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Thread: Science Of Smoking: THC Decarboxylation

  1. #1
    Cannabis Connoisseur Truth Seeker's Avatar
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    Apr 2011

    Science Of Smoking: THC Decarboxylation

    What is it about about marijuana that makes you high? Most experienced users know that it is in fact THC (Δ9-THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol), but did you know that Cannabis in itís basic plant form contains very little THC?

    If you were to take a nice sized nug and swallow it whole (or chew it if you please), it really wouldnít do much. This is due to the fact that rather than containing tetrahydrocannabinol, fresh Cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Unfortunately, ingesting that isnít going to do much.

    When marijuana is heated, the carboxyl group is converted into water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). This occurs at 222.8įF (106įC). At this point the Cannabis can be eaten plain and will be fully absorbed by the body. When you smoke marijuana you are essentially rapidly decarboxylating the bud (and then just burning and inhaling all of the carbon in it as well). On a side note, many people advocate decarbing your herb before using it in baked goods. Apparently thereís more THC absorption, but Iím skeptical as to how much it really makes a difference.

    Source: Science of Smoking: THC Decarboxylation | 420tainment

  2. #2
    New Member
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    Aug 2015

    Re: Science Of Smoking: THC Decarboxylation

    thanks for starting this thread. I'm interested in replies from anyone with a science background, not opinions:

    1. if I make cannabis butter in the crockpot, with water, it can only get to 212 degrees, thus not decarbing. So, I've been putting it into a toaster oven with an oven thermometer before it goes in the pot. Once, I forgot to decarb, thus this question: Does the THC-A go into the butter along with the THC? And if so, would it decarb afterward by heating the butter up to decarb temp? Also, what about decarbing CBD? I've read on the net that it decarbs at a much higher temp (around 350) but it's hard to know if the people posting actually know this as a scientific fact, or not. And would raising the butter temp (assuming the CBD precursors went into the butter in the crockpot) to 350 destroy the THC content?

    I would really appreciate some scientific enlightenment on these questions, since I have no chemistry background. Thanks!!!

    PS. I also have questions about the harmfulness of mold in making butter, and would appreciate some hard science on this, not opinion/speculation.

  3. #3
    420 Member
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    Nov 2014

    Re: Science Of Smoking: THC Decarboxylation

    Hi Truth Seeker, so when you say "At this point the Cannabis can be eaten plain and will be fully absorbed by the body.";-- do you mean that the cannabis no longer needs to be heated with fat in order for the edible to absorbed by the body inducing a stoner high. For example, could a person decarb the cannbis by heating it and then take it to a concert or out to flick and then just munch on the plant matter to get high?

    Thanks for the chem lesson btw