If you’re planning to cook with cannabis or just ordered your cannabis seeds online, you will need to decarboxylate it. Decarboxylation is an essential first step with cannabis. It involves the process of applying low heat for an extended period of time to convert cannabis’ non-intoxicating THCA into THC, the cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effects.
Decarboxylation is easy enough to do at home using tools you likely already have in the kitchen, beyond the basic oven method, here you’ll also find instructions for decarbing in a mason jar and by sous vide, which are excellent alternatives for those concerned about the pungent scent of cannabis cooking.
THE THREE METHODS
- Decarboxylation in a mason jar
- Set your oven between 220 and 240 degrees Fahrenheit and place the oven rack in the middle position.
- Crush or break up the cannabis until it’s about the size of a grain of rice, put it into the mason jar and lightly screw on the lid.
- Lightly wet the kitchen towel and lay it over the baking sheet, then put the mason jar on the towel. The damp towel will help anchor the jar to the baking sheet and keep it from breaking or falling over.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 60 minutes. Every 15 minutes, carefully remove the mason jar from the oven with the oven gloves and give it a shake to disperse the cannabis evenly.
- After 60 minutes, remove the jar from the oven, and let cool for 30 minutes before storing or using it for cooking.
- Decarboxylation in an oven
- Set your oven temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and place the oven rack in the middle position.
- Tear a piece of aluminium foil to the size of your baking sheet and lightly crumple it, then lay it across the baking sheet to minimize the direct contact of the cannabis.
- Break up the cannabis until it is about the size of a grain of rice, too fine of a grind increases the risk of burning. Lay and spread the cannabis across the aluminium foil, then lightly lay another piece of aluminium foil on top. Place it in the oven.
- 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 before you can carefully put it in your decarboxylated cannabis storage container.
- Decarboxylation by sous vide
- Fill your container with hot tap water, then place the immersion circulator inside. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the right amount of water is in the container. Set the immersion circulator to 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Since the temperature will be so precise, there is no need to worry about overheating the cannabis and destroying THC, terpenes, or flavour. You do, however, want to maximize surface area, so grind the cannabis finely.
- In a vacuum sealer or, using the water displacement method* in a zip-top plastic bag, seal the cannabis as flat and as tight as possible to minimize air pockets and maximize surface area.
- For 90 minutes, place the sealed cannabis bag into the water bath, then carefully remove and let it cool to room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Dry off the bag carefully, open it and place your decarboxylated cannabis into a container for future cooking.