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Understanding the Decarboxylation Process of Your Cannabis

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The decarboxylation process to cannabis is such a widespread method in ensuring the extraction of potency from raw marijuana. This process is known to be important especially when cooking or baking some edibles or even extracting oils to activate the THCA or CBDA composition of cannabis for its effects and positive benefits to come into realization. 

In this article, we will talk about the decarboxylation process and why is it important in making edibles, oils, and even some medicines to take into effect. Before we even go any further, let us understand the definition of decarboxylation. 

The definition of decarboxylation

For those who are an avid fan of home edibles, the decarboxylation process is such a very familiar term when it comes to the steps. Yet, for those first time or curious, this process may be sometimes unsettling. Decarboxylation is commonly named as decarb or the decarbing process using raw cannabis buds. Having that said, what does decarboxylation mean? 

Speaking about its technical description, decarboxylation is a process in which the chemical compound present in marijuana produces a reaction that normally separates larger molecules and will then discharge CO2 or what is commonly known as carbon dioxide. This process should take place for the various cannabinoids present in marijuana to get activated and take effect. The most particular cannabinoids with a significant role in this process are the THCA and CBDA. 

This just implies that the deep understanding of this process is certainly important in making edibles and those that require decarbing such as extracted oils and topicals. 

Why is cannabis decarboxylation important?

The decarboxylation process may not seem to be very important for cannabis novices, especially the fact that they do not understand how chemical compounds or substances present in marijuana, reacts. 

Have you ever tried eating raw cannabis? If yes, isn’t it gross? Yes, that is correct. The consumption of raw cannabis is pretty frustrating. Aside from the bitter taste, taking it raw is useless as it does not produce any effect in the body at all. In easy terms, it will not make you high. This is usually true especially when you are expecting a level of potency from the selected strain. Why is that? 

The main reason why consuming raw cannabis does not intoxicate or make you high is due to its inactive substance named THCA. THCA or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is a chemical substance present in marijuana that is non-psychoactive. The only way it gets active is by performing decarboxylation. When the decarboxylation process is performed, the inactive THCA gets active and converts into THC which is known to be very psychoactive. 

The same thing goes for CBDA or cannabidiolic acid. Although CBD is technically non-intoxicating, the effects it can offer especially for medicinal use cannot be acquired without having the raw cannabis being decarbed. 

Now that you already understood the importance of decarboxylation, let us now talk about its methodology. Currently, there are two main methods known for decarboxylation. One is through heat and the other one is through oil. 

The decarboxylation process using heat

The decarboxylation process through heat is the most commonly known method at all times. This method includes exposing raw cannabis to various factors like heat and light. As known to be a very popular decarbing method, exposing the raw cannabis through heat can be done in your kitchen. 

The usual forms of cannabis, when exposed through heat, are typically cannabis butter, cannabis oil, or even cannabis tinctures. The heating process includes low heat in a given period to let the activation of THCA or CBDA to completely occur. 

One good thing about this process is not only activating the inactive cannabinoid compounds for greater effects but it also does not destroy the entire features and flavor of the chosen strain. 

The process explained

When decarbing raw cannabis through heat, you simply have to take raw cannabis in the oven, which is the common equipment used. By doing so, all you have to do is to break the raw and dried cannabis buds into pieces and put it on a tray with parchment paper. 

Once ground raw cannabis is already prepared, the next thing you need to do is to put it in the pre-heated oven with an estimated 105 degrees Celsius. Typically, the entire cannabis is decarbed after 45 minutes. 

As soon as raw cannabis has completely undergone the process of decarbing, it can then be used in varieties of applications. 

The decarboxylation process using oil

Compared to the decarboxylation process through heat, the decarbing of raw cannabis through oil is pretty much perfect especially when you are a type of person who does want to get rid of the smell of pungency throughout your kitchen and even your home. 

With this method, the process may seem to be needing a lot of time but can be a perfect one for those who are looking for ways aside from using their oven. The decarboxylation process through oil includes using an oil solution placed in a container with the ground cannabis and allows a month or even a year for it to be useful. 

Yet, through our developing world, this method can be fastened into days with proper execution. The only thing you need to do is place your preferred cooking oil in a glass container with dried and ground raw cannabis and place it in a boiling pot of water. Then, leave it for at least 8 hours on very low heat. 

After the given period, what you will do next is to strain the cannabis from the oil. And the oil will serve as your cooking cannabis oil for your future endeavors like cooking some edibles. 

The decarboxylation process using both heat and oil

Again, due to our developing world with diverse ideas, both methods are sometimes used at the same time. The main reason for this is for the potency of the desired result to get more improved or enhanced. 


The decarboxylation process is important, especially in preparing delectable treats and edibles. Without this process, you will not be able to enjoy your high experience and the effects of marijuana on your body. 

Hopefully, the above-mentioned information has helped you to thoroughly understand decarboxylation and its importance. 

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