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Reading time - 6 minutes - August 18, 2021
Today we’re going to be helping you decarb CBD flowers...whatever that means, right? Well, the world of CBD is getting bigger and more popular day by day. The cannabis plant and all its benefits is finally being welcomed with open arms by some sections of the planet. Although the UK government doesn’t have the most progressive cannabis laws, they have even begun to sell CBD products in high street shops and hipster cafes. Have you ever tried a CBD Vanilla Latte? It’s unbelievably tasty. It tastes like progress. But anyway, anyone with even a teeny bit of weed knowledge will know that before you enjoy your bud, you need to heat it up. This is called decarboxylation. Today we’re going to be looking at how to do that, and more specifically, how to decarb CBD flower. Let’s go.
So, first of all, what even is CBD flower? Well, to put it simply, ‘flower’ is just another word for ‘bud’ in this case. Thus, CBD flower is just a weed bud with a high percentage of CBD and a low percentage of THC. Although, if you placed it in your hand, you wouldn’t know the difference between it and some skunky, anxious-fuelling lemon haze. They both look green and beautiful.
Let’s be a little more specific. A more scientific answer would be this: CBD flowers contain no more than 0.3% THC and around 20% or more CBD. CBD flowers are bred specifically to have this percentage ratio. Like all buds, CBD flower is just dried out cannabis plant. CBD flower can be smoked, dry herb vaped, drank or eaten. The possibilities are endless.
Although they may look similar, CBD buds and THC buds have very different effects. If you don’t already know, here is a quick summary of those differences. THC and CBD are the two most prominent and spoken about cannabinoids within the cannabis plant. THC is a psychoactive substance, which means it has mind-altering effects. That is why THC is responsible for the common high that people get when they take high-THC cannabis. This high usually makes people feel euphoric and heightens the senses. CBD, on the other hand, does not have these effects. CBD is not psychoactive, and thus does not have mind-altering effects. Instead, CBD has been found to have medicinal benefits.
CBD has been known to assist with a variety of health problems.
Here are some of those:
So, the next question you might be wondering is, are CBD flowers legal? Well, as is always the case with cannabis laws, it depends on where in the world you are talking about. In the UK, CBD flowers are surprisingly illegal. CBD products - edibles, creams + oils - are all legal in the UK, but any cannabis bud is simply illegal (regardless of the amount of CBD or THC). There’s little reason for why this is the case and it makes almost no sense. The cannabis plant is illegal, and thus anything even slightly resembling it is also illegal. Often websites won’t inform you of this, so be careful when purchasing CBD flowers from specific sites. However in the USA, under the 2018 farm bill, as long as bud contains less than 0.3% THC then CBD flower is legal. This seems like a more reasonable stance on cannabis legality.
Before we move on to how to decarb a CBD flower, let’s first understand what decarboxylation actually is. Decarboxylation is a process that activates compounds in cannabis like THC and CBD. Before CBD is heated, it is a different substance called CBDa. This substance does not have the same effects as CBD. This is the same with THCa and THC. A dry bud, before being heated, is inactive. So if you ever tried to heat dry buds as a teenager and wondered why it didn’t have any effects...this is why! In fact, eating your cannabis buds without decarboxylation is a huge waste. Imagine putting popcorn kernels in a microwave. When they heat up they pop and become popcorn which you can heat, but before that, they are just hard, cold kernels. This is a great analogy for decarbing cannabis.
Take a look at this:
THC = THCa + heat
CBD = CBDa + heat
Decarboxylation in cannabis is a 2500 year old process. Archeologists actually found traces of cannabis in Chinese artefacts from that time. It’s crazy to imagine that before science, people would have known to heat up cannabis to unlock its beautiful effects.
Decarboxylation is the process of heating cannabis, which triggers a reaction that activates the cannabis compounds. Now, there are different ways of causing this activation. These are the three main examples:
Smoking is the most obvious form of decarboxylation. The cannabis is usually burned at around 900 degrees, which unlocks the cannabis very quickly. However, the heat levels are so extreme that it can sometimes lose some of its purity and flavour.
A dry herb vaporizer is like a futuristic and more healthy version of a joint. Dry herb vapes don’t burn cannabis, but instead they heat it up and turn it into vapour, which is then inhaled. The cannabis is heated at a temperature of around 200 degrees, and maintains a lot of the flavour and intensity due to the low levels of heat.
Cannabis can also be decarbed by putting it in an oven to be cooked. This form of decarboxylation is the one that we’re going to be focusing on today because it’s the most technical, and it’s the one that allows the cannabis to be eaten and used in recipes - not only inhaled.
Now you understand what CBD flower is and the concept of decarboxylation, let’s take a look at how to actually decarb CBD flower. As previously mentioned, this is the cooking-method. With this technique, you’ll be able to put your decarbed CBD flower in any recipe you like.
Step 1 - Preheat your oven to 120 degrees.
Step 2 - Evenly grind up your bud. Make sure it’s nice, small and even, but not too powdery.
Step 3 - Get a baking tray, some baking parchment, and spread the ground CBD flower across the paper and place it on the tray.
Step 4 - Put the tray in the oven.
Step 5 - Bake the CBD flower for 50 minutes
Step 6 - Remove from the oven when the time is up.
Step 7 - Get creative! Put the decarbed CBD flower in recipes, drinks or even oils.
Now you know all you need to know, you should try it for yourself. Remember, CBD flowers are illegal in the UK, so don’t go waving it about if you do manage to try it. Put the decarbed CBD in a smoothie or maybe even some brownies. But, to be honest, it’s completely up to you. Be creative with it.
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