Why Should You Use a Decarboxylation Machine for Weed?
If you want to play ball, you need to come dressed for the occasion. For example, wearing a pair of slippers to a backyard game of flag football might protect your feet, but you won’t get much traction and you likely won’t get picked very quickly either. The end result is your performance will be lackluster as you slip and fall every time the ball is snapped.
In case you are wondering where this is going, wonder no more. If you were to transfer this concept to cannabis, you have a similar situation. On its own, you would think you can get high from using your weed in the production of edibles and the like.
But, much like your inability to score any touchdowns while wearing slippers, your weed isn’t going to perform well to make you high. And that’s where decarboxylation comes in.
What is Decarboxylation?
The cannabis world is not as obvious as it appears, When you go to your buddy’s house to get stoned, you often don’t pay much attention to the end product that you inhale or consume. Your main concern is getting high, which is totally fine.
But if you are looking to do some home prep of your own, your best bet is to familiarize yourself with the actual process involved with giving your weed its punch.
The active component that actually gets you high in the first place is called tetrahydrocannabinol. But you may know it more formally as just THC. The precursor to this psychoactive construct is tetrahydrocannabinol-A or THC-A for short. Here’s where things get a little sciencey, so put on your thinking cap.
What Causes Decarboxylation?
The short answer to this question is time under heat. But to be more specific, cannabis starts out as a raw plant. When it is harvested, a plenitude of people still has this false feeling that you can eat it, add it to your cereal bowl or throw it in your salad to obtain a high.
But, that’s not the case. It needs to be activated, so to speak. And that’s where decarbing comes to the table–figuratively.
To expand on this, have you ever had beef jerky? Or better yet, have you ever made it yourself? If so, you know that it takes time. You need to cut it up into thin slices, add some seasonings and let it cure over time through a dehydration process.
You then go from raw meat to an edible, tasty end product that gives your mouth and body a feeling of satisfaction.
Well, decarboxylation is a similar process. Weed is taken from a “green” stage if you will, and then it is heated for an extended period of time. During this time frame, the THC content goes up as the raw crop gets dried out and cured. It is at this point that it can be used in your edibles to give you the high feeling that you desire.
The trick though, for this whole operation to be successful, is the cannabis needs to be heated at a lot temperature. And it has to remain there for an extended period of time. It’s not like boiling eggs.
What is a Decarboxylation Machine?
A lot of people who are new to the decarboxylation method often resort to using appliances they have at home to get their weed up to speed. But, there is a shortcut out there that can make life a lot easier. That would be a decarboxylation machine.
Simply put, this apparatus takes all the guesswork out for you. It is designed to add raw cannabis to and you then set the time and temperature. Inside, the weed gets cooked, but not overcooked, and after a set time frame, it is ready for use in your other applications.
These machines are about the size of a coffee machine and they’re relatively easy to figure out. And any time you can alleviate confusion, you are right where you need to be.
Decarboxylation and Weed: What is it About?
Just like any other plant, weed has scientific makeup. In its chemical chain, it has an extra ring around its carboxyl group. You don’t need to memorize that. But just know that this is a fancy way of saying fresh weed, plucked off a cannabis plant will not get you high if you eat a baggie full of it. In fact, it could make you sick.
By decarbing that weed, you are left with the raw materials you actually need to get a psychoactive effect. Any time you get weed from a dispensary, this work has already been done for you.
But if you get your hands on some raw materials, you need to go through the decarboxylation method to make them work for you.
Benefits Of Decarboxylation
Medical marijuana has grown increasingly popular over the past few years to give hope to those suffering from conditions where conventional drugs don’t do the trick. Yet, according to the National Institutes of Health, the FDA still fails to recognize the marijuana plant as a sufficient remedy for said problems.
Be as that may, you can expect the popularity of everything involved with cannabis to rise. But before you or anyone else gets to these benefits, decarboxylation needs to occur.
You already know that this proves takes your weed from inactive to active, but there are more layers to this when it comes to the benefits. When you decarb, you have increased the potency of the THC of your gear. This means you can now get the physical and emotional benefits that you might be after.
For example, anxiety is a big problem today, and it affects many people across the nation. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 40 million adults are affected by anxiety disorders every single year.
The good news is, a cannabis product with a high THC and CBD content can help sufferers reduce their symptoms. This is why weed is often called upon as a self-treatment.
To expand, pain, depression, glaucoma, and poor sleep patterns can all be helped by decarboxylation of weed. And here’s another interesting thing to note. According to the Mayo Clinic, marijuana with high THC content can help relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatment.
How To Decarboxylate Cannabis
This is a bit tricky because there is always more than one way to skin a cat. But for the sake of decarbing cannabis, here is the shortest explanation. You simply take the fresh weed and spread it out on a baking sheet on top of parchment paper. You can also use a regular dish that can withstand the rigors of an oven.
Then you cover said ingredients with foil, place inside a preheated oven, and let it sit for 45 to 60 minutes. Generally, you aim for a temperature of 220 to 240 degrees. And the time mentioned is also questionable, as there are many interpretations of the best time to bake your weed.
What it really boils down to is this. If it is really wet and green, you might want to let it hang out in there for a longer period of time. If not, then you can err to the lower end. Once it is done, you can then use it for your cooking and preparation needs,
Using The Nova Decarboxylator
Back to point A from a while ago, using an oven is not always the best route to take when you want to get high from your cannabis. Quite simply, no two ovens are the same, and they always tend to have a variance when you cook with them.
In other words, although the temperature gauge might be telling you one thing, the actual temperature inside might be different. It’s actually not out of the ordinary for there to be a 10-degree fluctuation.
This can make a big difference in your end-result too. Cooking your weed too long or too short at too high or too low of a temperature can alter the THC content. And that’s where the Nova decarboxylator can come to the rescue.
This home-machine is easy to use and doesn’t take up much counter space. All you have to do is add the raw materials, set the time and temperature and you’re off to the races. It costs $210, shipping is free and you can make up to 5 ounces at a time.
Using Kitchen Tools And Appliances
Here is a little more detailed information about the other options you have when it comes to using appliances for your weed production at home.
You’re already aware of the oven method. This is a good option because it’s relatively easy and you most likely have an oven already. But, like mentioned above, you can’t always be sure that the temperature is accurate enough to get you a good THC content.
Another option is using a toaster oven. But you are once again faced with the same problems that a regular oven can cause.
Steaming weed through the use of a slow cooker is another method that some people fancy. The good thing about this is you do not have a ton of prep work to do and you can just let it sit for hours unsupervised. But, that’s also the problem because it’s hard to dial in exactly how long you should let it cook.
The Advantages of Using a Decarboxylation Machine
At this point, it should be a no-brainer to you that a decarboxylation machine is the best way to go. The fact that it uses thermal controlled heat that is accurate and not changing should be significant enough to take this approach. Plus, think about what you are looking to get out of this.
You want potent weed for the use of your edibles and other baking needs. Instead of taking it to chance that using an oven or crockpot will get you where you want to be, doesn’t it make a lot more sense to be precise? If the answer is yes, then a machine is the only way to go.