What Is Decarboxylation? How To Decarb Marijuana

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What Is Decarboxylation?

Decarboxylating marijuana is an important step before making tinctures or edibles. If you don’t follow our guide to decarbing, you’re missing a lot of potential because a lot of the THC in your cannabis remains unavailable.

You may be asking yourself exactly why every single recipe for a cannabis edible asks you to start with decarbed weed. Decarboxylating basically means heat activating. When you smoke marijuana, decarboxylation happens naturally in the act as a result of the heat from burning. The same holds true of vaporizers.

What Is Decarboxylation? THCA And THC

The principal psychoactive component of marijuana, THC, deserves the credit for the stoned feeling that marijuana induces. Nevertheless, fresh marijuana does not contain much THC. The THC results when THCA changes into THC when heated up. THCA is a cannabinoid that isn’t intoxicating or psychoactive and is only found in raw, living cannabis or freshly harvested marijuana.

Additionally, if you skip decarbing, the moisture in the flowers can cause botulism bacteria in preparations like cannabutters and tinctures. This is something you obviously want to avoid!

If you’re working with old cannabis that has been sitting around for some time, decarbing might not be necessary. As cannabis dries and ages, THCA naturally converts to THC.  You can be sure your weed is optimized and speed up the natural decarbing by adding some heat to your cannabis before making edibles and tinctures.

What Is Decarboxylation? The Steps

In the process of making edibles, some heat is applied which activates some of the THC. Not all of the THCA turns into THC this way, however, so you’re missing out on a lot of potency if you skip decarbing. This is why decarbing is so essential to your weed’s potential.

You’ll need a few simple things to get started.


  • Finely ground herb or kief,
  • a baking tray,
  • an oven.
  • some tin foil or parchment paper.

Follow these steps to decarboxylate your cannabis before making edibles and tinctures. It’s pretty simple!

  • First, preheat the oven 225 F. This temp will provide plenty of heat but not enough to burn your marijuana.
  • Line your baking tray with parchment paper and then lay out your cannabis evenly.
  • Bake at 225 F for 50 minutes or, even better, 200 F for 75 minutes.

Set a timer so you can’t forget your precious herb in the oven. That would be tragic.

What Is Decarboxylation? The Results

When your weed is done baking gently, let it cool completely. You are going to notice the color has changed and may even look more drab than before. Don’t worry, that’s actually a good sign! That’s proof that you’re ready to make your cannabutter or tincture and extract all of the true potential of your bomb weed.

If you enjoyed this article and are curious about how to make a tincture of your own, check out our previous article on cannabis tinctures. It’s got all the steps and info you need to make your own THC or CBD tincture at home, easily.

Thanks for stopping by yet again and stay tuned for more content every week.