Marijuana Decarboxylation: What It Is, Why You Need It, How To Do It 

By  Cheri Sicard

 June 23, 2020

Decarboxylation. DO NOT let the long scientific name intimidate you and scare you off from reading this article. If you use cannabis and ESPECIALLY if you cook with cannabis, this tutorial on marijuana decarboxylation is vital information you need to know in order get the most out of your cannabis.

Don’t worry, I am going to break everything down in layman’s terms to make it easy to understand and to do.

What is marijuana decarboxylation?

Scientifically speaking, Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2).

So why the heck should cannabis users care about this? Because if you want to feel a buzz from your cannabis, you need it to be decarboxylated. Why? Because believe it or not, the raw cannabis plant contains no THC!

Raw cannabis contains the acidic form of this cannabinoid, THC-A or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, which will not make you high. It takes the process of age and/or adding heat to decarboxylate the cannabis and convert the THC-A into psychoactive THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol.

All the cannabinoids contained in raw cannabis flowers have an extra carboxyl ring or group (COOH) attached to their chain, so decarboxylation works with more than just THC, although this is where its effects will most be felt by the end cannabis consumer as the other cannabinoids don’t make you high.

What causes decarboxylation?

Time and heat are the two main catalysts that cause decarboxylation, but mostly heat. It’s true that over time, some decarboxylation will occur, but not a lot. This is why some raw flowers will lab test positive for some THC, although THC-A will be far more prevalent.

Of course when you smoke or vape marijuana, decarboxylation naturally occurs due to the heat of the flame or heating element. But according to expert Shanel Lindsay, inventor of the Ardent Decarboxylater, smoking or vaping flowers that have been decarboxylized first will up your high’s potency! I know most people don’t do this, but it’s something to consider.

You might also come across the term “activate” the cannabis, which also means to decarboxylate it.

Why do you need decarboxylation?

Besides the fact that you need decarboxylation if you want to get high from your cannabis, it also unlocks the full medicinal potential of other cannabinoids, such as CBDs, CBNs, and CBGs. Now to be sure, the acidic form of all these cannabinoids also have important medicinal benefits, so if a high is not important to you, full decarboxylation may not be either.

So what do I mean when I say “full decarboxylation?” This would mean you are converting 100% of the THC-A in your plant material into THC. This is nearly impossible for reasons I’ll discuss in the next section, but know that usually some is left unconverted.

Does it matter? To a degree yes, but in my opinion not as much as a lot of people think it does. I say this because unless you are ultra sensitive to THC you probably are not going to notice a few points difference. And the THC-A left unconverted is imparting health benefits, so it’s not a big loss.

I also say this because, long before lab tests showed that decarbing before making slow cooking infusions like butter and oil increases potency, we still made some potent AF infusions. Many people still do not bother to decarb before making these infusions and still get great results.

That said, most people do want to get as much potency as possible from their cannabis, so they are going to want to convert as much THC-A into THC as possible, which means they are going to want to know how to decarboxylate their marijuana. And not just flowers – kief, hash, and hash oils all benefit from decarboxylation as well.

What types of marijuana need to be decarboxylated?

Marijuana in most of its forms will benefit from decarbing.  Of course flowers/buds and trim, but also kief, and hash.  Most hash oils have not been decarbed either, so if you cook with these, know that you will want to decarb first.

How to decarboxylate marijuana

Marijuana before and after decarboxlation 

Photo: After decarboxylation (left); before decarbing (right).

Consult 10 difference sources and you’ll find 10 different methods for how to decarboxylate your marijuana. I tried to get some testing labs and scientists to go on record with the best times and temperatures for decarbing and could not get a straight answer out of any of them. Perhaps this is because, like so many things with cannabis, there is no one simple answer. For instance, the amount of moisture in your plants can significantly affect the time needed to decarb, with more time needed for drying, and then decarbing. Or that decarbing CBD-A takes more time than decarbing THC-A.

After researching lots of methods, especially those that have been lab tested, my own views on decarbing have evolved. While I used to recommend about 20 minutes at 220 degrees F, I know see that a much longer decarb time can achieve far greater THC conversion. So I now recommend about an hour at 240 degrees F. thanks to the fine folks at the Marijuana Growers Headquarters who did some experiments and lab testing.

