How to Decarb Weed (Sous Vide, Mason Jar, Toaster Oven, Oil & More)
Decarboxylation, despite being a process surrounded by misinformation and myths, is an integral process involved with cannabis consumption of any kind.
To put it simply–the science behind decarbing is just a function of time and temperature. Heat the material, let it “cook” for a specific amount of time, and your raw cannabis is transformed from simple plant material into a potent ingredient or treatment for your favorite consumption methods. Decarbed cannabis can be used to make dispensary grade topicals, smokable herbs, tinctures, gummies, brownies, smoothies, cooking oils, cannabutters, and more.
Though partial decarboxylation can occur when simply allowing the raw plant material to dry, the results are minimal and provide a lackluster experience compared to any modern decarboxylation process. The quickest, easiest method of decarboxylation is smoking or vaporizing, which makes cannabinoids instantly available for absorption through inhalation.
Despite their popularity, the most simple methods aren’t as efficient as they could be and–while better than simply drying–result in a waste of raw cannabis, as well as the potential THC and CBD available. This has led to the development of several different decarboxylation methods, among which we are proud to include the Ardent NOVA decarboxylator.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Here’s How to Decarb Weed (6 Decarboxylation Methods)
1. Oven Decarboxylation
The oven decarboxylation method is among one of the most common household decarboxylation processes because it only requires basic tools usually found in most homes.
What do you need
- An oven
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Spice grinder
Pre-heat your oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a sheet of parchment paper over your baking sheet, and loosely grind your cannabis over top. Place your baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and remove it after 40 minutes.
Our research with MCR Labs shows that when decarbing flower with a max potential of 18.1% THC in the oven, the max potential for conversion is 15.3%. The oven method is an effective way to convert tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) into activated, bio-available THC and CBD, but either fails to fully activate all of the cannabinoids in your plant material, or burns some off due to the fluctuation and variability of oven temperatures. You may experience strong aromas through your decarboxylation process while using the oven method, so this method isn’t advisable for those who need to be discreet.
2. Mason Jar Decarboxylation
Mason jar decarboxylation is a convenient and discreet decarboxylation method, although it takes an extra watchful eye, since it’s performed using an open flame, and uses glass, which can be sensitive to temperature changes, making it potentially dangerous if you’re not careful.
What do you need?
- Mason jar
- A pot
Roughly grind your plant material and place it inside your mason jar before tightly sealing. Fill up your pot with water about halfway, place the jar inside, and heat on your stovetop at low/medium heat. If the jar is placed in the pot when the water is too hot, the jar runs the risk of cracking or exploding. Let the jar and water simmer in the pot for about 90 minutes, being sure that the water doesn’t evaporate throughout the decarbing process.
This is a very effective method for those who need a discreet decarb process, as the smell is generally contained within the air-tight mason jar. The mason jar method isn’t the most precise decarb method, since the temperature under an open flame has many variables. You can use an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature remains consistent. The temperature will never go above 220 degrees Fahrenheit – that of boiling water.
3. Sous Vide Decarb
The sous vide decarb method uses water and controlled heat to decarb weed. When using the sous vide decarboxylation method you preserve terpenes and maximize flavor in your end result product.
What do you need?
- A Sous Vide machine, otherwise known as an immersion circulator
- A large pot/tub to use with your machine
- A vacuum sealer or freezer bag with a sealable zipper
When using the sous vide method, you’re able to decarb cannabis in a water bath. Fill your tub with warm tap water, place your immersion circulator inside, and set it to 203 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your ground cannabis in a vacuum sealed bag, and leave it in the water bath with the immersion circulator for 90 minutes. Remove the vacuum sealed bag, and let it cool for 15-20 minutes.
Since your plant material remains in an air-tight container throughout the decarboxylation process, you also experience very few invasive cannabis aromas, and prevent the evaporation of cannabinoids, just like with the mason jar method.
4. Toaster Oven Decarb
Toaster oven decarb is possible too!
What do you need?
- Baking tray/aluminum foil
- Parchment paper
Set your toaster oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, and place your ground up plant material on a baking tray or aluminum foil in the oven for 60 minutes. Through our research with MCR Labs, we found that with cannabis flower that started with a max potential of 18.1% THC, the toaster oven method provided a max potential of 12.2% activation. A significant loss. This decarb method can also bring cannabis aromas throughout your home.
5. Making Cannabis Butter
Once you have your decarboxylated cannabis in hand, you can easily make cannabutter using very few materials.
What do you need?
