How To

Decarboxylation - How to Decarb Weed

Decarboxylation is the process of converting TCHA into active THC. This step activates your weed, using heat (typically from an oven), prior to infusion into butter, oils, or alcohol.

What is Decarboxylation?

Decarboxylation, often referred to as decarbing, is the conversion of inactive THCA, into active THC. If you were to eat cannabis flower without decarbing it first, you would feel little to no effect from the weed. Decarbing before infusing into butter, oil, or tincture will make your subsequent edibles much more powerful than they otherwise would be. While this process occurs naturally over time, it can be sped up with heat, oxygen and light. Smoking efficiently converts during the burning process.

Note: Roughly 90% of the THCA is converted into THC during the decarb process.

How To

Getting Started

Preheat time: 1 hour
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min

Decarbing is a fairly straightforward process, so don't get frazzled. To begin decarbing your weed, you will need the following materials:

  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 roll of parchment paper
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 sharp kitchen knife
  • 1 oven

1. Preheat Oven

Preheat the oven to 250°F and let it fully preheat for an about hour. This is important to give the oven the proper amount of time it needs to evenly distribute heath throughout. This will result in a more consistent, higher-potency decarboxylation...and, therefore, more powerful edibles.

  • There is some debate about the optimal temperature for which to decarb weed at. The gist is, higher temperatures will convert THCA into THC at a faster rate, however, will degrade (burn up) the THC after a while. Lower temperatures may not reach optimal levels of THCA conversion, and can take hours to reach peak conversion. One New Zealand study concluded, for example, that optimal THCA conversion to THC occurred at 320°F for 7 min. Because home ovens can fluctuate in temperature enough and home bakes tend to be forgetful, we recommend a less heat and time sensitive decarb process.

CAREFUL: Standard ovens that individuals use in the home can fluctuate in temperature up to 15-20°F. Keep track of your cannabis during decarbing...if you detect that it is browning too much, turn down the temperature 20°F to prevent THC and terpene degredation.

2. Weigh Your Cannabis (optional)

Whether you've selected cannabis flower (bud), shake, or trim, weighing your cannabis and knowing its THC potency will allow you to calculate the potency of your final infusion.

  • Extra: Measuring your cannabis is necessary for estimating cannabis potency. Check out our potency estimation guide for more info.
Weigh cannabis

3. Separate and Break It Up

Break up and mince your cannabis using a kitchen knife and cutting board. If you are using trim or flower that contains large stems or leaves, remove those by hand or clip them with scissors. These contain very little THC and will only leech herbal flavor into your infusion.

Some instructions call for grinding the cannabis with a grinder or food processor; this may, however, result in lost THC because of trichomes being shaken off and lost in the process. Trichomes are hairlike structures that form on the exterior of the cannabis flower and contains the majority of the concentration of THC in the plant.

Chop cannabis

4. Spread on Baking Sheet

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and then evenly spread the cannabis plant material (minus large stems and leaves) across the sheet. Try to avoid overlapping any large amounts of plant material to most evenly apply heat while baking.

Spread cannabis on baking sheet

5. Bake

Let the cannabis bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Keep an eye and nose out for over-browning of the cannabis; if it appears as though it may be slightly burning or browning too quickly, turn the oven down 20°F.

6. Remove from Oven

Remove the baking sheet containing the decabed weed from the oven and allow it to cool for 10-20 minutes before handling. The cannabis should be lightly browned, dry and crumbly.

7. Store Until Use

If you are not immediately using the decarbed cannabis, store it in an airtight container (e.g. a glass jar) and keep it somewhere relatively cool, dry, and dark for up to 6 months.

Keeping the cannabis sealed will help to suffocate any bacterial growth that would spoil the flower. Similarly, light degrades both herbal contents and THC (Over time, converting into CBN), so keeping it dark will help to maintain its flavor and potency.

Now Use Your Decarbed Weed

Common Questions


When you smoke bud, the heat from burning the weed converts the inactive THCA into active THC. In edibles, you must decarb the weed ahead of consuming it by applying heat to make the same activation occur. Otherwise, your digestive system will not access active THC.

~30-40 minutes

You will degrade the THC in the weed as well as other cannabinoids, terpenes and herbal contents, essentially, making your weed less potent.

Up to 6 months.

Now that your THC has been activated, you can infuse THC and the other cannabinoids in your decarbed weed into an alcohol-based tincture, butter, or oil. Optionally, you could bake or mix the weed directly into a recipe, however, you will be eating the bitter plant material with it...but the high will still arrive.