Seasonal Cannabis Cooking: A Cannabis-Infused Pumpkin Pie for Fall

Eating seasonal food has become such a popular trend in recent years that today, almost any chef will tell you: By eating organic local food with the seasons, you are supporting local farmers who choose to grow sustainably. Eating with the seasons also means saving money on produce that is at its supply peak and nourishing your body with fresh food.

Unfortunately, the trend of seasonal cooking has not yet reached into cannabis cuisine. However, in states that allow for homegrown marijuana or in places that have a thriving local cultivation scene, it is easy and environmentally beneficial to integrate cannabis into cooking — both in its various stages of growth and by pairing it with other ingredients — based upon the season.

Ultimately, the best cannabis growing and cooking model for the environment is to grow organic cannabis outdoors with your own symbiotic vegetables and herbs, supporting local regenerative farmers when purchasing your other ingredients and then making the dankest food you can matching what’s available during that time of year.

To fully adopt a seasonal cannabis model, you should start by either sowing seeds or planting clones outside after the last frost. During the summer’s vegetative state, you can pluck a few leaves during pruning and make a delicious, nutrient-dense juice with other fruits and vegetables. As the plant hits the flowering cycle in the early fall, you can prune off the smaller popcorn buds and make live resin or rosin from them, which you could then infuse into different cooking fats or spirits. And of course, after harvest, dried cannabis flowers can be infused into other seasonal ingredients to make edibles that are completely aligned with the season.

Cooking seasonal cannabis dishes and using the plant throughout the different growth stages for food is beneficial for the environment for many reasons. By maximizing the use of parts of the plant that otherwise would be thrown away, such as the leaves, using cannabis as a seasonal ingredient reduces waste and also maximizes the utility of the resources used to grow the plant.

In honor of the harvest season, I bless you with this exceptionally traditional and delicious seasonal pumpkin pie recipe. Happy harvest!

Hashplant Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Ingredients for filling:

  • 2 cups organic puréed sugar pumpkin
  • 1 can organic sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 organic whole eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (half a stick) organic cannabutter, infused with Hashplant
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg)
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled sweet butter
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions:

Step 1: For this recipe, you need to start the dough the night before or one hour before cooking time for the crust to set properly. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. With a knife, cut the stick of butter into 8 slices and drop into the bowl.

Step 2: Mix by hand until the butter starts to meld with the dry mix. Add in 4 tablespoons of ice water and continue to combine until the mixture is fully incorporated. Press lightly into a semi-flat circle about 6 inches wide and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for 1 hour prior to cooking time.

Step 3: When you are ready to prepare your pie dough, roll out onto a floured surface and transfer to a 9-inch pie tin. Flatten the dough into the tin and pinch the edges to form a crust on the top. Take a fork and pierce little holes throughout the bottom and sides of the crust. This prevents the crust from bubbling out during the baking process.

Step 4: Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit. In a separate bowl, mix the puréed pumpkin, condensed milk, eggs, Hashplant cannabutter, maple extract, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice until fully combined.

Step 5: Pour your pumpkin mixture into your pie crust and lightly tap the pan against a counter to release any air bubbles. Put into the oven and bake for 55 minutes. Pull from oven and let the pie set at room temperature. Decorate with fresh, organic whipped cream for the most comforting fall dessert. Enjoy!

Dosage:

If a gram of Hashplant flower tests at 19 percent THC, then butter infused with the gram would include 190 mg of THC. Therefore, substitute the number of your cannabis’s THC percentage and the amount of flower you have and do the math to figure out your dosing. If you want a smaller dose, cut the flower down to a smaller portion. For a larger dose, add in more.

Strain Suggestions:

When preparing this recipe for classic pumpkin pie, I would recommend pairing strains that possess earthy, hashy, woodsy or sandalwood-like terpenes and flavonoids. The following strains would be ideal: Hashplant, Alaskan Ice, Purple Haze, S.A.G.E, Herijuana or Burmese Kush. If you do not have access to these strains, then use your nose and taste buds to find other strains that have similar smell and flavor profiles.

TELL US, have cooked seasonal cannabis-infused food?

The post Seasonal Cannabis Cooking: A Cannabis-Infused Pumpkin Pie for Fall appeared first on Cannabis Now.

How to Handle Edibles In Front the Family This Thanksgiving

It’s that time of the year when everyone is coming together to celebrate everything they are grateful for with the people they love and a lot of food. Whether you’re going to be chilling at home with your loved ones, heading to an extended family member’s house for a big feast or putting together a special Friendsgiving, you definitely want to be able to enjoy the day your way without making anyone else feel uncomfortable.

If you plan on partaking in edibles to enhance your Thanksgiving experience, there are a few things to consider before you commit to your plan. Do you want to arrive before or after the edibles kick in? Should you eat enough of your edible to make it last a while or consume it in a few smaller doses to keep you nice and evenly lit throughout the celebration? The details are really up to you, although there are some basics to follow that will ensure that you not only make it through the meal but through the entire day with a little grace.

