What is Decarboxylation
Updated: Jun 15, 2022
Cooking with Our Legal Cannabis-
As seen in the January 2020 issue of The Evolution Magazine.
Yeah, it’s January, and the dispensaries are opening up in Missouri! I know everyone is excited! So, for all of us who have our medical or caregiver cards, we are going to do something revolutionary, cook with our legal cannabis! All of a sudden, I can hear Bob Marley playing in the background and Snoop Dog saying, “Hell Yeah.” However, you don’t have to be a hippie or gangsta to use medical cannabis, everyone has the right to safe, alternative treatment of their ailments, and in Missouri, that’s a fact!
You know what? Even if you’re a first-time cannabis cook, there are ways to easily make your own tasty edibles. After all, some folks just prefer not to smoke their green. I have found that edibles infused with small amounts of THC and a higher dose of CBD are a great way to ease into the use of medical cannabis. Studies have shown that when you use CBD and THC together, the CBD will lessen the psychoactive effects of the THC. So, let’s talk about how to prepare cannabis for cooking.
Studies show us that the health benefits of the THC, other cannabinoids, and even terpenes found in the cannabis plant are just amazing. Some people are using it to shrink cancerous tumors, free their children of daily seizures, and to lessen the effects of PTSD, while others are using this medicine to treat their migraines, anxiety-panic disorder, and digestive issues. Many say that THC helps them eat when they feel too sick to eat, and it helps them sleep when they need to rest and heal. Is this a miracle herb or what? Everyone knows what cannabis can do to help people, so let's get to cooking with it!
We purchased our cannabis flower from the dispensary and want to add it to a meal or make some single-serving edibles for easy dosing. We need to “activate” the THC in the flower before cooking with it. Of course, you could just sprinkle some of the flower on a salad and call it a day, but unless you activate it, you are not going to receive 100% of the health benefits of the green, because until you decarboxylate the plant, the THC is in the form of THCA.
So, what is decarboxylation? People call it “decarb” for short. It is the process of heating the herb. That’s it! When you apply heat to your plant, it creates a chemical reaction that turns the THCA into the psychoactive, THC. That’s why the herb is traditionally smoked to get the THC into the bloodstream. For cooking, we are going to decarb the green plant before adding it as an ingredient in anything so that we can receive all the health benefits of it. Note: when decarbing, it is important to not let the weed get too hot because it starts to lose health properties at about 311 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are many different ways to decarb the herb. You can experiment with them and find the method that works best for you. Other methods can be found just by doing a simple Google search for “how to decarb weed.” I have even had the opportunity to use an infusion machine made by a Missouri company that will decarb the weed for you! But what to do if you don’t want to invest any money on special equipment? Well, with an oven and a sheet pan, you can decarb effectively at home on your own!
Here is the method:
1. Preheat your oven to 225-degrees Fahrenheit and place the oven rack in the middle position to ensure an even heat distribution.
2. Place a sheet of lightly crumpled aluminum foil on a baking sheet (this keeps your weed from becoming overheated by the metal baking sheet).
3. Then, break up the flower into small pieces, similar to the size of a pea, and spread across your foil. Then place another sheet of foil on top of the cannabis.
4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
5. After 45 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. The cannabis should look lightly toasted and golden brown.
6. When your cannabis has cooled, you can place it in an airtight container for future use!
Now we have activated the THC in our medical cannabis and are ready to have fun cooking with it! In future issues, we will explore baking with “decarbed” cannabis and fun recipes! Have an awesome January!