Everyone loves weed. If you don’t, you’re weird. But just because you love it, doesn’t mean you really know what to do with it. In fact, there’s one small step you could be adding to your weed ingestion process that will make your smoking, eating, or drinking of marijuana even better. That step is called decarboxylation.
Decarboxylation is a big word that means bringing out the THC in your weed. The actual science behind it is as such: When cannabis is first cultivated the majority of the THC is present as THC(a). THC(a) is non-psychoactive, so if you partake of some weed that is full of THC(a) you won’t get the awesome “head high” that is present in a lot of strains. This doesn’t mean that THC(a) is completely useless, in fact quite the opposite. THC(a) is extremely helpful in aiding in sleep, inhibiting cancer cell growth, and suppressing muscle spasms. So, as you can see, THC(a) is still awesome, but it’s not going to help you if you’re looking for a boost in mood or creativity.
But not to worry, there’s good news. THC(a) is a bio-synthetic precursor to THC. What this means is, over time – and given the proper environmental conditions – THC(a) will actually convert into THC. This conversion takes place in a couple of different ways and is commonly referred to as decarboxylation, or “decarbing” your cannabis. The easiest way to decarb your weed is to naturally dry it. This is why you don’t just pull a bud off of a flower and smoke it. If you do, you’re just going to go to sleep.
If you’ve read this far, you probably want the info on how to actually convert your THC(a) to THC. It’s easy. First, if you just plan on smoking your weed you can just dry and cure it naturally. The whole process should take anywhere from three weeks to two months.
If you plan on cooking with your weed or using it in a tincture you can decarboxylate your weed in the oven, very carefully. The first thing to remember is that you can essentially “boil” the THC right out of you weed, so you have to keep your temperature low. No more than 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
My favorite method is to preheat the oven to 240 degrees. Place you bud – and your trim leaves, remember there’s a lot of THC hiding in those leaves – on a piece of aluminum foil and leave in the oven for no more than 10 minutes. Once you hit ten minutes, you can lower the temp to around 150 degrees, if your oven doesn’t go that low just use the “Warm” setting.
Leave the weed in the oven for a least 40 minutes. You should be able to visibly notice the difference. You should be able to smoke your weed now, if that was your main goal. If you are looking to cook with it, you can do that too. Either make some weed butter or flour and get to cooking!