Don’t Overdo It

Although you might have a usual amount of THC that hits the spot when you’re eating edibles, you should plan to have a little less than normal on days where you might need to have more of your wits about you. Even if you have a long car ride ahead of you or know that you will be sitting around for a few hours until the food is finished, don’t go overboard or you most likely end up sleeping through the festivities.

Give Yourself a Minute

Depending on when you eat your edibles, it may take a little longer than usual for you to feel the effects of them — particularly if you choose to eat them during (like with these recipes) or after you get nice and full. If that happens, then you will have a little more patient and wait to feel the way you’re typically used to. Just resist the urge to have more of your edible and you will be fine.

One Thing At a Time

If you have decided you want to enjoy edibles for the day, then just stick with edibles until you’re home or the party has ended. It may be tempting to go take a puff or dab with your favorite cousin or sneak your vape with you, but for your own sake, just take it easy. The same goes for wine and spirits, so make sure you have made your choice so that you aren’t regretting overindulging later.

Have a Back-up Plan

Getting higher than planned after eating an edible can happen to the best of us. If that happens, there are a couple things you can do to make sure you are able to keep your cool and come back down to earth. First things first, have some CBD help calm things down. If things don’t settle, you can follow some of these tips for what to do if you get too high, which include finding an entertaining distraction, going for a stroll or just taking a nap.

Stick With What You Know

Yes, special days do call for special treats, but it’s probably best to stick to an infused snack that you have tried before just to be on the safe side. Even if you are pretty confident about how 10 mg or 50 mg of THC makes you feel on a normal day, there’s no use taking any risks with an unfamiliar brand that may be using an oil or strain you aren’t used to. So, you will have to wait to try that new soda or spicy nut mix until you’re in an environment where you can relax and see how it affects you.

TELL US, have you gotten high around your family before?

The post How to Handle Edibles In Front the Family This Thanksgiving appeared first on Cannabis Now.

7 Cannabis-Infused Recipes for Your Danksgiving Feast

Still finalizing your epic Thanksgiving menu? Don’t stress! This is the holiday that the munchies were made for — with an entire day dedicated to eating and good vibes. This year, if you’re looking for a new way to incorporate cannabis into your celebration (perhaps because you are doing a Zoom Thanksgiving and you’ll be preparing your own meal), these recipes will help you put together an entire meal with the fixings.

But be careful! These recipes were all written with a THC dosage that would allow each dish on its own to provide psychotropic effects. So if you want to add cannabis to every dish in your Thanksgiving menu, make sure to lower the dosage for each dish. It also might be smart to pick-and-choose which elements of the meal you prefer to be cannabis-infused and give yourself a few non-medicated dishes that you can consume with reckless abandon. Ultimately, be intelligent about how much THC you can safely ingest — and be sure to inform whoever you might share your delicious food with that they’re eating cannabis!

PHOTO Dianne Rosete

1. Kush Infused Turkey

This simple, decadent take on a Thanksgiving classic harnesses the complex flavors and relaxing effects of Kush to make this year’s Thanksgiving feast too good to forget, but maybe a little difficult to remember.

PHOTO Alexa Scordato

2. Canna-Mashed Spuds & Stoner Stuffing

It only takes a few simple ingredients, along with some cannabutter, to make these smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes that you can have boiling on the stove while you start cutting up the veggies and herbs that will go into the stuffing. This quintessential side dish combo comes together very easily and makes your Thanksgiving dinner complete.

PHOTO Glory Foods

3. Kief-Infused Spicy Gravy

This hearty gravy recipe has multiple uses — from a nice drizzle on your turkey to a generous puddle on your canna-mashed potatoes or stuffing. Skip the sausage (or use soy sausages) to make it friendly for your herbivore friends or switch out the milk and butter for non-dairy alternatives to make a vegan version.

PHOTO Bruce Wolf

4. Cannabis-Infused Salad Dressings

Make one or all three of these infused dressings that you can put on a salad like the double-seeded vinaigrette or use as a dip for chips or veggies with the classic ranch or tahini dressing.

Edibles Pumpkin Cannabis Now
PHOTO Kimberly Vardeman

5. THC-Infused Cream Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Keep it classic with a seasonal pumpkin pie with a little bit of a twist. Although Cream Caramel is highly suggested as the strain used in the recipe, you can substitute any other strain that might match its buttery, sweet flavor or have a mild, honey profile. You can’t really wait for the last minute on this one. It’s best to make the dough for this recipe the night before you plan on serving it. Otherwise, give yourself at least one hour before cooking time, so that the dough can properly set.

PHOTO Justin Leonard

6. Cannabis-Infused Pie Crust & Apple Pie

Thanksgiving is a holiday where one pie usually will not suffice, especially if you have a large crowd at your dinner table. This recipe is made with a sweet strain that really compliments the flavor of the dish. The cannabis-infused crust is what gives this traditional pie a kick, so feel free to substitute your favorite fruit instead of the apple, without compromising the buzz. Look for an energizing sativa strain that tastes bright and has a profile bold enough to stand up against the richness of the fruit filling.

