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February 26, 2020

What Is Decarboxylation? How Can You Do It At Home?

While a Medical Marijuana Card can help you get some raw buds from the dispensary. That’s not all you need to achieve the medical benefits of marijuana. Especially, If you are one who prefers ingesting marijuana or infusing your food with it. There is one important step that you need to know: Decarboxylation.

What is Decarboxylation?

We know that THC is the main cannabinoid of Marijuana. It is what reacts with your receptors and gives you those psychoactive effects. But, your raw marijuana flower does not contain this cannabinoid as it is. Instead of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), this cannabinoid is present as THCA ( tetrahydrocannabinolic acid). Which is a non-psychoactive component. So you must activate THC to achieve the health benefits of Marijuana. And decarboxylation does this for you. 

How Does Decarboxylation Happen?

In simple words, Decarboxylation involves a conversion of THCA or CBDA into THC and CBD, respectively. And this process requires the right amount of heat. This is why smoking gives you instant effects as it is naturally exposed to heat for decarboxylation to happen.

But, in the case of oral consumption or topical use or if you are using marijuana at home. You must decarboxylate marijuana before consumption. So now, you need heat and time to activate those Cannabinoids.

Now, decarboxylation can happen either naturally or by artificially exposing raw marijuana to heat. And the best part is that you can do it at your home. Now, before you move onto the process of decarboxylation. Keep these tips in mind.

  • Be watchful during the process as you don’t want incorrect decarboxylation. 
  • Don’t be hasty. Exposure to high heat can turn THC into CBN which has little to no psychoactive properties but a powerful sedative effect. 
  • Keep the temperature below a 300-degree Fahrenheit. 
  • Staying at a low temperature for a longer time can help preserve terpenes and avoid a bad taste. 

How to Decarboxylate your marijuana at home?

Using an Oven

Using an oven is the most convenient way of decarboxylating at home. Especially for beginners. However, it can go wrong if not done with care. So keep checking on your marijuana at regular intervals.

Now, onto the steps.

  • Preheat the oven to a temperature between 220 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grind your marijuana finely.
  • Spread a thin layer, evenly on a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Place the tray in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes and mix the marijuana halfway. 

Using a Microwave

If you don’t have an oven, you can also use your microwave for this process. However, using a microwave for decarboxylation can be tricky. So, follow these steps.

  • Finely grind your marijuana. 
  • Place it in a microwave-safe tray or bowl. 
  • Use the highest setting for 90 seconds or a lower setting for a longer time. 
  • Repeat if necessary.

The success and duration of decarboxylating your marijuana in a microwave are highly dependent on the smell. Keep going until you get a pungent smell but stop if it starts smelling burnt.

Natural Decarboxylation

If you let your marijuana stay out in open. Decarboxylation will begin on its own after some time. THC can also degrade to CBN over time. However, this process can be incredibly long. So you may have to consider using an oven or a microwave for decarboxylation.

Benefits of Decarboxylating Your Marijuana at Home

Cost-effective: Marijuana products in stores can be expensive. But you can save that money by making your own product at home.

Potency: You can easily control the potency of your dose.

Products: You can use your decarboxylated marijuana in whichever way you like.  From delicious edibles to creams.

So, decarboxylate your marijuana at home and start using it for your next dose.

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