Decarboxylation Guide: How to Correctly Decarb Cannabis
March 01, 20234 min read
If you're looking to properly decarb weed you've come to the right place. In this guide we'll cover everything you need to know about decarboxylation including how it works, why it's necessary for edibles and at what temperature it occurs. We'll also provide you with a handy decarboxylation temperature chart and step-by-step instructions on how to decarb weed with our decarb machine. Plus, we'll answer the age-old question: can you decarb weed in a microwave?
But first, let's start with the basics. What is decarboxylation, exactly? Essentially, it's a process that converts the non psychoactive THCA found in raw cannabis into the psychoactive THC that gets you high. This is achieved by removing an extra carboxyl ring from the THCA molecule through the application of heat. Whether youre using a flame, an atomizer, a torch or our decarb machine, the goal is the same: activate those psychoactive compounds so that you can enjoy the full effects of your cannabis. So without further ado, let's dive into the wonderful world of decarboxylation!
How does decarboxylation exactly work?
Decarboxylation is primarily triggered by heat but it can also occur naturally over time. When you smoke or vaporize weed, the high temperatures instantly decarboxylate the compounds in the plant making them readily available for your body to absorb. Additionally, some decarboxylation can occur during the drying and curing process that takes place after harvesting a homegrow.
However, its important to note that oxygen can also contribute to the decarboxylation process which can lead to a loss of freshness and potency over time. To slow down this process it's recommended to store your weed or weed products in an air-tight container. This will help to maintain the quality and potency of your cannabis so that you can enjoy it to the fullest extent possible.
Why decarboxylation is necessary for edibles
To experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis, decarboxylation is a necessary step in all cannabis products. While smoking or vaping involves heating the plant material, edibles require a separate decarboxylation process to activate the THC in the cannabis.
Typically, when making edibles buds are heated in a decarbing machine first to trigger decarboxylation. The heated buds are then infused into a medium such as butter or oil which can be used to make various cannabis-infused edibles like brownies, cookies & gummies.
Decarboxylating the buds before infusion is essential to activate the THC so that it can be carried into the infusion and ultimately into the final product. Without this step, the edibles would lack the psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis consumption.
What temperature does decarboxylation occur?
Decarboxylation of cannabis typically occurs within a temperature range of 200-245ºF. For making edibles, we recommend heating the buds at a lower temperature of 220ºF for 30-40 minutes.
When decarboxylating for edibles it is crucial to use a lower temperature for a longer duration to preserve the cannabinoids and terpenes during infusion. Terpenes are volatile and can evaporate at high temperatures, leaving behind unpleasant flavours and aromas.
Heating cannabis at temperatures exceeding 300ºF can destroy valuable cannabinoids and terpenes rendering the flower useless for infusing into butter, oil or other mediums.
Decarboxylation temperature chart
This chart depicts the rate at which THCA converts to THC and CBDA to CBD under varying temperatures, as reported in a 2016 study.
Time (in minutes)
If weed is decarboxylated for an excessive amount of time or at a high temperature, it can lead to the loss of valuable cannabinoids and terpenes, causing the weed to become ineffective.
It is recommended to grind the weed before decarboxylation as well. This increases the surface area of the weed and ensures a consistent texture resulting in even decarboxylation of all parts of the weed.
Can you decarb in an oven or microwave?
For consistent and precise results we do not recommended to decarboxylate weed in a microwave or standard oven due to fluctuating temperatures that cannot be fully controlled. The process of decarboxylation requires a slow and low-temperature environment which can be achieved with a dedicated decarboxylating machine that has a 1-degree temperature variation. This ensures a precise end product. Even high end ovens may have fluctuations of up to 5 degrees which can affect the quality of the decarboxylation process.
What's the best way to decarb then?
Purely because we made it and know all about it, if you're looking for a reliable decarboxylation machine that's made specifically for Australia look no further than our Decarb Machine! This machine can hold up to 1 ounce of dried flower and has a 200ml oil infusion capacity. With an adjustable temperature range of 160F-250F (71c-121c) and an inbuilt timer ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours you can achieve precise and consistent decarboxylation with ease.
The Decarb Machine also features a two piece lid locking system with a hand grip for safe handling and its compact size of 190mm in height and 155mm in diameter makes it easy to store in your kitchen. Plus, its modern and intelligent design ensures that you can use it discreetly in your home without anyone knowing its purpose. Don't settle for inconsistent decarboxylation with an oven - check out our Decarb Machine below and enjoy perfect results every time!