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What is decarboxylation, and why does your cannabis need it?

April 30, 2016

Here’s a scenario we have all seen in film before: Somebody consumes an entire bag of raw cannabis in order to avoid getting caught with it. Eyes pop wide open and gasps ensue. “You just ate that whole bag!” somebody shouts. However, the aftermath of this scene usually involves a very different representation of what actually happens when you consume raw cannabis. Spoiler alert: The effects will be lackluster at best. Why is this the case?

The answer to this mystery lies in a process called decarboxylation, one that is necessary for us to enjoy the psychoactive effects of the cannabinoids we consume.

Related

Cannabinoids 101: What Makes Cannabis Medicine?

Decarboxylation Explained

Cannabis flower

All cannabinoids contained within the trichomes of raw cannabis flowers have an extra carboxyl ring or group (COOH) attached to their chain. For example, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is synthesized in prevalence within the trichome heads of freshly harvested cannabis flowers. In most regulated markets, cannabis distributed in dispensaries contains labels detailing the product’s cannabinoid contents. THCA, in many cases, prevails as the highest cannabinoid present in items that have not been decarboxylated (e.g., cannabis flowers and concentrates).

THCA has a number of known benefits when consumed, including having anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective qualities. But THCA is not intoxicating, and must be converted into THC through decarboxylation before any effects can be felt.

Related

What Is THCA & What Are the Benefits of This Cannabinoid?

What Causes Decarboxylation?

Cannabis joint

The two main catalysts for decarboxylation to occur are heat and time. Drying and curing cannabis over time will cause a partial decarboxylation to occur. This is why some cannabis flowers also test for a presence of small amounts of THC along with THCA. Smoking and vaporizing will instantaneously decarboxylate cannabinoids due to the extremely high temperatures present, making them instantly available for absorption through inhalation.

While decarboxylated cannabinoids in vapor form can be easily absorbed in our lungs, edibles require these cannabinoids present in what we consume in order for our bodies to absorb them throughout digestion. Heating cannabinoids at a lower temperature over time allows us to decarboxylate the cannabinoids while preserving the integrity of the material we use so that we may infuse it into what we consume.

Related

Dosing homemade cannabis edibles: Why it’s nearly impossible to calculate potency

At What Temperature Does Decarboxylation Occur?

Cannabis concentrate on dab tool

The THCA in cannabis begins to decarboxylate at approximately 220 degrees Fahrenheit after around 30-45 minutes of exposure. Full decarboxylation may require more time to occur. Many people choose to decarboxylate their cannabis at slightly lower temperatures for a much longer period of time in attempts to preserve terpenes. Many mono and sesquiterpenes are volatile and will evaporate at higher temperatures, leaving potentially undesirable flavors and aromas behind. The integrity of both cannabinoids and terpenoids are compromised by using temperatures that exceed 300 degrees F, which is why temperatures in the 200’s are recommended.

Heat and time can also cause other forms of cannabinoid degradation to occur. For example, CBN (cannabinol) is formed through the degradation and oxidization of THC, a process that can occur alongside decarboxylation. CBN accounts for a much more sedative and less directly psychoactive experience.

Related

What Is CBN (Cannabinol) & What Are the Benefits of This Cannabinoid?

How to Decarboxylate Cannabis at Home

Woman opening an oven

In order to decarboxylate cannabis at home, all you need is some starting material, an oven set to 220-235 degrees F (depending on your location and oven model), some parchment paper, and a baking tray. Finely grind your cannabis until the material can be spread thin over parchment and placed on your baking sheet. Allow the cannabis to bake for 30-45 minutes, or longer if desired.

Cannabis can also be decarboxylated in a slow cooker by introducing solvents such as cooking oils or lecithin. These methods create infusions that can be used in a variety of cooking recipes, topicals, and even cannabis capsules. Since they contain decarboxylated cannabinoids, they will be effective any way you choose to consume them.

Related

How to Make Your Own Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil Capsules

Now that you know how decarboxylation works, the next time you see somebody on television falling over onto the ground after eating an entire bag of shake, you’ll be able to laugh it off over a batch of your very own freshly baked and infused, fully decarboxylated cannabis cookies. Bon appetit!

  • Bennie Tan

    At what temperature and duration should I decarb high CBD strains? I’m looking at strains mostly 1:1 ratio.

    • Kitty Star

      I been wondering that myself. I think a lot of info out there is from dispensary which are just in it for money. The dispensary use high temperatures like 300 and iv even heard a lot of them do 440 lol…. Time is money, sounds plain stupid to me though. I do know thc vaporizes at approximately 138 degrees so technically you would want to decarboxylate at about 130 or even 125 for I’d say 4 to 8 hours. Just a guess but this way you would have more thc and terpene. And a higher temperature like say 220 would give you more cbd and a little less thc and terpene. So depends do you want to get high or treat pain and nuasia? I personally wouldn’t want to miss out on all the cbd I prefer it as medicine not to get high. I think 220 or so is rite on the money. Get your cbd and more thc and terpene this way. Iv heard even 180 is good and a lot of old school hippies prefer 180 for 4 hours. I guess it’s all preference. Far as a 1.1 ratio I’d say try 220 for 40 minutes or so. Iv also heard if you go 4 hours it’s even stronger like 4 hours is the prime time to get the best out of your tincture. I speculate about 185 at 4 hours is as good as it gets. But some disagree and like to just fry their weed away at 440 lol? Yeah you might get more cbd but that’s about all your getting along with losing maybe 40% of your product. And remember freezing will decrease potency 20%. It stays longer though. But in tincture form it should last one year with no freezing. We’ll I’m making mine at the moment at 220 for now. Using 3 grams shatter God bud and kosmic kush.

      • Rumplestiltskin

        Sorry Kitty, but your numbers are way off. At that low a temperature what you are describing is not decarboxilation, but infusement from 4 to 8 hours. Decarboxilation is best done at about 220 to 250, whether in your infusement or cooked in the oven at those temperatures described in the article. I think you need to read a few more articles on the subject before posting a comment.

        • docwill

          So decarboxylation can be achieved by simmering in, say, coconut oil, 220′ times an hour or two?

          • Popawson

            yup…old ’60s toker here.

          • Max Niman

            so after reading a number of articles on decarbing and cannabutter it sounds like I do not need to decarb in the oven at 240F if I plan on making cannabutter in a crockpot (8 hours) Thanks Popawson

        • Kitty Star

          Actually you are dead wrong it depends what you are using your tincture for. And if you think those numbers are off you really need to go to school and learn about this stuff. Espechially before you go around correcting people smarter then you and spreading false information which is a really disrespectful selfish thing to do. You must actually use the marijuana lol i dont touch that shit thats why i am not stupid. I used it during chemo temporarly but thats different.

          • Ben Keacher

            I never thought I’d see the day Rumplestiltskin was accused of throwing his gender around; granted he never even know the gender of the accuser, that is some heavy shit.

            Doc yes anywhere from 220 to 250 will result in good things. do it for 10 to 20 minutes.

            Dear Kitty,

            Those numbers are all fucked up and a simple google search will result in the correct numbers. I am not profiling you I am merely stating what I know.

          • Christopher Morrissey

            I think you might have mixed up Celsius and Fahrenheit. THC has a boiling point of 157C not 138F. I think this is where the confusion was coming between you and the other poster. I’m glad you got better and through chemo with the help of medical cannabis but insulting daily or recreational users isn’t cool; people suffering from chronic pain or just looking to relax aren’t “stupid”

          • BrontoNads

            No, you really don’t know what you’re talking about. Your numbers aren’t accurate in Celsius or Fahrenheit.

          • Darryl Towles

            It’s not shit, it’s medicine – as was attested by your using it during chemo. It is no different for anyone else. How dare you be so condescending. A lot of people need medicine that haven’t been through chemo. I’m glad that it helped you during chemo, but you should be lucky you don’t need it for anything else. Get off your high horse, stop being so judgmental and think about what you sat before you refer to other people’s medication as “shit.” Who’s the educated and informed person here? I’ve been to school and I know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you should check YOUR facts!

