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Post your decarb method here!

Discussion in 'Cooking with Cannabis' started by mikek9, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. mikek9

    mikek9 Vapor Enthusiast

    Hey fellow FCers. I use cannabis for medical purposes and have been interested in preparing my own edibles for more effective longer lasting pain management. I have read fairly extensively on cooking with cannabis including the book: "the art and science of cooking with cannabis" which talks about not needing to decarb because it happens while baking whatever it is you're baking. Assuming you leave all the active ingredients in. I'll have to give it another read but I'm pretty certain that was what they suggested. This is an old book though so I understand processes change and evolve.

    My experience is infusion in cooking oils like canola. I would grind to a pulp all my material in a coffee grinder, mix it in the oil and use a candy thermometer to monitor temperature to make sure I don't go over certain temps. I would bring it to a low simmer for about 20-30 mins then let it cool. Then throw it in a batch of store bough brownie mix and bake. The fine grind of the cannabis makes it so you don't even notice it in the brownies and I find this helped to get more actives converted during the cooking process.

    What do you guys do differently?

    I have had moderate success with my edibles of the past but couldn't help but feel they could of been even better. I think this was due to the lack of decarboxylation. I want to try and decarb properly this time and see what my results will be. What do you guys do to prepare your cannabis for cooking?

    I am mostly interested in cannabis cooking oil infusion and canna butter.
    BD9 likes this.
  2. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
    Many people add soy lecithin. It is claimed to aid in absorption of THC. A couple tablespoons per ounce, i think.

    If you are making brownies, you don't need to decarb prior to baking since the cooking time takes care of that.

    Here is a good source: Turning THCA into THC
  3. killick

    killick But I like it!

    I use sunflower lecithin as soy is GMO. About a tblspoon per cup of liquid.
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  4. DDave

    DDave Vape Wizard Accessory Maker

    Judge the Vaper by the Vapor
    Just saw this yesterday... haven't researched or read reviews.. just presenting as an option since they claim accurate decarbs every time..



    If you would like a formal DDave endorsement on this device, will need a demo unit sent... The LAB is now open... :science:

    ModNote: This was a joke! Am not asking for a Demo Unit!!!!
    Smoke420, peaceonearth, BD9 and 7 others like this.
  5. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    Tooky, Granite State
    I run it through any one of my vapes to decarb it.
    Seek, Zheka, BD9 and 4 others like this.
  6. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    Some of us have the Magical Butter Maker and we use the decarb process with the oil in the machine. The temp is 220 degrees for 1 hour, the tempreture is more precise than using the oven. Just push a button and let the machine take care of it.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  7. killick

    killick But I like it!

    pre-decarbing :)
    BD9 likes this.
  8. Ace of Space

    Ace of Space Well-Known Member

    South of the North
    I never pre-decarb, and i never use herb to make the oils.
    Instead, i make bubble or dry sift first, so i don't have the chlorophyl, or at least not that much of it, in my oil, which may not be so nice for the stomach.
    Another advantage to do it that way is that i always know how strong the cannaoil is, i make it with 1 gram of bubble in 20 grams of coconut oil.

    I put the bubble in a double boiler with coconut oil and some water, and let it sit there on a low flame for about 10-15 hours. The temp in the double boiler will be between 90 C and 95 C.
    That way the material is decarbed and there's no loss of actives.
    Next i will make something out of it that doesn't need any further heating, or just a little, like fudge or raw fudge.
    I find that next to lecithin, adding some form of sugar to your edible will increase the absorption too.

    Check out this thread with a great recipe from @Hashtag46&2
  9. Harmoniousliving

    Harmoniousliving Well-Known Member

    Not all soy is gmo. You don't have any gmo free available ?
  10. killick

    killick But I like it!

    I did find some, but had to look. The local health food shop has non GMO soy lecithin, but sunflower is also nonGMO, and much cheaper.
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  11. sickmanfraud

    sickmanfraud Well-Known Member

    PsychadelicSam over at GC has tested various decarb temps and times.

    Through lab testing he found the sweet spot to be 240F for 40 minutes.

    Also tested AVB and found it is not totally decarbed.

    Read the results over at GC - Incredible Edible Herb -- Another Tincture Thread, try it you'll like it.

