Cannabis must be decarboxylated or decarbed if it is for psychoactive purposes and eaten, taken orally, or topically. If you’re making cannabutter, infused coconut oil, edibles like brownies, sauces, or tinctures, or any method that won’t be “heated” the cannabis needs to be decarbed first.
The plant itself makes THC-A and CBD-A, the acid forms of these popular cannabinoids. Heating cannabis converts the THC-A to THC and CBD-A to CBD. Because raw cannabis contains primarily THC-A eating raw cannabis will not create a psychoactive effect. Heat decarbs THC-A and turns it into THC. This is the same effect that allows the smoking of marijuana allowing the THC- A to be chan ged and inhaled as THC creating a safe and relaxed psychoactive feeling. There are a lot of ways that you can decarboxylate cannabis the main point is to not burn the plant material and to heat it evenly to ensure maximum decarboxylation. The guidelines exist and it is important to have the correct equipment to ensure the tools you are using can get the job done.
Cannachefs have seen great results by “following” the below guidelines:
For maximum THC-A to THC conversion, heat at 245°F for 20- 60 minutes.
For maximum CBD-A to CBD conversion, heat at 245°F for 90 minutes.
Put dry cannabis in a glass Pyrex covered casserole dish. This keeps the terpenes and other volatiles from evaporating off, which results in less odor. Decarbing will dry the water out of the plant material decreasing the weight by 10% . When properly decarboxylated, the cannabis will become slightly browned and darker in color and dry and crumble easily. Decarbing can create a light odor but by implying the over head hood and even decarbing using the sous vide method the smells can be eliminated.
Combine the Decarboxylated plant material into the fat or alcohol of your choice.