          • Darryl Towles

            Read my reply. You are CLUELESS as to medicinal value.

        • Kitty Star

          Also you should really try reading before impulsivly reacting emediatly. If you read everything i wrote you would feel really stupid to say the least lol…. Male privillage is funny haha….

          • Rumplestiltskin

            Oooo Kitty, how long did it take you to come up with these words, “impulsively” & “Male privilege”. Was that supposed to be personal attack because you seemed to have missed your mark.

            By the way I did read your original post and I still stand by what I wrote. There are more talented cooks than you or me backing what I said about decarboxilation.

          • Thomas Humphries

            emediatly? i think you mean Immediately, so really who is stupid?

          • Andrew B

            Kitty, you can’t spell as bad as you do AND call people stupid. Or is that the male privilege in me coming out again…emediately.

      • Andrew B

        I don’t think 138 is accurate. What is your source on that?

        • Chris

          Shes a woman thats pissed off so of course she thinks that whatever she thinks is right. Anyway just busting her balls or lack thereof because of her male privilege comment. Theres plenty of smart woman but if she thinks people that smoke without having chemo are stupid then thats the same as saying anyone that drinks or ever did is stupid. Although since alcohol affects every single cell in your body, maybe that would have slightly more truth to it. Another poster commented about ovens sometimes being set to one temperature and actually being a different temperature. This is often or at least sometimes true especially as the oven gets older, however even some newer models depending on manufacturer can also be off. I know I’ve worked in tons of restaurants from a prep cook to kitchen manager to general manager. And i also enjoy cooking at home and have cooked at friends houses where an oven set at the same temperature as a different oven could cook for the same amount of time and end up slightly under or overcooked. Also the placement in different ovens can affect temperature. For example my oven cooks faster on lower racks or faster if its near the vents on the sides. Theres lots of things people may forget or not think about when cooking with or without weed that can affect the final product. Really trial and error is the best way to learn, at least thats what I think anyway. So I’d say do your research reading on multiple sites then give it a shot but if its your 1st time or you weren’t successful your 1st time then tryit in smaller batches. For example i made “weed tea” twice before when I was younger as a way to be able to get high on my way to Atlantic City when I had a GF that hated me smoking. The 1st time I had a tea that hardly did anything and afterwards I dried the bud i used out and smoked it and got high. The 2nd time I made the tea, well after an hour ride to AC i felt very little and thought it was yet again a wasted effort. However while walking into the casino about an hour and 15 minutes after drinking the tea, it felt amazing. The only way to describe it was it felt like my head was floating 5 feet above my body and it lasted for a very long time!

          So after writing way too much my best advice is to read up on it and give it a shot just do it in smaller batches until you have success if money matters to you. I was young at the time so money even 20 or 50 bucks mattered alot since i was only making like 8 bucks an hour at the time. But when you try it either remember what you did or take notes that way you can see what you may have done right or wrong and you’ll be able to change or improve your recipe in the future. Anyway good luck to everyone and hopefully i didnt offend kitty or anyone else if I did ease up and enjoy some bud and dont take life or yourself too seriously cause i doubt other people will

          • Darryl Towles

            Don’t sweat it, buddy. She’s absolutely clueless

  • Para Salin

    A good friend told me that when she makes extracts, before she decarbs, she pre-washes the herb with hot water in order to remove the water soluble, and un-trippy stuff (her words), in the herb. Says it makes the end product more palatable, smoother and less gag inducing. Especially when she’s using shake and trim.
    She uses boiling water sometimes, or even hot water out of the tap, to run thru the ground herb – sort of like making coffee or tea. She puts the ground green in a coffee filter and pours the water thru it. After about 30 minutes of rising, the runoff is no longer brown coloured and nasty smelling.
    I asked her if that had a negative effect on those little turpin hairs. Don’t they run out and down the drain too? No, she said, as long as it gets finely filtered. She reports excellent results.
    Anyone else have experience with this? Comments?

    • Ryan Linn

      Honestly, that sounds like a waste of time and a potential way to reduce the potency of your cannabis. Some terpenes are water soluble and washing your cannabis with hot water could affect the quality of the end product. Since there is so much subjectivity to the high one gets from using a product with a high variability of active chemicals in different quantities and ratios from strain to strain, and grow to grow, the differences between using your friend’s method versus not using it, is hard to say without more science based testing.

      TLDR: I wouldn’t recommend washing cannabis with water.

      • Andrew B

        Unless ice water extract is the goal

      • Darryl Towles

        Wash away the chlorophyll if you are planning to cook. It totally enhances the flavor of whatever you are cooking. Washing does nothing to terpenes. NOTHING.

    • mark_m

      I frequently used to use a “water cure” for smoking, shake especially, as it concentrates the weed by removing water-soluble content. I experimented with different temperatures and found that basically anything works. You need to dry it out thoroughly first, or at least that’s what worked best. I ended up using about five minutes with room temp water. I went up to maybe 20 minutes of hot water, it wasn’t much different. If you’re keeping it around to smoke, it’s a bit harder at this point to keep it at the right moisture content – it will mold very easily – so you need to keep it a bit on the dry side and keep an eye on it to make sure that doesn’t happen. Definitely mellows out the smoke and makes it easier on your lungs.

    • Darryl Towles

      It does not affect the terpenes at all. Terpenes do not break down in water. So all she is doing is removing the chlorophyll and the green tasting part of the plant. Despite what people say, I just graduated Oaksterdam. They suggested washing leaves to remove that nasty cannabis taste. Wash away!

  • Lila

    I have two questions: Firstly, can I decarb my cannabis at 250° Fahrenheit for 30 minuts?
    And moreover, I have still effects after having ate what I cooked, when I don’t make decarboxylation. So, finally, does the decarboxylation step really matter?

    • Popawson

      yup

  • Sabina Lanier

    I decarboxylate for only 5 minutes. I set the oven at 250, spread the chopped plant material on a piece of silver paper . I found if I did it longer there was a thin, sort of sticky film under the plant on the aluminum foil. I was afraid I was loosing THC (oil) . I have made very strong tinctures doing this. (I then put in alcohol and plant in a jar and put jar in boiling water for 20 minutes. Some alcohol evaporates.)

    • Andrew B

      Sounds like you were accidentally extracting straight rosin onto the aluminum foil lol. Solventless extracts are so so good.

      • Sabina Lanier

        That is what I was afraid was happening. Doesn’t that mean the THC is ‘dripping’ out and no longer in the plant? I am surprised no one else has noticed this as I decarboxylate for less time. Of course I want the plant to have as much medicine inside as possible for the tincture and don’t want to lose any of the good stuff.

        • Andrew B

          From what I’ve read and seen online, yes you were. Look up rosin tech. Heat and or pressure will extract the rosin straight out the plant. It’s not inherently bad. Depends on your application I suppose. In your case I would gather up with a tooth pick and put in your tincture because it’s the bees knees! (From what I’ve read lol)

          • Izrah Indica

            Right. You could just cook with the rosin, as well. No worries, really.

        • Nikia Angel

          I decarb in a covered glass dish 220 for 45 min and see nothing on the glass when I take out the material. I also do not grind but just break up some of the bigger pieces. I make budder with it. Nor do I see smoke ever. The smell/taste is very pleasant. Lovely to bake with. Aluminum foil is a heavy metal and can leach into the material. I would stay away from Aluminum foil period. Parchment paper works just as well if not better.

        • KarenSantaFe

          Is your weed already dry when you start? Needs to be.

  • Pat Harris

    I read that it was possible to use previously vaped (or Firefly’d) material for tinctures. Has anyone tried this? I mean, what else am I going to do with it? And it does add up rather quickly.

    • Dino Luigi Vercotti

      The vaping coils heat up the cannabis oils to their boiling point. Once the oils are gone, that is pretty much it for the potency in the remaining material. However, if the coils are not hot enough to boil all the oils, you may have something left in there.

      • Nikia Angel

        I use it as an “extender” mixed with green material and it is lovely. I’ve also smoked just vape “doo” and was a nice light feeling. I wouldn’t throw it away.

