Ganja Guides

Can You Eat Decarbed Weed Straight?

grinder with weed in it

You may be wondering if you can eat decarbed weed straight without making edibles. Although you technically can, you may not want to for a few important reasons: the taste, it’s difficult to digest and metabolizes best with fat. 

We’ll cover why you need to decarb weed first, how much to eat, and more. 

Photo: Pexels

Why you need to decarb first

First things first. What is decarbed weed? Decarb or decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that transforms primary cannabinoids( THCA and CBDA) in raw cannabis into their active forms. The decarboxylation process involves two main factors: heat and time. 

Decarbing activates cannabis through heat

THCA in freshly harvested weed is non-psychoactive and will not produce a high feeling. THCA has a higher molecular weight and size, so it has a low binding affinity to CB1 receptors in your endocannabinoid system( ECS). 

Thus, to enjoy the psychoactive effects of cannabis, THCA must be transformed into THC by applying an appropriate amount of thermal energy. The carboxyl group (-COOH) is removed during heating, converting THCA and CBDA into active THC and CBD. 

Then, THC can bind to CB1 receptors in its active form, producing a high feeling. Conversely, CBD interacts indirectly with ECS, producing therapeutic effects such as reduced anxiety, pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, and more.

That said, when smoking or vaping weed, there’s no need to decarb weed first. In these consumption methods, the weed is heated with a lighter or torch, instantly activating the cannabinoids, which can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. 

How to decarb weed in an oven

One of the ways to decarb weed by heat is using an oven. The oven should be preheated to between 200° Fahrenheit ( 93 Celsius) and 245° Fahrenheit ( 118° Celsius). Then, the buds are heated for 30 to 40 minutes to activate the cannabinoids. Finally, let the decarbed weed cool for 30 minutes before consumption or storage.

However, when using an oven, it’s important to avoid heating for too long or at high temperatures, as this can destroy the much-needed cannabinoids and terpenes. 

Why most recipes won’t get you high without decarbing first

Decarbing weed is essential when making edibles and other infused products. However, you may wonder if you can bake your weed into the edible recipe directly without decarbing first. As mentioned, decarbing involves heating the weed at a precise temperature for a specific period of time to activate the cannabinoids. 

On the other hand, most recipes will not match these requirements. For instance, a brownie recipe calls for baking 40-45 minutes in a 325° oven, surpassing precision decarbing both in time and temperature. That’s why it’s crucial to decarb first.

Why you shouldn’t eat decarbed weed straight

Many people do not like cooking or baking and may eat decarbed weed without adding it into a recipe or carrier like oil or butter. But here’s why you may not want to eat it straight. 

Bitter taste 

Some terpenes can be destroyed during heating, affecting the cannabis aroma and flavor profile. Decarbed weed usually has a bitter and earthy taste, which can be off putting. 

May cause a stomach ache

When you eat decarbed weed, it must undergo the digestion process before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. However, when you eat plain decarbed weed, the body won’t process compounds such as cellulose and plant matter, leading to discomfort and digestive issues. 

However, you can avoid stomach issues by further processing your decarbed weed into fat-containing edibles such as cookies. The human body can easily digest and absorb active ingredients and avoid an upset stomach.

Decreased high feeling

THC and CBD are lipid-soluble and not water-soluble. Thus, eating plain decarbed weed won’t be fully and efficiently absorbed into the digestive system, considering the human body is 60% water, affecting the high effect.

 However, when you add your decarbed weed into intracellular fat carriers, CBD and THC fully dissolve into the lipids and fatty acids, increasing digestibility and absorption rate. 

Fast edibles with ground bud and little or no cooking 

Do you want to make edibles but spend less time prepping? Here are a few ideas of easy edibles you can make with little or no cooking. 

Make cannabis-infused olive oil 

You can add cannabis-infused oil to dips, pasta, pizza, tacos, and more. 

  1. Use your hands or an herb grinder to break up decarbed weed into a fine consistency. Place the ground weed into a saucepan and add your extra virgin olive oil in a ratio of 1:1. Over time, you can adjust the ratio to your preferences and desired potency.
  2. Heat the mixture on a low heat for 2-3 hours. Then, let it cool for a few hours for maximum infusion. Some people let the mixture sit for a few weeks to achieve maximum potency. 
  3. Then, carefully use a cheesecloth or mesh strainer to separate any solid matter from cannabis-infused oil. 

Make cannabutter

Cannabis-infused butter, also known as cannabutter, is another way to make edibles fast. You can add it to your instant ramen or mac and cheese or spread it on an English muffin or toast.

  1. The first step is to add one ounce of butter and a little water into a saucepan. The mixture is heated on very low heat until the butter melts. 
  2. Then, add one ounce of ground decarbed weed and mix using a wooden spoon. This ratio of cannabis to butter is ideal for consumers with high tolerance. If you’re a novice, you may have to use a smaller volume of cannabis to avoid undesirable effects.
  3. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for four hours, and regularly check that the butter isn’t burning. Next, use a cheesecloth to strain the mixture, and voila! You have your homemade cannabutter. 

Make firecracker edibles

Firecracker edibles are made from graham crackers, peanut butter, chocolate spread and decarbed weed.

  1. First, grind your decarbed weed into a medium grind. Then, spread a good helping of peanut butter onto your graham crackers.
  2. Next, sprinkle the ground weed onto the peanut butter-covered crackers. Use a foil to gently wrap your crackers and place them in the oven at 250° Fahrenheit for twenty minutes. Let them cool and enjoy. 

How much decarbed weed to eat

The dosage varies from one person to another and depends on factors such as tolerance, potency, and more.

However, it’s advisable to start low, usually 2.5 to 5 milligrams. As most cannabis enthusiasts know, edibles take 30 minutes to 2 hours before you can feel their effects. Hence, when you take an edible, give it time for digestion and absorption into the bloodstream.

Also, it’s important to avoid mixing edibles with substances such as alcohol as they can affect the intensity of weed’s effect, leading to overconsumption or undesirable effects.

Straight up delicious 

Eating decarbed weed can be unpleasant because it’s hard to digest and tastes bitter. However, easy edibles such as cannabutter, firecrackers, and cannabis-infused olive oil will draw out the full potency without having to slave away in the kitchen.


About Jeremy

Jeremy graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from the Technical University of Kenya. Over the past four years, he's been passionate about writing on a wide range of cannabis-related topics. In addition to guides, he's explored various aspects of cannabis, including its medical benefits, legalization efforts, cultivation techniques, and its impact on society. You can reach him at [email protected].