How To Decarb Cannabis In The Oven
Before creating an infused cannabis oil you will want to activate some of the cannabinoids present in order to create more potent edibles or topical creams. Raw, dried flowers contains THC-A which requires either heat or long periods of time in order to convert THC-A into the potent THC. While possessing psychoactive properties THC works in combination with CBD and other cannabinoids to help reduce pain, inflammation, anxiety and more.
This process of converting THC-A to THC occurs when cannabis flowers are burned. So if you are smoking or vaping the dried flower this conversion will take place. But what if you are eating the dried flower or you want to infuse it into oil to create topical creams? Since the flower has not been heated the THC-A will remain and there will be little THC present which means that your cannabis medicine is less effective.
Even if you were to add the dried flowers to a food item and cook it in the oven the majority of the THC-A would still remain. The cooking process does not provide the controlled temperature for the right length of time to convert all the THC-A to THC. In order to convert as much THC-A to THC as possible you will need to heat the dried flower before creating your infused oil. This is called decarboxylation.
Decarboxylation is the scientific term for the chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group (C(=O)OH), replacing it with an atom of hydrogen (H) and releasing carbon dioxide (CO2). The chemical conversion process of THC-A to THC is shown below.
Now why would you need to remove this part of the molecule?
The simplified explanation for this is the shape of the THC-A molecule does not allow it to fit into the receptors on the cells. If the molecule doesn’t fit then it is not able to provide all the benefits that you are looking to get from cannabis. However, once this part of the molecule is removed the converted THC will fit into the receptor sites which allows it to provide many benefits to you. Think of a key with a lock. If the key isn’t the correct shape then it won’t open the lock. THC-A is the wrong size key for the locks on your cells.
Activating your cannabis to create a more potent medicine can easily be accomplished in the oven.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies the following steps below will help you decarb your cannabis. Before beginning you may want to think about the scent that the cannabis creates during this process. If you decarb on a cookie sheet your home will certainly smell like someone has been smoking cannabis. If you want to cut down on the scent I suggest using canning jars. Not only does it make decarbing easy but you can also use the same jars to create canna butter. The jars make it so easy to go from decarb to infusing your favorite oil or butter as soon as the decarb is done.
How To Decarb Cannabis In The Oven
glass canning jars with lids or cookie sheet and foil
Start by preheating the oven to 240 °F. Break or coarsely chop the cannabis buds up with a knife. No need to finely grind it. Actually it is better if you don’t finely grind it especially if you plan on infusing oil/butter next. This will make straining your oil much easier. The flowers/bud do not need to be ground in order to decarb them. They also do not need to be ground for oil/butter infusions.
Before, 3.5 grams of high CDB cannabis.
Coarsely chopped cannabis ready for the oven. You can actually chop it into bigger pieces than what is shown above. When I began to chop the flowers broke easier than I expected and created a lot of smaller pieces.
If you are looking to decrease the smell of cannabis while you decarb then you will need one or more glass canning jars. Place the chopped cannabis into a glass canning jars and loosely put the cover on. You can give the covers a turn or two but don’t tighten the lids. Place the jars on a cookie sheet and place in the oven.
If you aren’t using canning jars then simply place your chopped cannabis on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven.
Cook at 240°F for 25 minutes. Then take a look at the cannabis. It should be turning from green/dull green to a light brown/dull brown color. The cannabis should be dry. If the color hasn’t changed then let it bake for another 5 minutes and check the color again. Keep a close eye on the cannabis so it doesn’t burn.
You can see from the picture above that the cannabis has gone from a dull green to a dull brown color. Allow the cooked cannabis to cool if grinding finely to add directly to food. If creating an infused oil or canna butter then you can take the next steps needed to create an infused oil.
You can decarb other cannabis items so they can be used in edibles.
How To Decarb Kief
Kief is the resinous, sticky crystals that are found on the cannabis buds. The crystals are the resin glands that are formed on the cannabis flowers. See the small drops that appear to be at the ends of hairs on the cannabis flower? That is the kief.
When the flowers are dry and you chop or grind them it will knock the kief off. If you are using a three piece grinder then you will find the powdery kief falls through the screen and collects in the bottom of the grinder. Kief can be used in edibles but it must be decarbed like the flowers.
The directions for decarbing kief is similar to the flowers. Preheat your oven to 240°F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or some foil.
Place the kief on the parchment/foil and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Once it is done remove, cool and it’s ready to use.
Once you have your decarbed cannabis you are ready to use it in edibles or create canna butter or infused cannabis oil. Check out these posts for more information on creating an infused oil as well as some recipes to use it in.
Disclaimer: This is information is not intended as medical advice. The information in this post is intended for those 21 and older who live in a state or country where medical or recreational use of cannabis is legal. If you plan to use a form of cannabis that intoxicates you please do not operate heavy machinery or drive a car. Please follow all local laws concerning cannabis. This website is informational and cannot diagnose or treat illness or disease. Medical marijuana should be used under the direction of a licensed healthcare provider. This site contains advertisements. If you click a link and make a purchase, CannabisNurseMA.com may receive a commission.