    • Nikia Angel

      yes. It’s a nice light feeling. Have also added it to food (Pizza, spaghetti, lasagna)

  • QADS

    Can you make the tincture with marijuana or other kinds of plants that get you high? I assume it is possible

  • Robbin Humphrey

    I have a lot of joint pain living with HIV

  • Bebe A

    Hi, I just tried decarbing my weed. I put it in a small oven, and turned the oven to 212 degrees fahrenheit. After about two minutes smoke was coming out of the oven and when i opened it, it filled the kitchen with smoke.
    Now the weed is brown and doesnt have too much of its specific smell.
    Can anybody explain why it got smoked like that? the over really was only at 212 F. Any suggestions as to how i should do it are welcome.

    • Non Christian

      Pre-heat your oven to 242 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap your ground up of material into foil and place it on a baking sheet inside the oven for 20 minutes. Put 1/4 of a gram on a Graham’s cracker or club cracker. Use thin layer peanut butter or Nutella on it. Measure a Gram first so you can make 4 cookie sandwiches. Wrap them back in foil and bake sandwiches for another 20 minutes at 242 degrees. One cookie is one hit, two cookies don’t leave the house. 1/4 g is a hit. Takes an hour to take.

      • KarenSantaFe

        Thanks that is helpful!

      • KarenSantaFe

        Plus, mini-instant cookies that can be made in a toaster oven, on demand? Genius!!!

      • Brittnee

        Hey can I use a rice cake?

    • Nikia Angel

      could it have been something on the bottom of your oven? Do you have a thermometer for the inside of your oven? They are often heating much hotter than you set them for.

      The cannabis will have a different odor and will be a dark green/brown.

      • Bebe A

        indeed, my oven heats much hotter than i set it for.

    • KarenSantaFe

      Sounds like your oven is off. Put a themometer in to check? That should not have happened…

      • Bebe A

        i put a thermometer in there and lo and behold, it gets way hotter than the temperature i had set.
        thanks for the tip!

        • Buck Rogers

          Small ovens and toaster ovens (well all ovens but especially small ones) are tricky because they don’t have a constant heat. They tend to get real hot while heating then the thermostat shuts it off until it gets cold. What I’m saying is the temperature of say a 200 degree oven is more an average temperature and it fluctuates quite a bit.

          I’m not an expert on decarbing but I am a professional cook, so that’s coming from someone who knows ovens.

  • Christian Dunlap

    Once decarbed, how long can you wait before using it in a recipe? I’m thinking about decarbing some tonight, but don’t want to make the butter until tomorrow morning.

    • Chris

      That’s fine, it won’t go bad for a while. Once decarbed, it’ll stay decarbed. It’ll last as long as regular wax or oil would, just in a decarbed state

      • KarenSantaFe

        Thanks!

  • BrontoNads

    Am I correct in my impression that there isn’t any point to decarboxylation if you are going to otherwise heat-activate your hash oil prior to consumption either in a vaporizer or by baking into a batch of brownies? Isopropyl boils off as an azeotrope at 177F and even at that temperature, once the iso is nearly gone I can smell that I am losing a lot of pleasant terpenes. The only character of my stuff that I would be interested in improving is how ridiculously sticky it is. Will decarboxylation make my stuff easier to handle at room temperature?

    • BrontoNads

      I read up a little more, and it sounds like for the sake of baking, you can get a more potent treat by decarboxylating hash oil PRIOR to combining it with other ingredients and baking it. So my unresolved question is whether it ever makes sense to decarboxylate hash oil you intend to consume with a vaporizer? I’d be inclined not to do it unless I didn’t like the terpene profile of my iso hash and wanted to expel the terpenes. But my understanding on the topic is limited, so maybe I am missing something.

  • nNark

    This may be an odd question, but it’s coming from someone who is JUST getting into the game and prepping my first (simple) tincture attempt. I’ve read up on this over WAY too many pages and boards– all basically calling each other out for misinformation and WILDLY varying stats. Cook at 200? 240? 350? (I actually saw that.) Soak for an hour:? A week? A year? It’s all too much to absorb (forgive the pun).

    So, if anyone can point to one or two PROVEN sources for a procedure using Everclear and no fancy machines for decarbing, that would be great.

    BUT (finally!), my main question/confusion comes from so many sites recommending decarboxylating because raw plant material won’t work. Am I understanding that it’s RAW plants that need decarbing, or dried buds (as purchased normally)? It’s not clear AT ALL.

    Thanks!

    • Gigantipithecus

      Dried bud needs to be decarbed. Unless it’s been “activated” previously from heating, it will always need it. Here’s what I did and it worked great.
      Option 1) Use AVB (Already vaped bud) if you have a vaporizer. Won’t be as strong, but I always save my AVB and consider it “free bud”.
      Option 2) Use your dried buds, and I’m going to say grind them before, but you don’t have to get it too fine. Then set the over for 240 degree’s (F) put on tin foil or parchment paper and bake for an hour. WOn’t hurt to stir it around a few times. Warning: This part produces a very strong odor, so you need to do this where and when you can open windows without any concerns. Or if you don’t worry about visitors, just light a lot of candles after.

      (I actually combined the 2 above on my first batch. 3/4 of it was AVB, but I decarbed a little more to get the volume I wanted)

      One you’re done with that, either option has the same next steps:

      My first attempt I had about 5 oz (volume, not weight) in a Ball jar. I filled that up with Everclear until it was about 1 inch over the bud. I stored in my closet and shook once a day. I sampled after 10 days, and put a few drops in my Saturday AM coffee and it worked like a charm. I’ve continue to add my AVB over the last 2 weeks, but I think I’m going to harvest the tincture this weekend. It definitely was active after 10 days. This weekend will be the 17th day.

      Like any of this stuff, you don’t want to hear it, but trial and error teaches you a lot. I’ve experimented with oils and tictures and am starting to know what works, and what doesn’t.

      Good luck!

      • nNark

        Thanks, all, for taking the time to write! So, for my first stab at it, I sorta distilled (pun intended) the various info into an average and just went for it. Decarbed at 240° for about 40 mins, then put it into Petergoff (stronger than Everclear!) for exactly 24 hrs. I tasted half a teaspoonful– couldn’t hold it under my tongue for more than 3 seconds!– and swallowed. About 70 mins later, it started coming on. And lasted for 5 hours! After which, my body was wiped out.

        Later, I tried boiling off some of the alcohol. Got about half, then added water to bring it back up. But, it instantly became cloudy! I sorta panicked and also threw in a little glycerine to help cut it. Have yet to try that mixture. Wasn’t the good weed, at any rate.

        Next batches were a second Petergoff mix and also a glycerine one, which I’ll let sit for a month or so. We shall see…

        Any of this sound useful?

        BTW: oh man, did it taste awful! That’s partly why I cut it with water and glycerine. Hard to find info on how ppl are making the stuff palatable! I bought a tincture from a dispensary and it was smooth and yummy (sunflower oil, lecithin, stevia, other stuff). Haven’t heard anyone talk about such blends.

        • KarenSantaFe

          Yes I’d like to know more about blends too. My tincture was vile to taste at first, but after 3+ months, it mellowed to almost pleasant. That is when I actually stained it (didn’t decarboxylate bud enough). So maybe cure longer?

          • nNark

            Another follow-up: my first (Petergoff) tincture turned out to be a great sleep aid! In fact, I labeled it “Sleep” (it looks like a bottle from Alice in Wonderland). Pretty much all it does is make my muscles tired and eyelids droopy. Not QUITE what I was hoping for…

            I also made a small batch with glycerine, which is at the 1 month mark. No one has mentioned this, but I decided to stir it once or twice a week. It’s gotten greener, and I don’t know if I’m integrating the chemicals or just spreading the plant fibers. But, it smells nice, and a tiny taste was pretty nice. Will leave it for another month. I haven’t tried any temperature changes at all, either.

        • Ken Gouge

          Water and alcohol will do that. Don’t know how well the oily THC will mix with the water. I add honey just for starters (after I evaporate most of the alcohol off), because it blends well, then a honey butter or something like that makes sense.

