Cooking with cannabis can create a long-lasting high. That is, as long as you activate its THC first. Throwing your flowers into your culinary masterpiece will end up with burnt buds and a gross-tasting edible. Boost its mind-altering abilities by decarboxylating your marijuana first. Here’s everything that you need to know about decarboxylation and how it helps make potent edibles!
Why Is Decarboxylation Important for Cooking?
Believe it or not, eating raw marijuana will most likely not get you high. That’s because raw cannabis doesn’t contain very much 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive molecule in marijuana that promotes mind-altering effects.
You must cause a chemical reaction within marijuana for it to produce THC. When you ignite the marijuana inside of your bubbler, the heat causes a chemical reaction with a compound in raw cannabis known as Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).
As the flower combusts, TCHA turns into THC-filled smoke. This smoke travels through the bubbler and into the mouth, creating an almost-instantaneous high. You will not achieve this same effect by throwing raw marijuana flowers into your cuisine. Lighting up individual buds will also be very time-consuming. Plus, it will waste product.
Instead, you should get a baking sheet ready. You need to decarboxylate your marijuana at a low temperature to activate its euphoric potential.
How to Decarboxylate Marijuana in the Oven
Decarboxylating marijuana is the most common method for activating THC. This process will produce a strong odor of marijuana that might linger for days. Be aware of this and take any necessary precautions to ensure you are decarboxylating marijuana responsibly.
First, you must preheat the oven between 220 and 245 degrees Fahrenheit. 220 degrees is the minimum temperature where THCA begins converting to THC.
It’s essential to monitor the temperature inside the oven. You don’t want to surpass 245 degrees because the THC will start to degrade. Take elevation and the age of your oven into consideration when choosing the right temperature.
As the oven heats up, prepare your flower. It needs to be ground into small pieces. Some people buy marijuana and bulk and use the loose pieces (or shake) at the bottom of the bags for edibles. Those with kief catchers in their grinders might also throw some of those dustlings into the mix.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the ground flower evenly onto a baking sheet. Put the weed on the middle rack of the oven to ensure even heat distribution. Allow your marijuana to decarboxylate for at least 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it in the meantime to make sure that it’s not burning.
You want the final product to be completely dry and brown. Depending on your oven and location, this process could take up to 45 minutes. If you are cooking with all kief, the time could be cut in half.
Take your dried flowers out of the oven and allow them to cool. Once you can handle the marijuana, place the flower in a food processor or coffee grinder. Pulse the cannabis until it’s a fine powder. Now, your cannabis is activated and ready for cooking.
How to Decarboxylate Marijuana by Boiling
Smaller kitchens might not have the oven space necessary for decarboxylating marijuana. You can still achieve THC activation on a stovetop or a hot plate. The process will be more complicated but still yield results.
Grind your cannabis as you would to prepare for an oven decarboxylation. Instead, vacuum seal the cannabis in an airtight bag. Boil a pot of water and immerse your cannabis bag into it. Allow it to steep in the boiling water for 90 minutes. Keep the water on a low boil for 90 minutes. Rotate the bag every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure the heat gets evenly distributed.
Don’t allow the water to evaporate because the plastic will sit on a hot burner. That can become a fire hazard and destroy your marijuana. Periodically add hot water as necessary to ensure the bag always remains immersed.
After 90 minutes, remove the cannabis bag from the water with tongs. Don’t open the bag immediately because you will be at risk for a steam burn. With that said, you don’t want to keep the cannabis in the vacuumed seal bag. It will continue to cook, eventually degrading the THC. Stop boiling the cannabis by placing the bag into a bowl of ice water.
Allow the cannabis to cool completely before handling. Remove the marijuana from the bag and place it in a food processor or coffee grinder to make a fine cannabis powder. Your cannabis is ready to be added to any delicious edible you desire!