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I’m Kristina Lopez Adduci, and welcome to At Home with House of Puff.
Today, we are talking about decarboxylation. That’s a big, boring word. But decarboxylation, or decarbing, is key to making cannabis edibles that get you high. So listen up!
Decarboxylation is almost exactly what it sounds like. It’s removing carboxyl from raw cannabis flower. Carboxyl is just a combo of carbon and oxygen. The removal of these molecules activates the cannabinoids that make us feel good, specifically THC.
Why is decarbing so important? Here’s the science. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, is what’s in freshly harvested cannabis. TCHA has some potential benefits all on its own. For example, studies show that it’s actually an anti-inflammatory. But TCHA doesn’t have the psychoactive properties. To turn THCA into THC, the part of the plant that definitely gets you high, you have to remove that extra carboxyl.
Enough of the high school chemistry. Let’s talk about how you do it. The process itself is super simple. In fact, if you’ve ever smoked or vaped, you’re already familiar with it. The whole reason that we smoke cannabis is to add the heat that will release carboxyl and transform THCA into THC.
So, when you smoke cannabis flower, the heat immediately decarbs it. That allows the flower to be instantly absorbed into your bloodstream through your lungs. Now, most of us don’t even
realize that we’re creating this amazing chemical reaction when we smoke or vape. But that’s what makes this the most common way of ingesting cannabis.
Ok, let’s get back to edibles. So, when you’re not decarbing your flower with an open flame, you might think that, if you cook or bake your edibles, that heat is enough. It’s not. To make effective edibles, decarbing gets way more important. If you don’t decarb your cannabis before you add it to your edibles, the THC won’t be fully active when you digest it. You might get a buzz, but you’ll be wasting a ton of your flower’s potential. And none of us want that!
So, before you start whipping up your edible, let’s maximize your flower’s potency by decarbing in 5 easy steps.
Step 1, preheat your oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2, let’s talk grinding. When you’re grinding cannabis for edibles, keep your mix coarser than you would for smoking. Here’s why. The more you grind up the herb, the more difficult it’ll be to strain the plant matter from your cannabutter or cannabis oil. You don’t want little bits of herb in it. Also, fine grinding will release more of the plant’s chlorophyll into your edibles. Chlorophyll has a really strong taste that will give your edibles a grassy flavor. I’m not into it. So you might want to minimize it.
Pre-decarbing, I recommend using scissors to cut it into a coarse mix. If scissors aren’t your thing, check out our other tricks for grinding weed with common kitchen tools in our video on how to grind cannabis when you don’t have a grinder. We’ll link it below—https://youtu.be/oxDTUsiJ7Hg. You can use the sage in your cupboard as a rule of thumb for the size you’re looking to achieve.
I’m actually using Lemon Haze because I’m having guests over later. I’m going to make a wonderful cannabis oil that I’m going to drizzle on top of burrata later. So Lemon Haze is a really nice sativa, limonene-forward—nice little pick-me-up to start your evening.
Step 3, spread your herb evenly onto your baking dish or sheet and place it on the center rack of your oven.
Step 4, for baking times, I defer to Menlay Golokay Aggrey, the cannabutter guru and the author of The Art of Weed Butter. For old or low quality flower, bake for 20 minutes. For cured, high grade flower, bake for 45 minutes. For recently harvested or wet flower, bake for 60 minutes, plus.
Step 5, gently stir/remix your flower about every 10 minutes. Take care of it. Don’t burn it. You’re looking for it to turn a deep, brownish green. When it gets there, take it out of the oven, let it cool, and then infuse it into your butter or your oil.
When you’ve taken your cannabis out of the oven, you can infuse it right on your stovetop in a saucepan. Or, if you’re getting serious about your edibles, check out our video on How to Make Vegan Edibles https://youtu.be/Q4Hg3d4uasg. In it, we show you how to use one of the easiest appliances on the market that automatically decarbs and infuses your cannabis for you.