Making cannabis edibles isn’t as simple as throwing some herb into your favorite dish, it takes a bit of preparation and know-how. The first step is decarboxylating the cannabis, also known as decarbing. This process converts the THC-A in the bud into the psychoactive THC that stimulates the mind, body and soul.
Some cannabis hobbyists simply throw some raw cannabis into their baking and toss it into the oven. While this is a viable way to make edibles, it is an extremely inefficient way to cook with cannabis. If you’re looking to get the absolute most out of your stash, it’s crucial that you decarb your bud before cooking with it.
How to Decarboxylate Cannabis
A few things you’ll need in order to properly decarboxylate your cannabis: Dried cannabis, a baking sheet, some parchment paper, a timer of some sort and an oven (usually equipped with a timer).
- Grind the cannabis finely, but not into a powder.
- Line your baking sheet with the parchment paper and evenly lay out the ground cannabis.
- Heat the oven to 225° F and place the baking sheet on the middle rack for about 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow the herb to cool. Give it a good mix and you’re good to go.
The cannabis should be a slightly darker green / brown color. This process works with cannabis buds, stems, trim and kief.
Understanding How To Cook With Cannabis
Most people who have looked into cooking with cannabis know that a high heat can ruin the final product. Cooking or baking at a high temperature can actually burn off the majority of the THC, leaving you with an ineffective edible. This takes place somewhere between 325° F – 392° F.
We suggest baking your edibles at a temperature no higher than 350° F, preferably around 300° F – 325° F.
There are far more cannabinoids found in cannabis than just THC though, it has a myriad of different cannabinoids and terpenes that offer unique flavor profiles and health benefits. Each of these cannabinoids and terpenes have different boiling points, meaning they burn off at different temperatures. We suggest decarboxylating cannabis at 225° F in order to preserve these cannabinoids, however the process can be done at lower temperatures for a longer period of time, or at higher temperatures for shorter periods of time.
Instead of just throwing your decarboxylated cannabis into your recipe and suffering through the relentless tiny bits of flower material, whip up some cannabis butter or oil and use it in your recipes. Again, it’s important to decarboxylate your cannabis even when making butter or oil. The process of making cannabis oil requires heat, and will naturally decarboxylate the cannabis, but it’s difficult to maintain any sort of consistency. The most efficient way to cook with cannabis is to decarb it before making butter / oil, then using the butter to cook with.
Keep the temperature low, and go slow (both with cook times and dosage). Edibles are a totally different experience than smoking or vaporizing cannabis, the effects can be delayed and hit unexpectedly. If you’re not experienced with edibles, start with low doses until you feel comfortable ramping it up.