          • nNark

            Thanks! Sounds yummy!

          • Ken Gouge

            I have even done the same everclear method with roach weed as an experiment. I figure the stuff is vile but potent anyway. Definitely smokable like the tar from cleaning out a pipe, but refined… I tried mixing this with dark chocolate over a double boiler and making candies. It tasted like eating bong-water flavored chocolate, but in about a half hour I had couch-lock for almost a season of Bong Appetite on the tube 🙂

    • David

      Using a food grade alcohol or 99% Isoprophyl (ISO) decarboxilation takes place during the reduction process, so no “PRE” decarboxilation is necessary. This process will yield a very potent oil, or grease-like material that can be taken for psychoactive uses.

    • KarenSantaFe

      It IS the dried bud that you need to decarboxylate. Of that I am sure.

      On the other stuff, I share your frustration! Personal experience w/ tinctures is new, here’s what I did…

      1.5 oz. bud (I left it whole) in oven @ 120 degrees for one hour. Then put cooked bud in Mason jar with one bottle 100 proof vodka (Everclear is supposedly not good for you!). Keep in dark place or covered, like w/ a dish towel. Shake hard once a day. When done, strain through #90 cheesecloth into nonreactive bowl, squeeze plant material, discard it or compost. Pour liquid tincture back into jar. Keep in cool dark place.

      I cured mine for three months, sampling along the way to see if it was any good. At the three month point, it was good, and the odor taste mellowed considerably. But, it took 1/2 to 1 oz. of tincture to get effect. I use a little clear shot glass from Pyrex with markings in oz and ml to measure my doses.

      I think I might have needed to decarb at a higher temp, like 230. Why can’t the science people figure this out? Anyway, best wishes in your journey!

      LEAFLY: We need an article on this!!! Gather all yee scientists, and nail this one down, for the good of us all!!

      • Wanda WaabiskaMigizikwe Boomho

        Everclear is the best for you.. it is pure alcohol which you want to use for extractions.

        • Ken Gouge

          Definitely! And if you evaporate the everclear you basically have a dab.

          • nNark

            Interesting! I want to sample the dab culture, too. It’s all so much, so fast!

      • mark

        everclear is perfectly fine, what moron said it was bad? its no different than Bacardi 151 except its grain not sugar!
        besides you should be cooking most if not all of it off after you let it sit!
        or you can order Organic pure grain alcohol online by the gallon like I do! can make tincture or add fruits and have some “shine”

        • Helen Damnation™

          Everclear isn’t safe to drink without diluting it first, bad for your stomach lining. I use it to clean my vaping gear too.

    • tourismpics

      How did it work out for you? From my research and experience the weed always needs to be decarboxylated – both raw (fresh) and dried buds (purchased from a dispensary, etc.). Some decarb the weed in the oven prior to adding to the mason jar with Everclear, others do so after and decarb on the stove top by heating the liquid (everclear) to a specific (forgot details) temperature. I bought a device called the Decarboxylator and decarbed herb using it instead of the oven on my second attempt at making a tincture and then soaked the decarbed weed in Everclear for 4 days (shaking twice a day) and then strained it via a cheescloth. Stuff was potent. The oven decarb method was potent too but not as potent as the decarboxylator device I bought. It’s on sale now and there is a code to get it for $160 bucks instead of its old price of $250. Awesome device and worth the 160 bucks if you make a lot of tinctures (my favorite consumption method). It definitely makes stronger tinctures so the upfront investment will pay for itself in the long run.

      • nNark

        Ad for the Decarboxylator?

        Anyway… I made two different tinctures with two different substances: one with alcohol and one with glycerine. Mostly shake with budlets mixed in. ecarbed as per instructions. I let the alcohol soak for two weeks and the glycerine for two months.

        The alcohol one, as predicted, burned the underside of my tongue! Impossible to hold and tastes pretty awful. But, no effect at all– not even an alcohol buzz!

        The glycerine one was much-anticipated. Nice green color and decent flavor, thanks to the sweetness of the food-grade glycerine. Alas, no matter how much I took, I got zero effect.

        I have no idea why it didn’t work, but I’m a bit put off by all the effort (and use of weed!). I really feel I need to make some side-by-side with someone who k owe their stuff, because I’m out of ideas.

  • KarenSantaFe

    QUESTION: If you decarboxylate the bud, and then make butter, and THEN use that butter to make brownies, cookies, or other edbile that needs to be baked, You write above, “The integrity of both cannabinoids and terpenoids are compromised by using temperatures that exceed 300 degrees F, which is why temperatures in the 200’s are recommended.” So doesn’t the heat from the oven when baking a cookie or brownie break down THC and CBD?

    Signed,
    Confused Baker on 420

    • StevenWayne

      Good question….

      • KarenSantaFe

        I know, right? I found partial answer on the baking leg of the journey… even if the oven is 350 or whatever, the actual thing baking (brownies, etc.) never gets to that temperature. So baking is pretty safe. Stir-frying actually is more risky (was that from here? Been reading all over for answers!), because temps can go to 400 and there is direct contact with heat.

        I still don’t understand if it is best to decarboxylate BEFORE doing the butter, or if the butter cooking is the decarb process.

        Also, the SCIENTIFICALLY correct temperature and amount of time to cook the week to decarb. Aiaiaiai!!!

        • Lazabooey

          it is recommended to decarb for at least 30 min. how long does it take to bake brownies or cookies? decarb first to ensure you fully activate all of the medicine available

        • Meister Jager

          want to stay under 300,i prefer 220 to 240

        • Fr0ntSight

          You need to decarb BEFORE you cook. You can do a lot with the bud once it is de-carb’d! The “Typical recommended heat” is 220 but you can do it on a skillet or pot but you need to be on top of it set timers and be much less generous with the time. Just realized how old the post is …lol..oh well maybe this will get ya in the mood for some good edibles 🙂

      • FLAVOR CAVE

        Agreed! Extremely good question. I’ve heard that just baking the cookies or, in this case, brownies, will decarb your cannabis. Apparently it decarbs while your yum yum’s are baking. Not sure if it’s true but if it is, I’m assuming that there’s no need for decarbing prior to baking with THC.

        • Helen Damnation™

          Decarbing requires a sustained, controlled temperature, for at least thirty minutes up to 90 minutes or so. The cannabis in the baking mixture, without prior decarbing, will not reach those required temps until toward the end of the baking process, or so I understand. Did I get this right, science geeks?

          • Ron Robinson

            How then does it seem to effectively decarb in a matter of seconds as you smoke it?

          • Stephanie Scott

            Bc of the heat….it decarbs it right then and there. Now your body breaks things down differently. I have never decarbed my flower before making butter. Because I cook my butter for about 18 to 20 hours in a crock pot at a very low temp. My cookies come out bomb… But to do tinctures or topicals you need to de-carb your flower so the thca turns to THC and your body can absorb the psychoactive effects. I hope that helps. But I’ve also read that you can further decarb your flower if you de-carb it in the oven and then bake it. You’ll get further medicinal value

          • DougieK

            Iv’e just heard the same about the crock pot. Do you have any favourite recipes you would like to share?

          • Robbie

            Any butter recipes you would like to share?

    • Roastie

      When you infuse your butter and bake your brownies the internal temperature is not reaching that of the stove-top or oven heat. If you directly heated your bud at those temperatures you absolutely would break down your CBDs but the buffer of other ingredients reduce the impact. Unless you burn the shit out of your brownies you should be fine!!

      • KarenSantaFe

        Thank you!

        • RandallPoopenmeyer

          Brownies (with or without infused butter) get to about 210 degrees when they are done baking.

          • Meister Jager

            carboxing starts at about 220 and has to be maintained for a period of time

        • tank20101955

          you can also use the butter to make frosting for your brownies, saving the thc from all that heat or just add it to store bought frosting.

      • StevenWayne

        I can atest to that — Mine were outstanding…Best damned Cannabis i ever had.

    • William Wasyluk II

      No actually the affect of low heat when making butter and then the high heat of the oven process takes to long to destroy the thc.

