TL;DR Instructions

Place THC-dominant flower in an oven-safe baking dish and bake at 240°F for 40 minutes.

Are you sitting here scratching your head, wondering what in the heck decarboxylation even is? Before you start cooking, baking, or extracting, it’s important to activate our precious cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Here, I will teach you everything you need to know about where, when, why, and how to decarb your cannabis to create delicious edible recipes and more.

A picture of an oven-safe baking dish with decarboxylated cannabis inside with text that says how to easily decarb cannabis at home.

Features

  • The reason you need to decarb before making edibles
  • Lab tests that show 240°F for 40 minutes is perfect for THC
  • Tips and tricks to ensure your home decarb experience is smooth

Why You Will Love This Guide

A member of my Well With Cannabis Community recently asked me, “What exactly is decarboxylation, and why do we need to do it, anyway?”

Decarboxylation is the first step you need to take before infusing cannabis into oil, butter, tinctures, edibles, topicals, and more.

If you were to eat raw or dried cannabis, you would not likely feel any intoxicating effects of THC. 

This is because cannabis does not contain high amounts of cannabinoids like THC; instead, it contains cannabinoid acids like THCA.

Cannabinoid acids have their own health benefits but are not intoxicating, meaning they won’t get you high

To get the activated, psychoactive compounds we want, like THC, decarboxylation must occur.

Decarboxylation can easily be done in your kitchen at home by baking the dried cannabis in the oven at a low temperature for a certain period of time.

This guide will show you how you can decarb at home in your oven and explore the science behind the process; plus, I’ll share my expert tips and tricks so you will feel confident trying the process on your own.

What You’ll Need

A picture of the ingredients and equipment needed to decarb cannabis at home including cannabis flower, a scale, and an oven-safe baking dish.
  • Oven-safe baking dish: Using an oven-safe baking dish is the best practice. From a glass pie pan covered with foil to an old Pyrex baking dish with a lid, you want to ensure you are using something specifically designed to be used in an oven. It is not recommended to place mason jars in the oven; see FAQ below for more details.
  • Digital scale: Weighing your material is optional, but using a scale is helpful if you use my edible dosage calculator to guestimate the potency of your final product.
  • Digital thermometer: Optional, but a thermometer can help you reach your ideal temperature for your specific oven.
  • Cannabis: This tutorial will work for any type of cannabis, including flowers, buds, trim, leaf, or shake. Check my other guides for how to decarb kief and decarb concentrates. Remember, it does not matter how much you decarb at once. From a gram to an ounce, the process remains the same.

Note: The recipe card below has a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions.

Step-by-Step Instructions

A collage of the first four steps needed to decarboxylation.

Decarb Times

  1. THCA Δ9-THC – bake at 240°F/116°C for 40 minutes
  2. CBDA CBD – bake at 240°F/116°C for 90 minutes
  3. CBGA CBG – bake at 220°F/105°C for 60 minutes
  4. Δ9-THC CBN – bake at 240°F/116°C for 180 minutes
  • Step 1 – Use the General Decarb Recommendations above to determine what temperature to preheat the oven. Preheating the oven to 240° degrees Fahrenheit for THC-dominant flowers is commonly recommended.
  • Step 2 – Using a digital scale, weigh the cannabis to your desired weight. This step is optional but helpful. 
  • Step 3 – Gently break up the cannabis buds into small pieces, and remove any seeds and stems as necessary. Do not grind.
  • Step 4 -Add the flower to an oven-safe baking dish and put the lid on. You can cover the dish with tin foil if you don’t have a lid.
A collage of the last four steps needed for decarboxylation.
  • Step 5 – Place the dish in the oven and bake for the time according to the chart, typically 40 minutes for THC-dominant flower.
  • Step 6 – Carefully remove the dish to cool completely with the lid on.
  • Step 7 – Your decarbed flower is now ready to use.
  • Step 8 – See the storage instructions below to store your decarbed flower for future use.

Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.

A picture of cannabis before decarboxylation and what it looks like after decarboxylation.

Storage Instructions

It is recommended to store the decarbed cannabis in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in a cool, dark place. 

If you have a vacuum sealer, you can use it to seal your product in an airtight bag.

