Cannabis concentrates — we all know and love them. They offer distinct benefits over consuming the actual plant. Their condensed form makes them ideal for enjoying potent weed without the mess of smoking the flower.
Before you can reap cannabis concentrates' full benefits, you should consider decarbing. In this guide, we'll teach you how to decarboxylate cannabis products and offer must-know information on the decarboxylation process.
What Is Decarboxylation?
When you decarboxylate cannabis, you heat it up to activate the plant's natural compounds. This process gives the substance a heightened potency that you would otherwise miss out on.
Converting THCA to THC
The decarboxylation process will convert the acid-based, non-psychoactive THCA into the active THC cannabinoid. As a result, you can experience more cerebral and euphoric effects that you won't get from THCA.
How to Decarb Cannabis Concentrates
Decarbing cannabis concentrates is quite simple in theory, but there are multiple approaches to take depending on the type of cannabis you have. Some of the different cooking methods include:
Recipe for Decarbing Butane Hash Oil
To decarb BHO (butane hash oil), you'll need:
- BHO cannabis concentrate
- An oven-safe dish or baking sheet
- An oven thermometer
- Parchment paper
To start the process, preheat your oven to anywhere between 200 and 250°F. Different areas of the oven may be different temperatures, so use your oven thermometer to check the temperature of the oven shelf you plan on using.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the Butane Hash Oil cannabis extract in the center of the freshly lined pan.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and allow it to heat for around 25 minutes. Wait for the BHO cannabis extract to melt completely. Steady bubbling is a telltale sign it's time to take the sheet out of the oven. Don't allow your product to cook for too long, as cannabis concentrate that gets too hot will degrade.
After you notice the bubbling begin, let your BHO cannabis concentrate cool for a few minutes. It will soon be ready for consumption.
Recipe for Decarbing RSO
To decarb RSO (Rick Simpson Oil), you will need:
- RSO cannabis concentrate
- Cooking oil (either canola or sunflower oil)
- A large pot
- A stirring utensil
- A thermometer
- A silicone or glass container
Begin by filling your pot a quarter full of canola or sunflower oil. Put the RSO inside the silicone or glass container. Then, place the container inside the large vessel filled with the oil.
Place the pot on a stovetop and cook the contents using medium-low heat. Cook and stir continuously to break the bubbles that rise to the top. Don't allow the bubbles to accumulate — bubbles can make for a messy final product.
As you stir, take things low and slow not to agitate the mixture. Use your thermometer to monitor the water's temperature. Once the contents get hot enough (to 200°F), cease cooking and take the pot away from the heating source.
Allow the pot to sit away from heat for several minutes. Once the bubbles recede and the heat reduces, you can take out the silicone or glass container using your tongs.
Recipe for Decarbing Kief
Kief is a unique type of cannabis concentrate. It's solvent-free and consists of various trichome heads.
To decarb this marijuana concentrate, you'll need:
- Parchment paper
- A baking sheet
- A spatula
- An oven thermometer
The decarboxylation process for kief is very similar to that of BHO. Preheat your oven to 200°F and check the temperature of the shelf you wish to use.
Spread the marijuana concentrate on top of a lined baking sheet evenly, and avoid making a cloud of kief. Cooking kief doesn't require as much time as cooking BHO does. You'll only need to let your kief tray cook for around 15 minutes.
Once it's done, take out the pan and let your cannabis concentrate cool down. You can allow it to sit for several hours if you don't need it until later.
How to Make Cannabutter with Concentrates
Are you looking for an easy way to incorporate decarboxylated weed concentrates into your everyday routine? Consider trying edible cannabutter.
It doesn't matter what you plan to use your butter for. You can incorporate it into a baking recipe and make edibles like cookies and cakes. Or, you can use it to add flavor to pasta, coffee, or popcorn.
In any case, here is a step-by-step recipe to follow:
1) Gather Your Ingredients
For this recipe, you'll need:
- One or two grams of your choice of a BHO concentrate (or another form of concentrate)
- An oven-safe dish
- Parchment paper
- A saucepan
- A dabber
- A lighter
- Butter or oil
- Two teaspoons of soy lecithin (liquid or powdered)
2) Decarboxylate Your Extracts
Before you begin this method, you'll need a decarboxylated, or "activated," cannabis concentrate. Follow any method we discussed above to activate the THC compounds.
