How to Process Cannabis for Maximum Potency – cannabis processing is a critical step to ensure maximum potency and quality of your final product. Here are the key steps to take to ensure your cannabis is processed correctly.
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Start with high quality cannabis
There are a lot of factors that go into making potent cannabis. The first, and arguably most important, is starting with high quality cannabis. If you’re not growing your own, make sure to buy from a reputable dispensary or grower. The flower should be dry, but not too dry, and the buds should be sticky to the touch.
Once you have your flower, it’s time to start processing. You’ll need to trim the buds and remove any large leaves. Be careful not to damage the trichomes, as these are what contain the majority of the plant’s cannabinoids.
Once the trimming is complete, you can begin drying your cannabis. This can be done by hanging it upside down in a cool, dark room or using a dehydrator set to between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal is to slowly remove all the moisture from the plant material without damaging the trichomes.
Once your cannabis is dried, it’s time for curing. This is an important step as it allows the cannabinoids to further develop and ensures a smoother final product. Cure your cannabis by placing it in an airtight container and storing it in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks (but longer is better). Check on it periodically to make sure there is no moisture buildup in the container.
After curing, your cannabis is ready for consumption! Depending on your preferred method of ingestion, you may want to grind it up or leave it whole. For best results, enjoy your freshly processed cannabis soon after preparation!
Trim the leaves off of the buds
To ensure that your weed is as potent as possible, it is important to trim the leaves off of the buds. Although the leaves do contain THC, they are not as potent as the buds themselves. By trimming the leaves off, you are essentially increasing the concentration of THC in your final product.
In addition to trimming the leaves, you will also want to remove any stems from the buds. Stems contain very little THC and can actually decrease the potency of your final product. Therefore, it is best to remove them before processing your weed further.
Grind the cannabis
Cannabis grinders are devices that break down flower into uniform pieces, or “budlets,” which makes for more even burning when smoking. Grinders can be as simple as two interlocking teeth, or they can be elaborate multi-chamber devices.
This is an important step in achieving maximum potency, as it allows for more surface area of the cannabis to come into contact with the flame when smoking. Hand-breaking the cannabis will work in a pinch, but it will not be as effective as using a grinder.
Decarboxylate the cannabis
There are many ways to process cannabis for maximum potency, but decarboxylation is one of the most important steps. This process converts THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) into THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive compound that gets you high.
There are a few different ways to decarboxylate cannabis. One popular method is to bake it in the oven at 220-245 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes. Another method is to simmer it on the stovetop in a water bath for 110 minutes.
Once the cannabis is decarboxylated, it can be used in a variety of ways, including smoking, vaporizing, and cooking.
Extract the cannabinoids
There are two main ways to extract cannabinoids from the cannabis plant – mechanical and solvent-based.
Mechanical extraction is often done with a grinder, by hand, or in commercial machinery. This type of extraction simply breaks up the plant material to release the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other desired compounds. Because no chemicals are used in this process, it is often considered the safest method of extraction. However, it can be less effective than solvent-based extraction, especially if the plant material is very dry or if the cannabinoids are tightly bound to the plant matter.
Solvent-based extraction uses a chemical solvent to dissolve the desired compounds from the plant material. The most common solvents used for this type of extraction are butane, propane, hexane, and ethanol. This method can be very effective, but it is also very dangerous if not done properly. Anytime you are working with flammable chemicals there is a risk of fire or explosion. For this reason, it is important to only use solvents in well-ventilated areas and to follow all safety precautions when handling them.
Store the cannabinoids
The process of decarboxylation converts “THC-A”, the acidic form of THC found in raw cannabis, into “THC”, the form of THC that gets you high.
This conversion is natural and occurs simply by exposing cannabis to heat (like when you smoke it). However, if you want to make edibles or tinctures, you need to activate the THC beforehand by decarbing it in the oven.
Decarbing is simple: just spread some ground marijuana on an oven safe dish and bake it at 240 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. This will convert most of the THC-A into THC.
You can then use this decarbed weed to make weed brownies, cannabutter, or whatever else your heart desires!
However, there is one drawback to this method: decarbing also causes some of the other cannabinoids (like CBD) to convert into less potent versions of themselves (like CBN). So if you want to make a CBD-rich tincture or edible, it’s best to skip the decarbing step.