When you are using cannabis, decarboxylation is vital, but it is often misunderstood. After years of not being allowed in different areas, there is now inaccurate, incomplete, and wrong information about decarboxylation. And, of course, once there is some misinformation, it can quickly spread through the weed community. It hurts both the cannabis movement and those who take it for medical reasons.
The decarboxylation process involves atmosphere, time, and temperature. The goal is to completely activate the weed’s THC, so you can make sure that it is as potent as possible. However, it doesn’t just involve lighting your weed on fire or sticking it in your oven for a while. To fully activate the THC without destroying the cannabis, you need to be a bit more precise. When you do it right, you will get more out of the cannabis, and you will be able to use it in many more ways.
Myth: You Need to Treat Fresh Bud Differently
You might think that your fresh bud will not decarb since you have to get the moisture out or that it has to decarb at different rates. Or you might think that the curing process itself can decarb your bud.
But with the right conditions, you can decarb even the freshest of bud. It is a perfect method for preserving the terpenes. Think of the difference between fresh and dried materials. When you control the setting, it will take the same amount of time to decarb your fresh bud as it will with cured bud. Plus, the curing process does not fully activate the THC in the cannabis.
When cannabis is cured, usually no more than 1 percent of the THC is decarbed. The average range is around 0 to 6 percent of the total THC. If you do not store your cannabis properly, such as in a clear glass jar and expose it to light, then it might become a bit more decarbed. However, then the plant will become more degraded. But even if you put it in direct sunlight, the decarbing process will not be complete. Whether you have cured or fresh bud, you need to decarb it, so it can become more bioavailable and active. You can use the same process for fresh and cured buds.
Myth: You Can Only Decarb It a Certain Amount
Some people believe that you can only decarb your bud by 70 percent before the THC starts to be destroyed. This is a highly inaccurate and very widely promoted myth from the early ’90s. Now, researchers know more about the chemical reactions that go on during the decarb process and how to make it be efficient.
Myth: Flower and Concentrate Decarboxylation Are Different
You might not have realized that concentrates that you can get professionally are not decarboxylated. You should activate them before you use them topically or ingest them. The conditions that you decarb your flower at also apply to when you are doing concentrates. A BHO extract might become a bit more concentrated when you decarb it. This is most likely because some of the moisture and residual solvents evaporate during the process.
As with properly stored and cured bud, a concentrate that has been properly purged and prepared will not have undergone very much decarbing. Less than 5 percent of the THC will have been decarbed.
Myth: You Have to Grind Weed Before Decarbing
Some people think that they have to grind up the cannabis to make the heating process more even and to prevent fluctuations in the temperature when they use the oven to decarb. But you might actually want to avoid grinding up the weed before you decarb it. You can actually extend the shelf life if you leave the trichomes in the weed intact.
Myth: You Need to Have Alcohol or Fats for Weed
In certain situations, you might want to have fats or alcohol to administer and prepare your cannabis. However, many people overemphasize how much you need to use fat or alcohol, and that can cause users to spend a long time preparing the perfect blend.
This myth is based on reality, but people often make too much of it. Cannabis is soluble in alcohol and fat. But it is not soluble in water. This means that you can’t seamlessly mix and bind your THC to something that only has water in it.
Unfortunately, this reality has been taken to mean that you won’t get an effective mix unless you extract it to oils and butters or use it with a base of alcohol. This often results in a time-consuming and complicated process. But if you are a medical cannabis user, you can still see the same potential advantages if you activate your flowers and just use them directly. Plus, it can help prevent waste.
Directly infusing and activating your cannabis will give you more options on the way that you can use your cannabis. Plus, it lets you get a more accurate dosage. Just mix your cannabis with a bit of fat, such as butter, olive oil, or coconut oil. When you mix them with the active cannabinoids, your oil can help your body to better absorb it, or it can be used as a topical. But you don’t need to spend hours infusing the butter or oil if you don’t want to.
What to Do with Weed After Decarbing
Now that you know a bit more about the process, it is time to learn how to use your newly activated cannabis. When you do it right, the flower is completely activated. That means that you can use it for:
There are a lot of myths out there about what the decarbing process involves. Knowing the truth about the process will help you have a better smoking experience. Once your weed has been decarboxylated, you can do many things with it.