Cannabis edibles are a popular way to enjoy marijuana. Edibles include any form of weed product that’s eaten or drank, with many edibles taking the form of delicious desserts. These goodies are infused with THC, so you know they’re going to be potent and powerful. Learning how to make edibles is a great skill to know, but to do this, you’ll also need to figure out how to decarb weed.
Decarboxylation is the process of heating marijuana to activate its psychoactive properties, so this is an important part of making edibles! Learn how to decarb weed and get ready to make the edibles of your dreams.
What Is Weed Decarbing?
Raw marijuana is a beautiful plant, but its special effects don’t go very far until it’s heated. Decarboxylation describes the chemical process where THCa, CBDa, and other cannabinoids become psychoactive. When heat is applied to the plant, these compounds transform into THC, CBD, and more.
You need to know how to decarboxylate cannabis if you’ll be consuming it in any method besides smoking and vaping. After all, these two methods already involve heat. Edibles, salves, oils, and tinctures all require a separate decarb step to be effective.
If you want to learn how to decarb marijuana, it’s not as complicated as the name might sound. You simply need to gently heat your herbs to engage their special properties. Special equipment isn’t needed, either. You can use basic kitchen equipment like an oven, microwave, bain-marie, or sous vide. It will take between 3 and 120 minutes depending on your technique.
Here are four easy and common ways to decarb weed.
1. Decarb Using An Oven
Not surprisingly, decarbing with an oven is called baking. Baking your weed is simple, requires little monitoring, and generates a uniform heat distribution.
If you’re aiming for high THC, you’ll bake for 40 minutes. CBD requires 80-90 minutes. Don’t go longer than that range or you’ll destroy valuable cannabinoids and terpenes. A digital, oven-safe thermometer is a great tool that allows you to monitor heat without opening the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 116°C.
- Select and weigh your favourite cannabis strain.
- Break up your buds into small pieces, carefully removing seeds and stems. You can also use a grinder on a loose setting, but keep in mind that ground weed is more likely to burn.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and cover it in an even layer of weed. Break up any clumps.
- Cover your tray with a lid or a piece of tin foil
- Place your tray in the oven and close the door. You should aim to keep the door closed for the entire bake to maintain a steady heat.
- Bake for either 40 minutes for THC or 90 minutes for CBD. There will be a rich fragrance and golden brown colour when the bake is done.
- Remove the tray from the oven and allow your weed to cool while still covered.
- Now that you know how to decarb weed, your pot is ready to use or store in a cool, dark place.
2. Decarb Using A Microwave
If you don’t have an oven or don’t want to wait, you can also bake in a microwave. Some people believe that using a microwave generates poor results. However, a microwave is fast, efficient, and foolproof. When you learn how to decarboxylate weed in a microwave, you can still expect a decent outcome.
- Select and weigh your cannabis strain.
- Break up the flowers into small pieces, using a grinder if desired. Keep a close watch on the microwave if you use a grinder, as small pieces are more likely to overcook.
- Spread your herb in a thin layer on a microwave-safe plate.
- Cover the plate with a microwave-safe lid. Do NOT use foil in the microwave. You can use another plate or a bowl if you don’t have a lid.
- Heat at medium power for 3 minutes.
- Remove your plate and allow it to cool with the lid on.
- Now you know how to decarb marijuana in the microwave! Your weed is ready to be used, or you can store it somewhere cool, dark, and safe.
3. Decarb Using A Bain-Marie
A bain-marie is a fancy cooking term that means water bath. Essentially, you’ll decarb your weed using indirect heat that’s transmitted through water. This is a gentle process for the pot but is very fiddly and labour-intensive for you. If you want to try it anyway, follow the steps below.
- Vacuum packer
- Plastic bag
- Select and weigh your buds.
- Break up the buds but do not grind them. The bain-marie method needs larger buds than baking.
- Pack your buds into the plastic bag and seal it using the vacuum packer.
- Boil water in your saucepan.
- Once your water comes to a boil, reduce the temperature to 95°C.
- Place your sealed bag in the pan and let it cook for one hour. Watch the heat to make sure it remains a constant 95°C.
- Remove your bag, let it cool, and then dry and open.
- Your weed is ready to use or store.
4. Decarb Using A Sous Vide
If you want a more modern way of how to decarb weed, check out the sous vide method. You’ll need a special sous vide immersion circulator to maintain the perfect temperature throughout. In addition to using the circulator for how to decarb marijuana, you can also explore cooking other foods in the sous vide style. Learning how to decarb weed through sous vide is expensive and takes a long time, but is also odourless and preserves many delicious terpene flavours in your pot.
- Ziplock bag or Mason jar
- Heat-safe container or saucepan
- Immersion circulator
- Vacuum packer (optional)
- Select and weigh your buds.
- Grinder your weed into a very fine dust.
- Place your grinds into the Mason jar or sealable bag.
- Fill your container or saucepan with water and place the immersion circulator in the water.
- If you’re using a bag, seal it using the vacuum packer. You can also use water displacement. Zip the bag most of the way closed and gently lower it into the water. The water pressure will push air out of the bag. When the water level is almost to the top of the bag, close it all the way.
- If you’re using a Mason jar, fill and seal it.
- Place your weed container into the water. If your bag floats, weigh it down with tongs or a spoon.
- Set the immersion circulator to 90°C and cook for two hours.
- Remove the bag or jar, let it cool for 15 minutes, and then wipe it dry.
- Now you’ve learned how to decarb weed via sous vide. Since you’ve learned how to decarboxylate cannabis, you can either use your weed right away or save it in a cool, dark place for later.
Just remember when you decarb your weed it will smell up the place. But most importantly, be careful and watch some more videos and do some more research until you feel comfortable knowing what you are doing. If you don’t have a place to decarb yourself or don’t have the proper ingredients or materials, you can buy decarbed cannabis products online.
You can even get it delivered to your door from services such as Weed Delivery Vancouver. Or now and get your package in 1-3 hours throughout the lower mainland. Order now and get 10% off your first purchase, $10 in store credit, free gifts, rewards points, and more!
- Hartney, Elizabeth. (2020, July 22). What is THC? Very Well Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-thc-in-marijuana-4080556
- Just Cannabis. (2021, September 17). Canada’s Online Cannabis Store. Available at: https://justcannabis.cc/
- HealthLink BC. (2018, October 17). Cannabis. Available at: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/cannabis