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Decarboxylate your leaves to make them active

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So, we've established that weed leaves do posses trichomes and can indeed get you high.

Smoking or vaping isn't necessarily the best way to consume the leaves because the trichomes are less concentrated on this part of the plant's anatomy, although vaping will certainly taste better. To make the most of these trichomes, it's much better to prepare edibles or extracts.

However, raw weed doesn't contain THC and won't get you high; that's why it isn't possible to get high by just throwing a few leaves into a salad. Raw leaves and flowers instead contain the CBD acid THCA, which is converted to THC via heat. This process is called decarboxylation and involves the removal of a carboxyl group from the molecule.

When smoking or vaping, the heat of the flame or coil is enough to accomplish this process. Vaping is a much more efficient way to dose weed as the temperature can be controlled, meaning more or less can be decarboxylated at once. When it comes to crafting edibles and extracts, you'll need to decarboxylate your plant material beforehand to ensure it becomes loaded with THC. Here's how to do so. Decarboxylation can be done at home easily in the kitchen using an oven or even a microwave. Regardless of the device, the premise is the same. Your leaves must be exposed to temperatures of between 105–116°C. Much higher, and valuable molecules begin to degrade; any lower, and less than adequate levels of THCA are converted into THC. Before decarboxylating your plant material, it will help to process your dried leaves into smaller sections. Use scissors to roughly chop your leaves and increase surface area.

If you elect to decarboxylate your leaves in the oven, begin by preheating it to approximately 110°C. Place your processed leaves on a sheet of baking paper on a baking try and "bake" them for 45 minutes.

If you're choosing to use a microwave, simply spread the processed leaves over a plate and nuke them for 2–3 minutes. Stop the process halfway through to give them a stir to make sure all leaves have been equally exposed to heat.

A more exotic way to decarboxylate your stash of leaves is to use the sous vide method. If you happen to have a kit around, then go ahead and vacuum-seal the leaves in heat-resistant plastic bags and place them into your sous vide cooker. Set the device to 95°C and cook for 1 hour.

2021-07-13