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How to Decarb: Making Cannabis Psychoactive With Heat

how to decarb your herb
PHOTO Bruce Wolf


How to Decarb: Making Cannabis Psychoactive With Heat

Decarboxylation is a scientific term for removing the carbon molecules from marijuana to activate THC.

In order to derive the greatest potency from the cannabis plant when making edibles, always decarboxylate, or decarb, your material before infusing it in another substance such as oil or butter.

Decarbing is the process of heating up plant matter to initiate the active compounds in cannabis, namely THC and CBD. The process is called decarboxylatation because heating up bud breaks off the natural carboxyl chain of molecules attached to raw THC, thus allowing THC to cause euphoria. That’s why eating raw pot plants yields no psychoactive effect.

decarb your weed


Any amount of cannabis, buds or trim.


Step 1:  Preheat your oven to 240º F.

Step 2: Break apart any large buds with your hands.

Step 3: Spread the cannabis on a baking sheet that has sides.

Step 4: Place in the oven.

Step 5: After 45 minutes, remove the cannabis from the oven, it should now be lightly browned and decarboxylated.

Chef’s Note: When you decarb at a low temperature you are preserving the maximum amount of terpenes, or the oils in marijuana that inform plant flavor profiles, as well as some of the health benefits.

Excerpted from “Cooking with Cannabis,” published by Quarry Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

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