Decarboxylation is essential to getting the most of of your medical cannabis. Here are 5 things you should know about decarboxylation:
It increases the THC content in your cannabis
Before cannabis is decarboxylated, there is not a significant amount of THC bioavailable in the plant. The THC is actually THCA (or THC acid), which does not have psychoactive properties until converted.
It also improves CBD levels
“Not only THC, but cannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabigerol all have acid groups on them” that need to be heated up in order to be activated, according to cannabis researcher Dr. Paul Hornby (see minute 1:05). Check out this infographic to learn more about CBD.
You don’t have to be precise to receive good results…
The simple act of heating cannabis begins the decarboxylation process. While the ideal method to decarboxylate involves low heat over time, the methods people are most people familiar with — such as smoking a joint or taking a bong hit — are still largely effective in activating the THC in cannabis.
…but getting the temperature right will improve your results
“Insufficient heating will result in the majority of the cannabinoids to remain in their acidic form, while excessive heating will result in degradation of THC to CBN or vaporization of the compounds,” says Cannalytics, a medical marijuana testing laboratory in Michigan.
You don’t have to smoke to decarboxylate
Many people use various solvents to “to make cannabinoids and other beneficial components… available in a highly concentrated form.” Check out our decarboxylation guide to learn more.