Cannabis contains more than 120 cannabinoids, with THC and CBD being the two best-known ones. THC is the cannabinoid that produces the high everyone associates with the plant — but to reap its benefits, you need to activate the THC first.

cannabis drying process

If you’re expecting to get high or feel other effects, using raw cannabis will likely result in a less than stellar experience. What you need is cannabis decarboxylation. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Cannabis Decarboxylation?

Decarboxylation refers to the process of activating various cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It transforms THCA, which is a non-psychoactive compound, into THC. Once converted, it can produce the high that many cannabis users know and love. The process also converts CBDA into CBD.

What does it take to decarboxylate cannabis? There are a few ways to accomplish decarboxylation. The process occurs gradually when growers dry and cure buds. Smoking and vaping cannabis also cause decarboxylation to occur instantly, which is why you can smoke or vape ground buds and feel the effects of THC.

How to Decarboxylate Cannabis at Home

You can also decarboxylate cannabis using your oven. This is an excellent and fairly straightforward method if you’re looking to infuse butter or oil to make homemade edibles.

The first step is to preheat your oven and grind your buds. A coarse grind is best. You don’t want anything too fine because this could lead to bits of bud in your infusion.

Next, spread the cannabis on a baking sheet and pop the pan into the oven. Mix the buds periodically to ensure even exposure to heat. Bake them for 30 to 45 minutes at least, although you can let them go for a little longer to unlock more cannabinoids.

Why Applying Temperature Is Critical to Cannabis Use

THCA typically begins to decarboxylate and transform into active THC at around 220° Fahrenheit. Cannabis needs to be exposed to this temperature for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Some users decarboxylate their buds at lower temperatures to help preserve more compounds.

You don’t want to decarboxylate your cannabis buds at too high of a temperature. Doing so might unlock the THC and other cannabinoids faster, but could compromise the terpenes. If you go beyond a certain temperature, the heat could also destroy the cannabinoids. Some things are worth the wait.

Cannabis decarboxylation is essential for activating THC and CBD. The process allows you to enjoy the optimum benefits of cannabis. Heat is critical — whether you smoke the bud, vape it, or activate it in the oven to use in homemade edibles. It brings out the best in your cannabis and provides you with the results you need.