small group
of people in the same place, same dose and same exposure to outer surroundings.

Is it a cure? I don't think so, but it will open up those who have shut down because they can't handle the emotions from the outside world.

Using psychoactive drugs in outpatient treatment rooms can have a big impact
on how those who could not interact with other people.

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jonesey0423Envernie

Reply 1 year ago

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

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brownsarah

2 years ago

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?

7 replies
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JackOfHeartsSRLbrownsarah

Reply 1 year ago

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.

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ClanManJackOfHeartsSRL

Reply 5 weeks ago

Max oven temp to decarb varies on who you ask but 220F - 240F or 105C to 115C is the temp you want for 30 - 60 mins depending on dried or fresh material.

Butter
is an emulsion of fat in water - thus boliling starts at about 100 deg
C. As it is not pure water, but solution of proteins, salts and
hydrocarbons its boiling point will be higher thus 110-120 deg C

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brainiakdumdumbrownsarah

Reply 1 year ago

Because the process is slowed by being suspended in a medium rather than heat being applied directly to the surface area of the solids.

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Kimi0925brownsarah

Reply 1 year ago

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.

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G-Nasty brownsarah

Reply 1 year ago

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.

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rustymemories1653

Question 2 months ago

for single use servings would it not be possible to decarb by roasting with a torch but not burning the plant matter by moving the flame around?

1 more answer
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ClanManrustymemories1653

Answer 5 weeks ago

If you use a flame to heat the product you will end up releasing the THC into the air instead of converting it within the plant. This what happens when you vape, heats up without burning, unless you set your vape in high then it produces smoke.

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JannaKinzie

8 weeks ago on Introduction

I tried to download this process but it said it was of invalid format

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Lisa bolin

Question 8 months ago on Step 1

Hi there! I did everything I was supposed to do and my canna honey is in effective. Can I do anything to fix it? I followed every instruction I don’t know what I did wrong?

2 more answers
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fertgalLisa bolin

Answer 2 months ago

Canna Honey? THC is soluble in oil and alcohol, so your decarboxylated product then goes into coconut oil, butter or alcohol - then it is used for edibles. If you put it straight into honey it won't be working well

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BronsonMMillerLisa bolin

Answer 7 months ago

Yes, this instructable is absolutely terrible! You can fix it by doing it again. At only 220 it would take at least an hour to decarb. It's not a matter of just drying the bud out, it's a matter of releasing the carbon from the THC. The best way is arguably to do it at 240 for 30 minutes but it takes at least an hour at 220.

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JosieE5

4 months ago

Well that worked out great, easy instructions for an Old, Blonde Canadian Eh ! LOL

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Apple41217

10 months ago

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