When thinking about how to prepare weed, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the different methods available. This article will explain a few different methods as simple as possible.
When people think of using marijuana, smoking a joint, pipe, or bong comes to mind. If inhaling is the king of consumption methods, oral intake is most definitely the queen.
Eating cannabis isn’t just throwing herb into some brownie mix and popping it into the oven. You must follow science to get your desired effect. Do you have some grass and don’t know where to start? Continue reading to find out how to prepare weed for ingestion.
- Preparing Cannabis for What?
- Why Does Cannabis Need Preparing?
- Preparing Cannabis
- Reducing the Typical ‘Weed’ Flavor
- Dry Preparation
- Oil Extraction
- Making Cannabis Creams and Topicals
Preparing Cannabis for What?
You might be thinking, why do I need to prepare weed? With all the different ways to consume marijuana, you’ll have some processing to do.
When you grow your own plants, you’ll need to dry them out before smoking them. If you want to consume marijuana in an edible form, you’ll need to extract the compounds from the dry herb to make an oil or process it into flour.
If this seems overwhelming to you, don’t worry. We’re going to go in-depth into how to prepare weed for the ways you want to consume it.
Why Does Cannabis Need Preparing?
The most commonly known active compounds in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol THC and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient, which produces the infamous high of marijuana, and CBD creates the calming effect.
You must process cannabis to get the active cannabinoids to their correct state. tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA, and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) are found naturally in the marijuana plant.
Decarboxylation happens when you dry cannabis. The chemical reaction releases CO2, which makes the carboxylic acids lose one carbon atom. It alters the compound to get the desired THC and CBD. This is the initial step to preparing buds for inhaling. It can be processed further for oral consumption and topical use.
To turn THCA into THC
You don’t typically use cannabis fresh because the THCA is weak in effects compared to THC. Are you wondering how to activate THC? Well, as the marijuana dries, the slow process of decarboxylation begins to happen.
Farmers can achieve a specific amount of THC by controlling this process. Without preparing the THCA, you won’t experience a high when smoked.
To turn CBDA into CBD
Getting CBD from CBDA is very similar to its psychoactive counterpart. The weed must go through decarboxylation, where the carbon atom is released.
This is an essential process, so when inhaled, consumed, or used topically, CBD can calm the body and reduce inflammation.
How To Activate Other Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are the active chemicals in weed. THC and CBD are the most known, but there are over 100 of them in cannabis. The cannabinoids have a range of effects when consumed. Some are psychoactive, and other work to relax the body, typically used with medical marijuana edibles.
You must prepare the cannabis by decarboxylation to activate all cannabinoids.
Have you been thinking about how to prepare marijuana for consumption? You can’t simply grow a plant and trim leaves when you want to use it like you would with basil or parsley.
Growing is the first step, then decarboxylation comes next. There are several methods to achieve this.
Marijuana can decarboxylate on its own, but it’ll take time. If you take the fresh herb and store it in a dry, dark room, naturally, the process will begin. Many people put their weed in a jar or an airtight container.
You’ll have to wait several months to a year to get smoke-worthy weed. It’s often inconsistent and difficult to wait that long. Most opt to decarboxylate in other ways.
The most common way is in an oven or why not decarb weed with a microwave. Wait, can you decarb weed in a microwave? The answer is yes!
The warmth and dryness allow the cannabis to process. Be mindful that you need to heat low and slow for the decarboxylation of weed with microwaves. Another method is to use boiling water. You put your herb into an airtight container and drop it into the water.
Decarboxylation is the Best Method
Without decarboxylation, weed won’t give you the effects you want. It’s the best method because it’s easy to do and activates the cannabinoids without damaging them.
It’s vital to do this process correctly because, without enough heat, the marijuana is weak, and with too much, the THC and CBD are left inactive.
Reducing the Typical ‘Weed’ Flavor
Some enjoy the smell and taste of weed, but not all edibles work well with the combination of flavors. It’s similar to why fruity alcoholic drinks are popular; we want liquor effects without tasting the burn.
You can process cannabis for a less potent flavor for your edibles. Want to know how? We have an effective way to make your “happy” treats delicious.
1 – Place Cannabis Leaves in a Bowl
Any bowl or container will work. It’s essential to make sure it’s big enough because you don’t want to compact the weed.
2 – Add Lukewarm Water
Adding water that is too hot can damage the marijuana. Some heat is required to make the process effective, so you shouldn’t use cold stuff either.
3 – Leave Leaves to Soak for 30 minutes
Cannabis needs time for this method to work. Thirty minutes is the right amount because the leaves will keep their integrity. Leaving it for too long will damage the marijuana.
4 – Check the Leaves for Color Changing
Pigments such as chlorophyll will dissolve. The cannabis will appear brownish, and the water will be green.