Don’t forget to add a Boveda pack or another moisture and humidity control option.

The freezer works well to help preserve the potency of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

Why You Need to Decarb

If you’re new to cannabis or new to edibles, you may be frantically going down a rabbit hole searching all things decarbing.

What is this? Why do I need to do it? And why didn’t I know this sooner?

You probably did and just didn’t know it!

If you’ve ever smoked cannabis, the heat from the lighter touching the material decarbs for you, and then you inhale. The same is true when you push the button on a vape pen.

So eating dried or raw cannabis flower that has never been decarbed will provide little to no intoxicating effect or high. 

This can be good or bad, depending on your desired experience!

By definition, decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide. 

Raw cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA for short. 

This non-intoxicating substance can be converted into the intoxicating substance tetrahydrocannabinol, as you know it Δ9-THC, through the decarboxylation process1.  

This process can also convert cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, into cannabidiol or CBD, though both forms remain non-intoxicating.

While THCA and CBDA have their own potential health benefits, most people prefer to use the process of decarboxylation to enjoy active THC and CBD.

While there is a general understanding of the science behind the decarboxylation process, truthfully, it is all just one big experiment in a home kitchen. 

Ultimately, they all get you to the same place – decarbed cannabis flower with the psychoactive effects you desire.

How to Decarb at Home

Decarboxylation occurs when cannabis is exposed to heat, light, cofactors, or solvents. 

The easiest way to decarb in your at-home kitchen environment is with heat, like an oven or an Instant Pot.

The goal is to heat the material at a low temperature to allow decarboxylation to occur without destroying the other beneficial compounds like terpenes or flavonoids. 

This becomes difficult because each cannabinoid decarboxylates on its own specific temperature/time scale.

THCA begins to decarboxylate at approximately 220°F after around 30-45 minutes of exposure, with full decarboxylation typically taking longer to occur2

If you are working with CBD flowers, know that CBDA requires more time to achieve decarboxylation than traditional THC-dominant flowers. 

Each individual terpene may have its own therapeutic health benefits but also carries its own sensitivity to heat.

Also, know that the type and strain of cannabis you are using will impact your final results.

This is why you will want to consider the best temperature and cooking time for each strain before starting.

A picture of an oven-safe baking dish with decarboxylated cannabis inside.

Experiment With Different Temperatures

Feel free to experiment with other recommendations to see what you like best; there are many ways to reach the final destination. 

If you want to decarb weed at higher temperatures, know you will need less time to achieve decarb.

Just be wary of extreme temperatures or methods that may introduce high temperatures, like broiling, microwaves, or grills. 

While heat is needed to decarboxylate, extreme temperatures can destroy many important compounds that contribute to positive health outcomes3

Lab Tests

I didn’t have access to lab testing when I wrote this post nearly four years ago.

I simply went with “what everyone recommended,” and that was to bake at 240°F for 40 minutes.

Thankfully, times have changed, and I can run lab tests and gather real-world data.

While this test is just a single test subject to all of the different variables of an at-home kitchen, these results were exciting.

The first lab test shows the cannabinoid makeup of the flower before decarboxylation; this is our control and how we know where we’re starting.

The second test shows how the cannabinoid makeup changed after the decarb process.

You can see that the first test had 1.34% THC and 18.75% THCA, and the second test had 17.12% THC and 0.40% THCA.

While not 100%, these tests show nearly perfect conversion.

This helps me sleep at night, knowing that the recommendation to decarb at 240°F for 40 minutes is effective and accurate.

Before Decarb

A picture of lab tests for Emily Kyles decarboxylation process.

After Decarb

A picture of lab tests for Emily Kyles decarboxylation process.

What If I Don’t Decarb?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard: “Back in the day, we didn’t do that decarb thing. We just left it in the crockpot for 24 hours, and it was plenty strong!” 

And that is totally true, and I bet the butter was super strong – and green and grassy.

Decarboxylation occurs on a time-temperature scale, meaning that decarb can be achieved at different times and temperatures.

They didn’t think they were decarbing back in the day, but they were!

Leaving the material in a 160°F crockpot for 24 hours caused decarb to occur, just at a lower temperature and a longer time. 

