Why Decarboxylating Your Cannabis Is So Important
Decarboxylation may sound complicated but chances are you've already experienced it. Put simply, it means heating your cannabis and is the only way to ensure you're getting the most from your edibles.
If you have ever lit up a joint or used a vaporizer, then we are proud to say you have already decarboxylated your cannabis before. The process is simple, but is one that is essential - especially where edibles are concerned.
Without the process of decarboxylation when making cannabis-infused food, the cannabinoids within your bud won’t activate, leaving your edibles pretty lackluster. If you are baking with weed, then this process occurs naturally, to a degree, as it is the process of heating cannabis that performs this activation (hence smoking and vaping working instantly. However, if you are not baking, or even if you are, it is always a good idea to decarb your cannabis first to get the most out of it.
This is the decarboxylation process we've been talking about.
DECARBOXYLATION: WHAT IS IT?
Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that occurs when cannabis is baked that removes a carboxylic acid group from the makeup of the herb, making it much more potent. The presence of this carboxyl acid group is the reason why eating raw weed won't get you that high, it acts as a blocker for the psychoactive properties of the plant.
You see, it's all about chemical makeup. For the same reason the weed is dried and cured before smoking/cooking/vaporizing it, it must be heated to be activated. By burning off the carboxylic acid group the chemical changes from THCA, a substance that won't get you high, to THC, a substance that will.
HOW TO DECARBOXYLATE YOUR CANNABIS
The most effective way to do this when cooking with cannabis is to grind your weed up until it is malleable enough to be smoothed evenly over a surface. You want to get some baking parchment or baking paper and place it on a baking tray, then simply pour on the weed and distribute it with your hands until it is fairly dispersed on the paper.
Once there is an even lining of marijuana, you need to place the tray in a pre-heated oven that is at 110°C, leaving it to cook for 60 minutes. This tends to be the accepted standard, although you can choose to raise the temperature and thus cut down the time it takes but cooking it at a lower temperature for a longer period is generally considered the best way to increase the potency without burning off any of the good parts.
WHY EDIBLES HAVE A DIFFERENT EFFECT TO SMOKING
Edibles are a chance to feel some of the heady benefits of smoking, without any of the negative effects. Due to the THC being absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract instead of the lungs, the weed is metabolised by the liver converting it into 11-hydroxy-THC, an even stronger chemical more successful at penetrating the blood-brain barrier than its smoked equivalent.
When smoking cannabis, the THC goes straight to the smoker's brain meaning the high comes a lot faster but is often less intense a high gleaned from consuming cannabis. Edibles mean a high that can last for up to 4-6 hours depending on the dose and have been known to induce neigh psychedelic effects.
Now if that doesn't have your stomach rumbling, I don't know what will.
Additionally, as more and more people begin experimenting in the kitchen with cannabis, you are no longer limited to only consuming your weed via baked goods like brownies or cookies. Now there is the option of washing down that cake or sweet treat with a steaming cup of pot-infused coffee or perhaps a relaxing mug of weed-brewed tea.
Drinkables may seem like a new form of the ever versatile marijuana plant, but tea made from marijuana dates back thousands of years of traditional use.
By stirring cannabutter (butter mixed with decarboxylated cannabis) into tea, people in India have been using the recipe for ceremonies and homeopathic medicines for centuries. What better reference is there than centuries of use?
If you want to discover your inner Brahmin or are simply intrigued by the milky allure of the Cannabis Tea-Latte, then we have an easy to follow recipe showing you can you can make your very own.