Here’s a scenario that has previously been depicted in the motion picture industry: someone hiding a whole bag of uncooked marijuana to avoid being found. People are astounded and shocked, and gasps echo through the air.
Despite this, the narrative’s conclusion is frequently a dramatically different account of what happens when you consume uncooked marijuana. Let’s get this out in the open right now: The effects will be minimal at best. What exactly is it?
The solution to this problem is decarboxylation, which is required for the therapeutic effects of cannabis we consume.
Decarboxylation is the process by which THC is activated in cannabis plants. The way in which cannabis chemical compounds such as THC are activated is known as decarboxylation. All cannabinoids present in raw cannabis trichomes have an extra carboxyl ring or group (COOH) attached to their chain, whether they’re from hemp or marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), for example, is produced in significant amounts within the trichome heads of freshly picked cannabis flowers. In most countries, cannabis sold in dispensaries has label that specifies the cannabinoid content of the goods. THCA is frequently present as the most abundant cannabinoid in non-decarboxylated products (e.g., cannabis flowers and concentrates).
CBN has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective qualities, according to studies. THCA, on the other hand, is non-intoxicating and must be decarboxylated into THC in order to have any effect.
What Causes Decarboxylation?
The two main stimuli for decarboxylation are heat and time. As cannabis is dried and cured over time, a minor decarboxylation takes place. This is why certain cannabis flowers may reveal traces of THC and THCA, as well as tiny amounts of THC. Cannabinoids will be decarboxylated instantly once they are exposed to the high temperatures produced by smoking or vaporizing, allowing them to be absorbed via inhalation immediately.
Edibles, on the other hand, necessitate that cannabinoids we eat be present in what we consume so that they may be absorbed throughout digestion. We can decarboxylate cannabinoids while preserving the material’s integrity by heating them at a lower temperature over time.
At What Temperature Does Decarboxylation Occur?
The THCA in cannabis begins to decompose after approximately 30-45 minutes of exposure to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. The decarboxylation procedure may take longer. Many consumers prefer to decarboxylate their cannabis at a lower temperature for an extended period of time in order to preserve terpenes. The chemicals that make up essential oils in plants may be destroyed at higher temperatures, leaving unfavorable tastes and scents. The integrity of both cannabinoids and terpenoids is harmed by heating above 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why temperatures between 200 and 300 degrees are suggested.
Other forms of cannabinoid break-down are also possible. CBN (cannabinol) is produced by THC decomposition and oxidation, which can be hastened during decarboxylation. CBN is a more sedative and less psychoactive form of THC than THC.
How to Decarboxylate Cannabis at Home
At home, all you’ll need is some starting material, an oven set to 220-235 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on your location and oven make), parchment paper, and a baking sheet. Grate your cannabis as finely as possible until it covers the entire parchment paper with no gaps. Allow 30-45 minutes for the cannabis to bake, depending on how strong you want it to be.
In a slow cooker, decarboxylating cannabis with solvents such as cooking oils or lecithin is another option. These methods produce infusions that may be used in a variety of recipes, topicals, and even cannabis capsules since they include decarboxylated cannabinoids.
Actual vs Potential Potency
The total amount of THC and CBD contained in a dried flower’s natural state before decarboxylation is known as “potential power.” This refers to the quantity of THC and CBD that you would get if you ate a dry cannabis bud without heating it. Patients do not care about “actual potency” nearly as much. The number shown here includes the combined total of both THC and CBD that have been activated and made available to your body after decarboxylation has occurred through heating.
Because cannabinoids in their natural plant form are not readily absorbed by the body’s cannabinoid receptors, it is necessary to decarboxylate them. THC and CBD, like other acidic compounds, have inactive forms known as THCA and CBDA (THC-Acidic Acid; CBD-Acidic Acid). Since they are unable to interact with the cannabinoid receptors, these inactive versions will not provide any therapeutic benefits.
The acidic component must be decarboxylated in order for the body to readily accept cannabinoids. The decarboxylation of cannabis is required for this to happen. Because this process takes time and heat, it requires two key components: heat and time.
The process of decarboxylation
Because a number of substances are involved in ordinary decarboxylation and solvent recovery processes, they are difficult to keep running. Traditionally, to decarb for 8 to 10 hours in a big reactor with a chiller, a vacuum pump, and another chiller for the condenser
The decarboxylation process takes between 14 and 24 hours for marijuana buds to fully evaporate in a vacuum oven, whereas it takes about an hour in a pressure cooker. They also have a less powerful heating capability than other decarboxylation equipment, such as cookers. Such systems are not only large, but they’re also expensive and take up additional room at work.
In order to decarboxylate cannabis, certain extracts must be heated to a specific temperature for an extended period of time. Because a thermal fluid is used to extract heat at the correct decarboxylation temperature, this procedure takes longer.
Decarboxylation solutions from Ecodyst
Evaporation is a process that involves removing water from organic compounds as well as carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. The Evaporator by EcoCym has an innovative evaporation system that may be utilized for decarboxylation and solvent recovery. Ecodyst’s software integrates direct-cooling technology with continuous deliveries to maintain vacuum conditions throughout the extraction process. In several ways, the EcoChyll® series from Ecdyst outperforms conventional decarboxylation systems.
DecarboxylateIt’s advanced heating mantle design, which can reach ideal decarboxylation temperatures in a matter of minutes while also maintaining a constant heat, means it is more cost-effective than traditional methods.
Carboxylation and decarboxylation are two distinct types of chemical reactions that have had a tremendous influence on Earth’s history for billions of years. These processes take place at several depths below the planet’s surface as well as on its surface. The synthesis of early prebiotic carboxylic acids may have been critical to the origin and development of life, which has utilized this type of reaction to create energy and reproduce for billions of years. The rate of reaction and the variety of carboxylic acids generated are determined by the abundance of these reactions in the environment (such as subduction zones, coal deposits, aerobic water columns, tropical forests). These simple single reactions are at the heart of complicated and exquisite pathways that cycle carbon on Earth and possibly on other extraterrestrial planets.