    Using the 240F for 40 minutes I no longer experience any anxiety that people say comes from THCA.
  12. trichome_renaissance

    trichome_renaissance Well-Known Member

    I usually go with: (works well enough that I haven't experimented with other approaches)

    - Preheat oven @ 220F w/ cookie sheet in oven
    - Break botanicals into slightly larger than a standard bowl sized nugs while preheating
    - Spread out and wrap botanicals in aluminum foil pillow sized for cookie sheet
    - Place in 220F preheated oven

    o 220F for 10 minutes (to reduce moisture...adjust time based on moisture of starting material)
    o 235 for 2.5 minutes (maybe unnecessary but my thought was to do this to try and minimize overshooting the 245F target next)
    o 245 for 30 minutes

    - Gradually cool down packet to encourage terpene reabsorption

    o Turn oven off, open door wide and let cool for 10 minutes
    o Take foil packet out and let cool on counter for 20 minutes
    o Open foil packet (flowers will be somewhat browned)
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    Little Bill likes this.
  13. sickmanfraud

    sickmanfraud Well-Known Member

    IF you notice, your longest part of the process is almost right on the money according to PSam's figures. Many people would find your process overly complicated.

    Besides 240 F for 40 minutes is essentially idiot proof.

    If you are concerned about terpene retention, PSam's main Tincture thread on GC has a method (in last few pages) to decarb after making a tincture and transferring the cannabis oil to coconut oil.
    asdf420 likes this.
  14. trichome_renaissance

    trichome_renaissance Well-Known Member

    Thanks I'll search for it although I don't see how decarb'ing before or after extraction makes any difference with regards to terpene loss. Heat is heat regardless of when it's applied. Now decarb'ing after extraction and filtering out the botanicals might help curb roasty flavors from occurring in the final product but that's a different story. FWIW My main concern with terpene loss would be fore making a VG tincture for vape pens, not coconut oil. If I make coconut oil it usually finds its way into capsules that are swallowed, so no need to worry about terpenes for that application. Either way thanks again for the reference. I look forward to reading about Psam's tech and learning! Hopefully somewhere among those 400+ pages I'll find a way to increase VG tincture potency to a more desirable level. Unless you know of another good thread you can point me in the direction of for that? Perhaps the GD tincture PSam discusses in that thread can later be used to infuse into smaller amounts of VG, thus increasing potency? Sounds good in theory, but one would have to evaporate the ethanol off to avoid vaporizing it in the pen which I believe is bad for ones health.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  15. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    Some ovens are slightly off far as heat goes so I think it's hard to know if you are using the perfect temperature. Maybe there is a way to check to see if you are on target with the temp. Some sort of a temperature gauge. Maybe they make an oven thermometer.

    The decarb process is such an important step. It can make or break your cooking project. If you have spent a lot of money on cannabis you don't want to be out all that product if it doesn't turn out.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
    Oneeyeisbetter likes this.
  16. psychonaut

    psychonaut Company Rep

    With my magical butter machine I ran the botanical and the butter for 2hrs at 160F, then strained and decarbed it back in the mbm for 1hr at 220F. This butter is potent! Next time I'm just going to run it for 1hr at 220f and see how it goes. Skip the 2hrs at 160F step.

    The nice thing is you can test it before you commit to it being done.
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  17. Nesta

    Nesta Well-Known Member

    They definitely make oven thermometers. They're not too expensive & it's a good idea to use one if you need accuracy.
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  18. turdhole

    turdhole vagabond

    i dont have an oven, has anyone had success with the boiled bag method?
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  19. MinnBobber

    MinnBobber Well-Known Member

    a buddy uses boiled bag decarb method. He used a Sous Vide vacuum bag from me and put a slight vacuum on the bag with my little hand vacuum pump, not a full vacuum, so buds wouldn't get squashed. Sealed a couple stainless steel spoons in with it so it would stay submerged.

    You could probably use a heavy duty plastic reseal bag and dip in 120 F water and seal as that gets most of the extra air out.

    Temp control would be super easy, simmer at boiling (212 F).
    The charts I find for decarb temp/time skip from like 201 F to 222 :(

    Because it's at a lower temp (than like a 240 F decarb), it should be very efficient/ not degrade compounds.
    I'd probably heat for 2 1/2 hours to make sure the deed is done.
    BD9 and turdhole like this.
  20. Ganja O

    Ganja O Member

    Works like a charm ;)
    DDave likes this.
  21. Oneeyeisbetter

    Oneeyeisbetter Well-Known Member

    I haven't gone over to PSam's info to study yet, look forward to finding it, but from what has been mentioned in this thread, it appears I have settled on lower time/temp targets for flower.

    [Update: I found the PSam's thread at GC to study. A lot to study. even with the index. Please correct me if needed, but it looks like PSam's approach doesn't address decarbing the flower pre extraction? PSam's approach is solely post-extraction decarb?

