How to decarb cannabis and why I recommend the Ardent FX!
Updated: Sep 8
Cooking with cannabis is easy, fun, and can save you so much money. Some people feel overwhelmed with the process, but it’s just three easy steps and once you learn them, you’ll be putting cannabis in everything!
Decarb your cannabis
Infuse it into oil, butter, or alcohol
Strain out the plant material and get cooking!
Arguably, the most important step is the first one: decarbing. If you do it well, you’ll get more medicine in your infusions and if you mess up, you’re leaving medicine and money on the table every time you’re in the kitchen.
Today we’re going to dive into how to decarb at home in the oven, why it’s not great, and how to get the perfect decarb every time with my absolute favorite infusion machine on the market, the Ardent. Plus, use the coupon code: revealcannabis to save $30!
So, what is decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is the scientific name for heating your cannabis flower up in the oven (or your Ardent FX) so that the THCA and CBDA which grow naturally on the plant, turn into THC and CBD, which is what most people are looking for.
If you don’t decarb your cannabis, or if you don’t decarb it all the way then you’ll be consuming partly THCA and partly THC (for example). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. THCA has many potential health benefits, but most consumers are not looking for it.
On the flip side, if you decarb at too high of a temperature, or for too long, you actually start to destroy the beneficial compounds. There is definitely a technique to getting this all right.
Why is proper decarboxylation important?
As we mentioned, the plant produces THCa and CBDa, in its natural state, so if you’re looking for the potential therapeutic benefits of THC or CBD, you need to decarb your cannabis.
This process “knocks off” the “acidic” part of the THCA molecule making it THC which better binds to the receptors in our body causing the relief we’re looking for.
Why is that? It turns out that THCA (the molecule that the plant grows) does not affect our endocannabinoid system the same way her decarbed cousin THC does. (The same with CBDA and CBD).
As we learn more about THCA and CBDA (blogs coming soon!) many people are actually forgoing the decarb process so they can benefit from the acidic cannabinoids. But, for the vast majority of us, getting the most THC or CBD from our flower is the goal.
How will proper decarbing help you?
There are three main reasons to pay attention to proper decarbing.
Cannabis is expensive and if you don’t decarb well, you’re wasting money every time you do it.
You’re looking to get the most medicine out of the plant. If you don’t decarb well, you’re missing out.
And there’s something else to consider as well. Just as annoying as under-decarbing your plant is over-decarbing it. That would mean that you’ve actually destroyed some of the medicine you were trying to get.
When I teach about decarbing, people always respond with the same two things:
I don’t decarb when I smoke or vape, and that cannabis still works! What’s up?
Ah, but you ARE decarbing! When you’re smoking or vaping cannabis, you decarb it in the joint or the vaporizer. But when you’re using cannabis to make products, you have to decarb in the oven (or the Ardent FX) first.
I always just put my cannabis right into my brownie batter without decarbing first and it works well. This decarbing thing must be bunk!
This is my favorite rebuttal to address. I always ask the person to just give it a try. “Go home, decarb some cannabis and then put it in your brownies. See if it feels more potent.” Then I get emails thanking me for helping them make stronger edibles for the same price.
How do you decarb cannabis in the oven at home?
Click here to get the downloadable and printable recipe card.
as much cannabis as you'd like
Preheat your oven to 240 F or 115 C.
If you have one, use an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature is correct. Correct temps are critical to achieving as much potency as possible without burning off the cannabinoids.
Break up the buds.
By breaking apart the flower, rather than keeping them clumped together, you’re able to increase the surface area for a more even activation. I don’t recommend grinding your cannabis before decarbing. If you’re going to grind, it’s easier and less sticky to do it after the decarb.
Place the broken-up buds in a mason jar until it is about halfway full, then seal it.
Place the mason jar on its side in the oven. If needed, you can use more than one mason jar to separate your batch.
Bake the sealed mason jars for 45 minutes. Let them cool momentarily, then spread the cannabis onto a flat baking sheet.
Do not let the cannabis cool inside the jar, or condensation will form, making the plant soggy.
Use your decarbed flower to infuse, make tinctures, or simply add it to your food!
If you are decarbing a flower with less than 1% THC, leave it in the oven for twice the amount of time (1 hour 30 minutes instead of 45 minutes). CBD-rich cannabis needs a “double-decarb” for proper activation.
What’s the problem with decarbing your cannabis in the oven?
While the oven method offers an at-home solution, it comes with its fair share of problems.
You lose medicine and money: By decarbing in the oven, you won’t get all the THCA converted into THC or CBDA into CBD. You’ll lose about 30%!
Let’s break that down a bit to see why it’s so important. Let’s say you can purchase 1 ounce of cannabis (28 grams) for $150 and the cannabis tests at 20% THC.
28 grams of 20% THC cannabis should give you 5,600 mg of THC. If you’re losing 30% of that, you're only getting 3,920 mg!
And a 30% loss on your $150 ounce means you’re wasting $45 each time!
It’s finicky. This method is not a quick and simple solution. There is time, detail, and attentiveness required to decarb successfully, even with a reduced THC output. You are wasting money and using time by babysitting your buds as they bake.
Your oven isn’t stable. Getting accuracy in the oven is nearly impossible. Without real-time readings of the oven temperature, you can’t tell what’s really going on in there.
How to solve the decarbing problem? The Ardent FX!
Let me introduce you to my FAVORITE cannabis gadget, the Ardent FX. Here are the SEVEN reasons I love it:
Save money and medicine: It produces almost 100% activation of your cannabis. That means you’d get almost ALL of the 5,600 mg of THC and your full $150 worth. You will save money and medicine every time you use it. This machine will actually pay for itself.
It’s a “set it and forget it” type of machine. Simply load your plant material into the Ardent FX and press the button. It will take care of the rest.
It has a CBD-specific setting. Remember I told you that CBD needs a “double-decarb”? The Ardent FX has got you covered!
You can decarb AND infuse in the same machine. In fact, you can even use the device as an oven to bake your edibles. Round Canna-Banana Bread anyone?
It has a huge capacity. You can add up to 4 ounces of cannabis and four cups of oil or butter. That means you can do big batches and less cleanup!
It’s dishwasher safe. I’m not going to lie, this is a huge feature for me. I hattttte doing dishes.
It’s so pretty. I know that’s not what most people are looking for in a decarb device, but it does not hurt that it’s the most lovely shade of purple.
I know you want one too and I have an excellent coupon for you. Head to the Ardent website and use code: revealcannabis for $30 off yours. And then tell us about what you’re making in YOUR Ardent FX in the comments.
With lots of decarbing love,