decarboxylates

What the Ding-Dong Is Decarboxylation?

by Old Hippie BeyondChronic.com

Decarboxylation: Why you never heard of it, why you should understand it, and how to do it.

Little-known fact: there’s little or no THC in raw marijuana.

That’s right. It’s only when people process it generally by smoking, vaporizing, or cooking it that the THC becomes usable by the body. And that chemical process is called decarboxylation.

There’s an awful lot of misinformation floating around about decarboxylation. Some of it stems from the fact that the main precursor to the THC molecule has about half a dozen names, all of them perfectly valid.

So, for instance, the Wikipedia article on Decarboxylation says (in different places) that 11-nor-9-Carboxy-THC and 9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid both decarboxylate to THC upon heating. Other sources refer separately to THCA, tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid, and THC-COOH (which is how we’ll refer to it from here on).

Not only are all these exactly the same molecule, but to make matters worse, it also happens to be the main metabolite of THC as well! So the way it works is THC-COOH + heat = THC, which in your body metabolizes right back to THC-COOH again (and that’s what they look for in drug testing for marijuana, by the way). Think of it as recycling.

Tale of the Tail

The reason I recommend calling it simply THC-COOH is because that name makes it easier to visualize the process of decarboxylation itself, which literally consists of the extra carboxylic acid “tail” being “snipped off” the molecule to leave the THC we all know and love. This usually happens by adding heat, but the process of curing converts THC-COOH to pure THC as well.

That’s why uncured bud not only doesn’t taste good when you smoke it, but doesn’t really give you a proper high or the right medicinal effect: you’re not getting the normal mix of cannabinoids you’d expect. The flip side of that is why eating raw cannabis or putting it into food is often quite a good idea for many patients, precisely because you don’t get the psychoactive effects of THC. Without THC, the relative level of CBD is higher, and this new mix can give people more pain relief with less effect on the brain.

And that’s why generations of pot smokers never even heard of decarboxylation. When you smoke or vaporize, it’s done automatically by the heat. Decarboxylation began to come to people’s attention when serious work started on using cannabis medicinally. But there were hints all along, if you know where to look, and that would be in The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.

Tokeless Brownies

Alice B. Toklas was infamous for her “canibus” brown-ie recipe, which was also infamous for being extremely vague on how much of the crucial material to use. So people have been throwing random handfuls of weed in brownie mix for decades, cooking at different tempera-tures, and getting wildly different results. There are three main reasons for this problem:

• Incorrect dosing.

Many people just use way too much or too little. A gram per dose is usually a good starting point for many patients.

• Cooking at too high a temperature.

This essentially vaporizes out the THC before it gets to you (look for recipes that cook at 325°F (160°C) or less to prevent this).

  • Green marijuana just can’t decarboxylate fully inthe short time it takes to cook brownies.

The end result is that brownies often have the reputation of putting people on the floor with heavy body effects. That’s because the last two factors artificially lower the amount of THC in the finished product, letting the effects of the other cannabinoids take over. And it’s not just brownies; many people know stories about friends wasting large amounts of expensive cannabis trying to make edibles that didn’t perform up to expectations.

The Secret Recipe

So, in the interest of creating better medicine, here is an effective procedure for decarboxylating cannabis in your oven, whether the final result is intended for use in mak-ing edibles, tinctures, or capsules. You should use a thermometer to check that the oven is actually at the temperature you set it to, before you use it for such a heat-sensitive operation.

Many people simply put their marijuana on a cookie sheet, but if you do that, you’ll be pouring crispy cannabis off a hot, flat surface, and I can almost guaran-tee you’ll be spilling some. Instead, I recommend using aluminum foil to make a kind of flat bowl with a fold-ed spout, and putting that on a cookie sheet.

Decarboxylation Bowl: Not fancy, but functional

Now preheat your oven to 225°F (105°C). You can now just heat your cannabis for 60 minutes, or use the slight-ly more complex and effective (and patented!) method of 225°F (105°C) for 15 minutes, followed by 250°F (120°C) for 60 minutes. Either way, be prepared, because your kitchen will smell like a pot party.

