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Decarboxylation

The chemical reaction responsible for activating the cannabinoids in cannabis. Cannabis plants produce THCA naturally, a non-psychoactive compound, and decarboxylation turns that THCA into THC, a psychoactive compound. Decarboxylation occurs when cannabis is heated—either with a lighter when smoking or a heat source when vaping. Decarboxylation also needs to occur before cannabis is used for an infusion, to make edibles. 

“Be sure to decarb your bud before you make cannabutter.”

“You can’t get high without decarboxylation.”

How to decarb cannabis flower for edibles

The trick to decarbing cannabis flower is to do it in a way that won’t destroy the plant or degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes. This means using a low level of heat—220°F is good, or anything under 300°F to maintain cannabinoid and terpene integrity. 

You can decarb cannabis in all sorts of ways but using an oven is the most common way. To decarb weed:

  • Set the oven to 225°F
  • Loosely grind some flower
  • Spread the flower over a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or tinfoil
  • Heat for 30-45 mins to activate cannabinoids

Most people usually infuse decarbed weed with butter or oil, and then use the infusion to make edibles. You can also eat decarbed weed, but it might not taste great.