Did you know decarboxylation is still an important step to take when making edibles or topicals with CBD flowers? If you want to reap the activated benefits of CBD, read on to learn how to decarb CBD flower and review the lab tests for the best time and temperature!
- An explanation of why you need to decarb CBD
- Step-by-step instructions for how to decarb CBD
- Lab tests to show the efficiency of the process
Why You Will Love This Guide
CBD flower is quickly gaining popularity for many reasons, including experiencing the benefits of cannabis without an extreme high.
I recently noticed a great interest in CBD flowers from my Well With Cannabis Community members who use it for pain relief and relaxation.
But many new consumers don't know that you have to decarb the CBD flower first to activate the CBD inside.
While this process of decarboxylating cannabis sounds complicated, don't worry, it's not!
In this guide, I will break down what CBD flower is, how to decarb it, and then how you can use it to make edibles, topicals, and more.
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- CBD flower buds - or leaf, trim, shake, or kief in your amount of choice
If you are ready to explore the benefits of CBD flower, you can stock up on high-quality products from my shop:
Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is located in the recipe card below.
- Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 240° F.
- Step 2 - Using a digital scale, weigh the cannabis flower to your desired weight. For example: 0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 ounces.
- Step 3 - Gently break up the CBD flower buds, removing any seeds and stems as necessary.
- Step 4 - Add the flower to a mason jar or oven-safe baking dish with a lid, making sure the flower is in an even layer (you do not want clumps or mounds). You can tip the mason jar on it's side to get more surface area. If you don't have a lid, the tin foil will work.
- Step 5 - Step 5 - Place the container in the oven and bake for 90 minutes for CBD-dominant flower. You are looking for a toasted brown color and fragrant aroma when it is done.
- Step 6 - Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely with the lid on.
- Step 7 - Your decarbed cannabis flower is now ready for immediate use.
- Step 8 - Be sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place if you don't use immediatley
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.
After the process is completed, you can store your decarboxylated cannabis in an airtight container like a mason jar in a cool, dark place for several months. Storing in the freezer will help preserve the potency of your cannabis products for a longer period of time. Learn more about how to store cannabis edibles here.
This is the closest we can get to a scientific answer. These lab tests show how much CBDA was converted into CBD by baking at 240°F for 90 minutes.
What is CBD Flower?
Cannabis comes in a variety of different strains with a variety of different cannabinoids and cannabinoid ratios that can produce different effects.
Third-party lab tests can help to clarify what cannabinoids are present in your flower and how much.
CBD-dominant flowers may come with either high or low amounts of THC, depending on the strain of the plant.
CBD flowers must contain less than 0.3% THC to be legally sold as hemp in the United States.
The main difference between the traditional cannabis you may already be familiar with and hemp plants is the total amount of THC the flower contains.
This is a chemical difference, meaning CBD flower will look, smell, and perform almost the same as any other cannabis flower, minus the intoxicating high.
Cannabis plants can be selectively cultivated to produce a low THC, high CBD cannabinoid profile while maintaining all other beneficial plant compounds, including other cannabinoids and terpenes.
What is Decarboxylation?
If you want to reap the benefits of the active components from CBD flowers, you will need decarboxylation to occur first.
If you were to eat raw cannabis flowers naturally, you would unlikely feel any intoxicating effects of THC.
This is because the plant material does not naturally contain high amounts of cannabinoids in their active form; it contains acidic cannabinoids.
To convert these non-intoxicating cannabinoid acids into the activated cannabinoids we want for our final product, the process of decarboxylation must occur.
Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide.
The process of heating cannabis can decarboxylate THCA into active THC and CBDA into CBD.
Each cannabis plant is unique and contains a full spectrum of compounds, including different cannabinoids, terpenes, and more.
And each cannabinoid decarboxylates at a different temperature for a varied amount of time.
In cannabis, we aim to heat the flower at an optimal temperature to allow decarboxylation to occur without destroying the other beneficial plant matter, such as the terpenes or flavonoids.
The key is to find the sweet spot between time and temperature to get the beneficial cannabinoids and the best results we are after.
Variations Will Occur
Decarbing with heat in an oven or Instant Pot is the easiest method to control in an at-home kitchen environment.
This process really is as simple as putting a mason jar full of cannabis in the oven and baking it.
However, keep in mind very high temperatures are not always better.
An oven set at a higher temperature will cause decarboxylation of THC to occur more quickly than an oven set at a lower temperature.
Now it's important to remember that this is not a perfect process in a controlled environment, nor does it need to be.
Several factors can impact your final result:
- Chemical structure - the raw cannabinoids present in the plant will impact the resulting product
- Oven temperatures - temperature fluctuations can vary greatly from oven to oven
- Decarb process - whether you use the oven method, instant pot, water bath, etc
- Different decarboxylation temperatures - if you choose to use different decarboxylation temperatures, you will get different results at different times
Ultimately, desperate the variability among decarboxylation methods, we will all arrive at the same goal - activated cannabinoids that can be used in homemade edibles.
You Need to Decarb For Edibles
Just like traditional cannabis edibles, you can make any edible with CBD hemp flower.
These edibles will not produce the same intoxicating effects, but they can be just as delicious and rewarding, depending on your desired experience.
It's important to remember that cooking with CBD hemp flower still requires the process of decarboxylation to get CBD's beneficial effects.
It is important to remember that all cannabinoids decarboxylate at different temperatures, so the temperature and time needed to achieve full activation for CBD will differ from THC.
If you are decarbing CBD flowers, the most common recommendation is to set the oven to 240°F and bake for 90 minutes.
This process converts cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) into cannabidiol (CBD), although both forms remain non-intoxicating in their respective states.
Frequently Asked Questions
Decarbing CBD can be brand new to even the most seasoned cannabis consumer, so here are some of the most common FAQs I get asked about decarbing CBD flower.
No, you don't, but it is the easiest way to trap the smell. You could always use a baking sheet or cookie sheet if you need to
Yes, products like the Ardent Nova will execute the cannabis decarboxylation process for you.
With the passage of The Farm Bill in late 2018 came the legalization of hemp, or cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. Hemp is now Federally legal, but it is important to check with your local state and city regulations to ensure the legality of consuming hemp flower. Some states have their ban on buying, selling, or possessing CBD hemp flower, even if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
I recommend getting your medical marijuana card. This is a good option if you want to access THC products.
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How to Decarb CBD Flower for Edibles
- 1 ounce CBD flower buds or leaf, trim, shake, or kief (amount of choice)
- Preheat the oven to 240° F.
- Using a digital scale, weigh the cannabis flower to your desired weight. For example: 0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 ounces.
- Gently break up the CBD flower buds, removing any seeds and stems as necessary.
- Add the flower to a mason jar or oven-safe baking dish with a lid, making sure the flower is in an even layer (you do not want clumps or mounds). If you don't have a lid, the tin foil will work.
- Place the container in the oven and bake for 90 minutes for CBD-dominant flower. You are looking for a toasted brown color and fragrant aroma when it is done.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely with the lid on.
- Your decarbed flower is now ready for immediate use. Be sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place if you don't use immediatley
- Long Term Storage: Decarbed CBD flower can be stored for a long period of time, up to 6 months or more. It is recommended to store in a cool, dark place in an airtight container, such as a mason jar. The freezer may be a great place to store the flower and preserve its potency.