If you’ve ever made edibles, then you’re familiar with decarboxylation.  But, this process isn’t just reserved for edibles.  Smoking and vaping weed also involve decarboxylation.  Decarbing is the key to one of the cannabinoids in our store: THCA.  Read on to learn more about decarboxylation, its relationship to THCA, and what happens when you light up one of our THCA blunts or prerolls.

In the meantime, if you want to experience the wonders of decarboxylation for yourself, check out our THCA blunts and prerolls.  Our products are lab tested to ensure quality you can count on.

What is THCA?

I know, I know, you thought we were going to talk about decarboxylation.  But in order to fully understand how that works, THCA is a pretty good place to start.  THCA is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp.  It’s actually the acidic form of THC.  In its raw, original form, THCA is not psychoactive.  This is due to its molecular structure.  THCA contains an extra carboxyl ring.  This ring renders its shape incompatible with the CB1 receptors in our bodies endocannabinoid system.  Since THCA is unable to bind with our CB1 receptors, it does not produce a high.  To learn more about the CB1 receptors, check this out.

So, if THCA doesn’t get us stoned, why are we pushing it so much?  This is where decarboxylation comes in.  When you add heat (from a lighter, vape, or oven), the extra carboxyl ring in THCA is eliminated, and the THCA transforms into THC.  Without the ring, THC is the perfect shape for our CB1 receptors, and a high is produced.  Decarboxylation is the process of using heat to remove a carboxyl group from a molecule.

Decarboxylation specifics

Decarbing is essential to activate the cannabinoids that are capable of interacting with our endocannabinoid system.  THCA becomes THC, and similarly, CBDA becomes CBD.  While there may be some therapeutic benefit to consuming THCA in its raw form, if you’re looking to experience cannabis in the traditional way, then decarbing is an absolute must.  

The entire reason that we decarb flower in the oven before using it to make butter or oil is to convert the THCA into THC so the edibles actually hit.  Since the flower isn’t going to be exposed to a lighter, the heat has to come from the oven.

When you smoke one of our THCA blunts or prerolls, the heat from the flame produced by the lighter gets to work on decarbing the THCA.  By the time the smoke hits your lungs, you are inhaling THC rather than the non-psychoactive THCA.

Oven decarbing tips

If you’re making edibles, your decarboxylation is going to take place in the oven.  Your flower is going to have specific needs depending on its moisture content and other factors.  Instructions vary from site to site, so look into what works best with the product that you have.  Advised oven temperature ranges from 200-240ºF, while bake time can vary between 20 and 40 minutes.  Honestly, it’s not a bad idea to invest in an oven thermometer to ensure you’re baking at the right temperature.  

You’re going to want to grind up your flower before decarbing, but not into super tiny pieces.  Ideally, a coarser grind that leaves your buds about pea-sized is best for an even decarb.  Cover your sheet pan with parchment paper, and spread the bud evenly over the surface.  Always be sure to mix the flower around when you’re halfway through.  By the time your flower is decarbed, it should be more brown than green.  However, beware of over-decarbing; too long in the oven, and the flower will lose its potency.

The bottom line

Decarboxylation is essential to enjoying psychoactive hemp or cannabis.  In order to activate THC and other cannabinoids like CBD, it’s necessary to add heat.  The decarbing process eliminates the carboxyl ring present on THCA that prevents it from attaching to our CB1 receptors, and converts it to THC.  The easiest way to decarb is by smoking one of our THCA blunts or prerolls.  The lighter does all the work, and you’ll be inhaling THC by the time the smoke hits your lungs.  If you’re making edibles, however, you’ll need to decarb in the oven before using the flower to make oil or butter.  However you decarb, you’re orchestrating a chemical process that will get you high, and that’s pretty cool if I do say so myself.