Place your cannabis or cannabis concentrate in an ovenproof dish, or on a baking sheet if you are decarbing a lot of plant material. Cover with foil and place in a preheated 240 degree oven for about an hour. Your cannabis is now decarbed and ready for cooking. You will notice that it appears and smells a bit “toasty.” You may also notice that you lost a little volume. This is normal. The photo above show the same strain and amount of cannabis after (left) and before (right) decarboxylating.

Decarboxylating CBD

How to Decarboxylate CBD

Interestingly enough, the experiments done by the Marijuana Growers Headquarters did not convert much of the CBD-A to CBD. Probably because as a general rule CBD needs longer to decarboxylate.

CBD concentrates or isolates may or may not be decarbed already, although most are, so check the labels to see if this step is necessary.  If it lists a high CBD content (as opposed to CBD-A) it has been decarbed.

According to the experts at Sensi Seeds you should decarb high CBD cannabis strains (defined as 90% or more of total cannabinoid content) for 15 minutes at a temperature of 220°F in order to dry the plants, and then 60 minutes at 250°F. for decarboxylation. As oils and isolates don’t need drying, I would just go with the 60 minutes at 250°F. for these, if needed at all.

According to Project CBD’s Martin Lee, there is no exact boiling point number for CBD, but it is in the 320°F – 338°F range, slightly higher than THC.

When using the Ardent Nova Lift Decarboxylator, inventor Shanel Lindsey recommends putting the cannabis through two decarbing cycles, IF (and ONLY IF) the plant matter contains under 1% THC, otherwise decarb CBD in the same manner as THC.

Keep in mind CBD, like THC, metabolizes better in the presence of fat, so it best to use in recipes that contain fat, or alternately consume nonfat CBD edibles accompanied by a fat containing food or beverage.

Is it always necessary to decarboxylate even if you will be cooking with the cannabis anyway?

For maximum potency, it is preferable, yes. If you are just stirring kief or hash oil into a brownie batter or other such cooking tasks you will DEFINITELY want to decarb first to get more potency. But lab tests show that even when making long, slow cooking infusions like marijuana butter and cannabis oil, decarbing first can help you achieve more potency.  For more on this, see this page.

What Happens When you Don't Decarboxylate?

You still get medicinal benefits but you won’t get high, or at least you won’t get as high, depending on how much of your cannabis was decarbed through age or the heat of cooking.

Remember, THC-A still has important medicinal qualities including being a neuroprotectant and anti-inflammatory agent

In short, you will have lower potency, but you will still have perfectly usable edibles in most cases, as I talk about in this video.

The importance of marijuana decarboxylation when calculating cannabis edibles dosages

For those who have taken my free online Edibles Dosing Class and use my edibles dosage calculator tool, proper marijuana decarboxylation is important in order to get accurate dosing estimates. If you fail to convert a majority of the THC-A to THC your dosing estimates will be high and you may be disappointed in the potency of your finished product. Generally speaking I usually estimate a few points less than the calculator says in order to make up for some THC-A that may remain unconverted.

What can go wrong when decarboxylating?

Ovens are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to temperature, and they can have hot and cold spots. Use an oven thermometer and check the temperature before decarbing. Make sure it really is 240 degrees, no matter what temperature you set the dial to. My friend’s oven was a whopping 100 degrees off so do not skip this important step. Too little heat and you won’t activate enough of the THC, too much heat and you can kill it.

As we have also discussed, a lot of moisture in your cannabis can make it take longer to decarb. If you are working with fresh, wet cannabis, try adding another half hour or so to your decarb time.  Same if you are decarbing a high CBD strain.

Sometimes decarbed kief can come out powdery and easy to incorporate into recipes, other times and other strains can come out downright gummy. This page can help you deal with the various consistencies of decarboxylated kief.

Dry Ice Kief after decarboxylation

Photo: Dry ice kief after decarboxylation

How to Achieve Perfect 100% Decarboxylation Every Time

Ardent FX Decarboxylator, Infuser, and Baker

Decarboxylation can be tricky as there is no agreed upon optimal time and temperature, the issues we talked about above, and the fact that without lab testing, you will never really know how much THC-A you are leaving unconverted.

