Have you ever wondered what the science behind getting high is?
Why doesn’t raw cannabis get you high?
At which point does the magic happen?
If you’re new to exploring cannabis, it goes without saying you’ll seek answers to the above questions sooner or later.
It’s all about decarboxylation.
Activating the cannabinoids in weed requires some science, but contrary to the term “decarboxylation”, this science is pretty simple and fun.
It’s the weed science after all!
In this article, you’ll learn everything about decarboxylation — in a nutshell.
Let’s get down to this, shall we?
Why Do People Decarb Weed?
The number one reason why people decarb weed is because it activates the cannabinoids in the plant.
Without decarboxylation, the ingredients of your weed are in standby mode.
As the name suggests, decarboxylating means removing a carboxyl group from a chemical compound using heat.
A carboxyl group is the extra carbon link that binds to THC and CBD. It prevents these compounds from interacting with the endocannabinoid system in your body.
That’s why raw, unheated weed won’t get you high or provide any of the cannabinoids’ effects no matter how hard you try.
When you heat the weed (in a vaporizer or joint), the decarboxylation process removes that extra link and allows THC and CBD to interact with cannabinoid receptors, resulting in a psychoactive experience if your weed is rich in THC, or totally sober relaxation and symptom relief if you have a high-CBD strain.
But the right decarboxylation is very far from smoking the herb. In fact, when you smoke weed, the temperature is too high and only a certain percentage of the smoked material releases cannabinoids and terpenes to your lungs. The rest gets destroyed upon combustion.
Decarboxylating weed should take place in the oven and without breaching certain temperatures (more on that later). With decarbed weed, you can make your own cannabis edibles or tinctures — the two most beneficial products for medical cannabis users.
The Difference Between Raw And Decarbed Weed
Raw cannabis is exactly what it sounds like: weed that hasn’t gone through the decarboxylation process, either with heat or dry-aging.
This means that THC and CBD remain in their inactive forms — THCA and CBDA — and thus aren’t capable of producing any of their effects.
Nevertheless, raw cannabis comes with plenty of health benefits, too.
In their inactive (acidic) form, THCA and CBDA show remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. On top of that, raw cannabis is packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins, trace minerals, and micronutrients.
You can use raw weed to supplement yourself with THCA and CBDA — using oils, pastes, etc. — or apply them topically as creams or heating rubs.
When taken orally, raw cannabis allows you to benefit from its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can also improve your immune function, neural performance, and fix digestive issues.
How to Decarb Weed in 4 Simple Steps
Now that you know why it’s important to decarb weed, it’s time to act.
Use this simple guide and you’ll be all good with your very first decarboxylation attempt.
The general rule is to decarb weed slowly and at low temperature; in this case, less is definitely more.
By keeping the temperature relatively law inside the oven, you’re saving plenty of cannabinoids and terpenes inside the plant. Proper decarboxylation results in potent weed that is full of therapeutic qualities and herbal fragrances.
You can play with the temperatures to maximize the decarbed content, but be careful each time you’re about to increase the heat because otherwise, you may burn it and lose cannabinoids and terpenes.
Here’s how to decarb weed in 4 easy steps:
1. Bring the Equipment
In order to decarb weed, you’re going to need the following supplies:
- At least ½ oz of cannabis
- A regular baking pan
- Aluminum foil
- An oven
2. Grind the Weed And Spread It Out on the Baking Tray
Get your baking tray and coat the surface with aluminum foil.
Then, use a weed grinder to grind up your weed flowers into small pieces. You might be tempted to grind it into a fine powder, but don’t do this, as it will make your weed burn faster and degrade as a result.
Once done, spread the weed out evenly on the tray. You want to end up with a thin layer of cannabis with as few clumps as possible.
Keep in mind not to overcrowd the pan — your weed needs some space to breathe.
3. Transfer the Weed to the Oven
Before you start baking the weed, please note that decarboxylation will fill your entire house (and probably the nearest terrain) with the pungent aroma of freshly baked marijuana.
That’s because of the evaporation of the terpenes — the aromatic molecules in cannabis.
Decarboxylation is anything but low-profile, so make sure you keep your house well ventilated and as soon as you’re done decarbing the weed, air the whole space out.
Preheat the oven to 240 F. Since you’re using ½ oz of weed, you should bak it there for about 40 minutes, stirring the weed every 10 minutes to make sure it gets evenly decarboxylated.
The “end product” should have a light to medium brown color.
4. Let It Sit In Room Temperature for A Bit
Now that your weed has a nice golden-brown hue and gives off a pungent aroma, you need to let it cool for a while. From there, you can now make your own cannabis products.
Speaking of which…
What Can I Do With Decarboxylated Weed?
Decarbed weed has many applications.
For instance, if you have a sweet tooth, you can bake some mouthwatering edibles to spice up your desserts or cook some killer savory dishes.
Or, if you’re interested in the beautifying properties of cannabis, you can experiment with different weed topicals, such as salves, pain creams, healing rubs, balms, and lotions.
Finally, there are weed-infused tinctures you can use to make your medical experience as smooth as possible; tinctures prove helpful for fighting inflammation and an array of illnesses.
Do you decarb weed? What do you usually do with your decarboxylated stash? Let us know in the comments below!