Marijuana Decarboxylation Instructions:
If you have not yet read my previous post about decarboxylation of cannabis, please do so now at: “What is Decarboxylation?“, so that you have an idea what we are talking about. If you are already aware of what decarboxylation is, then please skip the article above (unless you want a refresher course) and read on. This article will only cover the basics about decarboxylation, and give 1 example on how to do it. If you want more detailed information then read the article above and follow the source links.
Decarboxylation of cannabis is a chemical reaction which will take place during a proper drying and curing process. The process involves the conversion of THC(A) into THC (THC-A is the non-psychoactive form of THC – it produces no “high”). Decarboxylation also rapidly takes place as marijuana is being burned, or as it is evenly heated to a temperature of 222 F or higher.
I will also note that there are several methods of decarboxylation on the internet, and every one of those methods is backed up by someone who claims that it is the only method of decarboxylation that works properly. The method I will describe below has a few links to validate the info.
Why decarboxylate marijuana?
Quite simply, by decarboxylating marijuana you are making it more psychoactive than it is in it’s natural state. You are bringing out the most of it’s ability to give you a “high” or medicated effect when ingested. This comes in handy when you are going to ingest the marijuana without burning/heating/vaporizing it first.
The decarboxylation process:
One method of decarboxylation that I have found, that seems to be pretty effective, is to grind the material up, then heat it in the oven or toaster oven. It’s a very simple method that many people support.
First, I would suggest using a coffee grinder, or blender, to grind up your marijuana. The reason being, you want more surface area, and you want to eliminate any dense spots that may not heat evenly.
Once your marijuana is ground-up really well, you will need to place it on a tray to be put into the oven. I’ve read of one particular method that uses a cookie sheet, along with a few pieces of aluminum foil, to make a tray that is perfect for decarboxylation to take place.
What you want to do is, find a cookie sheet that can be covered with aluminum foil, with the foil hanging over the side-edges a little bit. Line the cookie sheet with the foil, and then place your ground up marijuana on the covered tray. Spread the marijuana out evenly and make sure there are no large clumps anywhere.
Next, cover the tray with another sheet of aluminum-foil, tucking the sides over to seal it up as airtight as you can. If you can somehow create a pocket around the cannabis which will not allow the vapors to escape, you are doing good. The idea is that you don’t want to lose any vapors into the oven. This will help eliminate the smell throughout the house, as well as trap any terpenes and cannabinoids that may try to escape during the heating process.
Heat the marijuana
Preheat the oven to 310F
Once you have your marijuana ground-up and placed in the cookie tray, and the tray is wrapped/covered, place the tray into the preheated oven.
Heat the marijuana for 15-20 minutes, or until it becomes dry and no longer green.
Cool it now…
Allow the cannabis to cool – before unwrapping the aluminum foil. If you created an airtight pocket, many of the terpenes and other constituents will be saved from evaporating into thin air and making your house smell like weed. However, if you do not wait until the cannabis has cooled, you will lose many of these vapors as soon as you open the foil.
This is only one of the decarboxylation methods that I have read. Other methods of decarboxylation involve lower temperatures and longer times. If you are looking to keep as many terpenes as possible in your final product, then you would want to decarb at the lowest possible temperature for a longer duration.
Once you have finished decarboxylating your marijuana, you can now use it to make medicated herbal capsules, cannabis infused butter and oil, tinctures and many other products that will be consumed without cooking.
So there you have it, if you want to decarboxylate your marijuana, just follow these steps:
- Grind your marijuana up
- Preheat the oven to 310F
- prepare try for placing in oven (line with foil, cover with cannabis, cover with foil)
- place decarboxylation “tray” in oven
- heat 15-20 minutes
- let cool
— Source information included below —
“Here are some interesting temperature stats: Decarboxylation: 105 C (220 F), Boiling of Cannabinoids: 127-200 C (260-392 F), Boiling of THC: 200 C (392 F), Flame on lighter: 1300-1977 F” via: decarboxylation question – Page 3.
“Plant material decarboxylated for 18 minutes at 310 degF 9.6% THC, 0.5% THCA = 96% decarboxylation” via: The Importance Of Decarboxylation In Edible Making – Making Marijuana Edibles: – Michigan Medical Marijuana Association – Page 2.