How to Decarboxylate Cannabis
Introduction: How to Decarboxylate Cannabis
If you’re wanting to make edibles or tinctures from cannabis, decarboxylation is a crucial step! Decarbing the cannabis you use in medibles and tinctures will make them safer and more effective.
Decarboxylation happens very slowly when cannabis is cured, but we can use an oven to speed up and complete the process. Decarbing your cannabis allows you to convert the THCA found in your dried buds and trim to THC. This will allow your medibles and tinctures to be more potent and take effect more quickly. Decarbing most often occurs when cannabis is smoked, so this process doesn’t have an opportunity to occur when making butters, oils and tinctures – you have to do it beforehand!
Beyond turning the THCA found in cannabis to THC, decarboxylation also has one other awesome benefit: lowering the risk of botulism in your medibles. If you don’t properly decarb your cannabis, the moisture from it can cause botulism bacteria to grow in your tinctures, butters or oils. And I’m assuming you probably don’t want that on top of why you’re medicating with cannabis already. 😉
For more information on decarboxylation and also a nice scientific experiment, I recommend reading this article.
In this instructable I’ll cover how we choose to decarboxylate cannabis – there are loads of ways to do it, but this is our preferred method.
Step 1: Tools + Materials
To do this you’ll need:
- an oven set to 220 F/105 C
- a baking sheet
- parchment paper
- sugar leaf trim, ground bud, or kief
If using sugar leaves or kief, no other processing is necessary. If you’re using full buds, grind them roughly before proceeding. You want things to be broken down well so the cannabis releases all the moisture it’s holding.
Today I’m decarboxylating 40 g of Doctor Who trim – we’re going to turn it into coconut canna oil.
Step 2: Prep
Preheat the oven to 220 F / 105 C.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet and spread your cannabis out over it. If you see any large pieces, break them up with your hands.
If you have more cannabis than will fit nicely on one sheet, divide it in half. You just want one fairly thin layer. If you crowd it it will not dry out properly.
Step 3: Decarboxylate
Place the baking sheet in the oven and let it hang out for 25 minutes.
For well dried trim, kief, and bud this should be long enough. However, if the cannabis you’re using is more fresh you may want to take it an additional 25 minutes.
A hygrometer can be useful for double checking to see how much moisture is left, too – just put the cannabis in a closed jar or bag with it.
Once the cannabis is nice and dry, let it sit out on the counter until it’s entirely cooled. Now you can use it for whatever medible application you’d like!
How to Decarboxylate Cannabis: If you're wanting to make edibles or tinctures from cannabis, decarboxylation is a crucial step! Decarbing the cannabis you use in medibles and tinctures will make them safer and more effective.Decarboxylation happens very slowly when cannabis is cu…
11 EASY Ways to Use Decarbed Cannabis
Once you’ve learned how to decarb weed and your bud is ready, the sky’s the limit with what you can do. If you are decarbing with FX or Nova, you’re getting a fully activated product – meaning a more accurate and potent dosage.
Here’s a short list of some of our favorite easy post-decarb fixes. Feel free to share your own in the comments below.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Instant Edible Capsules
For people that use medical marijuana, capsules are a lifesaver. They’re discreet, effective, and fit into your daily routine better than smoking, vaping, or eating extra calories via edibles. You can use them to help with chronic pain, sleep issues, anxiety, headaches, and so much more.
Pairing cannabis with other vitamins and nutraceuticals is a great way to enhance its benefits and create personalized medicine tailored for optimal health and wellness.
Just use your favorite decarbed strain and place into the capsules to create an instant and complete therapy. You can also add vitamins, oils or other supplements to your caps for enhanced benefits.
Some of our favorite formulations include:
- Fish oil and melatonin – best paired with decarbed indica for sleep
- Coconut oil and b-12 vitamin – best paired with a decarbed sativa for energy
Use empty capsules, available online or in-store at vitamin shops, to create the perfect blend for your needs. To make dry herb capsules, simply put your decarbed weed right into the capsule. Yes, that’s right – just decarb your cannabis in Nova or FX and then you can make your capsules with no infusion or additional processing!
You can add other vitamin or supplement powders into the capsule for an extra nutritional boost. For oil-based capsules, create canna oil with any oil of your choice and use a syringe to fill the capsules. Last thing you need to do is close them up and you’re done!
2. Facial Toner
Did you know that after proper decarboxylation you can make a simple tincture with rubbing alcohol that has powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties?
Studies using cannabis to maintain skin health show promise:
“Our preclinical data encourage one to explore whether endocannabinoid system-acting agents can be exploited in the management of common skin disorders,”
Use it just like you would any other toner with a cotton ball or pad for a quick cleanse.
You can make an effective facial toner for acne treatment with just rubbing alcohol and bud decarbed in Nova or FX.
- Put 1 gram of decarbed flower into a small jar
- Fill with rubbing alcohol
- Shake it
- Apply it with a cotton ball
Both THC and CBD have regenerative a great anti-inflammatory properties and the rubbing alcohol makes the solution anti-bacterial and perfect for acne treatment. If you are sensitive to alcohol, try using infused propylene glycol as an addition to your regular toner to get the benefits alcohol-free.
3. Pain Salve
Cannabis infused topicals are known to have anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing and regenerative properties that can be used for joint pains and minor skin issues.
