Why to Decarboxylate CBD and How to Decarb, Make an Oil or Tincture

Decarboxylate CBD

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What Types of CBD Products Need to be Decarboxylated?

In most cases, when purchasing a finished a CBD product, such as edibles, topicals and tinctures, your CBD will already be decarboxylated through the manufacturing of the CBD into the final product. Extracted distillate oils and isolate forms of CBD will also be decarboxylated through their extraction processes (such as carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon methods). When you purchase a distillate vape or smoke CBD flower or raw concentrate, you are utilizing heat as the activator of the decarboxylation process.

 

Those who prefer to make their own CBD products at home will want to ensure that their CBD flower or raw concentrate is decarboxylated. Decarboxylation is the use of heat and time to change the chemical nature of CBDa into the bioavailable CBD molecule that can be used by the body. What does that all mean? Don't worry, we will explain as simply as possible.

 

Why Would I Need to Decarboxylate My CBD?

When a hemp plant is growing it contains very little of the chemical we know as CBD. The plant at this time holds mostly CBDa, it's native acidic phytocannabinoid form, when in the living plant. When we cut the plant and process it, we are doing so to convert the CBDa into CBD, as CBDa is unable to be processed by the body and thus has little if no effect at all. The case is also the same when it comes to other phytocannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN, CBC, etc. When we convert CBDa into CBD, we are able to maximize the bioavailability of CBD to the body.

 

Every person and many animals, including dogs, cats and horses, have been shown to have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for processing the CBD, and all other cannabinoids, once the molecules reach the body. No matter the ingestion route, the endocannabinoid system processes the bioavailable CBD to balance the mind or body ailment.

 

What Types of Things Can I Make with Decarb CBD?

When you take the time to decarboxylate your CBD, you will allow the potency of the CBD to increase, thus enhancing the desired effects. Its not a lengthy process but will ensure that whatever you choose to DIY, it will be as effective as you hope. We included a recipe on how to create an oil, a tincture (alcohol based), or you can add it directly to your next recipe, as directed.

 

Types of things you can make with decarbed CBD:

  • Topicals (lotions, salves, balms, beauty care, etc)

  • Capsules (liquid and tablet)

  • Edibles (savory treats, sweet treats, pet treats, etc)

  • Oils (cooking oils, massage oils, etc)

  • Tinctures (alcohol based or oil based)

Recipe: How to Decarboxylate CBD Flower

There are many recipes available for those who want to get very specific on the science of CBD decarbing. For those looking for a simple recipe, we've got you covered here.

 

Materials Needed:

 

  • An Oven with a steady temp or make sure you also use an oven thermometer

  • Large baking sheet

  • Parchment paper (not necessary, but makes a clean surface to cook and easy transfer)

  • Timer

  • Scissors or grinder

  • Spatula

 

Ingredients:

 

  • High quality hemp or high-CBD cannabis flower

 

Instructions:

 

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 270F degrees. The desired range is between 240F and 300F degrees. We chose the number right in the middle for simplicity. Check your oven thermometer to ensure you don't go above 300F as that will degrade the CBD, making it less potent.

 

Step 2: Prepare baking and sheet with parchment paper. Gather buds of flower and trim with scissors to create small, dime sized pieces. This will allow for heat to reach all parts of the flower. Spread into a single layer on baking sheet.

 

Step 3: Place sheet into oven on middle rack. Set timer for 45 minutes.

 

Step 4: After 10 minutes, use spatula to flip flower buds. Repeat until timer completes.

 

Step 5: Flowers will smell wonderfully and be fully toasted around 30 minutes. Your CBD is now decarboxylated.

 

Step 6: Make sure to let the CBD flowers cool down before adding them to the next step in your DIY project.

 

Recipe: How to make Decarboxylated CBD oil

After following the recipe above to decarboxylate CBD flower, you can now create a CBD oil. There are many different types of oil that can be used to create CBD products. These include cooking oils and topical oils for massage and personal use. Cooking oils can include extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, fractionated coconut (MCT) oil, etc. Topical oils may include raw coconut oil, shea butter, hemp seed oil, etc.

 

Materials Needed:

 

  • Stovetop with steady temp

  • Large saucepan

  • Spatula/ mixing spoon

  • Timer

  • Strainer (coffee filters work great for DIY)

  • Glass jar or bottle, the darker the better

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 5 grams of Decarboxylated CBD flower (see recipe above)

  • ¾ cup oil (carrier for cooking or topicals, see above for suggestions)

  • ¼ teaspoon extract or essential oil (extract for cooking, essential for topical) OPTIONAL

 

Instructions:

 

Step 1: Prepare stovetop to lowest heat setting. Place saucepan on stovetop.

 

Step 2: Pour oil into the saucepan. Add decarboxylated CBD flower that has been broken into small pieces or ground in a grinder, the finer the better.

 

Step 4: Cover and let the CBD infuse into the oil for about 2 hours.

 

Step 5: Remove from heat and strain through coffee filter to remove flower particles.

 

Step 6: Put oil in glass jar. Stir in extracts or essential oils for extra flavor or topical benefits.

 

You can store the oil at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and direct heat. Can be stored up to 2 months.

 

Recipe: How to Make Decarboxylated CBD Tincture

After following the recipe above to decarboxylate CBD flower, you can now create a DIY tincture. There are many different types of alcohol that can be used to create CBD tinctures. Clear, high proof alcohol (50-120) work best. Processing can be a short 20 minute process (Master Wu's method) or a month long process (traditional method). We will cover both.

 

Materials Needed:

 

  • Stovetop with steady temp

  • Large saucepan

  • Candy thermometer

  • Timer

  • Strainer (coffee filters work great for DIY)

  • Mason jar with lid

  • Glass jar or bottle, the darker the better

Ingredients:

 

  • 3.5 grams of Decarboxylated CBD flower (see recipe above)

  • 2 ounces of high proof alcohol, 50-120 proof preferred

 

Instructions (20 minute method)

 

Step 1: Add water to saucepan to create a shallow depth of water about 2” deep. Place saucepan on stovetop and heat to 170F. Use candy thermometer.

 

Step 2: Pour alcohol into the mason jar. Add decarboxylated CBD flower that has been broken into small pieces or ground in a grinder, the finer the better.

 

Step 4: Cover mason jar tightly, place into water bath on stove and let the CBD infuse into the oil for about 20 minutes.

 

Step 5: Remove from heat, let col, and strain liquid through coffee filter to remove flower particles.

 

Step 6: Put tincture in a glass jar for dispensing. The darker the better.

 

Instructions (traditional minute method)

 

Step 1: Pour alcohol into the mason jar. Add decarboxylated CBD flower that has been broken into small pieces or ground in a grinder, the finer the better.

 

Step 2: Cover mason jar tightly, place in a cool, dark place

 

Step 3: Allow the mixture to sit for a few weeks, shaking once a day to mix.

 

Step 4: After a month or so, you can strain the mixture through a coffee filter to remove flower particles.

 

Step 6: Put tincture in a glass jar for dispensing. The darker the better.

 

You can store the tinctures at room temperature, away from direct light and direct heat. Tinctures can be stored up to 3 years.

 

Author: A.J. Varela, Biologist

Date: 01/14/2020