While it is difficult to achieve 100% decarboxylation with home ovens, know there is a handy gadget on the market that promises to do just that. About the size of a portable coffee grinder, The Ardent Nova Decarboxylator does the job easily and neatly with zero guesswork (or for larger amounts and even greater flexibility and functionality, check out the new Ardent FX). Put your cannabis flowers, kief, hash or has oil in, place on the lid and in a little less than 2 hours your cannabis will be perfectly, 100% decarbed.

If you make a batch of brownies once a year, you can probably live without these gadgets, but if you are serious about your edibles and achieving maximum potency, then the Ardent Decarboxylartor is a great tool to add to your kitchen arsenal. No more stressing and guessing over decarbing, you will KNOW it’s done right.


A reader asked me if I had a coupon code for the Ardent Decarboxylator.  I didn't at the time, but I wrote to the folks at Ardent and asked and they said sure!  So enter the code CANNACHERI at checkout and receive $30.00 off the price of this great gadget.

Insert Image
Marijuana before and after decarboxylation

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About the author

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  • that gadget looks kinda cool. I only have a convection / toaster oven with no heat control, so my method involves a ceramic plate, some tin foil (to keep the weed from being blown around by the convection fan), an oven thermometer, and me standing there for an hour, turning the oven on and off as the temp would slowly fluctuate. Worked well.

  • I need to extract a 5:2 ratio CBD& THC into coconut or olive oil for medicine. Would you recommend the 2 hour decarb and then the 2 hour bake in the oil (4 hours total) or is the 2 hour bake in the oil also the decarb? I want to get the most out of the herb but I’m really scared to overdo it and render it useless because it costs me a fortune and I need my medicine! There’s not a lot out there about cooking CBD! Thanks for your help ❤

    • The ratio of THC and CBD has to do with the plant material you are extracting from, not decarbing. You can’t create something that isn’t there to begin with. I never recomemended a 2 hour decarb, I recommended a one hour decarb, then make your butter or oil. As to the CBD to THC ratio, that I cannot help you with, that is determined by the plant material.

  • Thanks for your reply Cheri! I must not have been clear. My starting material will be a mix of CBD and THC at a ratio of 5:1. I’m not trying to use extraction to establish that ratio. I though it might be important to mention since CBD and THC seem to have different cooking times. In your article you said “I typically decarb my high CBD strains for 2 hours at 220 degrees F.” That’s what led to my question.

    • Sorry, I misunderstood OK, so you have two different strains? You could decarb separately, or you could decarb together as the THC-A and CBD-A still have medicinal benefits, so if some of the CBD does not get decarbed, I don’t think you will miss the difference, at least not in the same way as THC, as you can feel the difference with THC and most people are seeking the high. Does that make sense? If I was cooking for myself, that is likely what I would do, but then I am not trying to achieve that ratio. Be sure to take your oven’s temperature too, as this is where most people’s decarbing problems come in.

    • There is an excellent article at Green Flower Media about cannabinoids that goes into the terapeutic benefits of them. As far as THA-A and CBD-A it says

      #1) THCA is the acidic parent of THC found in the raw cannabis plant.

      When exposed to heat, sunlight, or time, the THCA in the harvested plant will convert to THC.

      THCA is non-psychoactive and is particularly useful for reducing nausea, reducing seizures, reducing muscle spasms, and fighting tumor and cancer cells. Like THCA, CBDA is non-psychoactive. CBDA is also great for reducing nausea, reducing inflammation, and fighting tumor and cancer cells.

      Find the whole article at this link

  • Oops, I meant to say 5:2, but that’s not the important part. I’m most interested in confirming the 2 hour decarb before extracting in oil. Thanks a million!

    • Shanel @ Ardent suggests that if your CBD flower has less than 1% THC in it, that you should run the CBD flower through 2 decarb cycles (allowing the machine to cool in between cycles). If your CBD flower has more than 1% THC then one cycle should do it.

  • i decarb my herbs using sous vide. First I dunk the peeled hebs in a vacuumed bag into a 203F water bath for an hour, then infused it in butter using sous vide also at 185F for about 4 hours. Question is, can i decarb it straight in the butter @203F for an hour then tone it down do 185F for the infusion process? Thanks Cheri!

