Decarboxylating cannabis is a science. Do it wrong, and you could ruin your whole stash. Do it right and you could increase the shelflife and potency of your precious cannabis material.
- 1 What Is Decardoxylating?
- 2 What Is the Difference Between Dried and Decarbed Cannabis?
- 3 Best Cannabis For Smoking
- 4 Is Smoking Decarbed Cannabis More Potent?
- 5 Best Cannabis to Consume
- 6 Final Thoughts
What Is Decardoxylating?
Simply put, decarboxylation is the process of converting the THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) that is found in fresh cannabis, into the psychotropic compound THC. This is done by placing the cannabis under temperatures of around 200-220°F (95-105°C) for 30-45 minutes.
Temperatures of 280-300°F (135-150°C) are too high. At this range or higher, the risk of degrading the integrity of both the cannabinoids and terpenoids, the compounds that are responsible for providing the beneficial effects of cannabis, is greatly increased and should be avoided.
What Is the Difference Between Dried and Decarbed Cannabis?
Raw, freshly cut cannabis has the highest THCA concentration. THCA is not an intoxicating compound itself. Which is why you would be less likely to get a high from ingesting raw cannabis. It does have a number of beneficial medicinal benefits when it is consumed.
The process of curing the raw cannabis by allowing it to dry out over a period of time will naturally convert the THCA compounds into THC. This may take several months to achieve. It can also be affected by local humidity and temperatures, which leaves behind varying levels of THCA. Dried Cannabis still contains some moisture that can lead to molding issues during storage.
When someone decardoxylates their cannabis, they are trying to convert this remaining THCA in the dried cannabis, into THC in an attempt at creating a much more potent product. Decarbed cannabis is dried out to the point where virtually all moisture has been removed, and much like a dried herb, extending its shelflife considerably.
Best Cannabis For Smoking
Raw cannabis is the least ideal cannabis product for smoking. Not only is it harder to light due to its moisture content, it also produces a lot more darker smoke that doesn’t smell as good.
Dried Cannabis Smoking
Dried cannabis is the ideal leaf/bud product for smoking. It has the right amount of moisture content that not only allows for it to be lit, it also allows it to burn at a slower rate, converting the remaining THCA into THC in the process. The flavor profile is also smoother than decarbed, and much more palatable.
Decarbed Cannabis Smoking
Decarbed cannabis, while better than raw, freshly cut cannabis, is not the best option for smoking. Even though the THCA: THC conversion rate may be higher than what is found in dried cannabis, it doesn’t offer any additional benefits when smoked.
If decarboxylated incorrectly, it could turn the cannabis into dust when handled, have a burnt popcorn flavor profile, or even incinerate rather than burn slowly, and become harsher to smoke.
Is Smoking Decarbed Cannabis More Potent?
No, it is not. Decarbed cannabis simply has the remaining THCA that remained in the dried cannabis pre-converted into THC, it doesn’t contain more of it.
While you are smoking dried cannabis, be it in a bowl, joint, blunt, pipe, or even a vaporizer, the heat that is used to breakdown the cannabis is more than enough to convert this remaining THCA into THC.
Why Do Some People Claim That It Is More Potent?
There are several reasons for this. One reason could be that they simply believe that they are smoking something that’s more potent, which has a psychosomatic/placebo effect.
Another reason why some people have found that decarboxylating their dried cannabis could be increasing the potency may have a lot to do with how their cannabis has been cured in the first place.
If cannabis is allowed to be cured properly in a dark room with airflow, and a temperature range of 60-70°F (15-21°C), with humidity between 45-55%, the THCA will naturally be converted into THC. By not curing cannabis correctly, less of the THCA will be converted into THC.
Having found themselves with a poorly cured cannabis product may be the leading reason why some people have found that decarboxylating their stash can improve its potency.
Best Cannabis to Consume
Aside from the benefits that can be gained from consuming Hemp Seeds, there are additional benefits that can be found by adding the cannabis plant material to your food.
Raw, Freshly Cut Cannabis
In its raw form, THCA content is at its highest in freshly cut cannabis. Ingesting fresh cannabis has the potential of providing anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, thanks to its higher THCA content.
Another benefit of eating raw cannabis is that it doesn’t have any intoxicating effects, while still being capable of providing its benefits.
Dried cannabis, hemp or marijuana, is a great product to add to freshly cooked or baked goodies. By ingesting cannabis-infused food, you are able to absorb the nutrients, THCA, THC, and CBD that are found in the cannabis plant.
The best natural cannabis product to add to your food is decarbed cannabis. Cannabis that has been put through a decarboxylate process, will have a much higher THC and CBD content than raw, or dried/cured cannabis products.
These higher concentrated compound levels are more easily absorbed when ingested. Decarbed cannabis can be effectively used in more ways than most other natural cannabis products.
Since decarbed cannabis has been dried out under heat, it is much easier to break up. It can be easily added to mixtures when baking cakes and pastries. It can even be used as a herb and added to soups, stews, or to season meats and fish.
Not only is decarbed cannabis easier for the body to break down and absorb when consumed, it is also the most versatile form of natural cannabis product.
If you are considering using decarbed cannabis, it would be best to first determine how you intend to use it. If you are looking for a more potent, and pleasant smoking experience, dried/cured cannabis would be your best option.
If you are looking to extend the shelflife of your stash, then decarbed cannabis would give you the best results, albeit a more degraded product.
And finally, if you are looking for the best form of cannabis to cook or bake with, then decarbed cannabis could provide you with a more potent ingredient. It could even be used as a garnish seasoning or topping. But if you are looking to gain the benefits from THCA itself, then raw, freshly cut cannabis would be more suited for your needs.