When you graduate from just taking a hit of your buddy's J to becoming a bonafide stoner, you quickly learn that smoking cannabis is a bit like enrolling in a chemistry class. There's complicated language to learn, new tools (like bongs, pipes, and vaporizers), and a lot of experimenting with different strains and methods to find out what gets you the best high.
But of all the different things you need to know about smoking Mary Jane, learning how to decarb weed is one of the most important. It can make or break your high, and it's something every cannabis user should know how to do.
So what is decarbing weed, and why do you need to do it? Read on to find out.
What Is Decarbed Weed?
Decarboxylation is the process of heating your weed to a specific temperature for a set period of time, and it's absolutely essential if you want to get high. That's because when cannabis is in its raw form, it contains a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). THCA is non-psychoactive, which means it won't get you high no matter how much of it you consume.
In order for THC to form and produce the psychoactive effects that we all know and love, THCA needs to be exposed to heat. Decarbing weed is the process of applying heat to your cannabis to transform THCA into THC.
How To Use Decarbed Weed?
As you might have guessed, decarboxylation is necessary for all forms of cannabis to work (that goes for smoking, edibles, oils, and even THC drinks). Weed needs to be exposed to 200-245 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30-40 minutes to decarb properly. Any hotter than that, and you run the risk of burning off all the THC and leaving behind some pretty gnarly flavors.
The best way to decarb weed is to bake it in the oven. Grind up your weed and spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can bake your cannabis at any temperature within that range listed above (220 degrees is a pretty safe bet), but keep in mind that ovens tend to fluctuate quite a bit in temperature. You'll want to monitor your weed closely to make sure it doesn't get too hot or burn. If you smell anything burning, turn down the oven immediately. It should have a golden brown color and look a little toasted when it's done.
After it's done roasting, let it sit out and cool for at least a half hour before you start handling it. From there, the sky is truly the limit.
Add It To Butter
One of the most popular ways to use decarbed weed is by infusing it into butter. These cannabutter recipes typically call for hours of simmering on the stove, but by using decarbed weed you can drastically cut down on cooking time.
Simply add your decarbed weed to melted butter and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Once it's done, strain it through a cheesecloth or coffee filter to get rid of any remaining plant matter. And that's it! You now have weed-infused butter that you can use to turn any delicious treat into an even more delicious cannabis-infused one. Brownies, anyone?
Mix It With Oil
If you want to make your own cannabis oils, decarbed weed is a great place to start. You can use it to infuse all sorts of different oils, like olive oil, coconut oil, and even avocado oil.
To make cannabis olive oil, for instance, simply add your decarbed weed to a jar of olive oil and let it infuse for 3-4 weeks. The longer it sits, the more potent it will be, so make sure to give it a taste before you use it in any recipes.
Create Beauty Products
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cannabis is slowly but surely making its way into the beauty industry. More and more beauty products are being infused with cannabis, and it's really not that hard to make your own at home.
You can combine decarbed weed with rubbing alcohol to make a facial toner, or even stir it into some coconut oil for a pain salve. Just make sure to do your research before you start mixing any DIY beauty products, as some oils and ingredients can actually cancel out the effects of cannabis.
Of course, you can always just smoke your decarbed weed. While some people prefer the high they get from fresh bud, decarbed weed actually has a few advantages.
For one, the THC is more potent since it's in its purest form. So you'll likely get higher in a shorter amount of time. Additionally, the process of decarbing weed also changes the flavor and smell, making it more pleasant to smoke for those who aren't big fans of the typical weed taste.
To Sum It Up
Decarbing weed is really only necessary if you're making edibles, oils, or other cannabis-infused products. You by no means need to decarb your weed in order to smoke it (though some people prefer the high they get from decarbed weed). However, it is a relatively simple process that can be done in the oven, and it opens up a whole world of possibilities for weed-infused recipes.
So if you're feeling adventurous, give it a try! You just might discover your new favorite way to get high.
Can You Do Anything With Decarbed Weed?
Pretty much! You can use it to make edibles, oils, beauty products, or even smoke it. The sky's the limit when it comes to decarbed weed.
Does Decarbed Weed Weigh Less?
Yes, decarbed weed does weigh less than fresh bud. However, the difference is very slight.
Do You Have To Decarb Dry Weed?
Yes, you need to decarb weed before you can use it in any recipes. Otherwise, the THC won't be activated and your edibles won't be as potent.
What Should Decarbed Weed Look Like?
Decarbed weed should be dry to the touch and have a sandy, crumbly texture. It should also be a light brown rather than a green color.