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Decarboxylation 101: How to decarb by sous vide

Published on July 9, 2019 · Last updated September 30, 2020

The precise nature of the sous vide method makes the decarboxylation process almost fool-proof. While it is a financial investment, the cost is justified if you are cooking with cannabis regularly, especially since immersion circulators can be purchased for around $100.

With an immersion circulator, you can dial in a lower, exact temperature which will preserve terpenes and flavour while producing almost no smell.

Decarboxylation guide: How to properly decarb weed


Decarboxylation decarb sous vide

  • Immersion circulator
  • Container for immersion circulator (a large pot or plastic tub would work)
  • Vacuum sealer or zip-top freezer bag
  • Cannabis


Decarboxylation decarb sous vide

Jesse Milns/Leafly

    1. Prepare your water bath by filling your container with hot tap water, then place the immersion circulator inside. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the right amount of water is in the container. Set the immersion circulator to 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Grind the cannabis finely. Since the temperature will be so precise, there is no need to worry about overheating the cannabis and destroying THC, terpenes, or flavour. You do, however, want to maximize surface area, so a finer grind is the best for this method.
    3. In a vacuum sealer or, using the water displacement method* in a zip-top plastic bag, seal the cannabis as flat and as tight as possible to minimize air pockets and maximize surface area.
    4. Place the sealed cannabis bag into the water bath for 90 minutes, then carefully remove and let it cool to room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Dry off the bag carefully, open it and place your decarboxylated cannabis into a container for future cooking.

*Water displacement method

  1. Place the cannabis in the freezer bag and close it 80% of the way.
  2. Gently lower the bag into a container full of water (you can use the water bath) and allow the water to force the air out of the bag as you continue to lower it.
  3. Once the water level is just before the zipper, close the bag completely.

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Alex Goodall
Alex Goodall
Alex Goodall is a Toronto-based Chef with an affinity for cannabis.
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