The reason we recommend the new, quicker oven method of decarbing before infusing is multifactored; it helps ensure maximum cannabinoid activation and terpene retention. 

But ultimately, it makes your butter, oil, and other edibles taste better.

Long infusion times cause the plant material to release a lot of a green pigment called chlorophyll.

While chlorophyll is harmless, it is NOT tasteless. This is what gives homemade edibles their sometimes unpleasant taste. 

By decarbing first, quickly and then opting for a quicker 4-hour infusion, the goal is that you end up with a more potent, better-tasting end product. 

This is my favorite way to create all of my popular staple oils, including:

Remember, without decarboxylation, you will not experience the full range of active ingredients like THC and CBD.

It’s Not Going to Be Perfect

If you ask ten members of my Well With Cannabis Community how they decarboxylate cannabis, you will likely get ten different answers. 

While variations of each method are slight, they are usually accompanied by years of experience and personal preference. 

It’s important to remember that this is not a perfect process in a controlled lab environment, nor does it need to be.

Each cannabis plant is unique and contains a full spectrum of compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and more.

The ratio of compounds varies from plant to plant, and each one decarbs at a different temperature, making perfect, consistent results challenging.

On top of that, we all have different kitchen setups with different equipment available to work with. 

However, this is not to discourage you. 

While this sounds like one big science experiment going on in your kitchen, it really is as simple as putting cannabis in the oven and baking it.

Ultimately, we all arrive at the same goal, activated THC and CBD that can be used in homemade ediblestopicals, and more.

If you strongly desire to be as precise as possible, here are a few considerations to remember.

Temperature Control

Temperature fluctuations can vary greatly from oven to oven, making tight temperature control difficult. 

Many variables can impact the final temperature of the oven, and even two same-brand ovens may vary in temperature by 5-10 degrees or more.

For this reason, I recommend using an oven-safe thermometer so that you can track the temperature in the oven that you currently have. 

I also recommend limiting the number of times the oven door is opened during the cooking process, as this alters the oven temperature significantly. 

Opening the door will cause the temperature to drop and alter your time and temperature recordings’ reliability.

Different Equipment

You are not limited to using an oven for this process; other pieces of equipment, like an Instant Pot, air fryer, or decarb machine, can be used. 

Basically, anything that can hold a consistent temperature of around 240°F can be used – I’ve even seen a guy use a smoker to decarb cannabis and another using a toaster oven outside in the garage.

Different methods will have different temperature controls, so I recommend you use a thermometer as needed throughout the process. 

Small variables in the different types of cooking equipment may impact your final product, but it is a great idea to experiment with different options to find what works best for you. 

Important to note if you want to contain the smell as much as possible, using an Instant Pot or infusion machine can help. 

Estimating The Potency

Perhaps the only downside of making homemade edibles is that it is nearly impossible to determine the final potency of THC or CBD per serving.

This is a disadvantage because it is hard to accurately dose correctly, and then it becomes difficult to assess and track how each option makes you feel.

Unfortunately, without lab testing, it is nearly impossible to accurately assess the final product’s total cannabinoid concentration, like total mg of THC or mg of CBD.

This uncertainty increases the risk of underdosing or overdosing, ultimately preventing you from experiencing the desired health benefits. 

However, you can use my edibles dosage calculator to get a guesstimate of your final potency.

This calculator is the first of its kind to offer the ability to account for the natural potency loss associated with the decarboxylation process, which is calculated at 0.87%.

This means that if you started with 100mg of THCA, in a perfect scenario, you would get 87mg of THC in the end.

Thankfully, my calculator does all the math for you, and all you need to do is check the box.

How to Use Decarbed Cannabis

Once the decarbing process is over, the world is your oyster!

You can use it to make butter, oils, tinctures, topicals, and a wide range of cannabis products – you dream it, you can make it. 

Or, you don’t have to do anything at all; you can grind the weed into a fine powder and enjoy the decarbed weed as-is, similar to how other dried herbs are used. 

This powder can be sprinkled onto food, added to your favorite recipe like my cannabis ranch dressing, or put into capsules for easy consumption.

Members of my Well With Cannabis Community make their own teahoney, or seasoning blends with their decarboxylated cannabis flower. 

