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Decarboxylation: The Simple Way to Decarb your Weed

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You’re ready to get cooking in the kitchen and wow your friends and family (or maybe just yourself) with your mad cannabis cooking skills. You’re ready to get high during breakfast, lunch and dinner – with some snacks in between. 

There’s just one problem.

You need to decarb your weed before you do anything else, and you’re just not sure how to get started.

Beauty shot of marijuana that has not been decarbed. Woman's hand holding glass jar with blue lid and blue fingernails.

Luckily you’re in the right place. With this simple recipe, you’ll be able to have your marijuana decarbed in no time. And I’m even answering all of your most-asked questions about the decarboxylation process.

Why you Need to Decarb Your Weed for Cooking

I get asked this question all the time, so let’s go ahead and answer it first thing. In order for your edibles to get you high, you need to put your cannabis through a decarboxylation or decarbing process.

By slowly cooking your dried buds, you’ll release the THC from the cannabis.

Believe it or not, your raw cannabis contains zero THC. Seriously.

You can google this for days and read about all of the fun science-y reasons behind this process. Or you can just understand that in order for the food you make with marijuana to get you high, you need to decarb your weed first.

Got it?

Good, let’s move on.

dried buds next to wooden spoon

The Easy Way to Decarb Your Weed

The decarboxylation can sound intimidating (probably because it’s such a big word), but it’s actually super easy. With just a little big of prep and an oven, you’ll be whipping up edibles in no time.

First, Prep Your Marijuana

dried buds with a handheld grinder

To prep your weed for baking, use a handheld grinder (or your fingers) and lightly grind your cannabis. You do NOT want it to be finely ground – just lightly ground – as if you were going to roll it into a joint.

Next, Bake Your Weed

decarbing weed in oven

It doesn’t get much easier than this. Simply spread your ground buds onto a cookie sheet and bake at 250° F for 20 minutes.

You can cover it if you want to, but it’s not necessary.

Finally, Eat Your Weed

Okay – don’t really eat it. But you’re now ready to cook with it. 

All of the recipes here at Cannabis Spatula start with a base of Canna Butter, Canna Oil or Canna Honey. You can click on the links below to get started!

How to Make Canna Butter

How to Make Canna Oil

How to Make Canna Honey

Answering your Biggest Decarbing Questions

I need to decarb my weed, but I’m afraid of the smell. How bad is this going to smell?

This was one of my biggest fears when I first started cooking with cannabis. There’s too much to cover in a quick answer, so click here to read an entire post on the smell of decarboxylation.

What types of marijuana need to be decarboxylated?

Pretty much all marijuana will benefit from being decarbed or “activated.” 

This means that not just flowers/buds and trim but kief, hash and hash oils as well.

I’m going to use this cannabis to make cannabutter and other edibles that I’m going to be baking/heating. Do I still need to decarb first?

Great question – and YES! For maximum potency of your edibles, you want to activate (or decarb) your cannabis first. 

This is the case even when you’re making slow-cooking infusions like canna butter and canna oil.

What happens if I don’t decarboxylate my cannabis?

Well, you’ll still get some medicinal benefits from the cannabis, but you won’t get as high.

Can I decarb my weed in a toaster oven?

Sure thing! In fact, some people that are nervous about the smell decarb their cannabis in a toaster oven in their garage, basement or even outside. Just be sure that your toaster oven is at an even temperature for 30 minutes before starting the baking process.

Can I decarb my weed using a food dehydrator?

Opinions are mixed on this decarbing process, and it’s not one that we’ve attempted ourselves. Our preference is for higher heat for a shorter amount of time.

If you’re dead set on using a food dehydrator, be sure to further research the process. From what we’ve heard, you need to plan on anywhere from 8 – 12 hours for your cannabis to be fully activated.

 

female hand holding dried marijuana buds. blue fingernails.

Decarboxylation: The Simple Way to Decarb your Weed

For those of you who prefer a printable recipe card, here you go. Bonus – there’s even a video for you!

Print

Decarboxylation: The Simple Way to Decarb your Weed

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Your first step in making delicious edibles that will get you high is to decarb your weed. This simple recipe will walk you through the decarboxylation process, and you’ll quickly see just how easy activating your cannabis can be!