    • shumee

      An idea would be to wait after brownies are out of oven and spread butter over them.

      • queensfishbar

        Just eat the butter.

        • Craig Doriety

          Love butter on toast in the morning. I get toasty!

    • Mack Plymale

      When you bake something in the oven that has moisture in it, it does not matter what the oven temp is as the cake will not get above 212 degrees until all the moisture is gone. Water can never be over 212 degrees as it becomes a gas.

      • KMcCMedia

        Sugars raise the boiling temp considerably. Read about the ball stages in candy making and realize that sugars in a cookie might are raising the temp considerably above 212; maybe to 230 or 240, even if the cookie is still chewy.

        • Zifferent (Devil of PI)

          Candy making works that way because candy is mostly sugar, with a bit of water added.
          Baked goods are whole different ball game. So much going on.

      • Greg

        Good point

      • J W.

        lol.

      • Where I live, water boils at 196 degrees. 194 where I work, because of the altitude. I just made some chronic creamer by simmering half & half and grind for about an hour. I’m not sure if the temperature was hot enough to decarboxylate the weed. I kept the solid matter after straining just in case. I think I should have decarboxylated it in the oven first.

    • Victor Lockwood

      Like smoking it, the Chemicals are then digested . Once baked in the product the THC is released. The Carboxylate is only to allow the THC to gain its full potential. Then it needs to be consumed. By Burning it the thc is then released into the lungs. By baking it, it is then released into your stomach.

  • KarenSantaFe

    Plus also, Ed Rosenthal’s “Marijuana Grower’s Handbook” says to decarboxylate at 125 degrees for one hour. Does the author or do any of the readers know what the scientifically optimal temp and time are to cook the weed to decarboxylate?

    Also, is there really any difference if it is powdered before cooking or as used? So far, I’ve only done a tincture.

    • Brittnee

      I just have a question after I decarboxylate the weed on a low temp for 45 mins in the oven.. Instead of baking it, can I put that in a tea or do I have to boil it again with the tea bags and butter?

    • Cecilia Eicher

      Hi Karen, been reading your discussion and am curious what method of oven decarb you have settled upon? Have you tried direct sublingual delivery with your decarbed bud? I am currently researching this method for my brother who has pulmonary fibrosis and his disease will eventually prevent him from vaping. Any sharing of your experience and research would be most helpful and welcome.

  • Evan Heiser

    sounds yummy…

  • Buck Rogers

    I’m curious about low temperature decarboxylation. Specifically 208 degrees Fahrenheit (98 Celsius). I’m a cook and have an immersion cirulator for sous vide cooking. The max temperature is 208 degrees. So I want to make some infused heavy cream for making ice cream (potentially oil and butter as well). Time is not an issue, I can run this literally for days as long as I control and replace water from evaporation.

    TLDR: Is 197 degrees sufficient to decarboxylate and if so, how long might it take, and how long is too long?

    • KarenSantaFe

      Hi there! So a few thoughts, and mind you I am no expert, just trying to find the maximum scientific way to decarboxylate.

      1. On the sous vide idea, I’m not sure if that would work… I wonder about two things, both chemistry questions… Does the carbon molecule needs to be released into the air? Or, alternatively, is the presence of air (e.g. oxygen) required for the molecule to detach itself in the first place? I don’t know the answer to either, but removing oxygen from the equation may make sous vide not viable.

      2. On the time and temp question, I’ve been experimenting, an I’ve found that around 200-220 degrees for 20-25 minutes seems to work best. As a chef you may appreciate this comment — roasting ground-up, dried weed is very smelly. And there is a certain smell when it is “ready.”

      So I’d try and experiment, and then if you feel like sharing your findings, I for one would love to learn what you may discover!

      • KarenSantaFe

        Maybe you can sous vide with a large air bubble in there?

        • Ken Gouge

          I got this from High Times, and my take on it is that the testing I’ve seen so far in the articles on the net say “I did this, here are the results, this is the awesome way to do it.” – whereas this article indicates that various methods were tried and this produced the best results. (I would also compare this to the http://ardentherbal.com/decarboxylator settings and see if comparable.

          From High Times: Scientists in Holland tried to figure out what the optimum temperature for decarboxylation in order to some day scale up the reaction for making cannabis-based pharmaceuticals. They landed on easy numbers to remember: “110 °C [230 °F] for 110 minutes.” Some of the best mainstream methods of making cannabudder came about from people reaching a similar conclusion, but by trial and error. Everyone perfects their own personal methods, but lower temperatures for a longer time can yield up to 95% of your THC.

      • KarenSantaFe

        The Marijuana Growers Handbook recommends 125 degrees for a full hour. SO. If you ARE able to work out a reliable sous vide method, I think a whole lot of us would be very appreciative. We can call it Buck’s Way if you’d like! 😉

      • Jsid
        • KarenSantaFe

          Thanks for that link! However, it still raises the question — After decarboxylating, is it unwise to then cook with that weed?

          My research so far is saying no, use it mixed in to non-heated edibles, once decarboxylated. Also, there is the *cookie defense* supporting this theory — e.g. even if the oven is heated to 375, the cookie itself never gets quite as hot, so the decarbing happens as the cookie is cooking.

          The growers here tell me that if you decarb, and THEN bake, it goes from THC to yet another chemical, which primarily will help with going to sleep. In and of itself a valuable attribute, but the high of the THC mostly goes away if the weed is cooked TOO long. Or cooked and then re-cooked.

          Jesus. Where are all the chemists on this thread???

          • Ken Tesla

            Since I saw cookie so… I have experimented in the past with making butter for a while… The best way I found and it takes a little work is to shred up the buds and leaves as best as you can. Add to a water/butter combination and bring to boil. Maintain a simmering boil for about 2 hours. Strain through good cheese cloth or pantyhose into container. let set for a few minutes and then place in freezer or refrigerator. After butter re-hardens, easily removes from any remaining water.
            The oil in the butter captures the THC and the water assists in the break up the plant AND helps you a maintain a 200-220 degree temperature naturally (no thermometer). Last time I did this I had a half paper bag of short leaf, about 1/2 oz bud, a pound of butter and I started with about 2-3 cups of water. Yes the steam carries the smell very well and I always thought I got a slight effect from having my head above the cooking pot. Substitute straight up for butter in recipe and be careful. I made Mint chocolate Chip cookies… three cookies was all I needed.

      • Ken Gouge

        Just did some experimentally (amateur chef/chemist 🙂 )
        I used 220F, had my timer set for 45 minutes, but after about 30 I could smell that toasty goodness and stopped.

        • KarenSantaFe

          That’s around what I’m experimenting with now. Working with 200-210 degrees, 25-30 minutes. There IS that distinctive smell when it’s done, it seems.

          Next, going to do a comparison of that approach, with the 125 degrees for one hour approach recommended in the Marijuana Growers Handbook, which seems to be the bible.

          I’m going to use the exact same weed. Then, I’m going to try them each (at separate times but same time of day and level of stomach emptiness), stirred into some berry kefir. And we’ll see what happens!

          Still seems to be there ought to be a way to know for sure when the weed has achieved max decarboxylation. If someone could invent a little indicator (like a turkey pop-up button) to show when it’s ready, they would make a fortune!

          • Ken Gouge

            I am in an apartment, and the oven is crap. I do have an Excalibur dehydrator that can maintain a steady temp up to 165F for as many DAYS as needed… If the low-temp thing works, I’m thinking a sealed container in the dehydrator might be MONEY!

          • KarenSantaFe

            (see below) good idea, however see questions I raised below about the need (or not?) for oxygen and/or ventilation in the process. Can you put it in the dehydrator at 165 for maybe like 40 minutes, uncovered or unsealed? I’m thinking that might work better, if possible…..

          • Ken Gouge

            I thought about the ventilation, and that could be adapted, but this thing is like a convection oven with the fan constantly blowing to remove moisture, so I think “vented” might be a more proper goal. I guess it would depend on the time required to dewhateverize at 165F, and how crispy the flowers would get in that time.

            However, if you have checked the Boveda humidity control packs*, it could easily be restored if it got too dry so that might be an option. I would just be concerned about loosing goodies to the wind-blown-desert of the dehydrator.

