The smokable flower naturally decarbs through the heat of the flame. But for consumables, salves, and tinctures, decarboxylation is important to the psychoactive effects when ingested. Understanding this process and acquiring the necessary equipment is crucial to your cannabis lab and its consumers.
What Is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is a critical part of the cannabis process. Decarbing refers to the heating of hemp or cannabis in order to activate the cannabinoids in buds or leaves. The act of decarbing is the sole contributor to what makes a consumer experience the plant’s active benefits.
Upon entering the heating process, the molecular structure of the acids in the cannabinoids change. When decarboxylation begins, the acids will retain one hydrogen atom and lose one carbon dioxide carboxyl group (-COOH).
The carboxyl group lost contains 2 oxygen atoms and 1 carbon atom out of the 22 carbon, 30 hydrogen, and 4 oxygen. After losing this carboxyl group, the molecules for THCA decrease roughly 12 percent and convert to THC active compounds.
Why Is Decarboxylation Important?
Decarboxylation is important for converting non-psychoactive THCA to psychoactive THC. In short, the therapeutic high of cannabis is not achievable without a decarb cannabis machine.
Though not all cannabis requires the process of decarbing, it’s an essential step in the consumption process. The majority of what is commercially consumed contains the two main cannabinoids: THC and CBD.
The Functions of Trichomes
The trichomes inside the cannabis plant are decarboxylated into CBD and THC and then interact with endocannabinoid receptors inside the body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a vital role in reducing pain, anxiety, and inflammation. And while the information is still growing for cannabinoids acting as neurotransmitters in the body, we know cannabinoid receptors contribute to behaviors like sleep, learning, memory, and motor control.
It’s important to note there are many therapeutic benefits to non-psychoactive acids THCA and CBDA. So, if you’re in charge of your operation’s overall output, get in touch with Beaker & Wrench, and we can go over the best decarb options for your cannabis lab. Our Decarboxylation Reactor can decarb 40 liters in 3-4 hours!