How to Decarboxylate Cannabis With a Mason Jar
Published on 2/27/21
Making homemade edibles is one of our favorite things to do with weed. Every time marijuana is baked into cookies, brownies, candies, or a savory dinner though, first it must be decarboxylated to activate the THC. Typically, that means spreading your weed out on a cooking sheet, sticking it in the oven at a low temperature, and stinking up the kitchen before you whip up your edibles.
If you want to decarboxylate your bud without making your house smell like a hot box and keep as much terpene flavor as possible in your edibles, keep your loose bud off the sheet pan and decarb in a mason jar. The decarb weed in mason jar tech has been around for a while now, but it is still a mystery to many amateur edible chefs. In this article, we'll cover how to decarb cannabis, how to make cannabutter, and answer questions like "are mason jars oven-safe?" and "can I decarb in a mason jar?" By the time we're finished, you'll have all the knowledge you need to easily and efficiently decarb your bud for the best batch of magic brownies you've ever made.
The Difference Between THCA and THC
Before we dive into the mason jar decarboxylation process, it is essential to know the science behind decarbing and why it is an integral step in the production of any edible or drinkable cannabis product. If you've ever tried to eat a raw cannabis nug, you probably noticed that it didn't get you high like an edible. That's because raw cannabis does not contain THC, but rather its non-psychoactive pre-cursor, THCA. When someone heats cannabis, either through combustion, vaporization or decarboxylation, a scientific reaction occurs in which a carbon molecule is removed from THCA cannabinoids, converting them into fully psychoactive THC. Raw cannabis bud full of THCA is often used as a health and wellness supplement, but when it comes to the intoxicating effects we expect from weed, using heat to convert THCA to THC is 100% necessary.
Decarboxylation of THCA Into THC
Just as smoking marijuana requires fire to combust the plant and get you high, edibles require heat to convert the raw, non-psychoactive THCA to the high-inducing THC that we know and love. The chemical process happens once the bud reaches above 220 degrees Fahrenheit. To preserve as much THC as possible for edibles, keep your weed in the low 220-250 degree range for 20 to 40 minutes, making sure not to overheat the bud. When the weed turns a light golden brown color, it is time to take it out and let sit.
These days, there are a number of all-in-one decarboxylation machines made to heat your weed at the perfect temperature for the perfect amount of time. Those easy-baked ovens are great, but can often cost a pretty penny. If you want the same terpene and cannabinoid-saving closed environment but don't want to splurge, try decarboxylating in a mason jar. The jar will hold in terpenes, keeping your house smelling fresh and your edibles as potent and tasty as possible.
How To Decarb Weed in a Mason Jar
Pre-Heat Your Oven
Set your oven somewhere between 220-240 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven is finicky, use a handheld thermometer to make sure you are maintaining ideal heat and don't burn your bud. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and decide what kind of pan you will use. Mason jars are oven safe, but adding a slip pad to any cookie sheet will make sure the jar doesn't roll around. You can also use an oven pan with higher sides to make sure the mason jar remains still during the decarb process.
Grind Your Weed
To make sure that all of your weed is decarboxylated at the same time, it is important to break up your bud. You can use a grinder if you have one handy, but don't try to pulverize your weed to dust. A couple of twists in a standard grinder will be just enough to cut your cannabis down to pieces roughly the size of a grain of rice.
Close The Jar and Decarb
Put your ground up weed into your mason jar and close it loosely, making sure not to over-tighten. Once your bud is in the jar, place it securely in the pre-heated oven, and wait.
Shake It Up
Every 15 minutes or so, put on oven mitts and take the mason jar out to give it a good shake. The agitation will make sure that every piece of ground-up bud is getting exposed to heat equally.
When your jar of cannabis has been decarbing for about 45 minutes and is the perfect golden brown color, it is time to take it out of the oven for good and let it cool down. After 30 minutes or so at room temperature, you can mix the fully-decarboxylated bud into your next batch of edibles or even eaten as is.
How To Make Edibles After Decarboxylation of Cannabis
Once you decarb weed and it fully activates, it can be incorporated into literally anything. For storage after decarboxylation, keep the weed sealed in the same mason jar at room temperature. Because the mason jar method keeps all of the strain's terpenes and cannabinoids secured inside, if you mix your cannabutter or infused oil inside of the same jar, you can soak up as much of the plant's flavonoids and cannabinoids as possible.
Of course, because it is full of THC, you can use decarboxylated weed as a garnish or eaten as is to give you the same high as your favorite edible. No matter what you do with your decarbed weed after 30 minutes to an hour, you'll be on cloud nine and forget about all the dishes you have to clean later.
Have you used a mason jar to decarboxylate weed before? Let us know what your favorite infused culinary creation is in the comments below!