Cannabis decarboxylation is a vital part of the process for preparing the plant material or extracts of the material for consumption. If you choose not to put the cannabis through the decarb before you infuse, the primary therapeutic chemical compounds of that plant won’t become active, including CBD or cannabidiol and THC or (delta 9) tetrahydrocannabinol, the two primary cannabinoids.
When the process is done correctly, it carries many variables based on the plant material, equipment used, the method for Decarboxylation, and the preference for infusion. If you want to do the process adequately, there are specific steps most people follow. Let’s check these out.
Steps For Decarboxylating Cannabis
In order to prepare a cannabis plant or its extracts for consumption, decarboxylation is an essential part of that process. Not doing this step prior to infusion means the primary therapeutic cannabinoids of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-delta 9) won’t activate.
There are variables depending on the material for doing the process adequately and specific steps to follow to do so. Let’s read about the most advantageous way to decarb cannabis.
Activating CBD and THC
Cannabis buds in their raw form carry a high level of acidic non-intoxicating chemical compounds with two cannabinoids as primary therapeutic elements – CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) and THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid).
The indication is that THC concentrations on cannabis packaging typically represent both THC and THCA. CBDA and THCA indeed offer health benefits on their own, but these need activating with the decarb process to transform into the “parent” chemical components of CBD and THC.
That can occur either through heat, light exposure, or oxidation, making it essential to learn how to follow the process, though the suggestion is it might not always be necessary. Learn about cannabis decarboxylation at https://www.cnbs.org/cannabis-101/cannabis-decarboxylation/.
It’s not always necessary to decarboxylate
The indication is that CBDA and THCA are increasingly grown as alternatives to CBD and THC for numerous and varied reasons. Studies in science indicate these alternatives offer their own set of health benefits without worrying about the psychotic effects of THC. Some of the benefits of THCA and CBDA:
Of course, more research is necessary relating to the effects of raw cannabis consumption; users have found innovative ways to use the plant’s materials into salads, juices, various smoothies, and an assortment of other beverages and foods.
The material consistency is important when attempting to decarb
Whether you finely grind the cannabis will not ensure a better outcome when producing oil or butter. The act of grinding will break the weed apart, so when it comes time to make the end infusion, unwanted compounds are more readily introduced into the mix.
That means excess plant matter showing up in your edibles will give you much more of a grassy and bitter taste. Instead of grinding to a fine matter, many users choose to “crumble” the material simply with their hands or use a grinder to get a much coarser grind.
The indication is in some cases; the buds can be left whole when using a unique decarb that heats the plant evenly without inhibiting the concentration of trichomes.
The right temperature
The optimal temperature for the decarb process takes trial and error. You want to use a low temperature for cannabis for a prolonged period. In that way, you achieve the process without harming the chemical compounds at high temperatures.
The entire process can take roughly 20 minutes for up to an hour with an oven temperature at approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s recommended to study varied chemical compound boiling points and explore different temperatures and times until the process is proper for you.
Heating is one of the most efficient and effective decarboxylation techniques. Conventionally, the plant is smoked as the primary consumption method. That automatically will decarb the oils in the plant.
You can accomplish the same effect with a vaporizer of the dry herb. At home, there are many methods for achieving these effects. Some commons methods you can research for the techniques:
- On a baking sheet in the oven
- Heat, light, oxidation for natural decarb
- Mason jar in the oven
- Sous Vide
You can find each of these methods online with easy step-by-step instructions. Again heating in the oven and time is sort of an experimental process until you get the cannabis the way you feel is adequate. Go here for guidance on why CBD decarboxylation is important.
Some people are enjoying raw weed in many different foods and beverages because they realize that THCA and CBDA have therapeutic benefits on their own without offering intoxicating side effects making the decarboxylation process unnecessary in those instances.
Otherwise, if you want the effects of the parent compounds of THC (with its psychotic effects) and CBD, decarb is a necessary part of the process before you can consume.