5 – Remove the Leaves
After 30 minutes, drain the water, and your cannabis is ready.
6 – Dry and Powder the Leaves
If you want to use the marijuana in another way, you can dry out the leaves and make a powder.
7 – Collect the Substance Left Behind
Sometimes a light brown sludge is at the bottom. These are glands that the water removed from the leaves. You can dry it out and use this as a powder.
Dry preparation works well with those who want to include weed in their pastries. This process produces a marijuana “flour” that you can use for baking.
If your sweet tooth is tingling right now, we’ll go over the method of how to make the magical powder.
1 – Dry your Weed
For this process to work correctly, the cannabis has to be very dry. You can do this with a microwave, a food dehydrator, or an oven.
Microwave in low increments because you don’t want the herb to get too hot, which will damage the CBD and THC for ingestion. The same goes for a food dehydrator, be careful with the heat. In an oven, set the temperature to about 100 degrees to warm gradually.
You’ll want the weed to be crisp and easy to crumble with little effort.
2 – Grind your Buds
Next, you’ll transform the nuggets to a floury consistency. You can do this with a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor. Grind it until it’s a fine powder.
3 – Strain the Weed
Likely, little pieces of stems or seeds didn’t grind all the way. Take your marijuana flour and sift it to get rid of larger fragments.
4 – Now You’re Ready to Go
How to ingest marijuana, you may ask? Ask your grandma for her famous cookie recipe and use your cannabis powder as you would flour. After they bake and cool, enjoy the magical experience of an edible.
The most popular way people cook with cannabis is with oil extraction. Instead of having a powdery substance, it’s in the form of oil, butter, or alcohol. This can then substitute the fat in recipes, or you can drink it.
The process extracts THC and CBD from the herb to get the compounds’ effects when you consume the treats.
When thinking about how to prepare weed, oil extraction can appear daunting, however, it is actually remarkably easy, all you need do is follow this guide.
1 – Grab some 80-proof alcohol
Mixing weed with alcohol is an easy process. You’ll need 80-proof content or stronger to dissolve the THC. Weaker proofs won’t be adequate.
Never use rubbing or denatured alcohol as they’re poisonous for consumption. Only use food-grade liquor. You can use any flavor as long as it meets the proof requirement.
2 – Determine the Weed to Alcohol Ratio
When you drink alcohol, you know how one shot, one beer, or one glass of wine will affect you because the ratio is determined. When you make your own marijuana liquor, you’ll need to understand the weed to alcohol ratio and potency.
You can figure out the outcome by how much cannabis you add to a certain amount of alcohol.
For example, a fifth of liquor is 26 ounces. An ounce of weed is 28 grams, so if you take out 2 grams, you’ll have an even ratio. A one-ounce shot will have the effects of one gram of weed. Adding more or less alcohol will alter the potency.
3 – Soak your Weed in Strong Alcohol
The stronger the liquor you use, the faster the THC will dissolve. If it’s Friday afternoon and you only have a few hours to prepare your cannabis-infused alcohol, buy the higher-proof stuff.
4 – Wait Two Days
If you’re using 80 proof, you’ll need to be more patient. Some of the flavored alcohols are lower in potency because of the added sugars and flavors. Prepare this a few days in advance, and you’ll be good to go on the weekend.
Shake or Stir for Faster Results
To speed up the process, shake or stir the mixture. This allows for a larger surface area of the weed to interact with the alcohol.
5 – Strain the Resulting Solution
Before consuming or serving to others, make sure to strain the remaining herb. No one wants to take a sip with grains or other particles floating around.
Making Cannabis Creams and Topicals
If you’re not into eating or drinking your cannabis but want to get the effects, you can make topicals. People use these for joint and muscle pain, and others use them for skin conditions or headaches. The CBD acts either as an anti-inflammatory or relaxes the areas it’s applied to.
You can use the oil extraction method and add it to your favorite store-bought cream. If you’re into the natural approach, you can mix cocoa butter, coconut oil, or essential oils to the extract.
Always patch test on a small section of skin to make sure you don’t have a reaction.
Preparation for Ingestion is Key
How to make edibles of good quality? The answer is simple; preparation.
Without decarboxylation followed by the correct process, you’ll end up with no high or a poorly made edible. The point of making a weed-infused brownie or drink is to get the effects and enjoy eating it as well.
When you’re growing your own weed, you need to take extra steps from plant to bowl. You’ll need to convert the THCA and CBDA to THC and CBD through decarboxylation to get high. From there, you’re ready to smoke.
For smokers who want to experiment with oral or topical consumption, why not process it yourself? Now you know how to prepare weed. Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious cake or bubbly alcoholic drink that not only tastes good but takes you to your happy place as well?
Figuring out how to prepare weed generally depends on the method of consumption. Considering this, we hope this guide can offer enough useful information to help any type of cannabis consumer!