Well first – you might ask “What the hell does decarb mean?”
Great question! To decarb, or decarboxylate is process of removing a “carboxyl group” from a chemical chain. How this relates to you is the cannabis you buy online or grow yourself is hopefully packed full of trichomes containing THCA. Decarbing it ‘activates’ the THCA and turns it into THC which allows it to be processed by your body for the intended euphoric effects.
This process occurs naturally when you spark up a big fat cone, but unfortunately much of the THC is overheated and destroyed during combustion. Vaporizers are just above decarb temperatures, but below combustion temperatures so you can extract much more of the THC from your flowers or concentrates.
“Ok but WHY would I want to decarboxylate if it happens normally?”
The most common reason is to make edibles, however a common trend is for people to make their own eJuice out of some nice concentrates.
When you just eat RAW uncooked (non-decarbed) weed – basically nothing happens as far as a high goes. A mild effect might be observed from the naturally occurring decarbing of cannabis over time, but nothing like what it could be.
Similarly – Non-decarbed concentrates will be mostly wasted potential if you were to make edibles or ejuice without properly decarbing it first. It likely won’t reach the required temperature for long enough during baking or if you were to run it through an eCig.
For concentrates like shatter and live resin it’s super simple. Just put it in a heat safe container and warm your concentrate in the oven at 220 degrees fahrenheit. Stay nearby and keep an eye on it – it’ll bubble as the THCA is converted to THC. The bubbles will slow – then eventually stop – signalling that your concentrate is ready to be further processed into delicious eJuices and incredible edibles. Silicone jars should be safe as they don’t start to degrade until they hit a much higher temperature. If you have some THC distillate (our Golden Goo) it’s already been on the heat long enough so it should be fully decarbed.
For flower it’s a bit more involved – you’ll need to bust up your flowers fairly consistently and spread it on a thin layer in a pan. To fully decarb it will likely take about 30-45 minutes at 220. Some people like going at a lower temperature for a longer time to preserve the terpenes a bit better but everyone will play with the “speeds n’ feeds” of it all to get their favorite effects. The longer and slower you go will tend to have a more sedative effect if that’s what you’re looking for.
Most of our strains here at BCBud are deliciously flavourful in their own right, so you probably wouldn’t feel the need to process them into anything else, but the old saying holds true when you’re trying to make something perfect – “Garbage in – Garbage out”. So the better your starting materials, the better your end product will be. Personally I would love to attempt to make some edibles out of my favorite strain ever – Grapefruit soda – but as soon as the can(s) hit my doorstep I can’t help but smoke it all.
We would love to hear which strains have been your past favorites and current go-to strains or concentrates for a truly special experience!