Raw Cannabis contains a lot of THCA, which is medicinal but not psychoactive… When you heat cannabis past a certain temperature, the THCA molecule loses its carboxylic group (COOH) in the form of water vapor and carbon dioxide. This is the process of THCA converting into THC.
Long story short, THCA becomes THC when heated properly and THEN your Cannabis becomes fully active. This process is called decarboxylation or decarbing. Once finished, your final product is not only ready to put in your favorite recipe, it’s completely active! No additional heating necessary.
Decarbing is said to be unnecessary in recipes that involve high heat such as brownies etc. or before making Cannabutter. However, many would disagree with that statement. It’s all personal preference really.
Decarbing cannabis before making your butter will give a rather mild but possibly unpleasant toasted/burnt taste to your final product, but then again, a lot of people don’t like the taste of marijuana to begin with. (Yes, that’s possible…) What I will say is using the decarb method before making your butter does seem to give you a bit more bang for your buck (and for all you patients out there who don’t like that Cannabis taste and smell, we are currently working on a recipe that will HEAVILY cut down on the flavor and aroma, you won’t believe its not butter..)
Set oven to 240-260 degrees, with an oven thermometer inside to check the heat. (feel free to lower temp if you are using very dry medicine, or raise it slightly if not fully dried and cured for use. Trust your own judgment but don’t stray more than 20 degrees over or 20 degrees under. That’s just asking for problems.. and remember, after the first 15 mins of decarbing you should be carefully checking the oven every 5 to ten mins 1 ounce of finely ground Cannabis (a lot of tutorials tell you to decarb either nugs or buds broken down by hand. Why? I have no idea but what I will tell you is that I disagree, grind that shit..)
Cookie sheet big enough to hold all your Cannabis, without cramming it on there, leave room for heat to circulate throughout the medication evenly. Once your medicine is spread evenly on your cookie sheet and your oven is up to temp (check that handy little thermometer first..) you’re ready to start your decarb Place cookie shit with Cannabis in oven, closing the door quickly to avoid heat leakage.
Leave oven for 20 minutes, DO NOT OPEN until the 20 minutes are up. When you check your product crack the oven door as little as possible to prevent heat leakage. Continue checking every 5 to ten mins, (door cracked not wide open!!)
When your herb is fully decarbed it should be a dark brown, close to black depending on how dark the strain was.
Now you can use your Cannabis in any traditional recipe to make Cannabis infused edibles on the fly!