  • Author: Cannabis Spatula
  • Prep Time: 2 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 22 min
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Cannabis
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Marijana

Ingredients

Raw marijuana (or whatever you prefer to call it – weed, pot, buds, cannabis, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F
  2. Use your hands or a handheld grinder to grind your cannabis. Do not over-grind it.
  3. Spread your marijuana onto a cookie sheet and cover with tin foil (cover is optional)
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Use your decarbed cannabis to make the base for your edibles.

Notes

If using a toaster oven, make sure toaster oven has been at even temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Oven temperatures may vary. We advise using an oven thermometer for accurate oven temps and for achieving the highest-possible potency for your pot.

Keywords: decarb, activate, weed, marijuana, pot, cannabis, decarboxylation

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46 Comments

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  11. Smitty

    December 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    I don’t trust the temp setting on my crockpot…even on the warm setting my food bubbles. Thinking about a MBM machine is this a good investment?

    • Cannabis Spatula

      April 3, 2020 at 8:32 pm

      It would probably be a great investment, but if you’re looking for something less expensive, it would cost less to just purchase a new crockpot with settings you can trust.

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  17. Diane Neufeld

    February 24, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    How many ounces of weed do you need to make 1 cup of cannabutter?

  18. Robert Hall

    March 6, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    So with all this interest in decarbing weed to get the benefits have you wondered if MANY other plants we use could also gain potency from this? Raw peppercorns and other herb, spice and plant foods in general?
    Thanks,
    Robert Hall

  19. Juli

    March 24, 2020 at 7:40 am

    We tried to decarb our first batch today to make a recipe of chocolate. What I didn’t realize until it was too late my oven turned off after about 20 minutes. now I have a large chocolate bar, (made with crushed cannabis), that has virtually no med. Is there anything I can do with it now? HELP this is an expensive mistake.

    • Cannabis Spatula

      April 3, 2020 at 8:34 pm

      Oh gosh – that is such a bummer. What did you end up doing?

    • Naturabis

      May 12, 2020 at 11:32 am

      I would try melt it back in a “bain marie” and cook it for a about an hr.

  20. Butch Scott

    May 3, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Your oven setting of 250 is this in Fahrenheit.

    • Cannabis Spatula

      May 19, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      Fahrenheit. Sorry about that. The recipe has been updated.

  21. Indu

    May 4, 2020 at 2:27 am

    250 celsius? Or do you guys use fahrenheit?

  22. Ryan

    May 10, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    I never decarb my buds before mAking canna oil and I always get high…no clue why you think u need to decarb it..as long as you hear up cannabis it releases THC.

    • Cannabis Spatula

      May 19, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      You are definitely losing some of the THC by not decarbing it first. But if it’s working for you, go for it. You may find, that by decarbing first, you use less of it in your actual recipe and it lasts longer.

  23. Wesley

    May 17, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    I’ve tried decarboxylating my cannabis 2 times and I really didn’t feel n e thing. But I think I no what I done wrong. After baking it for 45 min at 220 to 230. Then letting it cool and putting my butter n a pan dump the cannabis in with it then I was heating out for another 30 to 45 min. Am I cooking all the good stuff out?

  24. Randy

    May 18, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Once you decarb will you need to do it again? Say if you decided not to use it for a couple of weeks?

    • Cannabis Spatula

      May 19, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      Nope – you should only need to do it once. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container.

  25. Flor

    June 3, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Hi, can i use aluminum foil instead of cookie sheet?? Thanks!!

  26. Christine Letendre

    June 9, 2020 at 7:47 am

    Do you have to wait for it to cool down before putting lid on and refrigerate? Sorry first to e and just not sure.

    • Cannabis Spatula

      June 9, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      Wait for it to cool and then store in an airtight container. Your decarbed weed does NOT need to be refrigerated. If you turn it into CannaButter, then you would want to refrigerate the butter.

  27. Tony

    July 7, 2020 at 12:07 am

    Why do I need to decarb it to cook with it but I don’t if I decide to smoke it?

    • Cannabis Spatula

      July 27, 2020 at 2:21 am

      When you smoke it, you’re adding heat. Decarbing does the same thing. It’s required to pull out the THC.

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  29. Denise

    October 8, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Do I need to decarb it, if I’m using the stems only?

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