            *awesome things! Like a desiccant pack that sucks out moisture but these either add OR remove moisture to get to a predetermined humidity (62% for flowers)

          • Ken Gouge

            vented, like a tin-foil box with a 69 Chevy hood-scoop 🙂

      • Molecule is inherently released into air as part of process, pressures out of bag during sous vide. Vacuum sealers don’t remove all oxygen, just most. Perfect vacuum is impossible especially with kitchen equipment.

        Notable consequence of sous vide is that it compresses and heats product, making it substantially gummier. Example: powdered hash becomes becomes tarrier. Can complicate further use so make note.

      • Richard Cownie

        From what I’ve read, sous vide at 190F for 90 minutes gives near-total decarboxylation.

        Anything beyond 212 would need a pressure cooker (which won’t be so accurate for temperature
        control).

    • Mr.M
  • Ian B

    hi guys,

    i´m really after a good anti inflammatory, knees are a mess!
    the last tincture i made, i decarboxed the bud. it was ok. but not great.
    so, if i don´t decarbox the bud, is it a better medical tincture?
    and do i dry the bud first or use fresh?
    the last tincture was 50 grams of bud to 800 ml of alcohol, i need to up the amount of bud, but to what?
    cheers guys

  • Charles Lohman

    Does the decarboxylate process change the THCa to CBD too? Where are the sources for this information coming from so i can do more reading? thanks

  • Lori T

    I have found that if you don’t decarboxylate before you make your butter, only about 40% of the THC is activated after your butter is done. I know this because I had it tested in a lab and they said I wasn’t getting the full benefit of the THC without the decarboxylation process done first. I have never lost any potency in the baking of edibles afterwards as I have had them tested also! Cannabis can actually take a lot of reheating before it is degraded!

    • will

      I wonder, can you vape in a pax, have it get ‘heated’ then use the ‘burnt’ leftovers for baking now that its ‘decarbed’
      Because when I vape, temp 2, till no vapour. temp 3, till no vapour. etc, temp 4 … then change out the oven. When I go to change the oven the material is a briquette, and its like brown/dark brown, maybe sometimes a little black. Is it worth saving this to cook with / mix with a brownie batter I wonder?

      • Tone Brooks

        I have used leftover cannabis from vaping to make cannabutter and it works just as good as decarboxylated cannabis. I would not recommend using it if it gets that black color I only used the brown colored buds.

  • Truepatriot_56

    Should i decarb my weed before making bho?

    • Adam Schutte

      Don’t make BHO its 2017.

      • candytripn

        Stop smoking that shit your buddy’s friend makes at home and get some from a dispensary…Tastes much better than the CO2 extracts.

  • mark_m

    As an aside I once, in a hurry, ground a bud into a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and microwaved it for just a few minutes, ’til the peanut butter was good and hot, spread that on toast and ate it. Total o.d., I was in bed with my feet up to keep from passing out. So microwave in oil might be another avenue to explore fwiw.

    • Patty Ayers

      That’s nasty

    • mzdrea

      the microwave will kill all your good properties and terpenes. never ever use microwave for edibles!

      • mark_m

        Why would it, any more than another type of heat? (Not saying wrong, but what’s the reasoning there?)

        • Greg Larsen

          Microwave changes the chemical compounds of organic materials. I never use it to cook,just warm stuff up. http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.1139/v88-003

          • Robert G

            All heat does that, Greg.

          • KMcCMedia

            There is a group of people who believe, as an article of faith, that microwaves are inferior heat and will always compromise the healthy characteristics of anything good, compared to other heating methods. Most evidence for that point of view requires a leap of faith and ignoring other other obvious truths to accept. But; for believers, that isn’t hard.

          • Greg Larsen

            Being a chemist and also a chef I have researched the chemical reactions to find out why a microwaved chicken breast and one roasted tastes so different. http://www.sciencefocus.com/article/physics/can-microwaves-change-molecular-structure-of-food

          • Paul Fassa

            Heat from microwaves comes from radio frequency oscillating energy that makes molecules in the material being heated to vibrate at extremely high rates causing molecular damage and creating toxic foods.

          • adam

            Incorrect. It vibrates the water molecules which heats them. The food is heated through conduction from the water. I welcome you to provide a link to the toxic foods claim. Sounds like we have a believer in our midst.

    • We used to call this a firecracker, people did it all the time. Y’all some rookies or something.

  • Boryana Desheva

    What is the ration alcohol – raw material for the tincture and how many days you leave to mature?

  • Damon Newcomb

    I baked my pot at between 230 and 280 degrees for 40 minutes. To my surprise, it did not turn completely brown, but did turn a brownish color, more like golden. Does this mean I did not bake it enough, or does some pot not turn as brown?

  • Peg Gillard

    I have a food dehydrator. Can I use that to decarboxylate the bud and then use that to make tincture? Thanks for the help!

    • Angie Chase

      dehydrators usually only heat to 165 degrees

      • Peg Gillard

        Thank you, I went back to my dehydrator and found the temperature information.

  • Michaela Deets

    I like to use my Instapot to simmer my oils and finely ground plants/buds. Pun intended. 😉

  • Colin Muller

    I’ve got a question about CBN: I’ve read on several websites that THC will oxidize into CBN with enough time and fresh air, but I found one source (which seemed more reputable) saying that the actual chemical conversion process goes THCA–>CBNA—->CBN, and that THCA that’s already been converted to THC won’t further break down to CBN. It’s been years since I’ve taken any chemistry classes so I can’t really say whether one makes more sense than the other, but it definitely seems plausible that only one of these routes would actually produce CBN. Any thoughts from the experts?

  • Colin Muller

    Another question: how much will pressure effect the rate of decarboxylation? This article discusses the factors of time and temperature, but the pressure at which the reaction takes place will also have an impact on the reaction (either or both increasing the required time and temperature at a higher pressure). I understand that atmospheric pressure based on elevation is pretty minimal, so in an open-air decarb, the temp and time ratio is pretty stable. I’m using a sous vide (immersion water cooker) to decarb my buds, and to do so the buds must be vacuum sealed in a bag to be submerged. as the temp goes up, so will the pressure in the bag and on the buds. Should I increase the temperature, the time, or both? Or will the fact that I vacuum sealed the buds at a negative pressure pretty much offset the pressure increase when the temp goes up? Thanks!

  • MasterKen

    Rock Hard Tootsie rolls; I am at wits end. Made edibles from the fruit flavored candy that looks like a tootsie roll, same consistency. Made budder and did decarboxylation to them, cooled, then wrapped in the wrappers that came with the candy but after a few minutes they get rock hard! I can nuke them for 5 to 10 seconds in microwave and it softens them up but then you have to chew them for around ten minutes before you can swallow and they taste nasty. How do I get them soft again? We have tried with an ounce and 1/2 ounce and 1/4 ounce of good weed and also with hash but they always get rock hard. Please advise

    • MasterKen

      After several days and attempts still no answer? Come on you experts. What is the solution to my problem?

      • Greenish Thumb

        First and second replies were perfect answers. .

        • smksignalz

          I second that. First and foremost, candy making techniques are essential if you’re going to make ‘tootsie rolls’. I thought about making fudge but am unsure if the high temp required would burn off the THC? So, I’m making my first batch of cannabutter in the slow cooker and will be making Ghirardelli brownies. Back to your dilemma tho, if you find a candy thermometer on the packaging you should find temp guides; i.e., hard candy temp, soft ball, etc. Make it work!

    • SM177Y

      Idk man… Any bud/hash candy I’ve ever had was hard. Hard candies, suckers, whatever. Maybe you can’t make nice chewy candy. Consistency wise id say some super runny resin would work but the taste would be unbearable lol.

    • Trent Williams Jr.

      Step back from the marijuana aspect and focus on candy making. Look up candy making on Wikipedia. Your sugar is getting too hot and it’s changing it’s structure. You want to keep the temperature of the sugar below a certain temperature for soft crack candy. You can buy a candy thermometer at the store for about $5. A regular meat thermometer won’t work.