    For flower,] I preheat oven at about 245°F for an hour with a bake stone - takes that long to stabilize temps. Use an oven thermometer - I set my oven to 215°F to get 245°F actual. Terpene β-caryophyllene boiling point of 246°F makes we want to go no higher. Grind and spread cured flower on parchment paper, pop in the oven for 17-20 minutes at 240-245°F, depending on moisture. Take out and let cool.

    I compared tinctures made from 20 vs 40 minute batches, and the 20s seemed the more effective medicine. The 40s were markedly more ABV looking, no terpene scent left ever. The 20s can have some terpene smell left (never a lot), the degree varies by strain. Some strains produce copious amounts of odor only during the first 5 minutes of oven time, others are putting out strong odor for 15 minutes, and tend to have some smell left at the end.

    I did some informal calculations and biological testing on dosing and apparent decarb and extraction efficiencies. No lab verification, but gives me confidence I have a reasonably high THCA>THC conversion and THC retention rate. I think I volatilized off a good portion of the THC in the 40s. Placing in an foil envelope would help prevent that loss. Foil also holds moisture, and since decarboxylation is partly a dehydration process, could prolong the time needed. Lot to consider.

    To decarb an infused oil (coconut oil, olive oil), I use a hot oil bath and try to hold the infused oil at about 245°F. Once the fizzy CO2 bubbling tapers off your decarb is done. In my experience, it takes 2X as long (40 minutes vs 20) at 240°F to decarb an infused oil vs cured flower. Its a better fit for that 1990 cannabis oil decarb chart than what I do with dry oven decarb.

    Natural decarb came up in another thread. That would be my preference over both of the above approaches. In the hopes of detecting some natural decarb, I am setting aside flower, tincture and salve at low room temperature for a few months for later biological testing. Hoping to hold the terpenes this way, still get the activated THC and CBD in play.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
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  22. MinnBobber

    MinnBobber Well-Known Member

    I always error on side of lower temps than 245 F to save max amount of goodness and do more time , like actual 220 F for 2 hours
  23. Oneeyeisbetter

    Oneeyeisbetter Well-Known Member

    Correction: Should have read my lab notes B4 posting.

    20 minutes works for me at that temp. I know it seems short, but I am oven baking small quantities, and we have low humidity. It looked like ABV when I went for 30 and 40 min, sensed I lost potency to volatilization.

    I am going to go to a lower temp (lower than 240-245), longer time, more like you prefer. According to my lab notes I would be doing my 10-15 gram batches at 212°F for 40 minutes (desert conditions here, even with the humidifier helping out).

    When I decarb infused oil I go 120 minutes at 212 F same as a 2013 Olive Oil study used. That's about the same time/temp as what you are doing for herb? If a quarter pound (we would be chopping not grinding, but your kitchen would be smelling sooo good), at that higher humidity where most folks tend to live, maybe short cure time, I think 2 hours would be landing closer to what I have been doing. And if its not, no worries, there are a lot of confusing information out about decarboxylation time/temp combos needed, I am thinking the discrepancies fit a pattern: smaller/drier quantities take less time because decarb goes faster when optimised for dehydration. medical folks go longer to get a CBN sleep aid benefit. But that is a stretch at best. Hoping someone figures it out!

    I started out with the VICS Cannamist Recipe. 325 F for 5 minutes. Works, but wipes out the terpenes. And I later figured out they have a minor typo: 160 C is 320 F not 325 F. I passed the ach-its-smoking! point a time or two before my 5 minutes was up, for sure, adjusted accordingly.
  24. pressure

    pressure Active Member

    can this be done? I have a mighty and wated to decarb my weed since I dont have an oven
    MinnBobber likes this.
  25. MinnBobber

    MinnBobber Well-Known Member

    I assume you'd do this for making edibles etc as you don't need to for vaping, correct?

    Mighty min temp is 40 C or about 105 F so yes it can be done but would kinda be a pain in the arse since the amount would be so small and the hassle factor so great :).
    Making it an even bigger pain is the automatic 2 minute shutoff (1 min on older units).

    But if you really had to you could pack a bowl and set at 225 F, watch TV and take a slow pull every 30 seconds to distribute the heat and keep it on, and do this for 90- 120 minutes.

    Do you have a stovetop/ a way to heat water to 200 F and submerge a bottle of bud? Or a crockpot to run the bottled bud in?

    It's doable but WAY WAY more work than many other methods !!!

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