    • 203 degrees IMO is not hot enough too fully decarb, as I state in this article. I don’t use sous vide, although you can. You CAN do any method you like. But I like to decarb before adding to butter for 1 hour at 240 degrees. As I state, lab tests have found higher potency by decarbing BEFORE infusing into butter.

  • Is it ok to freeze my cannabis wax, after I decarb, until I use it? Will it affect the THC levels?

    Also, do I need to heat the wax prior to putting in my gummies or just add it when the mixture is hot?


  • I am using Hash. After I decarb it, can I just disolve it in some butter for a few minutes? Or do I still need to use double boiler/simmer on low heat for hours? Will be baking Brownies at the end.

  • Thank you for this well written and informative article. I am in the process of decarbing some trim as we speak and I benefited from reading this first. Peace & Blessings

    • I thought that would be a good idea too and I put it to the test, but was not happy with the results. Even though in theory the temp should have been adequate, the finished edibles were NOTICEABLY less potent than ones I decarbed in the oven, and LOTS less potent than the ones I decarbed using the Ardent decarboxylator. So while I love my Instant Pot on pressure cooker setting for other things, I don’t use it to decarb or infuse. Now I DO use the Instant Pot on Slow Cooker setting to infuse, and you still get little to no odor, so from that standpoint, it works great. But I was not happy with it for decarbing. I think some things just work better low and slow. Bone broth is another thing, yes you can make it with the pressure cooker, but it just tastes better with a long slow cooking.

  • Thank you so much for this informative article! So, I just got back into the scene a year ago, after a 30 year hiatus (kids, now gone!), and I’ve been collecting kief in the bottom of my grinder. I don’t smoke a lot, so I doubt I have much more than 3-4 grams (let’s put it this way: my bottom collector is just about half full). However, it’s definitely dry dry dry at this point. From what you say, drier stuff doesn’t take as long in the oven. I’m wondering if I still need 60 minutes at 240? Or, if 3-4g of kief is not enough for this method of decarbing?

  • I bought that ardent and actually don’t care for it. I’ve used it 3 different times with not good results. The oven does a better job on the same herb. When ardent is done and I lift the silicone lid there is much condensation under lid. I even ate it right out of ardent and did not catch a buzz. I just don’t get it !! The herb really isn’t high in moisture. I called ardent they went into a spiral about cbd, cbn. I’m interested in the thc, we went round and round. They said run it thru again. I just finally hung up, but at least they have a customer service u can speak with, unlike tcheck. Horrible customer service, not even a phone #. Just text and a long wait at that !! That won’t even turn on anymore. Used it 4 or 5 times put it away for about a year, pulled it out and it just won’t take a charge. Horrible, horrible customer service. I waited several months for it. I thought I got scammed but it finally arrived. That was the classic model. Any who blah blah, any ideas on the problem with the ardent ??. I read ur articles all the time and really enjoy following you. Thank you….G ward

    • I am sorry for your experience, however I personally LOVE the Ardent and it does a far better job than my current oven. Before endorsing this product, I made several batches of edibles decarbed via the oven, the Instant Pot, and the Ardent and blind tested them among a group of cannabis users, both experienced and newbies. The Ardent batches were the clear with winner with each and every person. Yes, there is condensation when you remove the cannabis from the device, but this is no way means it isn’t decarbed. I had another student confused about this as well. Decarbed does not mean “dry” it just means the THC-A has been converted to THC. Mine does the same thing and my edibles are more potent than they have ever been and I have gotten numerous emails from readers who have the Ardent and they say the same thing. In fact, you are the first person I have heard from who hasn’t liked it.

      As to why you personally didn’t feel anything? I don’t know, there are so many variables involved and everyone is different, so I can’t speak to that. What I can speak to is the fact that the product, in my experience, works exceptionally well. I use it myself every time I cook with cannabis.

      As to the T-Check I have heard horror stories from a number of friends and students who have ordered it. I contacted them about writing about it way back when and they had no interest. That’s unheard of for a company to not want press, unless something is wrong…That said, I have not personally tried it.

