How to Decarboxylate Cannabis | Weed Edible Guide


How to decarboxylate cannabis properly is an important step when making edibles. It will increase your potency and allow you to maximize the results. This weed edible guide will go over everything you need to know about decarboxylating cannabis!

What is Decarboxylation?

cannabis used for decarboxylation.

The literal definition of decarboxylation is: “a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2)”

For your weed edibles to work the way you want them to, there is a very important step. That step is decarboxylation. All this means is that you need to activate the THC, that way you get the psychoactive effects you intended for.

When it comes to cannabis, Decarboxylation removes the COOH group from the THC-A molecule by releasing H2O and CO2, turning it into the psychoactive THC.

The importance of decarboxylation when making weed edibles:

Decarboxylation is crucial because it will turn the THC-A molecule into the psychoactive THC molecule. If you were to smoke cannabis this would already be happening naturally when you burn it. But, since in the case of making edibles, there is no cannabis being burned. Therefore, we need to do this extra step when using cannabis to make edibles.

How to Decarboxylate Cannabis

I mentioned earlier that burning cannabis creates decarboxylation naturally. That is close to what we’re going to be doing here. Instead of burning, we’re going to be heating the cannabis up to a certain temperature. At this temperature, THC-A converts to THC. This is the same process as when your vaping cannabis.

Equipment Needed:

Step by step guide to decarboxylating cannabis:

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 240 F (116 Celsius). Get an oven-safe baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper or aluminum tinfoil.

Oven used for decarboxylating cannabis
Preheat oven to 240 F

Step 2:

Get a grinder or pair of scissors and grind up your cannabis buds. Evenly spread the ground up cannabis across on the baking sheet.

cannabis used to decarboxylate
11.5 grams of cannabis flower
Grind up the cannabis and spread it evenly over baking tray

Step 3:

Place cannabis in preheated oven for 40 – 60 minutes. The cannabis should come out with a darker green/ light brownish colour.

Decarbed cannabis


Notes: If you are using kief, follow the same process as buds, just skip the grinding step. The same goes for using sugar leaves!

What temperature activates the cannabis when decarboxylating?

The temperature that you should be heating the cannabis to is a bit of a debate. There might be better temperatures out there, and you will have no trouble finding people that claim theirs is the best. To their defence, they might be right. But, the temperatures that we have here are backed by some scientific evidence. At the end of the day, you’re going to have a hard time finding temperatures with a noticeably different effect than these. In other words, these temperatures will do the job!

240 degrees Fahrenheit is the number that I’ve had success with.
There has also been some good research done by our friends over at Marijuana Growers HQ. They did a great decarb experiment and noted their results:

Chart of cannabis trim decarb temperatures at 240 degrees farenheit
cannabis trim decarb at 240 degrees Fahrenheit
Chart of kief decarb temperatures at 240 degrees farenheit

As you can see from the two charts, 30 minutes was not quite enough time to completely decarboxylate the cannabis trim. In my experience, 30-40 minutes for kief, and 60 minutes for cannabis trim are the most optimal times.

17 thoughts on “How to Decarboxylate Cannabis | Weed Edible Guide”

  1. I make my butter with water best flower made butter I’ve 3ver had. Water catches all the crap u don’t want butter holds the THC. An I make smaller batches for 1 cake. I just did a batch with 9 grams flower and a 1\4 butter.
    Butter will never work if you do not decarb prior and these directions are fairly straightforward. Grind it up level the pile to about half inch thick with the ground flower. 240f for 25 minutes. I find it best to use a cookie tray cover the bottom with parchment paper once the 25 minutes is up take it out on the tray and let it cool then add it to your butter and continue your butter mixture that step is absolutely necessary

  2. Thanks Jimbo. I did not know that and I think I’ve been making myself sick. I wasn’t doing an oven decarb before cooking my ground cannabis in oil(avocado,olive or coconut) for about an hour on medium low heat on stovetop, in a saucepan. Everytime I ate some, I would end up throwing up off and on for two days straight. Starting buying premade edibles to solve that problem, but I think this will help. Thanks again…

    • Mr. Whipplesnips,
      Throwing up after ingesting THC (regardless of method of consumption) is a key symptom of Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome. This is a nasty reaction caused by a mutation of genes. You might consume THC for 50 years and then suddenly start throwing up, or it might be your first edible or joint that does the trick. The only thing to do is stop ingesting THC. Bummer, I know. But the CHS will only get worse and you might end up “scromiting” – involuntary screaming while vomiting. So far, there are two confirmed deaths from it and tales of people who died from a strange vomiting “virus” and oh yeah, they smoked a lot of weed. I mean, it’s suppose to be good for nausea so it’s counterintuitive to think it causes the nausea and vomiting. But it does. Cold turkey the joints and/or edibles for a couple of weeks and see if you feel better. Then try a small amount and see if you get sick again. If you do, you must find an alternative.
      My apologies for delivering such downer news. But it’s important.

  3. There is a comment below with no reply available. It is about Decarb’ing, he mentioned that thc can not be achieved if wet when heated… From my experience of making Cannabutter before it was a thing, Butter certainly is a liquid ingredient.
    Question: Did I not get as High as I thought??

  4. i dont understand why it has to be first heated in an oven before being heated in oil at the same temperature. does a dry environment do anything special? the oven part seems redundant.

    • The THC is only activated with dry heat…if you try and decarb while it “wet”, it will strip the THCA cannaboid before it can activate to THC. It’s like trying to grill a steak in boiling water

    • Hi Jamie, a smaller oven will require the same amount of time. The benefit of using a mini oven is that they preheat much quicker.

Leave a Comment