Actually, people won’t get high by eating raw cannabis. The reason is that raw cannabis is rich with acidic cannabinoids with almost no trace of the psychoactive cannabinoids. Though possessing other useful properties, acidic cannabinoids are non-psychoactive. Their active state can be converted into by decarboxylation process.
What is Decarboxylation?
The decarboxylation is a kind of chemical reaction. It can remove a carboxyl to produce carbon dioxide. In cannabis, the decarboxylation refers to the production of simple cannabinoids (THC and CBN) by heating natural cannabinoid carboxylic acid (THCA and CBNA) and reaction with CO2. It is to remove the carboxyl group from the CBDA and THCA molecules. The carboxyl group is an acidic group, which makes it a little acidic with the acidic group.
THC VS. THCA
THC and THCA are two different components, greatly different in both the chemical structure and the way they interact with the human body. THC is psychoactive and can get one high, while THCA isn’t psychoactive. So it is generally recognized that THCA is the precursor to psychoactive THC effects. Because there is a single carboxyl group existing in THCA, which makes THCA an acid. It is this carboxyl group that prevents THCA from fitting into human body’s cannabinoid receptors, which makes it non-psychoactive. So removing this carboxyl group, THCA can be converted into psychoactive THC, which is known as decarboxylation.
Why is Decarboxylation Important?
Although the acidic cannabinoids found in raw cannabis possesses a great number of medical or dietary benefits, psychoactive cannabinoids are even more useful in pharmaceutical field. As we mentioned above, the decarboxylation plays an essential role in obtaining the psychoactive THC compound. So decarboxylation is primarily important for people to obtain some psychoactive cannabinoids. It is regarded as one of the most important processes for making consumable goods, such as edibles and tinctures, which can activate the plant’s most essential cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.
How to Decarboxylate Cannabis?
It requires a special equipment for decarboxylating cannabis, such as rotary evaporators and decarboxylation reactors. The rotary evaporator can carry out the decarboxylation process directly after recycling ethanol. The decarboxylation reactors can be used to decarboxylate cannabis as well by being equipped with a chiller, a high and low temperature circulating device and a vacuum pump.