  • I’m not sure if you’re still active to answer a question here. For the medicinal benefits I have been seeking, I stumbled upon the idea of kief coffee. I tried it with kief I had, and then I bought a more substantial amount at my dispensary. I was worried I wasn’t getting the maximum benefit from simply putting kief in its powdery form into my coffee (cream, sugar, heat, lots of mixing) and I decided to decarb it, to make sure I was getting the full benefits from it. Well, describing it made it into a very sticky mess for what I am using it for. I feel like I did something wrong. I lost a lot of volume and it is just a sticky clump I can break pieces off of and put into my coffee (I made little firecrackers also) but this is not going to work long term. Can you tell me if I screwed up? Or is kief supposed to get that way when decarbed? And, what is the best use for it like this? If you have any advice, it would be appreciated. I think i will stick to what I was doing before, I don’t want to waste more of it if I’ve truly ruined this batch! Anyway, help would be appreciated if you’re there. If you need further details of what I did or what the outcome was let me know! I was looking into the Nova prior to finding your site and this article, funny enough. Because I decided I cannot be trusted to do the decarbing so a device like that would make life easier. I am planning to start cooking with flower, since I’ve found kief to be so beneficial (I’ve also found firecrackers to be a good thing to have on a bad day, little extra boost, which is why I think cooking with flower myself versus the edibles I’ve been purchasing that are made with distillate. Okay, I’ve gone on long enough I suppose. As I said, help would be appreciated. I’ve been desperate for relief and jumping on anything that might help, trying to navigate this unknown territory where I am so often told “you just have to experiment a bit, it can be a bit different for everyone”, which is true! And frustrating all the same! 🙂

    • I’m here!

      That’s a lot to unpack so let’s take these questions. First, no you did nothing wrong!

      1. Kief consistencies: the better the kief, the more likely it is to turn gummy, so congratulations, you probably have some very nice kief. With some strains there is nothing you can do about it. Using a device like the Nova Lift can help as it decarbs at a lower temp for a longer period, but some kiefs will still get gummy.

      If my kief is the gummy type I would try to dissolve it in a carrier, such as coconut oil or butter, and use that in cooking. For coffee I make medicated bullet (butter and MCT) coffee, so grass fed butter or MCT coconut oil would be good to dissolve in. You could even heat milk or cream (but not boil) and try to dissolve that way. Find more info on kief textures here.

      2. I am not sure what firecrackers are sorry.

      3. I love cooking with flower or hash or kief over isolates and distillates. Call me old fashioned, but as in everything with food, in my mind, the more natural and less processed the better. Full spectrum, whole plant is the way to go!

      4. As to learning to cook with all types of cannabis, my online cannabis cooking course can help ( ).

      Making your own edibles is the best way to find medicinal relief as you can customize them to exactly what you need. I get excited emails from people all the time who finally get making their own edibles that help with their condition dialed in. I know the “you have to experiment line” gets frustrating, but that is the absolute truth. People’s need and responses are DRASTICALLY different when it comes to cannabis. Anyone who tells you differently does not know what they are talking about.

      Edibles can be amazing but sadly too many people give up before they realize the benefits, but what works for one person will be different for another and also depending on the conditions they are treating. More about these differences in this article and video:

      I hope this helps!

  • Cheri

    I want to use the the product strictly for the CBD. I do not want to feel the high.

    I leave the bag open for a few days until the cannabis is all dried out. I create a double boiler by putting water in the larger pan and place the smaller one on top, without touching the water. I turn the heat on low on the stove. I then add the solid coconut oil. Once the coconut oil has melted, I pour the dried cannabis in the oil and stir. I slowly cook the pot/coconut oil for 14 hours stirring occasionally. I don’t allow the temperature to get above 150 or 155 degrees. Once I’m done cooking, I drain the oil into small glass jars and let it cool overnight. I then place the small glass jars in the fridge. I scoop out 1/4 tsp. three times a day. Is this a good process? Your advice is most appreciated.

    • It will work, you probably don’t need 14 hours, although you can, but I see several problematic and/or confusing things in your question.

      1. CBD will be determined by the amount of CBD in the strain, most are extremely low unless you have sought out a high CBD strain. But drying out and not decarbing has nothing to do with the amount of CBD that will be in your infusion.

      2. Even though CBD does not make you high, it still should be decarboxylated for maximum benefits and bioavailability. The acidic forms of cannabinoids also have medicinal benefits but for the most benefits, you will want to decarb.

