Before you make your edibles, you need to do this first

click to enlarge Once you decarb your weed, then you can make some delicious cannabis-infused treats — like these bacon banana muffins. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Once you decarb your weed, then you can make some delicious cannabis-infused treats — like these bacon banana muffins.

Thanksgiving is upon us and it's time to bring out the home chef inside of you. Spice up your holiday dinner by spiking a side dish or two with a cannabis infusion. Regardless of what you choose to infuse, the first step in the recipe is the same: decarboxylation.

Simply put, decarboxylation is the process that uses heat to convert THCA, which is not psychoactive, into the THC we all know and love. If you don't decarboxylate, your edibles won't get you high. Here are three easy ways to decarboxylate your cannabis for the big meal.

TRADITIONAL OVEN METHOD
Spread ground flower on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and pop it in the oven at 225 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Simple as that.

If you've got a kitchen, you've got all the tools you need. However, there are downsides to this method. There's risk of burning, rather than baking, your bud due to temperature variations. It's also wasteful, as terpenes will break down in hot oven air. Oh yeah, and it will absolutely stink up your whole home.

ADVANCED OVEN METHOD
For apartment-dwellers, the stinky oven method might be off the table. That doesn't mean the oven is out of the question, though, as long as you grab a canning-grade mason jar and lid. Follow the same steps as the oven method, except instead of putting the flower on a baking sheet, you put it in a mason jar and then on a baking sheet. The jar seals in the smell — and the terpenes!

The only other difference is that you'll need to give the jar a shake a few times during the decarboxylation process to ensure every piece of flower reaches the proper temperature. This part can be a bit dangerous as glass can shatter if the temperature changes too quickly.

'SOUS WEED'
French for "under vacuum," sous vide cooking uses a water bath and airtight bag to cook food at a precise, constant temperature. It used to be the domain of only the fanciest restaurants, but nowadays countertop immersion circulators run less than 100 bucks.

Place finely ground flower into a vacuum-sealed or ziplock bag, suspend it in the water bath with your immersion circulator set to 202 degrees and let it go for an hour. The bag seals in the terpenes and the smell. This method requires a bit of an investment, but it's easily the cleanest and most precise way to decarboxylate at home. ♦

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