If you’ve done even a preliminary Google on how to make edibles, you may have come across the term “decarbing,” short for “decarboxylation.” When you decarb weed, what you’re literally doing is removing a carboxylic acid group and replacing it with a hydrogen atom in a molecular chain.
You're effectively creating a digestible psychoactive compound out of a non-psychoactive digestible compound. If you love to confuse yourself with chemistry, here’s the full explanation from our friends at the Wikipedia Institution for Higher Learning:
If you don’t decarb your weed before cooking it into an oil or butter, you’ll still benefit from the properties of THCA — like pain alleviation — but it won’t get you high.
To decarboxylate cannabis, you need heat: smoking or vaping instantly decarboxylates the cannabinoids in weed, allowing quick absorption through your lungs. But to get the weed to a state where your gut can absorb the compounds, you’ll need to apply low heat over a long period of time, turning the TCHA into classic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). By slowly heating the weed, the integrity of the material is preserved for the eventual infusion into oil.
The easiest way to decarboxylate your weed is to line a baking tray with tin foil or parchment paper, then pour a fine layer of ground marijuana over the whole thing. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees, then bake the marijuana for about 35 minutes.
And voila! You’ll be on your way to accidentally eating way too many “special homemade” brownies in no time.
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