Getting a better understanding of cannabis interaction is crucial to attain the desired experience as well as appreciate it. It is commonly known that cannabis buds can be picked fresh and grounded to enjoy smoking or preparing edibles. However, do you know why cannabis buds cannot be eaten raw?
Raw cannabis flowers hold trichomes, which have a carboxyl ring or COOH connected to their chain. For example, THCA or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is created in the trichomes head, so when the cannabis flowers get harvested it is present there. THCA has lots of beneficial properties like neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory. However, it is non-intoxicating but when THCA gets decarboxylated it converts into THC, which is responsible to generate a high. So let’s understand what is decarboxylation?
Heat and time are two main decarboxylation catalysts. After harvesting, cannabis plant material undergoes during and curing process. Overtime partial-decarboxylation occurs, so cannabis buds reveal small THC and THCA levels in a test. Vaping and smoking expose the cannabinoids to intensely high temperatures, so they get absorbed instantly within the body via inhalation.
Decarboxylated cannabinoids in vape or smoke form get easily absorbed in your lungs, whereas edibles need these cannabinoids present, which body absorbs through digestion when consumed. Heating cannabinoids at low temperature allows cannabinoid decarboxylation overtime. Simultaneously, cannabinoids integrity also gets preserved, so that its extract can be infused into edibles.
Decarboxylation occurs at what temperature
When the temperature is set at 220°F, the THCA starts to decarboxylate after being exposed for 30 to 45 minutes. Total decarboxylation may need more time. Several users opt to decarboxylate their weeds at low temperatures for a long time to preserve the terpenes.
The majority of sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes are volatile. They evaporate when exposed to high temperatures leaving behind unwanted aromas and flavors. Using a temperature of more than 300°F can compromise the integrity of terpenes and cannabinoids. Therefore 200°F is the temperature recommended.
Time and heat can cause other cannabinoid forms to degrade. For example, Cannabinol or CBN forms through oxidization and degradation of THC. This process happens alongside decarboxylation. Cannabinol is sedative and hardly causes psychoactive experience directly.
Decarboxylate cannabis at home
Set oven to 220°F and spread grinned cannabis on a parchment paper thinly. Place this on a baking tray and bake the cannabis for 30 to 45 minutes. If you don’t have an over, use a cooker but you will need to add solvents like cooking oils. Infusions get created, which can be added to cooking recipes or create topical. As they have decarboxylated cannabinoids, their effects will be great in any way you choose to use them!