Can You Microwave Weed to Dry it Out When Harvesting?
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There are a lot of questions and concerns for first time growers. One of the biggest concerns is whether or not to dry your weed by using a microwave.
Obviously, smoking wet weed is not the best idea. In fact, smoking wet weed presents many challenges like being hard to light, the high is slight and minimal, it is hard to grind, and the taste is quite bad.
If you are wondering how to start your own grow operation, then it’s best to reference a grow guide that goes into depth. For example, you want a beginners growing guide that helps you with every step of growing, from planting seed and the vegetative stage to nurturing then harvesting.
Clearly, harvesting is done when the buds are ready and the plants have gone through all of the growth cycles. The last and final stage after harvesting involves numerous methods and techniques such as drying and storing.
Some of the drying techniques involve hanging the buds upside down, decarbing, and other methods. Actually, decarbing cannabis is another concern for many growers.
In truth, many beginning grower guides offer details about decarbing and the potency of decarboxylated weed.
What is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is a method of heating marijuana so that the compounds or cannabinoids within the plant are activated. The process changes the cannabinoids in marijuana so that it easily assimilated and interacts within the body.
The importance of decarboxylation cannot be overemphasized. It is the leading process of any type of cannabis consumption that delivers the full effects of the plant, including both medicinal and recreational.
Basically, when marijuana is heated or decarboxylated, the molecular arrangement of cannabinoid acids will shift.
Throughout the process, CO2 is released from a carboxyl group. In effect, the hydrogen atom is reserved. The prior inactive compound from the trichomes of marijuana flowers is now active.
Once the cannabinoids are activated, they intermingle with the brains endocannabinoid system receptors. The activated cannabinoids also interacts throughout the body.
In fact, it is the ECS receptors that deliver the strong effects of THC. When cannabis is not decarboxylated, the THC exists as a non-intoxicating acid of cannabinoid known as THCA.
In other words, the cannabis will not be near as intoxicating.
Why Decarb Your Cannabis before Consuming?
The process of decarboxylation is an essential procedure for the consumption of marijuana such as tinctures and edibles. This is because it activates the numerous cannabinoids in the plant.
A more in depth view shows that decarboxylation activates both the cannabidiol (CBD) and all tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) that are within the plant.
In comparison, a fresh bud or flower contains cannabinoid acids. However, the cannabinoid acids remain inactivated until they are heated or decarboxylated.
On the contrary, some users feel that unheated cannabinoid acids or raw cannabis buds have several benefits
- Contains vitamins and minerals
- Can be juiced for the medicinal cannabinoid acids
The decarboxylation process transforms tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) which is non-psychoactive, into THC. It is the THC that causes euphoria or a high.
Decarboxylation is also responsible for converting cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) into CBD. Moreover, CBD and THC trigger the cannabinoid receptors endocannabinoid system’s known as CB1 and CB2.
More precisely, the connection between the cannabinoid receptors and the activated cannabinoids modifies the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, generating a plethora of effects. For instance, THC activates the CB1 receptors resulting in a psychotropic effect.
How Do I Decarb My Weed?
Today, there are numerous suggestions on how you can decarb your weed. Fortunately, most methods can be done in your own home.
One of the more popular and successful ways to decarb your cannabis is to bake it in the oven. In order to decarboxylate your weed you will need
- An oven
- A grinder
- A baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Marijuana flowers
Fortunately, the decarboxylation process it is not real complicated. Actually, it only takes a few supplies and tools plus a little time. The secret of successful decarboxylation is by keeping the oven temperature low.
Although it may be tempting to bake the flowers at a high heat, temperatures from 310°F to 400°F can compromise the buds, depending on the variety.
- Preheat the oven to 250°
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper
- Meanwhile, gently break the cannabis flower into smaller pieces
- Spread flowers out evenly on the parchment paper. Make sure to have only one layer and that it’s not too thick
- Put the baking sheet into the oven.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes. Stir the cannabis flower every 10 minutes
- Remove the baking sheet when the flowers start to darken in color
- Allow the activated flowers to cool
- Using a grinder or food processor, grin the flowers so that they are course in texture
- Store in an airtight container
Of course there are other methods for decarboxylation that you can utilize such as Mason jar decarboxylation; sous vide decarb, the microwave, bagging and boiling, toaster oven, boiling in oil, and many other techniques. However, when conferring with novice growers, many agree that the oven method is best.
The microwave process is also a popular way of decarbing your weed. It is particularly helpful when you are limited on time.
However, this method is not recommended by most experts. This is because it has a tendency to damage the plants terpenes and cannabinoids.
Unfortunately, a microwave is sometime needed to decarb your cannabis. For successful decarboxylation using the microwave method you need to
- Cut the flowers into very small chucks using a pair of scissors. You can also use a grinder
- Spread the flowers evenly on the tray. Make sure there is only one layer of flowers Set the timer to 3 minutes. Do NOT over cook. When it is hallway finished, flip the buds over to improve the cooking process
- Remove from the microwave
- Allow the flowers to cool
- Place is airtight jar
One of the biggest downfalls of using a microwave to decarb your weed is that you cannot regulate the heat. In addition, there are a wide variety of microwaves and they all cook differently. For the best results, you need to monitor the weed and check it often during the cooking process.
Also, make sure the heat settings are on low so that the flowers are not over cooked or burned.
Note: some growers claim never use a microwave to decarb their weed. This is because it can be a difficult process and easily overheats the flowers.
In effect, when the flowers are over heated, they can lose their potency. In addition, a microwave does not cook evenly and has many hot and cold spots.
What Happens if you do not Decarboxylate?
The main objective for decarboxylation is to activate its psychotropic effects. If the psychoactive effects are not activated, your body will not experience a high.
However, your system will still receive the health benefits of the plant.
In addition, the decarboxylation of weed releases the full medicinal potential of other cannabinoids like CBN, CBD, and CBG. As well, these acidic cannabinoids have various health benefits like
- Pain relief
- Help strengthen bones
- Natural muscle relaxer
- Reduce depression and anxiety
- Relieve cancer-related symptoms
- Possible neuroprotective effects
Benefits of Decarboxylation
It is quite apparent that Decarboxylation has many benefits including the activation of cannabinoids. Once your flowers are decarboxylated, it can be smoked, used in a tincture, vaped, and even baked as an edible.
Once your cannabis is decarboxylated, you can consume it in a number of ways. As long as you use low heat throughout the decarboxylation process, the cannabinoids and terpenes will be preserved.
Therefore, you can still vape and smoke your marijuana and get the desired effects. Some have even encouraged marijuana users to decarb marijuana before vaping or smoking it for the best possible experience.
In truth, as soon as your cannabis is decarboxylated, it can be used is a variety of ways.
Likewise, the decarboxylation weed process is basically pretty simple no matter what method you use. Just remember to keep the temperatures low for best results.