Take it out of the oven, let it cool for five minutes or so, and now it will be brown and brittle and very easy to grind to small particle size (more like oregano, rather than powder). You can use a regular weed or spice grinder, a mortar and pestle, or even a coffee grinder or small blender.

The result is fully activated cannabis, which can be put directly in gelatin capsules, added to recipes (preferably next to ingredients with a high fat content), or used to make cannabutter or canna oil. And because it retains all the THC of the original material as well as all the other cannabinoids, it is quite powerful.

If you use a vaporizer on a regular basis, you can use the ABV (Already Been Vaped remains, sometimes called duff) in the same manner, because vaporizing also decarboxylates. But you’ll have to use between 25% and 33% more of it to make up for the THC that’s already been vaporized.

The good news is that it will now help you twice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

This menu shows the most recently posted content for a quick update since you last checked-in.

News Distribution Partnership with CannabisNewsWire (CNW)

Treating Yourself is a news distribution partner of CNW. Would you like your story headlines published on this website? Are you...

From the Family Vault of Shanti-Baba

"Seems more than strange to grow up as a child and see how important my parents and their peers viewed...

Why Get Pines Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass might just be a typical plant growing in your backyard, but few people know that it has a lot...

How to Make Your Own Canna-Caps

by Old Hippie BeyondChronic.com What do you do when you need cannabis medicine and you can’t or don’t want to...

Database Search

Are you researching marijuana as medicine? Use the simple form below to search any condition. Read personal stories from patients just...

Cannabinoid Receptors in the Body and Their Importance

David B. Allen M.D. By legal Democratic Vote; Cannabis Is Medicine To get CBD from top verified sources, click here....

The True Origins of Haze

By Big Herb It all began in 1969, In Santa Cruz, California. At the time, there was Thai Oaxacan and...

Top 5 Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are those seeds that are formed from Cannabis Sativa, a hemp plant. They are different from marijuana but...

Cannabis and Working Out

If you're wondering how cannabis can help you with your workout regime, then you probably need to read this article....

How Companies Are Creating Innovative New CBD Products

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp that may deliver unique health benefits. CBD is just...

5 Marijuana Compounds That Could Help Combat Cancer, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s

by Paul Armentano Deputy Director of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) This commentary was initially...

Living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta

By Michael Morrow My name is Michael Morrow, I'm 37  years  old and I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta. OI is a...

Gifts from Mother Nature

By Dianna Donnelly - "The couch activist” Aspirin, otherwise known as Acetylsalicylic Acid, is one of the most commonly ingested preventative medicines...

Paradise Seeds Allkush; More Than Just Kush

One of the new feminised strains from Paradise Seeds is named “Allkush”. So nothing but Kush? Taken genetically literally, no...

28ft… The John Berfelo Story

By John Berfelo "Medical marijuana saved me from a life on pharmaceutical drugs..." My name is John Berfelo and this...

My Grinspoon Moment

By Carl Hedberg Sometimes a single meeting can change your life. Such was the case for me when, in the...

The Science Behind Cannabis Safety

David B. Allen M.D. By legal Democratic Vote; Cannabis Is Medicine. Drug safety is on the minds of most all...

Heavenly Hash: The Art, Science and Industry of Cooking with Cannabis Extracts

by Samuel Wells Samuel Wells is an Assistant Professor of English in Denver, CO An Edible Enigma As scientific and...

Living High with HIV

How Medical Marijuana Rivals Mainstream HIV Medicine By BenBot In 2011, I was diagnosed with HIV. An unmarked van was...

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

With Veterans at Risk, Change is Necessary, but Progress is Slow By Mary Lou Smart In 1933, the repeal of...

Milagro Oil for Lung Cancer

By Mary Lou Smart www.medicalcannabisart.com Compassionate care advocates Michelle and Michael Aldrich at Patients Out of Time’s Seventh National Clinical...

Living and Dealing with ADHD

by Patricia Allen It was back in 1974 that I first became familiar with the term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder...

