By now, you may have already heard of all the good things that cannabidiol or CBD from the cannabis plant can offer. Ever since it has gained widespread acceptance, many have become more drawn to using this natural alternative. It gives people a break from all the synthetic medications that they are used to taking. Thanks to modern technology, CBD as you know it today is safer than before. The reason for this stems primarily from the processes that CBD goes through for its effects to be maximized. Of the chemical processes, the most important one is decarboxylation. So what exactly is decarboxylation? Read on below as this article presents you with everything that you need to know about decarboxylation.
What Is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is also referred to as decarbing. It’s a heating process that’s carried out on the marijuana or hemp plant to activate the cannabis. This is a critical process to go through, so that you can get to enjoy the benefits of cannabis as best as possible.
In decarboxylation, the carboxylic acid that’s attached to the compound is removed. It is important to remove this, as the compounds are all in their active forms.
In simpler terms, the decarboxylation process converts THCA, containing acid, to THC. Yes, THC can get you high but a later process further refines the THC, such that it no longer remains addictive.
What Is The Importance Of Decarboxylation?
If the intent is to consume marijuana in the form of edibles or tinctures, then going through the decarboxylation process is non-negotiable. This process is extremely necessary to activate several of the marijuana’s plant cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. Without this activation process, you’ll hardly get to enjoy the benefits that the cannabis plant is capable of presenting you with.
Here are some of the reasons why decarboxylation is very important:
- It converts cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) to CBD as you know it and which can be found in dispensaries
- Fresh and unheated marijuana plants present minimal benefits before they are heated up
- The decarboxylation process is one of the very first steps that enable a successful interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid receptors of the body
How Is The Decarboxylation Process Done?
There are many ways in which the decarboxylation process is performed. But the most basic is through these steps:
1. For this recipe/process example, you will need at least 7 to 14 grams of cannabis.
2. You will also need an oven, a grinder, parchment paper, and a baking tray.
3. First, start by grinding the cannabis into smaller particles, but not as well-refined as powder. If you don’t have a grinder, break up the cannabis into the smallest possible pieces.
4. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. The right decarboxylation temperature is critical to achieve correctly, as going over 300 degrees F is going to be too high. That might hamper the preservation of the desirable qualities and compounds that you would necessarily want in your marijuana plant.
5. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Spread out the cannabis in a thin layer on the baking sheet.
7. Bake for at least twenty to thirty minutes.
8. Store in an airtight container, preferably glass, in a cool, dry, and dark place.
After this decarboxylation process, the resulting cannabis is ready to eat directly. You may also now add it as an ingredient to other recipes. However, if you don’t intend to use the CBD or marijuana plant as edibles, you can go for other means of decarboxylation. For instance, through smoking, dabbing, or vaporizing marijuana, you can instantly decarboxylate the cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. This immediately makes the CBD compound active in the smoke or vape because of the heat.
What Causes Decarboxylation?
There are two instances when decarboxylation can happen:
- The marijuana plant is directly exposed to heat, and
- There is partial decarboxylation when the marijuana plant naturally dies and ages during the curing process.
What Are The Advantages Of Decarboxylation?
Surely, there are advantages to having to go through decarboxylation and these advantages include:
- It releases the activated THC and CBD into the marijuana plant, for better consumption of all the positive benefits that it promises.
- It reduces the risk of botulism, which means that the botulism bacteria can’t thrive and grow in the cannabis butter and oil, which you use for your edibles.
- It transforms the marijuana plant from nutritional to medicinal through the decarboxylation process. This means that you don’t only enjoy its nutrients as you would when taking marijuana in its raw form, but you also get to enjoy its medicinal and healing properties.
- It increases the bioavailability of CBD in the body. This means that once ingested, it now gets absorbed faster and more easily in bodily systems.
What Are The Benefits To Be Gained From Decarboxylation?
The decarboxylation process is a necessary one to go through, so that you can derive the maximum benefits of cannabis. This doesn’t only refer to the nutritional value, but also its medicinal properties. This means that it gives you healing properties that offer a great substitute to dependency on synthetic medicine.
That said, here are some of the benefits that you can gain from decarboxylation:
- Relief from pain and inflammation. This is one of the most common benefits of decarboxylated CBD products. Instead of having to rely on over-the-counter pain relief medicine, CBD oil offers an excellent alternative. The decarboxylated CBD can now interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the body. This interaction is responsible for the anti-inflammatory result of decarboxylated CBD.
- Treat and control epileptic seizures. This is one of the most successful breakthroughs of CBD. Patients that are tired of being long dependent on medicines for epilepsy now have another recourse through decarboxylated CBD.
- Anxiety and depression. Undeniably, CBD also enables you to relax better. This can help ease out stress, which in turn also helps manage a person’s anxiety and depression. This has to do with CBD’s interaction with the hormones in the body that are responsible for controlling mood, stress, and happiness.
When you consume a fresh bag of marijuana, you’re naturally going to get high. However, when you consume cannabidiol, you don’t. The main difference between the two has to do with decarboxylation. From all that you have learned above, it’s easy to see now that it’s through decarboxylation that you get the most out of your CBD. You would not have been able to experience the full effects and benefits of marijuana, if not for decarboxylation.