Friend and fellow cannabis educator, Nikki Furrer, has just published a book about all things cannabis. She wrote it with women in mind; especially those who still struggle with the stigma of cannabis usage. The information she shares is presented in a very succinct manner that is easy to understand. For those patients just starting out on their cannabis journey who want to try their hand at making edibles, the first step is decarboxylating the cannabis flower.
What is decarboxylation and why is it necessary?
In its raw form, the active cannabinoid in cannabis flower, THCa, does not bind to CB receptors. As a result, it has low bioavailability, which is the rate at which the body absorbs different cannabinoids. By applying heat to THCa over a period of time, it changes to THC, which does bind to CB receptors. This significantly increases the potency and the bioavailability. This process is known as decarboxylation. In order to retain fully the other cannabinoids, such as terpenes, it is important to decarboxylate it at a low temperature.
Here is Nikki’s 8 Step Decarboxylation Process:
- Cannabis flower
- Everclear (or vodka if not available in your state)
- Heavy pot
- Slotted spoon
- Fine-mesh wire rack or cardboard
- Baking sheet
- Small spray bottle
- Airtight jar
- Preheat oven to 250°F
- Bring a few cups of water to a bowl in a heavy pot. Make an ice bath in a bowl.
- Add cannabis flower to boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove it with the slotted spoon and transfer it to the ice bath to cool for 1 minute. Remove the flower from the ice bath. Lay it on the wire mesh/cardboard to dry for about 30 minutes.
- Grind the flower to the texture of tobacco. Place the flower in a thin layer on a baking sheet and cover with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and shake the tray to mix. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes. You know it is ready when the color changes to a lightly toasted brown.
- Remove from the oven, still covered, to cool for 15 minutes. Remove foil.
- Spray flower with a light coating of Everclear (vodka) to break down the cellulose. Allow it to dry for about 20 minutes.
- When completely dry, store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place. It will last a few months.
Now you are ready to make Cannabutter which is one of the most versatile ingredients for edibles.
Source: Nikki Furrer, A Woman’s Guide To Cannabis: Using Marijuana to Feel Better, Look Better, Sleep Better – And Get High Like A Lady