Whenever the topic of edibles comes up in conversation, it seems like everyone has heard stories about or experienced a friend showing up with some “special” brownies they made with very little effect. Why is this? It’s a safe bet that they didn’t decarboxylate their cannabis before they started baking.
Question: But what is decarboxylation and why do I need to do it?
Answer: Decarboxylation (decarbing) of your cannabis flowers and extracts is an essential step for cooking and infusing any food or drink with cannabis. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that occurs when you apply heat to cannabis flowers and concentrates over a period of time. This reaction converts the THC-A in cannabis (non-psychoactive) into activated THC (psychoactive!) When you smoke or vaporize cannabis the decarbing process happens automatically from the heat of the burn or vaporization. Without this step your edibles won’t be nearly as potent and you won’t get the effects you deserve!
Question: Ok, so how do I go about “decarbing” my cannabis?
Answer: See our four methods below!
Method 1. Decarb in your oven (approximately 1 hour)
- Preheat your oven to 225 degrees fahrenheit. We recommend using an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature is correct. (oven temps can fluctuate as much at 10 degrees from where you set them!)
- For flower prepare a baking dish similar to the type you would use to make brownies by lining it with tin foil
- Grind your flower and spread it in an even layer along the bottom of the dish
- Cover the dish with another piece of tin foil and place inside the oven. Set a timer for 25 minutes
- After 25 minutes remove from oven and keep covered until it has cooled
- For concentrates use the same type of dish but lined with parchment paper INSTEAD of tin foil (it is nearly impossible to collect concentrates from tin foil!).
Method 2. Decarboxylation with a Sous Vide (up to 2hr) via SousWeed.com
Question: Wait, what IS a Sous Vide?
Answer: A Sous Vide is a device typically used to slow cook food in a hot water bath at a consistent, low temperature. The food is placed in a sealed plastic bag or glass jar and submerged in the heated water for an extended period of time to ensure an even cook and retention of the food’s natural moisture. You can also use a sous vide to decarb your cannabis without the smell created by an oven decarb!
- Set your sous vide machine to 203 degrees F.
***It may take up to an hour to get the water up to temperature***
- Grind your flower and place it into a mason jar or vacuum seal bag. Close the jar tightly or vacuum seal your bag and submerge in the water. If you do not have a vacuum sealer or mason jar you can use a ziplock bag by removing the air from the bag with the water displacement method.
- Set your timer for 1 hour
- Remove from the water bath after 1 hour and allow to cool before opening
3. Decarboxylation with the Ardent Nova (1.5 – 2hr)
This is the newest method we’ve tried. The Ardent Nova Lift is a handy little device specifically designed to decarb up to 1oz of flower or 5 oz of kief. It can also be used to decarb cannabis concentrates! One of Ardent’s strongest selling points is that decarbing your material with their machine converts the most THC-A to THC of any method (more potency!) This method also eliminates any smell typically created by decarbing with an oven.
- Plugin the machine
- Fill the chamber with your flower, concentrate or kief
- Seal the machine securely by closing the lid
- Once the machine is sealed and closed push the start button (super easy!)
- The cycle will run from 90 mins to 2 hours depending on the material and includes a cool down cycle!
4. Decarbing with a Vaporizer:
For our stoner friends that enjoy using vaporizers we have included this method to use your vaped flower. Vaporizing your bud actually decarbs it too! (as long as you don’t scorch it) Vape your flower at a reasonable temperature and save it to use in your own infusions. Your cannabis won’t be quite as potent as if you had only decarbed it but it’s a great way to get more use out of your cannabis overall!
So there you have it, four ways to decarb your cannabis and unlock all the THC goodness for your own creations.
- The oven is the easiest way to get started but also creates a pretty strong odor which is not ideal for many living situations (especially apartment buildings in the city!).
- The Sous Vide and Ardent Nova are more accurate and discrete but also take longer and require buying special equipment to get the job done.
- Using your vaped cannabis is probably the most cost effective method but takes longer (for most) to accumulate the amount of cannabis needed for an infusion.
Now that you know the ways, pick the decarb method you like best and get in the kitchen to #ElevateYourExperience to the fullest!
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