Decarboxylation has become all the rage in the cannabis gastronomy field. But for good reason, it amplifies the potency of cannabis enormously when infused into edibles.
Decarboxylation or “decarbing” is a process that converts the naturally occurring acid form of THC, into its high giving cousin Delta 9 THC. It’s the same thing that happens instantly when you vape or burn cannabis, and without this process weed doesn’t really get you high.
The Importance of Decarbing Rosin
If you’re going to use any form of cannabis in edibles, then you’re going to need to decarb it, solventless rosin included. The reason for this is because THCA, that natural form of THC is very difficult for our bodies to metabolize. This is why simply eating cannabis flower, doesn’t really do anything. Decarbing “activates” the THC in cannabis so that our bodies can metabolize it with ease, making edibles way more potent.
Many people still believe that the rosin pressing process automatically decarbs your rosin, but that’s unfortunately not true. The pressing times are not nearly long enough to decarb rosin in any significant way, so a full decarboxylation is necessary before rosin is useful for infusing into edibles.
How to Decarb Rosin
Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that occurs when cannabis is heated between 230 degrees F and 250 F, and can take anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes to complete. Generally speaking, the higher the temperature, the less time it takes to fully decarb. And while there are a variety of ways to do this, three methods standout in particular.
Stove Top Method
For this you will need a cooking pan, a probe thermometer, cooking oil, and a heat proof glass container. Pour cooking oil into a pan about an inch deep, and place over a medium heat. Test the oil with the thermometer, and then adjust your heat until you achieve a stable temperature between 230 F and 250 F. Place your rosin inside a heat proof glass container and then carefully place this into the hot oil. Your rosin should soon begin to bubble, and after 30 to 90 minutes will stop, signaling the completion of the decarbing process. You may need to give your rosin a periodic stir to ensure an even decarb.
You can use water instead of oil with this method, however boiling water can only reach a maximum of 215 F, which is insufficient to fully decarb. Cooking oil on the other hand can be heated to much higher temperatures, and that’s why it’s necessary in order to reach the correct 230 F to 250 F range. Believe it or not, that extra 15 degrees makes an enormous difference.
Crock Pot Method
If you own a Crock-Pot, then you can make your life even easier. It’s the exact same method as on the stove top, but with a Crock-Pot you can easily set a perfect temperature. This eliminates the need for a thermometer, and constant heat adjustment to maintain an even heat, the Crock-Pot does all that for you.
If the Breaking Bad chemistry lab approach is a bit too hands on for you, then there’s a much simpler way to get the job done. And that’s by decarbing your solventless rosin in the oven.
Again you’ll need a heat proof glass container to put your rosin in, but then simply place this on a baking tray, inside an oven preheated to 230 F to 250 F. If possible use a glass fronted oven so that you can keep an eye on it, and remember to give it a stir every so often. Within 30 to 90 minutes your rosin will stop bubbling, and the decarb process will be complete.
Once your rosin has completed decarbing, it can be added directly to all manner of foods, especially when it’s still warm and in a liquid state. From butter and coconut oil for baking, to infusing into gummies, and even just melting straight into a sauce. A whole world of cannabis cooking will be open to you.
Just remember, decarbing is a chemical reaction just like the rosin pressing process itself. And the more diligent you can be with time and temp, the more successful your end results will be.