Once you've let your concentrate cool, you can place the wax in the freezer for around ten minutes. Freezing your wax will let you more easily remove it from the paper using your dabber.
3) Infuse the Butter (Or Cooking Oil/Coconut Oil) with Your BHO Concentrate
Once you scrape the marijuana wax off of the paper, it'll need to be infused into the butter.
Start by heating your butter in a saucepan. Use low heat and wait until the butter starts melting, but don't allow it to reach a boiling point. Once the melting begins, you can move the concentrate into the saucepan.
Gently stir to distribute the concentrate into the warm butter. After several minutes, your mixture should be infused. You'll have potent cannabutter to use in any recipe you wish, including cookies, breads, and cakes.
Some consumers opt to use coconut oil over butter. Coconut oil contains a lot of fat, and cannabinoids tend to bind to lipids. As a result, mixing the oil and concentrate to make cannabutter will be much easier.
4) Add Lecithin to Your Infused Mixture to Heighten the Effects — Optional
You can consume your infused mixture as is, or you can add a couple of teaspoons of lecithin to enhance the cannabis concentrate's effects. Infused lecithin will increase the rate of absorption of THC in your bloodstream.
Dosing Edibles Made with Dabs
When it comes to consuming cannabis concentrates, you'll only need a little bit compared to cannabis flower buds.
As far as dosing for edibles goes, you'll need to consider the potency of your marijuana. Assume your marijuana is 80% THC, which means you'll have 800mg of THC per gram.
For a recipe that makes approximately 20 edibles, each edible cookie will contain 40mg of THC.
Most beginners will require about 10mg of THC, so you should only eat about a quarter of the cookie to avoid a negative experience. More experienced users can often tolerate edibles that contain a higher number of grams.
Determine the number of milligrams you'll benefit from before you try a recipe and start consuming edibles.
Here are some common questions, asked and answered, about the decarboxylation process:
Are Weed Concentrates Already Decarbed?
This might be news to you — most weed concentrates are not already decarboxylated or "activated."
Most consumers don't want to receive already-cooked weed, so dispensaries don't decarboxylate their products. Instead, consumers cook the products and activate the concentrated cannabinoids themselves.
How Do You Decarb an Oil Cartridge?
Some vaping cannabis cartridges are already decarboxylated. If you purchased one like this, you wouldn't need to do anything. However, most manufacturers sell oil cartridges that aren't decarboxylated.
To decarb one, follow these steps:
- Place the cartridge in a Ziploc bag.
- Fill a microwaveable cup with water and put it in the microwave for 60 seconds.
- Take the cup out and place the cartridge in the mug with the mouthpiece facing up. Hold it in place for up to five minutes.
Always Use a Reliable Oil Cartridge
When you choose to decarb an oil cartridge, make sure you obtain it from a trustworthy vendor. If you don't, you may receive a damaged or re-manufactured item. Using a sub-par oil cartridge, even if you decarboxylate correctly, can increase your risk of acquiring lung damage.
Is Decarboxylation Necessary for Edibles?
No. You can still benefit from the THC-A and CBD properties that offer pain reduction. However, you won't experience the "high" feelings associated with smoking buds.
The body can't convert THC-A into THC on its own. You'll need to do some prep work beforehand to encourage this conversion.
Can Decarboxylation Get You High?
Yes. When you decarb a weed concentrate, you won't only experience the benefits of the CBD cannabinoid. You'll also activate the high-inducing THC cannabinoids.
What Are the Benefits of Using Decarbed Weed Concentrates in Edibles?
Some benefits of using decarbed cannabis concentrates include:
Using decarbed weed concentrates will let your body experience the potency of THC, all without needing to smoke the plant buds.
Reduced Herbal Flavor
It doesn't matter if you can't stand the taste of marijuana. You can infuse decarbed cannabis concentrates into your favorite recipes and edibles and minimize the intense flavor of weed.
Sign up for enjoying the benefits of THC in edibles in public without drawing attention to yourself. Plus, you don't have to consume as much at once to achieve the desired results, as weed concentrates are highly potent.