Decarboxylation: how to “activate” cannabis and why?
Cannabis in its natural form, before it is heated (smoking, vaporizing or cooking), does not contain THC or CBD. In addition, it contains their acid forms, which are also cannabinoids, THCA and CBDA. Once these are activated by an increase in temperature, this is what will create the desired effect. This process is called decarboxylation. Without this crucial step, it's a safe bet that your cannabis brownies will have very weak psychoactive effects, even non-existent… And for certain varieties, it is the same for the taste. Decarboxylating your cannabis is an essential thing to do before cooking.
What is decarboxylation
Decarboxylation is the heating process used to activate cannabis. Dried marijuana does not have the full potential of its psychoactive properties, which means it cannot get you “high”.
Smoking or vaping heats the cannabis enough, enough for it to become active. On the other hand, if you eat a dried bud, you will have little or no psychoactive effects. Dried cannabis contains a cannabinoid called THCA or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. While THCA itself has benefits, it needs to be converted to THC in order for cannabis to have psychoactive properties and for a patient to obtain the medicinal effects.
The process of converting THCA to THC begins as the plant dries up and ages. However, the plant material must be heated to speed up this conversion. The decarboxylation process separates carbon molecules from the molecular chain. This process degrades (at a different temperature) the cannabinoids in their respective and active form:
Why is it necessary to decarboxylate?
Some people mix the bud directly into their preparation and believe that marijuana can develop its effects while baking their cookies in the oven. It is a received idea and above all a real waste of the potential of your weed ...
The explanation, although scientific, is simple ... Your oven during cooking is simply not at the right temperature. The cooking temperature of a brownie is not at all compatible with the decarboxylation of THCA or CBDA. Your brownie will certainly be a brownie, but the effects (even medicinal) will be more than diminished. In the best of cases, outside the dough you may have THC, but inside your cookie will not contain only THC and therefore the psychoactive effect will not be significant ...
In a culinary recipe, it is strongly recommended to follow this decarboxylation process to your cannabis. This is essential even in the manufacture of cannabis oil or for a good Marrakech butter.
Decarboxylation: Step by step guide
The quickest and easiest way is to spread the pieces of your dried herb on a baking sheet. And place it in the oven ...
The decarboxylation process takes about 20 to 30 minutes. The heat should be between 120 to 140 degrees Celsius.
Ingredients : 28 grams of cannabis grinded
Equipment: hotplate, baking paper and oven
Take your cannabis at the grinder
Preheat the oven to 120 degrees
Place the baking paper on the tray
Sprinkle a thin layer of cannabis on the baking paper
Put the tray in the oven for 20 at 30 minutes
Remove the tray from the oven and let the cannabis cool
Additional tips for decarboxylating well
- You can "play" with a quantity of cannabis indicated in the recipe. From the moment it is spread evenly on your baking sheet (thin layer).
- If your strain that contains more THC and you want to reveal CBD. Heat the oven to 135 ° for about 45 minutes to allow the cannabidiol (CBD) to manifest. This is because the decomposition temperature of CBDA is slightly higher.
- Cannabis can be wrapped in aluminum foil. So you can put it directly in the oven.
- A successful decarboxylation process: a golden brown hue that is an indication that the cannabis is ready.
- Cannabinoids are hardly soluble in water, but very easily in oil. For this reason, you have to incorporate all the characteristics of cannabis for cooking, with one oily ingredient: milk, butter or even coconut oil will work very well. Water, so a cup of tea with a cannabis flower can not do the trick, unless it is mixed with milk.
After the cannabis has gone through the decarboxylation process, you can simply mix it with chocolate, fruit, or any other food prepared with a fatty component - Happy tasting !!