Ask Cheri: Is Decarbing Always Necessary When Cooking with Marijuana


Cannabis Cheri Sicard - Is decarbing always necessaryDear Cheri,

My flower was dry and ground into powder. I did not decarb it. Is decarbing always necessary when I plan to bake with the marijuana anyway?  Can I use the powder in the cookies raw and as they bake will it activate the goodness of the powder?

Thank you in advance Cheri.


Good question Colleen, especially since a lot of people do not realize the raw cannabis plant contains no THC at all. It does contain THC-A (or THC-acid). It takes the process of adding heat or decarboxylation to make the chemical reaction that converts THC-A to THC.  Is decarbing always necessary? No.  But is it desirable? Yes!

For maximum psychoactive potency you should decarboxylate first.  Sure, it will decarb somewhat while baking.  But lab tests show that the process of baking a recipe will leave a lot of THC unconverted.  Even when making long, slow cooking infusions, decarbing first will up the percentage of THC extracted.  If you are cooking with kief, hash, and hash oils you will definitely need to decarboxylate first.

To decarboxylate, simply put your leaf material on a baking sheet or your concentrates in an ovenproof dish and heat for about 20 minutes at 250 degrees F. Once decarboxylated you are ready to make infusions or cook directly with the material.  

It’s worthy of note, however, that marijuana still has plenty of medicinal effects,even it its undecarbed state, so it depends on what you are going for.  But to activate as much THC and CBD as possible, you will want to take the extra step to decarb.

As to making flour — finely ground dry marijuana you stir into recipes, this is not my favorite way to infuse foods as it often comes with the unwanted “side effects” of funky flavors and textures.  Of course if you have it, you should use it.  Cookies would not be my first choice.  For best results, instead of baked goods, try in of the recipes in my Cooking with Buds tutorial, one ones like them, instead.  ,Personally, I like to keep ultra fine grinding to a minimum as much as possible.

Hope this helps,



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