Decarboxylation Definition & Information
Most marijuana consumers had their first encounter with Decarboxylation as they produce their first edibles or develop a cream for medicinal use. If they are using a microwave, a crock-pot, or a double-boiler, most at-home activations rarely hit a decarboxylation threshold of over 70 percent. It leaves about a third or more of cannabis’s capacity unused, leading to a loss of organic material, wasteful costs, and dissatisfaction. Here we are going to see What is decarboxylation and other features.
It is the method of adding the correct heat and exposure to enable the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabinoids so you can reap the psychoactive properties of the cannabis you ingest.
In its original plant state, the cannabinoids (including THC) are trapped in an acid state that is not bioavailable to our body’s cannabinoid sensors. Bioavailability is the ability of a medication or other product to be consumed and used by the body. The acid phase of THC is tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA). THC and THCA are similar in molecular structure, save for a carboxyl group found in THCA that is not in THC. A minor difference is a huge deal!
The existence of a single carboxyl unit inhibits THCA from connecting to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s central nervous system. The presence of THCA in Cannabis shows why consuming raw marijuana does not provide the healing benefit or “high” that a consumer might experience by consuming cannabis. For dormant THCA to be bioavailable THC, sufficient to better bind with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, the carboxyl component must be separated from the THCA, hence the word “decarboxylation.”
Why is Decarboxylation important?
Decarboxylation is an essential step for ingesting marijuana in baked goods and oils as it stimulates the plant material’s range of cannabinoids–namely cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Raw, unheated weed flowers can produce cannabinoid acids, but unless they are warmed up, these components stay in an inactive state. Although the use of natural cannabinoids and its acids, vitamins, and nutrients are helpful, these do not produce any psychoactive reaction. Juicing marijuana leaves and eating raw marijuana buds are common amongst those trying to take advantage of cannabis acids.
Primarily, Decarboxylation transforms tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid acid, into THC, a substance more frequently associated with cannabis that induces intense euphoric highs. It also transforms cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) to the CBD, a recently famous cannabinoid.
THC and CBD function as agonists of the cannabinoid channels of the endocannabinoid system–CB1 and CB2. The endocannabinoid system is a control structure regulating most of the body’s processes, such as sleeping, emotional state, appetite, and pain, and immunity. The association between stimulated cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors affects the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in a variety of responses. Psychotropic properties of cannabis, for instance, exist as they stimulate brain CB1 receptors.
That is why Decarboxylation is an essential step for medical marijuana users who depend on the benefits of all these active ingredients.
How Do You Decarboxylate Your Marijuana?
Even if you are cultivating your cannabis or purchasing a marijuana product from your nearest pharmacy, you can quickly decarboxylate it with the aid of an oven at home. Below is a complete list of what you will need and a detailed description of how to decarboxylate marijuana at home.
What you need:
- Marijuana flower
- Sheet pan
- Wax paper
- Food processor
How to decarboxylate your weed:
- Preheat the oven to a maximum of 250 degrees F and cover the baking sheet with wax paper.
- Cut the flower into small pieces as the oven heats.
- Place the flower on the wax paper, so it is in a single, thin layer.
- Place the sheet pan in the microwave and heat for 30-45 minutes, mixing the flowers every 10 minutes or as necessary.
- When the pot darkens, remove the baking tray from the oven and put aside to warm the activated flower.
- Use a blender or a food processor to grind the marijuana flower. Place cannabis into a sealed container.
Bonus tip: You can cook the flower at an increased temperature, but using low-temperature heat protects the quality of plant molecules and avoids loss of potency.
The heat of over 310 degrees to 400 degrees F can destroy the different cannabinoids and vaporize the terpenes in cannabis, the oils that give cannabis its distinct flavor and smell. When the pot has been decarboxylated, you can use it in a lot of different ways. Since cannabinoids and terpenes are being kept in the decarboxylation phase because we use low heat, you can vape and smoke it. Many people even encourage decarbing marijuana before vaping and smoking. The decarboxylated marijuana is also used to infuse in pot recipes or to make cannabutter.
It is important to understand What is decarboxylation and note that cannabis normally decarboxylates when stored away. The sensitivity to the environment suffices to transform THCA into THC and THC into cannabinoid slowly. This cycle is unnecessarily long, and heat would almost inevitably be needed to drive it forward. Whichever process you use, Decarboxylation is essential to activating the psychotropic potential of the esteemed THC.