What Does “Decarb” Mean?

To decarb your weed is to decarboxylate, or heat-activate it. Freshly harvested or raw cannabis contains only a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, but is high in tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, THCA. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that provides us our ‘high’, while THCA has other appealing features, though will not intoxicate the user in any way. The process of decarbing will convert the THCA in cannabis to THC quickly. This happens usually through the drying process, though much more slowly.

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Raw cannabis needs to be decarbed, or heat- activated, to transform THCA into THC.

Why Decarb?

If you want to make edibles or extract that Mary Jane into butter or coconut oil, decarbing your weed is an essential, but simple step to ensure you maximize the potency of your product. When you decarb your cannabis flower, you are essentially ‘activating’ the THC just as a vaporizer is designed to do. If you toss a bunch of weed into your brownie mix without decarbing it, you are missing out on most of the THC goodness provided by edibles. Only cannabis flower or trim needs to be decarbed. You do not need to decarb concentrates or ABV (already been vaped) weed before using them, they are also ‘activated’.

decarb cookies
You must decarb your bud before extracting or cooking with it. Image Source: bloomwellbend.com

How Do I Decarb?

There are a few items from around the house you’ll need to gather:

  • The best bud you can find. You can use kief too! As always, the higher quality flower, the higher quality high you can expect! Grind it very finely.
  • A baking tray
  • Tin foil
  • Parchment paper

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How to decarb weed
All the items you need to decarb can be found in most kitchens, even yours! We recommend using parchment paper to prevent burning. Image source: thestonerscookbook.com

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 225F (110C). There is a lot of varying information out there about decarb times and temperatures. Experiment! Remember that a lower temperature will assist in retaining terpenes and flavor, and reduce the risk of burning.
  2. Cover the baking tray with parchment paper and lay your finely ground weed out over the parchment. Large or small quantities are fine, but lay your weed out evenly. If this is your first try decarbing or making edibles, check this quick and simple recipe for whipping up some very potent cannaoil using coconut oil.
  3. Thoroughly cover the baking tray with foil to retain vapor and flavor.
  4. Get that tray in the oven. At 225F, leave the weed in there for 50 minutes. Many people like 250F for 30 minutes as a faster decarb time, some people like to retain more flavor at a lower heat, such as 200F for 75 minutes. SET A TIMER STONERS!
  5. When your time is up, pull the baking tray out of the oven and leave to cool. You cannabis will be lightly toasted, and your kitchen will smell of ready-to-digest roasted cannabis.

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Decarbed and ready to either extract or eat. Image Source: a1b2c3.com

 

Looking for some great recipes to use your decarbed weed in? Check out these 7 gourmet cannabis recipes and 19 unexpected edibles for some inspiration!