Decarboxylation plays an important role in the process of activating the compounds within the cannabis. Only in this way can cannabis maximizes its medical and recreational properties. The following are something that you need to know about decarboxylation.
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.
What Causes Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation mainly depends on two factors, which are temperature and time.
The higher the temperature, the rapider the decarboxylation speed. But when temperature is too high, the cannabinoids can have some side reactions to produce oxidized by-product. For example, THC is converted into CBN and other conditions. When the by-product is generated, it will also accelerate the occurrence of side reactions, making the cannabinoids more quickly converted into by-products. In conclusion, the decarboxylation should minimize the conversion of by-products, so excessive temperature should not be used.
The lower the temperature, the longer the decarboxylation takes. But the longer the time, the more complicated the components. The more CBD and THC are converted into by-products, and the speed is faster. So the time of decarboxylation depends on the temperature and the condition of cannabinoid conversion.
What Temperature does Decarboxylation Occur?
The study shows that the optimal temperature for decarboxylation is from 80℃ to 110℃ and the optimal time is from 40min to 60min. Generally, more people prefer to decarboxylate the cannabis at lower temperature for a longer time in order to preserve terpenes. Because the higher temperature may evaporate some volatile compounds, such as mono and sesquiterpenes.
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.