How to Decarboxylate Cannabis: 3 methods | Herban Planet

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How to Decarboxylate Cannabis: 3 methods

Many people choose to decarboxylate cannabis because, well, simply throwing raw material into food won’t produce any effect. Moreover, they don’t want the mind-altering experience but still need those health benefits of the plant.

What is Decarboxylation?

This process has a hard-to-produce name but it’s actually a fairly simple one. During decarboxylation, cannabis material is heated to activate the relaxing and mind-altering effects. This process actually occurs very slowly with time, but since we don’t have all the time in the world, we can use a tool like an oven to speed it up.

Without getting too technical, here’s what happens during the heating: it removes an extra molecule (carboxyl group, hence the name) attached to the THC and CBD components. This conversion dramatically increases the potency of your marijuana edibles and tinctures so they take effect quicker. Smoking marijuana allows decarbing, but it doesn’t happen with cannabutter, oils, and edibles, so you need to do is yourself, beforehand.

But how exactly do you decarboxylate? There are three methods.

Decarboxylation in Oven

You’ll need:

  • Kief or ground bud
  • Parchment paper
  • Timer
  • A baking sheet
  • An oven set to 22o degrees Fahrenheit (105 Celsius)


Begin by grinding dried marijuana material finely and lay it evenly on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to break any large pieces.

Then, place the baking sheet in the oven preheated to the temperature above on the middle rack and let it hang out for 40 minutes (a fresh cannabis may take 50 minutes).

Finally, remove the material and let it cool down. It should have a dark green color.

Decarboxylation by Hot Oil Bath

You’ll need:

  • Marijuana material
  • Medium-sized pot
  • Fine strainer
  • Stove top
  • A bottle of oil of your choice
  • Cheesecloth
  • A grinder

This method also requires a perfectly ground cannabis, so take your grinder and get to work. Once you’re done, proceed to the next step of preparing cannabis: mixing it with oil. Although many recommend to use one cup of cannabis to one cup of oil, keep in mind that you can always use less oil for a more potent product, and more oil for a less potent one.

Now, it’s time to cook the mixture for several hours in a pot. To avoid scorching, keep the heat around 245 Fahrenheit (118 Celsius) and stir frequently to break up bubbles. Keep in mind that this method produces a lot of smell, so keep your window open.

Remove the oil from heat bubble formation begins to slow down and let it cool until it’s safe to handle. Next, pour the mixture into a bowl and use a strainer with a cheesecloth to filter out small particles of cannabis. The last step is to lift out the cheesecloth and get as much oil as you possibly can. You’re done!

Decarboxylation by Boiling Water Bag

You’ll need:

  • Marijuana material
  • Vacuum-sealed boiling bag
  • Medium-sized pot

Although this method is a bit more intensive than the other two, it’s also widely used by cannabis chefs. Being the process of decarboxylation by placing the cannabis hash/keif/flower into a boilable bag and sealing it. Then, submerge the bag filled into boiling water for approximately 90 minutes. Make sure that the water doesn’t evaporate by keeping the temperature around 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius).

After this time, carefully remove the bag from the pot and let it cool off.

Where is decarboxylate cannabis used?

Decarboxylation is critical to producing potent hash oil, tinctures, and butters. This means that you can experiment by adding them instead of regular ingredients to make great edibles like brownies.


Written By Kathrin Garner