Making a cannabis pain salve at home is easy and once you start using it, you will make it be a permanent part of your medicine cabinet. There are almost endless ways to prepare cannabis infused salve at home. It can be as easy as infusing coconut oil and then mixing with your favorite pain cream. It’s also very simple to make cannabis pain salve from scratch.
- Decarb your cannabis and make infused coconut oil
- Add 5 parts infused oil to 1 part beeswax in the FX or Nova and melt.
- Stir and cool the mixture and your salve is ready!
Once it has hardened, it’s ready to use for chronic or acute localized pain from arthritis, sore muscles, and tension. Immediate relief without psychoactive effects is one of the main draws of using cannabis-infused pain salve.
4. Medicated Massage Oil
Take your massage to the next level by incorporating weed-infused coconut oil.
Here’s how to make your own:
- 10 drops sandalwood
- 5 drops juniper
- 4 ylang ylang
- 2 drops lavender
- 4 oz. infused coconut oil
Mix all ingredients in FX or Nova until fully heated and blended. Cool and pour into a squeeze bottle. Use to soothe and inspire during your next massage.
5. Protein Shake
Decarbed bud makes a great addition to smoothies and shakes and can be a part of your healthiest snacks! You can add your decarboxylated flower right into the smoothie or add a tablespoon (or less) of infused coconut oil for an extra creamy drink. Many athletes report increased focus and endurance with the addition of THC or CBD to their regimen Follow our cannabis shake infused recipe below for yourself:
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 2 cups ice
- 4 oz vanilla unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 banana
- 1 – 2 tbsp organic peanut butter
- .2g – 5g of decarbed flower
You can also try a little in your post-workout protein shake to reduce inflammation and aid your recovery.
6. Kief Infused Hot Cocoa
Decarbed kief and concentrate are a great addition to infused marijuana beverages, especially if you are looking for a potent dose. Try our hot cocoa recipe for decarbed kief. If you are not familiar with kief, it is the sticky, pollen-like substance on your bud, known as the trichomes. Since the trichomes contain all of the cannabinoids, kief is a more potent concentrate than bud. You’ll only need a little bit in your hot cocoa and it’s better to start with a small dose than to overdo it and potentially end up with an unenjoyable high.
To make kief hot cocoa:
- Decarb your kief in FX or Nova. Our Concentrate & Infusion Sleeves make this step extra easy
- Mix the decarbed kief with your hot cocoa (add a drop or two of coconut or MCT oil if you have trouble feeling edibles, not needed for most people)
Be aware that kief is usually over 40% THC, so in one gram of kief, there’s over 400 mg of THC. Therefore be very careful when you are using kief and concentrate, which averages over 70% THC (700mg per gram) in your edible creations 😮
7. Easily Make Tinctures
Tinctures and marijuana-infused alcohol are both a great way to discreetly consume cannabis. They can be eaten like a regular edible or administered sublingually (under the tongue) for a much quicker uptake than traditional edibles.
In addition, tinctures are very easy to make, simple to dose, and have a long shelf life if stored properly. Making them popular with both recreational and medical marijuana users. Especially those that prefer not to partake in the various ways to smoke weed due to the health risk and micro-dosers who prefer small, controlled doses.
Check out our guide to making CBG tinctures with Everclear alcohol, and learn more about vegetable glycerin tinctures.
Cannacream and cannamilk can be a great traditional oil or cannabutter alternative. They can be used for cooking, added to your morning coffee, smoothies, shakes, and any other recipe you use that adds dairy.
The process of making cannamilk and cannacream is identical to making cannabutter and canna oil, but because they contain less fat, they aren’t as effective at extracting the cannabinoids like THC and CBD. That being said, they can add even more variation to the types of food you can make into an edible. Learn more about infusion rates for cannamilk and cannacream in our tutorial, complete with testing results.
We promise, your morning cereal and coffee will never be the same!
9. Cannabutter & Cannaoil
Do you have to decarb weed for edibles? Well, decarbing is a must when making cannabutter or cannaoil. You will not have a well-activated oil without decarbing your cannabis first, which means that you’ll be missing out on valuable THC or CBD. We tested how long to infuse weed and found that infusions for 45 minutes, an hour, or three hours all had excellent extraction rates, so you have flexibility there based on personal preference.
Cannabutter and cannaoil are used to make a variety of edibles, everything from brownies to salad dressing and sauteed veggies. You can control the potency of your infusions by increasing or decreasing the amount of cannabis you use in your infusions. If you want to know more about this, here’s how to infuse cannabinoids for the best results.
10. Cannabis Infused Tea
Cannabis tea is growing in popularity and is very simple to make. Two of the most popular ways:
- Add infused coconut or MCT oil to your tea after brewing
- Use the flower left over after your infusion (called raffinate, this “leftover” has plenty of cannabinoids still available – perfect for steeping in tea), place the raffinate and loose leaf tea into a tea bag, steep and enjoy.
11. Eating Decarbed Weed
Can you eat decarbed weed? Yes! You can actually just eat your cannabis after it’s been through the decarboxylation process with no further processing. Because precision activation gives you an average of 100 -250 mg THC per gram, depending on the potency of your starting flower, you can take just a small amount of your decarbed cannabis and put it right into your food. Once your weed is activated, you can literally do anything with it and you will feel the effects – including eating it plain or sprinkling it on whatever food you’re craving!
Which is your favorite way to use decarbed weed? Are there any uses we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
What can you do with decarbed weed? Once you decarb your bud, the sky's the limit! Here are 11 ways to use decarbed cannabis edibles & more