Others will move forward to use the decarbed cannabis flower to make a cannabis-infused oil or cannabis-infused butter with a simple infusion process.

The infusion process is easy and can be done in different ways: with a slow cooker water bath, a precision cooker like an Instant Pot, or the sous vide method with an immersion circulator.

Once your oil infusion is made, you can make cannabis edibles or these amazing recipes.

What to Do with Decarbed Cannabis

A picture of an oven-safe baking dish with decarboxylated cannabis inside.

How to Decarb Weed For Edibles

4.64 from 244 votes
In this comprehensive tutorial, we'll guide you through the essential process of decarboxylation so that you can activate those coveted cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and unleash the full potential of your recipes. Where, when, why, and how to decarboxylate your cannabis, all from the comfort of your own home!

Watch The Video

What You Need  

  • 1 ounce cannabis *any amount is fine

Instructions 

  • Remember, each cannabinoid decarbs at a different temperature. Pick the dominant cannabinoid you know is present in your material and select the time and temperature associated with it using the recommendations below.
  • Preheat the oven to the temperature you need, commonly 240° F for THC-dominant cannabis.
  • Using a digital scale, weigh the cannabis to your desired weight. For example: in grams or ¼- 1 ounce. This step is optional but helpful if you plan to use my edible dosage calculator.
  • Gently break up any large cannabis buds; popcorn-sized pieces are good. Remove any seeds and stems as necessary. I do not recommend grinding before decarbing.
  • Add the material to an oven-safe baking dish and secure the lid. If you don't have a lid, tightly cover the dish with tin foil.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for your desired time according to the recommendations below, most commonly 40 minutes for THC-dominant cannabis.
  • Resist the urge to open the oven, lift the lid, or otherwise check on the material. Let it bake uninterrupted for the desired amount of time. After the cooking time, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool completely with the lid on.
  • Your decarbed flower is now ready for use. If you do not want to use it immediately, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. See additional storage instructions below.

Notes

Cannabinoid Time & Temperature Recommendations: 
    • THCA to D9-THC → bake at 240°F for 40 minutes
    • CBDA to CBD → bake at 240°F for 90 minutes
    • CBGA to CBG → bake at 220°F for 60 minutes
    • THC to CBN→ bake at 240°F for 180 minutes
Material Note: This tutorial will work for any type of cannabis, including flower, buds, trim, leaf, or shake. Check my other guides for decarbing kief and decarbing concentrates
Amount Note: It does not matter how much you decarb at once. From a gram to an ounce, the process remains the same.
Color Change Note: At the end of the process, you are looking for a light golden brown color and a fragrant aroma. However, if you do not notice a color change, do not panic. This is OK. Do not decarb any longer; go based on time.
Do you have a question or need help?Join hundreds of members inside private Well With Cannabis Community for help, support, and to share your edible creations!

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m new and overwhelmed; where do I start?

No worries, I am here to help you! If you haven’t already, check out my guide to help you on your cannabis journey. And be sure to grab your free copy of my printable terms & abbreviations chart.

Can I decarb in a mason jar?

While it is very common and popular to decarb cannabis in a mason jar, Ball canning jars are not recommended to be used in the oven. A lid sealed too tight could cause a jar to crack, break, or explode. For this reason, we recommend baking the cannabis in an oven-safe baking dish with a lid.

What if I don’t have an oven-safe baking dish?

If you don’t have a dish safe in the oven, you can use a baking sheet or tray covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Just know that this will not hold in the smell as well as a covered option.

Should you grind the flower before decarb?

This is a matter of personal preference. Grinding will remove trichomes, leaving them in the grinder and not on your material. Grinding will also expose more surface area, allowing more chlorophyll to be absorbed into the final product. This is why I recommend skipping the grinding process and breaking up large buds by hand into smaller, popcorn-sized pieces instead.

Can you store decarbed cannabis for future use?

Yes, decarbed cannabis can be stored for quite a long time. It is recommended to store the decarbed cannabis in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in a cool, dark space. The freezer works well to help preserve the potency of THC and CBD.

Will decarbing make my house smell like weed?

