How To Extract THC For Cooking

How To Extract THC For Cooking: Guide

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. more info

Yes, making edibles is a whole lot of fun, and the effects you get from eating weed are quite bit different from smoking or vaping it, mainly a lot stronger and longer lasting. However, you do have to extract the THC out of the weed before you can cook with it. Eating some weed as is won’t do you any good. How to extract THC for cooking is what we want to teach you today.

To extract THC for cooking, you first need to decarb or decarboxylate your weed, otherwise known as the decarboxylation process. This creates active THC, which can then be extracted from the plant matter by simmering it in oil or butter for a couple of hours.

It might sound very scientific, but it is actually very simple and straightforward. So, how do you extract THC for cooking? Here is a detailed rundown;

THCA vs THC – The Difference That Heat Makes

Ok, so something that you need to know here is that you cannot just cook with marijuana buds. This does not work. You cannot just take a gram of weed, chew it up, and think that you are going to high or benefit from pain relief. It just does not work this way. You see, marijuana flowers contain a compound known as THCA.

However, this is an inactive compound which does not have any effects on the human body. It just does not do anything, even if you were to eat an ounce of weed. When you smoke marijuana, the high heat and the combustion process actually converts this THCA into THC, which is the active compound, or at least one of them, in marijuana which produces those awesome sensations.

Yet, if you were to just eat some pot, this conversion from THCA to THC does not occur, and therefore is useless. This means that you therefore need to treat your weed in a special manner before you can attempt cooking with it, or else you will just end up wasting it.

Throwing a bunch of pot into brownie batter, without having first treated it, is totally pointless and won’t do a darn thing, or at least barely anything.

Decarboxylation – NEEDS TO BE DONE!

What you need to do in order to extract THC from weed for cooking, or at least to turn the THCA into THC, which can then be extracted through a number of methods, your weed needs to go through a special process first.

This process is known as decarboxylation, and it is absolutely necessary. This is a process where you put your weed in the oven at a fairly low temperature for about 1 hour.

Now, the temperature is high enough to cause the conversion from THCA to THC, but not so hot that it outright burns it away, such as if you were to smoke it. This decarboxylation process converts the THCA into THC, and thus creates the active compound which can then be cooked with, the compound which will give you that head and body high you are looking for.

To decarboxylate your weed, simply chop it down into small nugs, spread it out evenly on a metal baking tray, and put it in a 240 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 60 minutes, making sure to mix things around every 10 minutes or so, just to maximize surface the area of the weed being directly exposed to the heat.

When it is done, the decarboxylated weed should have turned slightly brown and be very dry. However, if you really want to get the most out of your weed when cooking, you will then need to extract the THC, which is usually done by cooking it in butter or oil.

Using Decarboxylated Weed For Cooking – NOT RECOMMENDED

Ok, so now your weed has been decarboxylated and now therefore has active THC inside of it that should get you high. Technically speaking, you could use it to cook with.

For instance, some people may grind it up finely and then replace a certain quantity of flower with it, in order to make baked goods. However, this is not recommended.

As you will see from the next step down below, in order to get the biggest bang for your buck, you want to extract the THC out of the weed and then cook with that. Using decarbed flower to bake or cook with is still not going to be nearly as potent, strong, or cost effective as it would be.

There is also the fact that cooking with actual ground up pot does not taste nice. Although marijuana is a fantastic thing, it is not very nice to eat as is.

So, to make your THC more potent, to make the weed stronger, to extract the THC, and too cook with it in a way that will taste alright, you should now move on to the next step of extracting the THC into butter or oil.

Making Cannabutter or Weed Oil For Cooking

What you need to know here is that when you extract THC out of weed and infuse it into butter or oil, it will actually still get stronger and more potent. Now, some people do skip the decarbing process and head straight for the cooking in butter or oil.

Yes, the decarboxylation process will still occur by cooking your pot in butter or oil, but it does not work as well and does not result in the best final product. You may get some decent potency if you skip decarbing your pot in the oven, and just go straight for the butter or oil, but it won’t be quite as potent as it could be.

Also, the longer you have the weed soaking and cooking in the butter or oil, the more of that plant-like and grassy taste you will end up with in the butter or oil, and that’s not all that nice.

For the best flavor, you do first want to decarb the pot in the oven before extracting it and infusing it into butter or oil, and this goes for the potency too.

To be clear, soaking and cooking your decarbed weed in the butter or oil will suck the THC out of the plant matter and infuse it into the grease you are using.

The Weed & Butter Infusion Process (Or Oil)

To make your Cannabutter or weed oil, simply take a cup of butter or a cup of oil, most people will go with coconut oil, mix it with a cup of water, and then add in your decarboxylated weed, after having ground it up into a fairly fine powder.

Just let the weed and butter, or oil, simmer for about 2 hours, mixing it on occasion. The addition of water will stop the butter from burning.

Just make sure to not let the mixture boil very hard, or else you can destroy the THC and thus the potency. A light simmer is more than enough here.

After about 2 hours, let it cool a bit, and then use some kind of cheesecloth or strainer to pour the butter or oil into a container, making sure to remove the plant matter.

Let it cool and you can now use the extracted THC butter or oil for cooking (here are 30 cool food and snack ideas you can make).


Something else you need to take note of here is that THC does not bond with water. THC only bonds with greasy substances like oil or butter.

We don’t want to get into the science of it here, but this is the way it is. You cannot boil your decarbed weed in water and expect the THC to be extracted into the water.

It just does not work this way. The THC can only bond with things like butter and oil, so this is necessary if you want to cook with it.


As you can see, this is actually quite a simple process. It really just boils down to grinding up your weed, baking it at a low temperature for an hour, grinding it up some more, then throwing it in a pot of butter or oil to simmer for another couple of hours. Once you have done this, you will be left with fully active, potent, and tasty weed oil or Cannabutter that you can use for all kinds of cooking.