What Does “Decarb” Mean?

To decarboxylate, or ‘decarb’, a component is to heat-activate it. Freshly harvested or raw plants contain only a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, but are high in tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, THCA. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, while THCA has other appealing features such as pain relief, but unlike THC, will not intoxicate the user in any way. The process of decarbing converts THCA to THC quickly. Decarbing typically occurs through a weeks-long drying process.

Pro-Tip: You can decarb herbs manually or use a machine, such as Magical Butter Machine to do it for you!

Image result for magical butter

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

Why Decarb?

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

decarb cookies
You must decarb your herb 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 herb you can find. Be sure to use all your resources, don’t leave anything behind! As always, the higher quality herbs, the higher quality decarb you can expect!
    • Grind very finely

You will also need:

  • A baking tray
  • Tin foil
  • Parchment paper

How to decarb in 5 simple steps
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

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Decarb in 5 Simple Steps:


  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 herb out over the parchment. Large or small quantities are fine, but lay it out evenly. If this is your first try decarbing, check this quick and simple recipe for whipping up some very potent oil using coconuts.
  3. Thoroughly cover the baking tray with foil to retain vapor and flavor.
  4. Get that tray in the oven. At 225F, leave it 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. Whatever you prefer, SET A TIMER!
  5. When your time is up, pull the baking tray out of the oven and leave to cool. Your herb will be lightly toasted, and your kitchen will smell of ready-to-digest roasted goodness.

decarb in 5 simple steps
Decarbed and ready to either extract or eat. Image Source: a1b2c3.com

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