      3. Realize that when cooking with whole plants, even high CBD strains, you will have some THC so you might feel a little high. But the more CBD the less you will feel the THC as CBD can kind of cancel out the high of THC. That said, combining them is best as they absolutely work better together, THC and CBD. So unless there is some reason, such as drug testing, that you can’t have THC, I recommend using them together. Expert Martin Lee talks more about it in this interview.

      Even if is a little THC with the CBD it can enhance the benefits of both, and you will need less CBD when taken with THC as I talk about in this video.

  • Howdy!
    I extracted CBD and THC from two different strains using grain alcohol. I am blow drying it to evaporate the alcohol. Do you think it is possible that the blow dryer could be hot enough to decarb? It is making the alcohol boil, which occurs at temps lower than 220, but is also under the drier for about an hour for the evaporation to succeed. I’ve read all of the above comments and am not new to this, so you don’t need to explain in too much detail. I just noticed that the hair dryer is making my mason jar of green everclear pretty hot.

  • Hi Cheri. The recipe I’ve been using calls for 260° for 45 min and I’ve always gotten good results. Tonight, I screwed up and set the temp at 360°. I realized my mistake after 20 min and immediately took it out of the oven. Did I just ruin my bud? Thank you in advance.

    • That’s a little high but all you can do at this point is give it a try. I think you will still have potency, how much is the question. But nothing to lose by trying. if you have over decarbed that might convert some of the THC to CBN which in turn might make your edibles a bit more sleepy on the effects, which is not always a bad thing. Good luck!

  • When decarbing a brick of solid hash in an oven, should it be broken into pieces, or crushed using mortar and pestle?
    Or should it be decarbed as is?

    I’d imagine the heat would be better distributed if it were in smaller masses, but I figure it never hurts to ask someone elses thoughts.

    Much love to you and the blog. Full of knowledge here.

  • Thank you so much for looking into this!
    I really appreciate it.

    I’m looking forward to trying out the Ardent. Your blog contributed to my deciding between decarb machines, so thank you for that, too 🙂

  • Hi there,
    Hoping you might have a fix for this problem! Vape oil was made and it is not producing any psychoactive effects. The error may have occurred because a toaster oven was used instead of a regular oven. Thus not getting the herb up to temp and allowing it to decarb. Is it too late to fix this?
    Thanks! Any advise is appreciated!

    • With the disclaimer that I do not make or use vape oil (we know NOTHING about the long term effects of vaping oil), I would think you can decarb after the fact, but to be sure I would ask someone who knows more about this particular topic. Sorry.

  • Hi Cheri, after I’ve decarbed the plant material can I simply put it any meal if wanted (like just throwing some in pasta sauce) or does it have to be infused in oil/fat ect in order to be effective?
    Also once decarbed, how long would I want to put it in a crockpot with oil? High or low setting?
    Sorry for all the questions but this information is hard to find.


  • Hi! Im a newbie at this. I dried out my leaves in the oven at 200 then turned off the oven and let it sit over night. It completely dried out the leaves. I didn’t now about decarbing, can I bake these leaves again at the proper temp for decarbing to bring out the thc? Thanks

  • Hi Cheri, I’m glad I finally came across your web site! I am new to all this decarbing and fusing stuff. The first time I tried, just last week, I decarbed in the oven at 220 for 45 minutes. Then did the stove top method to cook one ounce and 4 sticks of butter, plus the water. Well, that didn’t work out. I tried some and all I got was a feeling of nausea. I made brownies with it and still just felt sick after eating one. No high at all. Bought another ounce but this time only used half. Used a different decarb and cook time. Every web site I look at has different times for everything. I decided to get a Magical Butter Machine. I used your decarb time.. 240 for 1 hour then put in the butter machine. No high again just sick feeling in my stomach. Oh, and the first ounce I used a coffee grinder before decarbing. Every web site said you have to grind it up for decarb process to work. Then I read here that I shouldn’t have used the grinder. Maybe I ground the THC right out of it? So, the last batch I just broke up the bigger pieces before putting it in the oven. I just can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Seems like out of 3 times, at least one batch would have some results, but nope! I have all this cannabutter in my fridge right now and don’t know what to do with it. I guess I can freeze it, but what’s the point. Seems like such a waste. I want to try again but don’t want to mess up anymore weed. Stuff isn’t cheap. I hate smoking weed but did THC back in the 70’s and what I’m feeling from the stuff I’ve made isn’t anything like what I felt in the 70’s!