    • Brinnananda

      Forget soft. Grind the hard candy (in a coffee grinder or bullet) and sprinkle as sugar. Next time, take the advice of the candy maker, read up on candy making and get a candy thermometer.

    • BongSlayer

      It sounds like you used already existing fruit flavored candies to start with making your tootsie roll edibles with. If this is the case and you did start out with premade candies, this is where you went wrong. Those candies were already cooked to temperature and for their consistency when made at the factory. So if you were to reheat them to soften them and add in your budder, then it would alter the consistency of the starting candy considerably. The issue comes in with the addition of the butter. The butter doesn’t help the consistency to be as soft as it was once was. And the heat addition into the candies can also cause them to harden up because they may of went over the specified temperature for taffy like textures for a tootsie roll. Definitely what everyone said, get a candy thermometer and you will be able to keep your sugars at the right temp for what you’re trying to make. I make lots of different candies myself, and you will find it becomes easier to understand them with the thermometer. One thing is try to find a recipe for tootsie rolls that are actual cannabis based first if you can. Those recipes have already been figured out for the right temps and amounts of ratios to come out right. If you can’t find any cannabis related recipes for the candy you want to make, then look at regular recipes and see where you need to adjust your cannabis infusions. You might find one recipe will not work right with cannabis infused butter. So you might want to think about making a tincture instead and use that in place with flavoring stages of some candies, cause butter will not work. Definitely try and read up on different types of candies and what they have in them and then figure out what kind of infusion you need to make for that, butter, vegetable glycerin, alcohol etc. Then you’ll know ahead of time how to avoid certain mishaps. I learned hard along the way too but got it down finally. Only thing you could try to do in your situation to keep them sort of soft, would be introduce glycerin into the candy as you warm it up again and make sure to mix it all into it well. Once it cools down, the glycerin will keep it from becoming so hard again. But, understand it will also make the candy sweat some cause the glycerin will not keep well blended into the candy. It will keep it soft, but it might end up sticky and sweaty after a bit. So you would have to try and keep them coated in powdered sugar to absorb some sweating. Being 10 months ago though, hopefully you got some better batches cooking by now! Good Luck!

      • Laura James

        Candy is a complex and nuanced type of cookery. I have made cannabis caramels only for a long time and I still have inexplicably hard or overly soft ones come on once in a while. You usually can’t use hard candies to make soft ones. Once the sugar syrup is brought to 295º – 300º it won’t be able to change back to what it was before that temperature. Crystallization is part of what is happening at that temp. Sugar crystals can make a whole batch of caramel come out bad, grainy, hard etc. Soft candies are sometimes fixable but hard ones will stay hard and infect everything with their structure. Sometimes you can melt them into a larger amount of sugar syrup and dilute the structure but it’s a gamble unless you have a lot of experience. Good luck. It’s not hard to make candy but it requires a fair amount of attention to detail.

    • Susie Mmpatient

      As someone remarked, just eat the butter. (I am clearly not into cooking.)

  • MasterKen

    Again PLEASE;

    Rock Hard Tootsie rolls; I am at wits end. Made edibles from the fruit flavored candy that looks like a tootsie roll, same consistency. Made budder and did decarboxylation to them, cooled, then wrapped in the wrappers that came with the candy but after a few minutes they get rock hard! I can nuke them for 5 to 10 seconds in microwave and it softens them up but then you have to chew them for around ten minutes before you can swallow and they taste nasty. How do I get them soft again? We have tried with an ounce and 1/2 ounce and 1/4 ounce of good weed and also with hash but they always get rock hard. Please advise

    • Brinnananda

      Again: Forget soft. Grind the hard candy (in a coffee grinder or bullet) and
      sprinkle as sugar. Next time, take the advice of the candy maker, read
      up on candy making and get a candy thermometer.

      • Robby Booles

        what if he doesnt want it as a sprinkle?

    • boo13hiss

      Ken I was a chef, I am telling you that while I can cook anything, I am NOT a Cannabis expert. The advice you need is about making candy, NOT about using pot.
      Think of it this way, you wouldn’t go to The Food Network & ask how to carbox, right? But you are coming here asking about making candy 🙂 The cannabis isn’t your problem & to prove it try making the candy without it & see. If you get the same results, do ask people who know how to make soft candy 😉

      • smksignalz

        word.

  • Guillaume Dupuis

    Hi,

    The way i do my cannaoil is that i cook my weed first in the oven to decarboxylate it, and then mix it with oil and cook it in slow cooker for 6 hours… Is it the right way? Or i have to put the weed raw and well grouded directly with my oil and not cook it in the oven before… I’m comfuse..

    • Brinnananda

      Check out Dr. Diane on Youtube. She has a great method using a pressure cooker, oil, water, then filter and freeze to separate oil and water.

  • Liz Schmidt

    I’m a beginner and I appreciate this great article. Just one question…when you refer to “bud” does that include the little leaves around the bud or do I need to strip it clean of those? Right now mine is still fresh (drying) and I’m not sure I removed enough of the leaves. Or maybe it doesn’t matter? Thanks!

  • Moriah Walter

    The article says ” Drying and curing cannabis over time will cause a partial decarboxylation to occur.” Is that enough decarboxylation? Or do I need to take the dried and cured buds, grind them and do the oven thing?

  • Martie Visser Meuter

    I am soooo new – like a newborn babe ;-). So, in order to decarboxalate in the oven, does the bud you use have to be dried? Or can it still be green and freshly harvested?

  • Danine

    I need help with the temperatures to bake out the THC, but not to harm the CBD. I want to get rid of the THC content as much as possible. Does anyone know what the temperatures and time is which I need to bake the dried leaves.

  • Joe Trott

    I have a magic butter machine that heard at 160° for 8 hours. Currently I extract with evrrclear 192 proof for 3 weeks in mason jars in the dark shaking the jars each day. After 3 weeks I put everything into the magic butter machine for 8 hours. Should I decarboxylate prior to extraction and then put into the magic butter machine?

    • William

      Recent documentary with a couple in Oregon; long time medicinal growers; they use (they showed and said on the doc..?) Everclear with about an ounce of flower in a jar, soak with some shaking for 3-5 minutes; trichomes in solution..just reporting this news,..:-). All molecules soluble in alcohol should rapidly release; makes sense, no? I suspect such a long stay (3 weeks) in solvent would degrade your end product but, and whado Iknow?..:-)

  • shumee

    So decarbing is just for the psychoactive effects? If I am just concerned with healing, I don’t need to decarb?

    • Ron Wittman

      God, haven’t heard ELP in years. Used to love them, but the wife didn’t. Great shtuff.

      • …and you married her anyway?

  • Gina Liberti

    Can a dehydrator be used for decarboxylating the THCA?

    • Roovis77

      Dry weed is easier to decarboxylate but it does not speed it up

  • Karen Bowen

    How do I determine the strength of what is in my baked items? I decarb my ounce, make my cannabutter with 1 lb unsalted butter. Recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter and it will make 4 doz cookies or 1/4 cup for the brownie mix.

  • Chelsey Danielle

    Should you decarboxylate your weed before making butter? Or will that process decarboxylate the weed itself?

  • Joshua Robert Hyde

    Does decarb time change if the kief is pressed into 1 gram pucks?

  • mark_m

    Are you thinking like, Tarkus, or maybe something from the 1st album?

  • Judy Stearns

    It says in the article that THCA has anti-inflammatory benefits. Would these benefits also work without decarboxylation?

    • Roovis77

      I think most cannabinoids have this effect

  • Wildbill

    My question is, in order to get the delta-8 THC instead of the delta-9 THC, they both treat different ailments and evaporate at different temps, do I need to decarb for the desired ailment

  • Pamela Rae

    How long do you keep it in the oven? I have an old fashioned oven/ loses some heat, What should my temperature be? Or – Can I use a double-boiler?

    • Roovis77

      I keep 60 minutes 100 Celsius degrees

  • patrick gragg

    I have a question i d carboxylated a quarter ounce the other day and then smoked it and vaporized it afterwards, and it seemed to be a lot stronger, but tasted different. Am I messing up by deboxyelating my smoking/vaporizing weed?

