Cannabis concentrates are a popular way to consume cannabis as they are fast-acting and usually discreet. They are very versatile, too – you can usually smoke, eat, or add them to recipes.
One of the first steps to any cannabis concentrate production is to decarb your cannabis. Decarbing unlocks the THC potential within. It usually involves heating up your cannabis for a certain amount of time in an oven before creating your concentrate. This is quite common in the development of cannabis tinctures that can be taken orally.
Let’s look into what decarbing your weed is and how it can elevate the psychoactive properties in your concentrate.
What Is The Role Of Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is the act of heating up your cannabis in an oven to convert the THCA into usable THC. This is the step that gives cannabis concentrates their potency and what people look for when making edibles or tinctures.
Decarboxylation does happen on its own during harvest when the cannabis is drying and curing but it’s at a much slower rate than if you were to do it in an oven.
Generally, you want to keep the weed in an oven set at 230-250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Taking it low and slow will prevent the cannabis from burning and losing all of its potent trichomes.
Is Decarbing Your Cannabis Necessary?
This is a common debate within the cannabis community and the answer is a combination of things. While decarbing your weed does convert the majority of the THCA into psychoactive THC there is wiggle room to say that it may not be entirely necessary.
Since cannabis naturally decarbs itself at a slower rate when it’s curing you can still get some of the psychoactive effects even without the cannabis being put in an oven for an hour.
If you’re using the cannabis as a salve for topical use then it isn’t necessary to decarb your cannabis as you won’t be taking advantage of the additional effects provided by decarboxylation.
It’s important to note that heating up your cannabis can have the potential to destroy other cannabinoids that could be beneficial to your body.
Can You Decarb Your Cannabis After Making A Tincture?
If you forget to decarboxylate your cannabis before making your tincture, don’t fret, it’ll still be effective. A lot of infused products can still get you high without the need for decarboxylation. That being said, there is a noticeable difference in potency if you don’t decarb your weed.
While it is possible to decarb your weed at any time there is a chance that you could ruin the tincture by heating it up in the oven.
If you are turning your cannabis into an oil that can be smoked then don’t worry about the decarb process as when you smoke the oil it’ll have the same effect that it would if placed in an oven for an hour. That’s why you don’t decarb your flower before rolling it into a joint and smoking it.
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