    • OK there is a lot to unpack here.

      I don’t like grinding (or the Magical Butter Machine because it forces you to grind) for flavor reasons. That should not effect your potency, however. So that is not the issue.

      No high and nausea could be due to a couple of things:

      1. Most likely the dose is wrong, Here is an article to help you determine yours if you don’t know it. This might be too low.

      2. The strain may be wrong. Most people are not that sensitive, but the stain might be wrong for you. This is a very individual thing and takes experimenting. Again, strain is not usually an issue with most people and generally speaking, in my opinion, people put too much emphasis on it, but for certain sensitive people it can atter.

      3. When I don’t get high and only get a headache or nausea, it has been from weed which has been kiefed already (or vaped already). I am not accusing your purveyor as that would be a HIGHLY unethical thing to do, but I have that result when trying to cook with kiefed weed.

      Also, don’t throw it out. It still has medicinal benefits. Also, just because it does not work for you does not mean it won’t work for a loved one (if you have anyone to share with, although do so with caution as this can be illegal) Everyone responds so differently to cannabis that it is entirely plausible that what does not work for you, can work for someone else.

  • Please help I read a receipe that didnt even mention to decarb. I used pots and Mason jar with cofee filters and such. What can I do? Can I I decarb after and how thanks

    • You can use the oil as is. Soe will have decarbed in the process of aking it and more will decarb in the process of making your recipes. It might not be quite as potent as if you decarbed first. but it should still be OK.

  • Cheri – Love your site. I make a THC honey blend using the instant pot and concentrates from my local MMJ dispensary. I originally used kief but they do not carry that anymore and have been using concentrates (shatter, crumble, sugar wax) for some time. I started using the oven decarb method but have settled on the Instant Pot and am pleased with the results. I use an 8 oz. jelly jar with 1 gram of concentrate in a loosely sealed jar in the Instant Pot for 60 minutes to decarb. I then add 1.5 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tsp lecithin, heat in a water bath and stir to make sure well bended. Then back in the IP for another 10 minutes for infusion. I then add about 5-6 ounces of honey and back in the water bath to homogenize the whole mixture. Stir periodically as it cools to keep homogeneous. The honey potency seems good (1/4 to 1/2 tsp is a good dose) and using the single jar method for the whole process there is essentially no waste or clean up. But you have me wondering if I am missing something using the Instant Pot versus the Ardent. It would seem the Instant Pot at 60 minutes (and 240 F) has a similar thermal cycle to the Ardent. Are you still thinking the Ardent is the best way to go (I read your blind test above)? I don’t mind making the investment in an Ardent if I get better results, although I guess I can’t use the one jar method with that so I am a little concerned with waste.

    • Well if you are happy with the results you re getting, I can’t argue with that. I tried my damndest to use the Instant Pot for decarbing, but I did not get great results and when I did research into how hot the various settings got, none of them were hot enough to be 240 F. I love the Instant pot for making infusions as it is odor free but did not get great results with decarbing. That said, if you are getting what you need out of this method, that’s fine. However, you might get better potency, and likewise be able to use less, with a full decarb.

      • Cheri – Thanks so much for your response. I understand what you are saying. Out of curiosity, how did you determine the temperature of the Instant Pot does not reach 240 degrees F? It is often stated and seems to be basic physics if it reaches the stated pressure. Many thanks for what you do.

  • I have a lot of very dry bud , I’m not an avid smoker and it takes a bit to get me high , will decarbing help or do I just have junk?

  • I just ordered the Ardent Decarboxylator. Once I’ve decarbed, what is the measurement of decarbed cannabis to oil that can be infused in the Nova?

  • Hey Cheri!

