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.

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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!

1 Person Made This Project!

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136 Discussions

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ZaneIves

4 weeks ago

hello. I’m researching this for my friends mum. She has starting taking cbd oil for her cancer but her bone cancer hasn’t improved. I’m going to make my own oil for her as it would appear Cbd will produce homeostasis but thc actually instructs cancer to destroy itself. In the uk cbd oil is only available thc free. May I ask how much you dose yourself. I’m struggling with this part. For example if I derived 5ml of oil from 100g how often would she need to take this?
Thank you for any help that may come my way. Keep strong.

1 reply
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MonicaS149ZaneIves

Reply 15 days ago

Watch “The Rick Simpson Story: Run From The Cure” on YouTube. You can order his book if you like but there are several videos on YouTube that show how to make Rick Simpson Oil, also known as Phoenix tears. It is known to cure most disease. You may also look into aluminum-free baking soda, budwig diet, ESSIAC tea, Chris Beat Cancer, or even Gerson Clinic in Mexico. GcMaf is amazing too. (Amanda Mary Jewell from Healing Oracle website. Eat alkaline, no meat, esp red meat, eat only organic mostly raw fruits & veggies, all colours. Most cancer is curable naturally with proper research, over 90%, I like chemo & radiation that destroy the body.

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heyitsme333

Question 19 days ago

I'm making tincture with raw bud. I'm thinking i want a cbd rich batch for using before sleep. So not decarboxylating may be the thing to do. Whadya think?

1 answer
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heyitsme333heyitsme333

Answer 19 days ago

Also, if I want to decab it later, could i heat the vodka to the point where decarbing occurs??

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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?

8 replies
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heyitsme333brownsarah

Reply 19 days ago

Cooking the butter or coconut oil sure does do the trick. The proof is in the pudding. Taste and see that the herb is good!! I just threw some old bud in a soup and got whalloped for a number of hours. Mighta been a lot of cbn in it. Dunno.

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JackOfHeartsSRLbrownsarah

Reply 2 years 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 1 year 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.

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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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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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Booboogin

3 years ago

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

5 replies
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jonesey0423Booboogin

Reply 2 years ago

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). :) :) :)

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ZaneIvesjonesey0423

Reply 4 weeks ago

Hello. That’s fantastic news regarding the cancer. I’m researching this for my friends mum. She has starting taking cbd oil for her cancer but her bone cancer hasn’t improved. I’m going to make my own oil for her as it would appear Cbd will produce homeostasis but thc actually instructs cancer to destroy itself. In the uk cbd oil is only available thc free. May I ask how much you dose yourself. I’m struggling with this part. For example if I derived 5ml of oil from 100g how often would she need to take this?
Thank you for any help that may come my way. Keep strong.

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None
LucasW31Booboogin

Reply 3 years ago

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