- Decarbed cannabis
- Ardent Nova decarboxylator or saucepan
- Water (if using saucepan method)
- Cheesecloth or Ardent Frainer
Add one cup of water and one cup of butter to your saucepan and simmer on low. Add finely ground cannabis to your mixture and let it simmer for 2-3 hours, at a temperature between 160-200 degrees Fahrenheit, adding water over time to prevent the butter from burning. Another method allows you to simply put the infusion sleeve inside the Ardent Nova, add your decarbed plant material, add your butter, and run the Nova for one additional cycle.
Strain out your plant material by using a cheese cloth or the Ardent Frainer, and refrigerate your mixture, removing any settled water once its cooled.
6. Using Ardent Nova ***
The Ardent Nova is a precision decarboxylator, maximizing the potential of your plant material by delivering full (>97%) decarboxylation during each cycle, with the simple press of a button.
What do you need?
- The Ardent Nova
- (optional) MCT, olive, or coconut oil to infuse with
Our research with MCR Labs showed that with a max potential of 18.1% THC in our flower, the Nova provided a max activation potential of 17.9%. Your plant material comes out of the Nova with a golden brown hue after a period of time ranging from 90 to 120 minutes, depending on the density and quantity of your materials. No need to set dials or monitor settings, since the Nova is a one button system that turns from red to green when each cycle is complete, and automatically turns off.
What is a decarboxylator? Well, in terms of the Nova, it’s easily the most simple process there is to decarb weed since there’s no close monitoring or switching between lower temperatures and high temperatures required. You can easily decarboxylate cannabis flower, concentrates, kief, and other plant materials in the Nova, allowing you to make your anti-inflammatory cannabis edibles right at home.
What is the Best Decarboxylation Method?
There are many ways to decarboxylate cannabis at home, but the best decarboxylation method is to use the Ardent Nova. With more than 97% activation it’s the most cost effective and simple way to make dispensary grade marijuana medicine with Max THC activation without unreliable baking methods.
FAQs on How to Decarboxylate Weed
Does decarboxylation smell?
It can, depending on which method is used. The least invasive methods are the mason jar, sous vide, and Ardent Nova decarboxylator methods.
How long does it take to decarboxylate the cannabis?
Each method varies, meaning a full decarboxylation can occur in a window anywhere between 40 minutes and two hours.
What can you do with decarboxylated weed?
The possibilities are endless. Decaboxylated cannabis can be used to make tinctures, edibles, and topicals of any kind. It can also be smoked. We’ve created a quick list of ideas for you here.
Want to know how to decarb weed the BEST way? We use 6 methods including oil, mason jar, oven (& toaster oven) & sous vide decarb & find out!
Mason Jar Decarboxylation for Cannabis Edibles
Mason jar decarboxylation (or decarbing) has become an increasingly popular method for cannabis edibles creators. The mason jar decarb method arguably produces infusions with greater flavour and potency than a traditional decarboxylation does.
Decarboxylation is necessary for making cannabutter, cannabis oil, and other edible infusions. The mason jar decarboxylation method is ideal for those who want less smell while making cannabis infusions, as well as a self-contained decarbing process.
Decarboxylation, or decarbing, is an essential process in making cannabis edibles. Cannabis is not psychoactive in its raw form and this process ensures that valuable cannabinoids, such as Delta-9 THC, are properly activated. In addition, the process of decarboxylation also prepares cannabis for bioavailability, a process that allows cannabis to have an effect as an edible substance.
Learning how to decarboxylate cannabis will become an essential foundation in any cannabis consumer’s knowledge.
Usually, all that is needed to decarboxylate cannabis in a mason jar for infusions and edibles are cannabis buds, a mason jar, a baking tray/dish, a conventional oven, and high-quality parchment paper.
Cannabis affects everyone in a different way, it is important that you know your own tolerance to cannabis edibles. If you need to explore more about cannabis “flower to oil ratio”, click here.
In order to make cannabis butter (cannabutter), or cannabis oil like this, decarboxylation is necessary
What is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is the scientific process that takes place when cannabis is exposed to heat.
In scientific terms, decarboxylation refers to a reaction of carboxylic acids that remove a carbon atom from a chain of atoms present within a plant such as cannabis. When heat is applied to cannabis, it will remove a carboxyl group from the THCA cannabinoid (non-psychoactive) and creates the psychoactive Delta-9 THC. Decarboxylation also occurs when cannabis is smoked or vaporized.