    Currently for my oil making I’m putting fresh bud off the plant (no decarb) straight into coconut oil in a slow / pressure cooker that actually brings the budoil mix up to 120 C / 250 F. This is the max heat setting on my machine and the oil stays at this temp consistently for however long I want to maintain it. So once I’ve got the oil to 120 C / 250F , I’ve been keeping it at this temp for 60 minutes and the end product is coming out quite potent. I’m using a Rob Bergman strain that’s 10% THC and 10% CBD.

    My question is in regards to “wet” and “dry” decarb methods and maintaining terpenes. So in the method I’ve described I’m using a “wet” decarb process and would like to know if you think decarbing prior would actually make a difference to potency and conversion %? The main reason for asking is that a lot of research I’ve done suggests terpenes are burnt off during “dry” oven / machine decarbing methods… whereas placing raw plant in a carrier oil and bringing it up to the same temp you would decarb at in the oven or an Ardent machine, would still result in converting the maximum amount of THC-a to THC and CBD-a to CBD as possible. However with a “wet” decarb you are actually maintaining a far greater amount of terpenes thus increasing the overall entourage effect and other medicinal properties/ benefits of the plant.

    Would love to get you’re thoughts on this?


    • Well you are correct that terpenes are volatile and do burn off at various temperatures. However I am not a scientist or lab tech so I would need to see lab results to test it and compare. If this is working well and the potency is something you are happy with, I would stick with it.

  • Hi,
    Just read your article and want to get decarboxylating ASAP – But first, I have to ask a dumb question: I smoked reefers fro 20-30 years till I quit smoking about 5 years ago. Since then, I’ve used all different types of Vapourisers (Haze V3/Black Mambas/HerbVA). Whilst I defo get high, I’ve noticed that the lower respiratory tract issues (smokers cough) have changed to an upper respiratory drip (sort of like a drip at top of throat rather than in lungs). However, whilst not the same hit as smoking, I could’ve gotten high through vaping for rest of my life. Now, because of coronavirus, I’m decideing to start using edibles instead of putting anything in my lungs (vapour or Smoke), I’m 60 and have Bronchi Ectasis so am in the high risk catagory. Though would happily die rather than never get high again (as all other vices gradually taken away 🙂

    Long bloody ramble and I should just get to my simple question: I always thought that heat would release the THC (I always store my herb (after Curing it) in Dark/Cool cupboards as thought heat/light was the enemy). So the thought of sticking it in an oven for an hour would make me think I’m just releasing all the goodness into the Oven!

    Could you allay my fears?

    • I agree, switching to edibles righ tnow is probably a good idea.

      Don’t fear decarboxylation! Decarboxylation is your friend.

      You are correct that light and heat can degrade cannabis, so you are correct to sore in a dark cabinet. Also some decarbing does take place over time. But you are not releasing anything to the oven air when decarbing, you are causing the chemical reaction in the plant that converts the THC-A to THC, that ‘s it. Rather than “releasing the goodness in the oven” you are activating that goodness in your plant material, which in turn will make your edibles more potent.

      Good luck, let me know how it goes.

  • Thanks! Think I get it!

    Unfortunately my oven won’t stay lit at anything under Gas Mark 3 which is way too high. I’ll go research different heating options.

  • Ok, so I cooked for an hour at 240 degrees. Let it cool and then broke up the bud and put it in olive oil. Then added to bread and ate it. Any better way to get more bang for the buck? I have a nice buzz now. Thank you!

  • Hi. I’ve grown 18 very nice plants that have rooted and become exceptional cannabis plants. In the process prior to harvesting the buds, I gain quite a lot of ‘leaf’ and ‘prior to full bud’ output. It’s second quality not like the dried and cured buds now. We have experience making cookies in the past with store bought top shelf cannabis and we tried to make cookies following the decarbonating process but the THC value was quite mild even when eating a full big cookie. Any thoughts on how to intensive the potency? We’d appreciate your input. Thanks. Great website and information.

    • Congratulations on a successful harvest!

      The trimmings you are talking about are going to have a much lower potency, so you are going to want to use a lot more of them than you would when cooking with flowers. When I use this kind of material I will only use enough butter or oil to cover the plant material plus just a little more. In other words the most plant material and the least infusion material as I can get away with and still have it be viable to infuse.

      Another tip would be to mix some trimmings with some stronger material, either flowers or concentrates, thereby stretching your cooking stash.

      You can find more ideas on increasing potency in this article.

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