In its natural state, the active ingredients (THC-A, CBD-A and other cannabinoids) in cannabis cannot be absorbed by the body. You can eat buds all day long and feel nothing more than perhaps an upset stomach.
THC-A and CBD-A need to be transformed into THC and CBD. This happens when heat is applied. This is why smoking gets you high, you are using heat to transform the raw plant matter into compounds that your body absorbs.
This process is called “decarboxylation” because during the heat transformation, a carbon dioxide molecule is released from the THC-A molecule, transforming it into THC.
In order to make edibles, you must decarb your marijuana. Burning, like with a joint or in a pipe, is uncontrolled and all of the cannabinoids go up in smoke. We need a controlled heating.
Numerous studies and experiments show that heating your reefer to between 230 and 260 degrees F (110-127 C) for 30 to 60 minutes will transform most of the THC-A (and other cannabinoids) to usable THC. So, we advise this method using average times and temps to decarboxylate your weed:
Preheat your oven to 245 degrees F (118 C). Typical household ovens vary, sometimes widely, in temperature control. It’s a good idea to use a probe thermometer to monitor the temperature and turn the oven up/down to compensate.
Your weed should be dry, at least as dry as you use to smoke. Grind the weed. A food processor or repurposed blade coffee grinder works well for this.
Make some envelopes out of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Or use parchment paper that is lined with foil, foil side out. Put the ground marijuana in the envelope(s) making sure it is as flat as possible.
Put the envelopes on a middle rack in your preheated oven. Insert the probe of the thermometer into one of the packets so you can monitor the exact temperature of the weed.
Once the thermometer shows at least 240 degrees, bake for an additional 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the marijuana in place until the oven cools.
You can store the decarbed herb in an airtight jar where it will keep for some months.
You can try lower or higher temperatures and shorter or longer times to decarb and see what works best for you. Important note: Cannabinol or CBN, is a cannabinoid that helps with sedation and pain relief, much like CBD. The longer you decarb, the more THC will be converted to CBN.
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