  • Ashish Maskeri

    What I don’t understand is, when you put the weed in the oven to decarboxylate it, and turn it brown, aren’t you just vaporizing it? Isn’t most of the THC just lost to the air?

    • Megan Cobra Laserface Ujakovic

      It should be covered in the process

    • Craig

      the temp is not high enough to vaporize the THC

  • Brian Maney

    Trying to square using cannabis in savory dishes, rather than the on-going baking discussions…. Can I decarb in the oven, on parchment, etc… And then use as a spice?

  • Sapid Shelly

    You don’t need to decarboxylate if you are going to cook your herb or heat it another way.
    THC evaporates at 315 degrees Fahrenheit per GW Pharma inc.
    Ethyl alcohol evaporates at 174 degrees Fahrenheit, water at 212 F.
    .freepatentsonline.com/7344736.html

  • GrannyRoze

    Do you decarboxylate fresh cannibus only? What about air dried sealed for year? Would it alter to the useless state.

  • bo BO

    ENLIGHTEN ME PLEASE: I`m about to put ethanol over my flowers, to make RSO. Will the vaping process complete the decarboxylate process? Thank you all for replies…and have a happy day………..bo

  • dogsRgoodpeople

    Hello and thank you for this article. I intend to make an infused topical muscle salve. Does it make a difference if i use the oven method over long slow heat in oil the way I make my normal butter ?

  • Lewis Nonya

    Its best to strain your butter after infusion save the sludge add it to scrambled eggs chili just about anything still has medicinal value

  • New2Spokane

    I think you’re all stoned and I’m very jealous.

  • New2Spokane

    High everyone. I’m a 66 year old living in Govt. funded housing and I can’t legally have marijuana in my apartment. My question, and I think the answer is going to be yes if I’m reading correctly, is there an odor when decarboxylating pot. Also I can buy, get this, precleaned marijuana (AKA SHAKE) it my local legal P.O. store and the price is considerably lower. Is there any reason I should spend the extra $$$ on bud?

  • Ofer Po

    sorry guys, latest study shows that most terpenes are lost because of the heating, even at 95c after 5 minutes, most terpenes are lost.
    its not worth it.
    http://www.cannabis-med.org/data/pdf/en_2013_01_1.pdf

  • Anonymous47763

    My first two batches of tincture, sucked. I used a LOT of cannabis in them too, but I didn’t know about decarboxylation. 3rd batch I decarbed it first, and WOW, it made all the difference. I’m sitting here high as **** from only squeezing the strainer bag without gloves on. lol Very pleased. I used an ounce of cannabis to 2.5 cups Bacardid 151.

  • Grigorio Fabrosi

    “The answer to this mystery lies in a process called decarboxylation, one that is necessary for us to enjoy the psychoactive effects of the cannabinoids we consume.”

    This is just not true. Me and two other friends have eaten raw, uncooked cannabis – straight up flower – and gotten pretty blasted. It would be more accurate to say that decarboxylation renders MORE THC to be available, rather than claiming that you need it to get ANY THC from the plant.
    Decarbing is more about maximizing the THC you get, so it’s still an essential and recommended step, I’m just quibbling with Leafly’s claim that you can’t get high on bud that has not been decarbed, because me and two friends did, so that settles that.

    • Susie Mmpatient

      And the reason it’s not true is because you were undoubtedly eating dried and cured cannabis, not technically “raw.” (“Raw” would really mean picking plant material off an actual live or just-harvested cannabis plant and promptly eating it. Which people do, who are into juicing. I have no idea if they get high, but they probably don’t get terribly high.) Anyway, the drying and curing process does *partly* decarb real raw plant material, i.e. turns some of the THCa, CBDa, etc. into THC and CBD and other chemicals humans can access by eating. So, yes, you can straight-up eat flower you buy say from a dispensary (or most dealers, who are dealing dried & cured cannabis, not fresh produce) and get high. Very inefficient, though. You must have a lot of weed at your disposal to be eating enough straight out of the container to get high, because it takes a lot more than if you decarbed it much more fully by smoking, vaping, oven-roasting and mixing it into something fatty that you heat more, or heat-infusing it.

  • Taha Haji

    made the oven go to 180 C by mistakr for like 5 mins, has my bud been affected too much?

  • Robert Campbell

    The boiling point will go up 3 degrees for every 1 psi just like a car radiator.

  • hugh allen

    So, begs the question,
    Is Leafly talking about decarbing THCA or CBDA? Hey Leafly…………how about an accurate article on CBDA decarb?

  • Alandh

    can you carbox your weed in a microwave oven ?

  • Crystal Allen

    Question. I’m currently decarbing at 220 degrees for about 3 hours. After its done I grind it down. I’m using it to add to butter to add to premade gluten free dairy free cookies. My question is will cooking the cookies and everything together be alright at 350 degrees for 20 mins so long as it doesn’t become dry? The brand I’m using is immaculate cookie. I have severe allergies and can’t mess with making them from scratch.

  • anonymousCommenter

    Can I just bake with the extract that comes in a vape pen cartridge?

  • I was wondering, if you don’t decarb and make a tincture will it still have the medicinal properties and not the thc?

  • Em Delos Reyes

    Good Day,
    I’m looking for a way to make my own Cannabis Oil. I heard it can treat seizures. My son has one that is why I am desperate to make my Own Cannabis Oil. is there someone can teach me. I am living in the Philippines and willing to take a risk just to help my son to live and prevent this seizure. Because the medication that doctors prescribed us can harm his liver and kidney. He is Only 5 and turning 6 this March 13. Please Someone help us. Can email me @ emdr16@gmail.com. Thanks in advance.

  • Richard Gordon

    This article is completely inaccurate JUNK SCIENCE, geared at getting high only. The Cannabinoid molecule begins to degrade at 176 °F / 80° C. For those of us who are high enough already…any process used to produce medicinal oils or edibles needs to stay below the DEGRADATION THRESHOLD of 176 ° F. You will have to dig deeply into peer-reviewed studies to confirm that number, due to the ubiquitous proliferation of stoner quackery like this nonsense.

  • Ed Williams

    Baking it is the best way to get the benefits of the flower without smoking. It also changes the high. Takes longer to absorb and lasts longer. Great for missing with say queso dip and having some chips before bed to relieve pain all night.

  • Paul East

    In general, anything worth extracting from marijuana will break down faster during and after decarboxylation, and should also be kept out of UV. High proof alcohol is a good solvent and disinfectant, but extractions with fats for cooking with are more pallatable. Saturated fats are a more efficient solvent: bacon grease being the best hands down, coconut oil being the vegan alternative. Butter is farther down on the list. Themost efficient extraction can be done by freezing marijuana and shaking in a container with ice chips, and then placing ice, cold water and marijuana in a crock pot or pan, adding the fat of choice, bringing water to boil thus melting the fat, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes, cooling to room temp, and then crash cooling in freezer followed by refrigerator. Your fat will solidify on top of the water before the water freezes… clean off scum on underside, break into pieces, fill jar, and store frozen until you need it for cooking. When you bake or cook with it you will decarboxylate in that one step. Your relevant marijuana chemicals will be more shelf stable this way, and frozen fat will not go rancid.

  • Theresa Mattice

    Can i decarb the day before i make cana butter?

  • Chris Smart

    Is there any benefit to de-carbing dried flower in a unit like the Nova from Ardent Cannabis, before vaping? I.E. do more canabanoids become bioavailable de-carbing first, or is this step completely unnecessary because things are de-carbing simply through vaping?
    https://ardentcannabis.com
    (and vaping in the Pax 3 with half-pack oven lid)

  • disqus_KazJ9XbKXK

    Can you decarb cannabis that has been in the freezer please?

  • Karl Dubhe

    He’s talking F, you’re talking C. 🙂

  • Michael Singleton

    What if you don’t decarboxylated?

  • disqus_6YPfWl1zlL

    Thats the temp it starts to boil at, you can use other mediums to heat, use a thermometer if you have to.