Inspired by the original blog article titled Decarboxylation, by our friend The Florida Marijuana Mentor, we wanted to also share how you can follow this similar process for CBD.
But first, what is decarboxylation?It’s only the first and most important step in any DIY hemp concoction if you want to unlock the full benefits of the plant. Decarboxylation is the process that activates the compounds in hemp. You can eat dried buds all day, but unless the flower is decarbed, it will only provide amazing anti-inflammatory properties. I repeat, you will NOT get the full therapeutic effects. Why is this?
The scientific answer is that all cannabinoids within the trichomes of raw hemp flowers have an extra carboxyl ring or group (COOH) attached to their chain. This means the molecular makeup of one of our favorite cannabinoids, CBD, is actually CBDa in raw hemp flowers. There is an acid attached to the molecular structure. For hemp to have its full effect, that molecule has to be changed, and that acid must be dropped. CBDa needs to be turned into CBD. How? Heat!
How to decarb CBD
Heat is the quickest, easiest way to decarb your flower. Time will also naturally create this reaction, but it can take a long time, and I want to be making cannabutter by sundown.
Here’s the step by step:
Step 1: Break your flower apart with your fingers and sprinkle on a cookie sheet. Do not use a grinder as there is no need to grind the flower too fine. This can actually harm the trichomes, decreasing the potency of the bud, and will just make any infusion taste very herbacious.
Step 2: Set your oven to 240 degrees. Once the oven is heated, use an oven thermometer to check the true temperature of the oven. Many ovens run hot, typically 10 degrees over what the digital display reads. You want to find the heat setting where the actual temperature in the oven is 240 degrees. It’s very important to not let the flower get too hot or it will burn and all of the medicinal oil in the trichomes will evaporate. You also want to make sure you get the flower hot enough, or the acid will not be dropped from the CBD and your end product will not give you the benefits you are looking for. Flower is expensive, let’s make sure we get the most out of it that we can!
Step 3: Once your oven is the proper internal temperature, put the cookie sheet with your flower on the middle rack. Bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, mix the flower and set your timer for another 20 minutes.
Step 4: After a total of 40 minutes in the oven, take your flower out. You are done and have just decarb’d your flower! Your bud and the CBD has been activated and is ready to make infusions!
*TIP, TRICKS AND SHORTCUTS*If you use a dry flower vaporizer, save that bud after your last smoke sesh! You are essentially decarboxylating the flower in your vaporizer when you heat and smoke it. That “used” flower still has some cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids left and can be repurposed to make cannabutter, tinctures and other infusions. Store your AVB (already vaped bud) in a mason jar until you’ve collected at least 3.5g.
If you want to learn more about our friend the Florida Marijuana Mentor, visit her blog at: https://floridamarijuanamentor.com/