If anyone ever says that they ate a bunch of weed and melted into a couch, they’re likely lying. Sure, a few movie scenes show similar scenarios but their writers obviously never inhaled. With the urban myth cracked, there’s one question: Why do edibles, tinctures, and caps get us elevated, but snacking on a nug does nothing?

Because a crucial process is missing: decarboxylation.

What is decarboxylation?

what is decarboxylation
Decarboxylation is a chemical process that converts THCa to THC

So what is decarboxylation? Often referred to as decarbing, decarboxylation is a process that uses heat to expedite the natural conversion of THCA into THC. THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid acid found on fresh and dried flowers that is essentially the precursor to THC. During the curing process, some THCA does convert to THC, but only in trace amounts. Some type of heat is always required to secure a psychoactive effect.

When should I decarb my weed? 

If you’re ever altering the form of cannabis flower, the decarboxylation process is your first step. This includes:

  • Making infused oils, edibles, drinks and food.
  • Making tinctures.
  • Mixing cannabis concentrates in edibles and drinks.
  • Making full-extract extractions at home.

How to decarb weed 

Low and slow is the name of the game! Just like hot dabs, high temperatures degrade cannabinoids. Don’t try to speed up the process by cranking up the oven or you’ll end up with some bunk stuff. Always keep temperatures under 250 °F — and because some ovens run hotter than others — we recommend purchasing an oven thermometer or using a temperature gun to get an exact reading. The steps are straightforward and simple, so don’t get intimidated!

You’ll need:

  • Conventional oven
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven thermometer or temp gun
  • Cannabis flower


  • Preheat your oven to 230°F
  • Coarsely grind your weed and spread it evenly across a parchment-lined baking sheet with raised edges.
  • Bake for up to an hour. At 25 minutes remove the baking sheet and stir/flip the buds. Keep the oven door closed to maintain internal temperature.
  • Check-in at 40 minutes. If your cannabis has a golden glow or is dark green remove it from the oven. Once the buds appear lightly toasted, you’re good to infuse everything yummy.

Decarbing concentrates

You can also make edibles with concentrates like live resin, sauce, butane hash oils, and RSO! Just like cannabis, concentrates need to be decarbed before being added to any foods or drinks with one exception: distillate.

The process of decarbing concentrates varies based on the type of oil, but low and slow is still the way to go.

How to Decarb BHO 

You’ll need:

  • Conventional oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven thermometer or temp gun
  • Concentrates


  • Preheat oven to 210°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Pop extracts in the freezer for a few minutes to help harden sticky consistencies if needed, then distribute the concentrate evenly across a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the extracts begin to bubble
  • Cool before mixing with butter or oils

If you’re looking to simplify the process, there are a bunch of products out there in support.

You can’t beat the price of a $40 decarber! The Decarb Kit makes the old-fashion way more accurate with help from an oven thermometer that provides temperature control. Home ovens can really vary from the set temperature, so this device helps you regulate. It also includes a silicone box for baking that controls odor.

Decarb Kit
The Decarb Kit is affordable and makes it easy to decarb up to 3 ounces of weed.;

The STX Activation 420 Decarboxylator is fully automatic, virtually odorless, and can decarb up to 2 ounces at a time! The kit includes the fully automatic unit, two food-grade stainless steel canisters with one that allows you to separate two strains, and silicone lids for easy storage.

STX Activation 420 Decarboxylator
The STX Activation 420 Decarboxylator is an advanced decarboxylator which features a fully automatic decarb mode.

Nearly 80% of reviewers give the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator a 5-star review. The simple-to-use machine boasts precise heating cycles and single-button activation. It holds up to one ounce of cannabis and utilizes an algorithm and precision sensors to create the perfect end result.

Ardent Nova Decarboxylator
The Ardent Nova Decarboxylator is easy to use and holds up to an ounce of material.

Recipes for your decarbed goodness

For most edibles, making cannabutter is the first step. We outline the how-tos in detail here. It’s the starting point for many classic recipes like pot brownies, cookies, and cheesecake. If you’re intimidated in the kitchen, cannabutter can replace butter in simpler situations like buttered toast or frozen waffles. If you can work a toaster, you can get high.


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