Yes – the decarboxylation process can cause your house to smell like weed. This is because, when we bake cannabis, we activate and release certain terpenes, which give cannabis its distinct smell. While some enjoy the wonderful aroma, others are concerned about the smell affecting a loved one, a neighbor, or someone else in the home. That is why we recommend baking the cannabis flowers in a sealed container, like an oven-safe baking dish with a lid. You can contain the smell even further by decarbing in an Instant Pot. The sealed lid will hold in many terpenes, which is great for your final product and helps significantly reduce odor.

Can I eat just decarbed cannabis?

Yes, you can absolutely just eat the cannabis as-is after the decarb process. Some prefer grinding it into a fine powder, like other herbs like oregano. If you will consume this year, it is a good idea to be extra cautious. Depending on your material, this method can be very potent, with even just a few grams able to pack a potent THC punch.

How will decarbed weed make me feel?

Each human body has an endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptors that interact with the cannabis we consume.

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Take your edibles to the next level…

My Edibles Made Easy Online Cooking Course will teach you how to easily make cannabis edibles and topical recipes at home. This step-by-step video course will teach you how to infuse, extract, and create edibles with many different product types – all from the comfort of your own home.

About Emily

Hi, I’m Emily Kyle and I teach people just like you how to use cannabis to find joy, enhance productivity, improve relationships, and naturally support your overall health and wellness.

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68 Comments

  1. I appreciate all how tos,…, and use your way to assists my health, you’re a great inspiration and helpful. Thank you.

  2. Hi Marisol. We’re thrilled to hear that you’re finding the resources on our blog beneficial to your health. Your kind words are much appreciated, and it’s encouraging to know the content is making a positive impact. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions!

  3. I followed your recipe for baking my CBG in a covered baking dish for 60 minutes, but the buds never turned light brown there’s still green. I noticed your instructions for a covered dish are different than the other ones online that say to use a cookie sheet. I’m wondering what the benefits are to cooking it in a covered baking dish as opposed to a baking sheet with no cover?

  4. Hi Gina. Thank you so much for trying out our recipe and reaching out with your question. I’m sorry to hear that the buds didn’t turn light brown as expected. Let me explain the benefits of using a covered baking dish.

    Decarbing your CBG in a covered baking dish helps create a more controlled environment inside the dish, which allows for better heat retention and even distribution, which can result in more consistent and thorough decarb. The cover helps trap moisture, leading to a slower and gentler cooking process and helps preserve the flavors and aromas of the buds.

    On the other hand, using a baking sheet without a cover typically allows for faster and more direct heat exposure. This method can result in quicker decarboxylation but may also risk the buds becoming overly dried or burnt.

    It’s worth mentioning that different recipes and methods found online may offer variations based on personal preferences or specific desired outcomes. It’s always good to experiment and find what works best for you.

  5. Hi Emily,
    I notice you say that each cannabinoid decarbs at a different temp, but your guide shows the same temperature for every cannabinoid. This is quite confusing.

    Thanks,
    Skillit

  6. Hi Skillit. We recommend 240º for decarboxylation, but different lengths of time depending on the primary cannabinoid. THC-40 Minutes. CBG-60 Minutes. CBD-90 Minutes. CBN-180 Minutes. This process may seem a bit perplexing at first but don’t worry, it will all become clear in due time. Trust me, we’ve been there too! Happy Decarboxylating! 🙂

  7. 4 stars
    I haven’t used it yet so I don’t know but it sounds perfect. My problem is I have cannabis tops in coconut oil i didn’t decarb juist heated the oil and put the tops in. Can I reverse the process and try again or is this out of the question? If I don’t hear back I will just try to get the well oiled cannabis dried out, somehow. And proceed with your recipe.. Thank you Emily.

  8. Hi Joey. We typically recommend infusing for twice as long if it hasn’t been strained yet. If it’s already strained and ready to go, there is varying information out there, but I typically suggest 300°F for an infusion that contains THC-dominant cannabis. After 90 minutes, you should have almost a full conversion. The temperature and time are increased compared to the regular decarb process to account for the oil not heating as quickly as the buds alone. This shouldn’t burn your oil either, but it’s important to keep a close eye on it. I hope this helps!