Mason Jar Decarboxylation: Decarbing for Cannabis Edibles
- Preheat Oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 degrees Celsius)
- Grind up your cannabis flowers
- Be sure not to over grind, a coarse grind is recommended
- Place ground cannabis into a mason jar and very lightly screw the lid on
- Line your baking tray/dish with parchment paper
- Now, place the mason jar full of cannabis on its side on the baking tray/dish
- Once the oven has heated to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 degrees Celsius), place the cookie tray into the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
- After the first 30 minutes, flip the mason jar (using an oven mitt) onto the other side to ensure an even decarboxylation
- Set the timer for another 30 minutes and place the mason jar back onto the baking tray/dish
- After the second 30 minutes has elapsed, turn the oven off but leave the cannabis inside for another 30 minutes
- Remove from oven and let your decarboxylated cannabis rest for at least 15 minutes before using it in a cannabis infusion.
Storing this final product in a dark, dry, and cool place will ensure the decarboxylated cannabis stays fresh, as well as potent.
If you need to keep it in the kitchen cupboard for longer than a few days, the mason jar decarboxylation method is ideal.
Also, using the same jar you decarboxylate in for oil, butter, or other infusions may add valuable terpenes to your final infusion.
Mason jar decarboxylation has advantages over traditional decarboxylation in an oven such as a reduced smell. In addition, the mason jar decarb method provides a mess-free, self-contained process.
Decarboxylation: Other Methods of Decarbing For Cannabis Edibles
Sous-Vide: Sous-vide decarboxylation takes place at a lower temperature, usually 204 degrees Fahrenheit (95 degrees Celsius) than regular decarboxylation. Sous-vide cooking involves vacuum-sealing food (cannabis in this case) within a bag and cooking at a precise temperature in water. The advantages of sous-vide decarboxylation include consistency, less mess to clean up, and results that are impossible to achieve with any other method. Cannabutter or cannabis oil can also be infused using this method.
Vaporization: After vaporizing dried cannabis, a consumer is left with brown, often brittle, cannabis flower material. Before throwing this material away, take a minute to reflect on the process of decarboxylation. Vaping dried cannabis achieves a very similar result, depending on the temperature of your vaporizer, and this ‘waste’ material can be used to infused butter, oil and more. The maximum temperature you should operate a vaporizer at if you want the use ‘Already Vaped Bud’ in cannabutter or cannabis oil is 440 degrees Fahrenheit (227 degrees Celsius). At higher temperatures, combustion begins to occur and the cannabis flower material is no longer useful for cannabis infusions. Vaped cannabis is often high in a cannabinoid known as CBN, a potent sedative. Using vaporized cannabis in infusions or edibles may have a different effect on the consumer than traditionally decarboxylated cannabis.
Traditional Decarboxylation: The easiest, and perhaps most popular, way to decarb cannabis is by using a traditional oven. Our method for easy cannabis decarboxylation can be found here. This method is highly recommended for those who are just beginning their journey into cannabis edibles. The mason jar and sous-vide methods are recommended for those with a little bit more experience with cannabis edibles and homemade infusions.
Machine Assisted Decarboxylation: The contemporary market for at-home cannabis cooking equipment has seen the release of many machines that can decarboxylate cannabis for you. Many of these machine’s primary function is to make cannabis infusions such as butter or oil, but, some of the newer devices will also decarboxylate cannabis for the consumer.
Cannabis oil is easy to make at home and can be tailor-made to suit your own personal needs.
How to Decarboxylate Cannabis: What is a Passive Decarboxylation?
Passive decarboxylation involves infusing butter or oil with cannabis, as well as decarboxylating it at the same time. This method is ideal for those who want a one-step process, as well as giving a cannabis consumer the ability to (somewhat) pair terpenes and ingredients to create a synergy like no other. A passive decarboxylation using a mason jar would involve infusing the oil or butter and cannabis in a mason jar without decarboxylating the cannabis separately.
Passive decarboxylation can be achieved through all of the decarboxylation processes outlined above, however, this method is only advised for those who have consumed cannabis edibles before; the flavour of a cannabis infusion made with a passive decarboxylation is much stronger than an infusion that is made with a traditional, mason jar, or, sous-vide decarb.
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Mason jar decarboxylation (or decarbing) has become an increasingly popular method for cannabis edibles creators. The mason jar decarb method arguably produces infusions with greater flavour and potency than a traditional decarboxylation does. Decarboxylation is necessary for making cannabutter, cannabis oil, and other edible infusions. The mason jar decarboxylation method…