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How to decarboxylate cannabis buds: A beginner’s guide

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Whether you are new to weed or have taken it before, an important word to understand is “decarboxylation.”

Whew. That was a mouthful.

Put simply, it is a process that activates the psychoactive compounds in the cannabis plant. When you decarboxylate weed, you activate the raw cannabis into an enhanced, potent form that will generate psychoactive effects (AKA, you’ll get high).

But there are several ways to decarboxylate weed, and none of them are as simple as you’d think. We broke down the most easy and effective ways to decarboxylate weed, including in the oven, in the microwave, and using the sous vide method.

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1. Decarboxylating Weed in the Oven

The oven is a tried-and-trusted method of decarboxylating weed. Once you have decarboxylated your weed, you will be ready to use it in food or oils. Here’s the step-by-step process of decarboxylating weed in the oven:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 225 °F
  • Lay out parchment paper on a baking tray
  • Break off your weed and spread it on the paper
  • Cover the week with another layer of parchment
  • Bake the weed for 45 minutes
  • Remove and allow to cool for 30 minutes
  • Use or store the weed as needed

This is a simple and effective way to decarboxylate weed.

But, if you’re in a hurry, there’s a quicker method.

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2. Decarboxylating Weed in the Microwave

If you’re short on time, decarboxylation is also possible in the microwave. The process looks like this:

  • Break up or grind your weed
  • Spread the weed into a microwave-proof glass dish
  • Microwave on medium heat for 90 seconds
  • Mix the weed in the bowl and heat for another 60 seconds
  • By now, the weed buds should be golden brown and ready

Just remember to keep an eye on your weed buds while they are cooking. They can burn quickly in a microwave.

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3. Sous Vide Decarboxylation

For people who are planning to make multiple batches of weed edibles, the sous vide method is highly recommended. There is an upfront cost with this method, given you will have to purchase an immersion circulator, but it’s a discreet option that also allows you to preserve maximum terpenes.

The items you need are a sous vide machine (immersion circulator), a plastic freezer bag, a container, and weed. The process will look like this:

  • Fill the container with hot tap water and place the immersion circulator inside
  • Set the immersion circulator to 203 °F
  • Grind the weed into a fine powder (you can use a coffee grinder)
  • Seal the weed in the plastic freezer bag
  • Place the bag into the water for 90 minutes
  • Remove and let it cool for 20 minutes
  • Remove weed from the bag and use/store as needed

This is a slower method but produces almost no smell and, as noted, is great for making larger batches.

 

You now know three great ways to decarboxylate weed. Each method has its benefits but all are effective in activating the psychoactive compounds to get you high.

Now, light up!