Inflammatory Comments

by Bill Drake As a long-time TY reader I’ve noticed what seems to me to be a rather over- whelming...

How Cannabis Might Keep Coronary Stents Open Longer

By David B. Allen M.D.Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon, Member ICRS. And Prisoner of the Drug War Cali215doc@gmail.com First the set...

Unlocking the Secrets, Advanced Tissue Culture

Tissue Culture is a process of isolating cells from plant tissue (explants) which are cultured (grown artificially), in a nutrient...

Anxiety Panic Disorder and Cannabis

By Hal Lubinsky My name is Hal Lubinsky. I'm in my forties, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a U.S....

Can Cannabis Cure Schizophrenia?

By Richard Shrubb, Freelance sailing, health and social affairs journalist ould cannabis treat or even cure schizophrenia? Things look promising...

Multiple Sclerosis: Regaining the Good Life with Whole Plant Therapy

By Mary Lou Smart© 2012 www.medicalcannabisart.com A trial attorney, Jim Dyer practiced law in Tucson, Arizona for 34 years before...

The Science of Cannabis Leads in Many Directions

The Evolution of a Sense of Well-Being By Mary Lou Smart www.medicalcannabisart.com While speaking at Patients Out of Time’s Seventh...

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

By Shantibaba It is evident for all people who wish to listen that doing all things within moderation is better...

Post Traumatic Stress

Psychology and Medication at its Best By Jeff Kundert OTR Jeff works as a Wellness and Fitness Educator. He has...

The Ripper Effect

By Subcool Some really interesting information has come to my attention, and I am very excited to tell everyone in...

Auto-flowering Plants

By Shantibaba The discreet evolution of Auto-flowering cannabis plants is a recent occurrence, one that is in mode at present...

Uncovering the Original Sacrament: Chris Bennett’s Cannabis and the Soma Solution

Review by Samuel Wells When asked to name an author crucial to the growing mainstream understanding of the uses of...

Cornerstone of Individualized Phytogenetics ACDC 22:1 @ CB3

Alternative Cannabinoid Dietary Cannabis 22%CBDA:1%THCA acting at GPR55 Alias CB3 by William L. Courtney, MD, AACM American Academy of Cannabinoid...

Mr. Magoo

By Ron Hudson My birthdays: I woke that birthday morning, in October of 1966, knowing it would begin like the...

Medical Cannabis University

By Reverend Philip H Hoff - Chancellor, MedicalCannabisUniversity.org ( MCU, Inc. ), a 501 c(3) nonprofit school. The school focused...

Storm’s Story

By Georgia Peschel WHEW! Delivering this kid was like delivering a hurricane!” When our son was born, those were our...

Soil Pests & Diseases

By Lazystrain Soil is a living organism made up of billions of microbes and bacteria. The cosmology of soil life...

A Tragedy Felt Around the World

by Jonny Appleweed On Oct. 27, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed into law the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and...

Autism & Cannabis

Prohibition Makes it Tough on Parents by Mary Lou Smart Jeremy Patrone (not his real name) has a goal. He...

Vaporization of Cannabis: Are there benefits over combustion?

By William Eckhardt Although vaporization is a relatively recent development for the delivery of cannabinoids the proliferation of vast numbers...

Bedrocan

By Harry Resin Generally when you think of Amsterdam, you think of the coffee shops, but that’s not all that’s...

Not All Waterpipes and Rigs Are Created Equal

At the intersection of tek & art you will find Red Eye Tek - purveyor of fine glass bongs, rigs...

THE LEGALITY OF MARIJUANA (CANNABIS) AND CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

because of the stunning growth of the cannabis industry, many people would love to learn more about the legality of...

A Buyer’s Guide to the Best CBD Vape Juice

Today, there are dozens of CBD juices that one can buy. This can be confusing if you are a newbie...

The Sale Of Cardarine/GW501516 As A SARM – Are There Benefits For Sports

The claim is Cardarine or GW50151 is one among a class of supplements that many refer to as 'exercise in...

How To Successfully Detox From Marijuana

Whether you have a drug test to pass, or you simply want to cleanse your body from marijuana, you definitely...