There’s a lot of misinformation on the web about decarboxylation.
At Ardent, we build decarboxylators – needless to say, we have an intimate knowledge with the process. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about decarboxylation.
What is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is the process of applying the right amount of heat and time to activate the THC in cannabis. You can’t experience any effects of cannabis (i.e. feel “high”) unless it’s been decarboxylated.
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 THCA.
THC and THCA are identical in molecular structure, except for a carboxyl group present in THCA but not THC. This small difference is actually a big deal; 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.”
Decarboxylation is a precision process that is a function of time, temperature and atmosphere. A deceptively simple concept, executing proper decarboxylation is difficult even for professionals, and the process has created an incredible and often insurmountable road block for patients seeking to make their own medicine. Indeed, performed incorrectly, patients hydroklize (burn off) cannabinoids, degrade THC to CBN, and/or fail to fully convert, all of which result in inferior medicine with wide variability in dosing and effectiveness. Only with precision decarboxylation can patients know and control their dose.
Decarb done wrong leads to incredible waste of cannabis, inconsistent reactions to the medicine, and general uncertainty for patients, and many are discouraged from attempting this process based on these well-grounded fears. Unfortunately, none of the common methods of decarbing is efficient and effective, and until now, there was no way for a patient to precisely decarb outside of a laboratory setting. See how the current methods fall short and how patients can decarb right.
In conjunction with precision decarboxylation, sublingual dosing provides a new standard for accuracy and effectiveness. Patients can know and control the dose while simultaneously receiving the rapid and long lasting effects that sublingual administration provides. Learn more about sublingual administration.
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