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What is Decarboxylation? Why Does it Matter?

In short, Decarboxylation is the process of applying the right amount of heat and time to activate the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis. You can’t experience any effects of cannabis (i.e. feel “high”) unless it’s been decarboxylated.

Many cannabis users have their first experience with decarboxylation when they make their first edibles or topical. Whether they use an oven, a crock pot, or a even a double-boiler, these at-home activations rarely reach a decarboxylation rate of over 70%.

At Ardent, we spent almost a decade working with laboratories to test and fully understand the decarboxylation process and how it impacts our cannabis. After years of research and fine tuning we were able to produce complete decarboxylation in three easy steps with the invention of the Nova.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about decarboxylation. Most importantly how to decarb cannabis at home.

What Is Decarboxylation

What is Decarboxylation?

Decarboxylation is a function of time, temperature and atmosphere.

A deceptively simple concept, executing proper decarboxylation is difficult even for professionals. Incorrect decarboxylation leads to hydrolyzed (burned off) cannabinoids, degraded THC to CBN, and/or fail to fully convert. All of which result in inferior medicine with wide variability in dosing and effectiveness.

However, properly decarboxlyated cannabis has a number of benefits:

  • THC activated directly into your cannabis flower
  • Maximum THC potential per gram of cannabis
  • Easy to create your own sublinguals, edibles, medicine and dose at home

In its natural plant form, the cannabinoids, including THC, are locked in an acidic form that is not bioavailable to the body’s cannabinoid receptors.

The acidic form of THC is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). THC and THCA are identical in molecular structure,  except for a carboxyl group present in THCA, that is not present in THC. This small difference, is a big deal as the presence of the carboxyl group prevents THCA from binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s brain and nervous system.

The presence of THCA in the plant explains why eating raw cannabis does not produce the therapeutic effect or “high” that a patient would expect from ingesting cannabis.  In order for inactive THCA to become bioavailable THC that can properly bind with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, the carboxyl group must be removed from the THCA, hence the term “decarboxylation.”

 

Decarboxylating Saves Time & Money

Decarbing the wrong way can waste cannabis and affect a patients dosage. Unfortunately, none of the common methods of decarbing were efficient and effective until the invention of the Ardent NOVA Decarboxylator. Now there is an easy way for patients to precisely decarboxylate cannabis outside of a laboratory setting.

Traditional Methods To Decarb Cannabis

While decarboxylation may seem slightly confusing, the good news is, you can decarb weed yourself at home.

A few traditional methods include:

  • Toaster oven
  • Traditional oven
  • Crockpot

A proper decarb requires consistent temperatures throughout the process. Most of these methods are inconsistent and have been shown to get only 70% decarboxylation depending on the method used. Below we explain a few decarb challenges that most people face:

  • Finding the perfect temperature in an oven is challenging. Although some people claim it works, for decarb beginners getting it setup correctly takes time and precious cannabis that you don’t want to waste. You also don’t want to get burned by a hot oven while decarbing.
  • Recent lab-testing shows that at the oven’s temperature and time, you’d be losing 54mg of THC per gram. Scale that up to an ounce and you could be wasting up to 1/4 or more of your stash – OUCH!
  • If you live with other people (or have neighbors), these methods can also stink up your home.

Today, you no longer have to use confusing methods to decarb marijuana, as the painstaking process has got much easier.

Best Decarb & Infusion Tool

Now that you understand the basics of decarboxylation, you are ready to start decarbing your cannabis. If you are looking for a simple way to get it done, we highly recommend you get your Nova today to make the process much easier.

👉 If interested, you can learn more about the NOVA here.

Questions? Please leave them below!

Comments

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  • Shane 2 months ago

    Great article and really helpful in understanding how it all works!! Thanks heaps.

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