To put it into plain English, you need to heat cannabis so that you can get high from the THC. The process of heating cannabis to convert THCA to THC is called decarboxylation or (decarbing for short).
When you make edibles, you need to heat your cannabis to a certain temperature for a certain length of time. There are several different methods that will accomplish this including the oven, hot water bath, vaporizer or decarbing machine. Make sure your cannabis is dry before decarbing.
This is probably the most practical and cheapest way to decarb cannabis.
- Preheat oven to 240°F
- Break cannabis into small chunks or grind up buds and spread out on parchment lined baking sheet
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes
You will notice that the cannabis has lost some of its green colour and has taken on a brownish hue. This is normal.
Decarboxylation of kief and hash:
- preheat oven to 225°F
- crumble into small pieces and spread out on baking dish or parchment lined baking tray
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes
Kief and hash are more delicate than cannabis flower and should be monitored closely.
Although you can use vaped pot for edibles, it is hard to say how much THC has already been extracted into your lungs. Therefore, you can not rely on it for accurate dosing.
Using a hot water bath to heat your cannabis is also not a reliable method. By putting your cannabis into a jar and placing it in hot water, how do you know what the temperature is inside the jar? You also risk ruining your product if the glass happens to break when you put it in water.
Decarboxylation machines are very efficient at decarbing cannabis but may be expensive. They also might be hard to find in Canada.
Dosing Decarbed Cannabis
Once your cannabis has been decarbed, you can put it directly into food for full THC effects. It can also be infused with fatty oils or extracted with alcohol.
When dosing edibles, the conversion rate of THCA to THC is 88%. The Dosing Edibles Calculator makes the calculation for you, thus making your life easier.
Dosing Edibles Calculator
In Canada, one serving of edibles has maximum 10 mg THC. Beginners can start with 5 mg THC per serving. It is best to start small and work your way up, waiting at least 2 hours between servings.
Dose Your Edibles Here
There is really no way to predict how THC will affect one person compared to another person. Be warned, especially if you are new to cannabis and edibles, you need to start with a small dose. It is recommended that beginners start by taking half half of the maximum dose of 10 mg THC per serving.
Although there are many people who wouldn't feel any effects from a 10 mg dose of THC, there are many people that do. Unfortunately, ingesting too much THC can be a very unpleasant experience. And- there is NO way to reverse the effects of THC. Just remember, you won't die!
Another important consideration regarding edibles is time. Unlike smoking cannabis, the effects are delayed. In fact, it sometimes takes 2 hours to feel the effects. Therefore, if you're not feeling the effects after an hour, DO NOT take more. Wait at least 2 hours between doses. Also, eating edibles on an empty stomach can lessen the time it takes to kick in.
How To Infuse Edibles
The cannabinoids in cannabis including THC are soluble in fat. In order to extract the cannabinoids from the plant you need to slowly heat cannabis with fatty oils like butter, coconut oil and olive oil. This infusion now becomes the basis for creating and dosing edibles.
There are two ways of making cannabutter. The most popular method involves simmering for several hours. The second method is much quicker.
- decarb cannabis
- boil 1 litre of water in a pot
- add 2 cups of butter, once melted, add decarbed cannabis
- simmer very low for 3 hours
- strain through fine strainer or cheesecloth
- cool in fridge for 1 hour
- separate butter from water
- decarb cannabis
- grind to a fine powder
- melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan or double boiler, add decarbed cannabis
- heat on very low setting, being careful not to boil, stirring frequently for 20 minutes
- remove from heat
- cool by placing pot in a sink with cold water
- stir cannabutter until it starts to harden
Infusing Other Fatty Oils
You can heat decarbed cannabis with fatty oils including olive oil, margarine, coconut oil, cocoa butter, lard, shortening, milk and cooking oils. Maintain the heat at 160°F for a couple of hours and strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth.
Extract Cannabinoids With Alcohol
You can use Everclear (190 Proof, 95%) or Bacardi 151 (151 Proof, 75.5%) to extract cannabinoids including THC.
- decarb cannabis at 240°F for 35 minutes, cool to room temperature
- put cannabis in a glass container, pour alcohol over
- let sit for 3 to 5 minutes
This creates an alcohol tincture that you could add to drinks or food. You can also use an eyedropper and put a few drops under your tongue. The effects of the THC will be felt within about 10 to 15 minutes.
Use caution when consuming alcohol and cannabis together because they intensify each other.
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