Have you ever wondered why eating a cannabis bud raw has little to no effect? That’s because cannabis buds require heat in order to undergo a process called decarboxylation.
It’s crucial to understand how decarboxylation of your cannabis buds work, in order to get the most out of your usage.
Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD occur naturally in the cannabis plant. However, the concentrations are very low when the plant is raw.
Before THC and CBD become active, they start out as THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), or CBDA (cannabidiolic acid). THCA and CBDA will not have any psychoactive effects on you and therefore you will not get high from these compounds.
If you desire to feel the full effects of cannabis, you must first decarboxylate it to convert THCA to THC, and CBDA to CBD
So, What happens during decarboxylation?
When cannabis is heated, it creates a chemical reaction, removing a carboxyl group. You can use either smoking and vaping to feel psychoactive effects because they both decarboxylate cannabis using heat.
Decarboxylation is a crucial step when it comes to making edibles. There are two steps to the process for decarboxylating your cannabis to make the best edibles.
The first element is the temperature used to heat your cannabis.
Most people use an oven, but a crock pot or toaster oven will also do. For these purposes let’s look at how to make edibles in an oven.
You want to make sure that you attempt to reach the perfect temperature in order to preserve the cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant. This temperature would be between 104 to 115 degrees celsius, or 220 to 240 degrees fahrenheit.
We recommend using in a thermometer to properly measure the temperature inside the oven, as some ovens vary in degree.
The second element in decarboxylation is time. This is how long you will heat your cannabis for.
There is a fragile balance with time. If you don’t heat it long enough, it wont decarboxylate, but if you heat it too long you can lose the good stuff like the cannabinoids and the terpenes which give each cannabis strain it’s unique smell and flavour
Aim to bake your cannabis edibles for 30-40 minutes. Although you should check on them periodically. Maximum conversion actually occurs at 70% decarboxylation, because this is the peak point for THC conversion. After this, the THC slowly begins to convert to another cannabinoid CBN, which is not psychoactive
To grind or not to grind? Some people will tell you to grind your cannabis before decarboxylating it, and some will not. We recommend NOT grinding your cannabis before decarboxylation.
To preserve the trichomes better and make for a better decarboxylation process, we recommend breaking it down using your hands in smaller pieces.
No matter how you choose to use your cannabis, make sure you get the most out of the process by one simple rule: “Start low and go slow”
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