How to Make Perfect Canna Butter – The Chemistry of Decarboxylation
Here’s a secret that not to many people know about cannabis.
The thing is, dry flower doesn’t really contain THC, it’s THCA, and the two effect us quite differently. After-all, THCA isn’t going to get you stoned. THCA turns into THC after exposure to low heat, for an extended period of time, and that leads us into decarboxylation, a term you will hear frequently in the cannabis world.
Decarboxylation is required to activate the popularized effects of cannabis, such as the psychoactive THC. This doesn’t insinuate THCA or CDA lack importance, but we know what a big percentage of people are after when consuming THC, and that’s okay.
Decarboxylation is simply the action of removing the carboxyl group (COOH) when converting (THCA and CBDA) into their active counterparts (THC and CBD).
Temperatures and time-frames are extremely important. Think of it as slow and steady wins the race. We’re looking to apply minimal heat, over a longer period of time, opposed to the opposite which will end up decreasing the potency of the end product.
A chemical reaction releases the carbon dioxide in which the carboxylic acids loose a carbon atom from a carbon chain and this is the process that converts THCA to THC.
How to decarboxylate cannabis:
- Preheat oven to 220F
- Break up the bud into smaller pieces (I suggest using sterile pair of scissors, versus your hands)
- Spread the small pieces and flakes onto a baking dish, with a one inch rim
- Put Foil over the container and ensure it’s air tight
- Bake the cannabis at 220F for 60 minutes
- Remove from oven
- Open one side of the foil corner to allow cooling for 10 minutes
- The finished product should be a light to golden brown color
- You now have activated cannabis you can use to turn into oil, tincture, cannabutter or whatever cannabis products you desire.