With the growing popularity of cannabis, one needs to know the importance of heating and decarboxylating cannabis before consumption. Cannabis consumed without decarboxylation will contain minimal effects. In simple words, it would possess very few recreational properties.
What is decarboxylation and why is necessary?
Decarboxylation is the process of heating raw cannabis to a temperature at which it releases a carboxyl group and becomes psychoactive. The flowers need to be decarboxylated first to be consumed. THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is present in raw cannabis but is not a psychoactive compound by default. With the help of decarboxylation, THCA is converted to THC, which enables us to get high. When using weed in edibles, it is necessary to decarb them so that the body can absorb them throughout digestion. Heating cannabinoids at lower temperatures allows us to decarboxylate the cannabinoids as well as preserve the integrity of the material.
Cannabis begins to decarboxylate at about 220 degrees Fahrenheit after 30-40 minutes of exposure. For cannabis to fully decarboxylate it will take more time.
While some may think that CBD decarboxylation is unnecessary. It is beneficial to heat them to release their active properties. THC-A and CBD-A have their health properties. It is believed that CBD-A will metabolise it and break down CBD on its own upon consumption. Decarboxylation of CBD is known to increase its bioavailability which makes more of it available to the body’s cells. However, having your body decarb CBD on its own would be highly inefficient.
Medicinal CBD oils are already decarboxylated, making them consumable without any heating.
How to Decarboxylate cannabis?
While cannabis can be decarboxylated in many ways, it can be done at home as well. Depending on the cannabis, the time will defer accordingly.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 110 degrees celsius.
Step 2: Break down the cannabis into small pieces but do not grind too finely. Spread the cannabis on baking paper, make sure it does not overlap.
Step 3: Bake the cannabis at 110 degrees celsius for 30-40 minutes or longer (Note: Do not open the oven regularly. The decarb-ed cannabis will change its colour from green to light brown).
Step 4: After 30 minutes, check if the cannabis has changed its colour to light brown. If not, keep them for some more time but make sure they do not burn.
Step 5: Once done, remove it from the oven and let it cool. It will be very crumbly at this point but it can be used in food, drinks, and smoothies.
Keeping the temperature too high will result in burning the cannabis which will negatively affect the smell and taste as well as cause the loss of terpenes.
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