Science Of Smoking: THC Decarboxylation

Thread starter #1
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 it's 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 wouldn't do much. This is due to the fact that rather than containing tetrahydrocannabinol, fresh Cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Unfortunately, ingesting that isn't going to do much.

When marijuana is heated, the carboxyl group is converted into water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). This occurs at 222.8°F (106°C). 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 there's more THC absorption, but I'm skeptical as to how much it really makes a difference.

Source: Science of Smoking: THC Decarboxylation | 420tainment
 
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.
 

Clancy

Active Member
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 :)
 

nebor

New Member
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 it’s 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 wouldn’t do much. This is due to the fact that rather than containing tetrahydrocannabinol, fresh Cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Unfortunately, ingesting that isn’t going to do much.

When marijuana is heated, the carboxyl group is converted into water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). This occurs at 222.8°F (106°C). 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 there’s more THC absorption, but I’m skeptical as to how much it really makes a difference.

Source: Science of Smoking: THC Decarboxylation | 420tainment
Decarbing your product when being used in baked goods is a good idea if what you are baking does not fully decarb your THC-A to THC. Having access to an HPLC, some recipes for some items do not spend enough time or are not cooked an enough temp to fully decarb. Thus you are only getting a fraction of your THC activated. If you decarb first then you solve this problem. However, if you decarb first and then put into baked goods you will continue the decarbing which means a reduction of THC levels and more degradation to CBN. Without an HPLC to test it's a bit of a guessing game. The graph attached should give you an idea where you stand.

 

nebor

New Member
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 :)
This is 100% correct. We decarb raw flower material from Acid form to non all the time using ovens.