Therapeutic Potential of Neutral Cannabinoids: 4 5
Aluminum foil or parchment paper
Why Would (or Wouldn’t) You Want to Decarboxylate?
# grams of cannabis x cannabinoid % = # grams of cannabinoids 10
# g cannabinoids x 1000 = # mg cannabinoids
# mg cannabinoids x 0.8 = approximate mg of cannabinoids in your final product
Decarbing cannabis converts acid cannabinoids, like THCA and CBDA , into their respective neutral forms, THC and CBD . Acid and neutral forms of cannabinoids share some curative qualities, but they also have distinct therapeutic attributes.
Decarboxylation is what happens when the carboxyl group is shed due to high temperature or combustion.
Simply put, decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that is achieved through heating raw cannabinoids to a temperature at which they release a carboxyl group of molecules. Once this has happened the major cannabinoids convert from THCa and CBDa to the more readily bioavailable THC and CBD.
The decarboxylation process occurs after the solvent has been evaporated but before molecular distillation. A simplified version of the cannabis extraction process typically flows something like this (for our purposes here, this is a Cold Temperature Ethanol Extraction process):
Did You Know? Decarbing Cannabis Crude Prior to Molecular Distillation is the Key to Producing High Quality End Products
When referring to decarboxylation of crude cannabis oil, the process is usually performed on a hot plate for small batches, or in a reactor vessel for industrial-scale operations.
Cannabis and hemp plants primarily produce the acidic forms of the major cannabinoids, THCa and CBDa. Decarboxylation converts the acidic cannabinoids to their non-acidic forms, THC and CBD. Decarbing is achieved by applying just the right amount of heat and time to result in extracting these highly desirable cannabinoids.
This final step; molecular distillation is generally one of the last processes in extracting and refining cannabinoids. It involves applying deep vacuum and high heat. If any other chemical reaction (such as decarboxylation) is occurring during distillation, you will not be able to properly fractionate (separate) the molecules and you won’t produce a high-quality distillate. This is why the decarboxylation process must be done in full prior to distillation.