A cutting board holds butter, cheese cloth, and a pile of shake, someone is preparing to make homemade canna-oil and canna-butter.
PHOTO Bruce Wolf

7. Canna-Butter and Canna-Oil

This is a classic recipe that can be used alone and not just in place of regular better as in ingredient in dishes. You can use a small pat of butter to add a buzz to just about anything from mashed potatoes and corn on the cob to cornbread and dinner rolls. This recipe also lays out how to make canna-oil. Whether you choose to use olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil or otherwise, you can choose how you want to use this recipe to add a special touch to your meal. 

The post 7 Cannabis-Infused Recipes for Your Danksgiving Feast appeared first on Cannabis Now.

A History of Eating Cannabis: A Taste Test That Led to Religion

During the Stone Age, humans began exploring their surroundings and figuring out how to survive, forming crude communities along fresh water sources and experimenting with eating the plants and animals they encountered. These humans would have had a hard time ignoring the cannabis plant, its pungent flowers dripping with resin, and ethnobotanists believe it was one of the very first plants they explored. The cavepeople tasted cannabis’s fresh green leaves, bitter flowers and nutty seeds. The thick sap coating the flowers, rich with THC, stuck to their fingers. When they licked it off, they discovered the plant’s ability to intoxicate. They were the first in a long line of hash eaters to come.

Today we understand that it was the cannabinoids in the sticky resin of those plants that got those early humans high by activating special human receptors that enhance the expression of FOXP2, a gene that facilitates speech and language development. For our ancestors, there was only an understanding that this plant could take their minds to new places and open up untapped avenues of thought. It gave them good ideas. Researchers Geoffrey Guy and John McPartland theorized that as cannabis coevolved alongside humans, it was primarily responsible for what historians call “the great leap,” the time when we began making tools, weapons and art, and working together in collectives.

(PHOTO Bruce Wolf)

Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes’s theory is that ingesting those cannabis plants led early humans to invent religion. “Primitive man, trying all sorts of plant materials as food, must have known the ecstatic hallucinatory effects of hemp, an intoxication introducing him to another-worldly plane leading to religious beliefs,” Schultes and Albert Hofmann wrote in “Plants of the Gods” in 1979. “Thus, the plant early was viewed as a special gift of the gods, a sacred medium for communion with the spirit world.” Though it was seemingly discovered by accident, Robert C. Clarke and Mark D. Merlin wrote that the female cannabis flowers’ ability “to exude large amounts of readily apparent and easily collected psychoactive resin” was the plant’s “most evolutionary significant trait.”

Though valued for its nutritious seeds, cannabis’s psychoactive qualities may well have been the magic bond that motivated early humans to begin putting crops in the ground and continue to plant cannabis wherever they went. After observing that early African Pygmies learned to cultivate cannabis because they considered it an important tool for keeping the hunters soothed and amused during the long hours they spent stalking meat and fish, scientist and author Carl Sagan famously suggested it would be “wryly interesting if in human history the cultivation of marijuana led generally to the invention of agriculture, and thereby to civilization.” Sagan went on to observe: “The marijuana-intoxicated Pygmy, poised patiently for an hour with his fishing spear aloft, is earnestly burlesqued by the beer-sodden riflemen, protectively camouflaged in red plaid, who, stumbling through the nearby woods, terrorize American suburbs each Thanksgiving.”

As hunter-gatherers moved from place to place in search of food, they left behind campsites of rich compost where wild cannabis seeds germinated and flourished. Later, a vast, wandering Stone Age religio-complex of tribes seeking new lands and new consciousness brought cannabis, which they used as a spiritual tool, as they traveled farther and wider. Cannabis, Schultes wrote, “developed together with man as a multi-purpose economic plant: the source of a fibre, a narcotic, a medicine, an oil, and an edible fruit.”

As soon as they could figure out how to do so, humans domesticated cannabis and began breeding it to enhance useful traits such as elongated bast fibers, large seeds with high oil content and sometimes, copious narcotic resin. “Under the pressures of selection for these characters,” Schultes wrote, “cannabis began to reveal characters and combinations of characters not found in wild or presumed wild populations, a phenomenon that has occurred in every plant domesticated by man.”

Excerpted from the book “Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis” by Robyn Griggs Lawrence. Used by permission of the publisher Rowman & Littlefield. All rights reserved.

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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Cannabis Users Choose Junk Food Over Healthy Eats To Ease Munchies

The latest $50 buzz word reverberating throughout the cannabis community these days is wellness. Cannabis users are no longer just smoking for the sake of sinking into a head change that makes them giggle non-stop, they are medicating on a plant put here by God or aliens as part of a healthy lifestyle that is free of the dangerous grips of alcohol, fast food and other worldly pollutants.

And those days of catching a fiendish case of the munchies and then diving into all things burritos, pizza or any number of bizarre, mad science kitchen concoctions that the stoned brain can conjure up when that ravenous hunger sets in, well, that has changed too. We’ve since replaced that tasty, high-fat cuisine for fruits and veggies and, we’ve got to tell you, life is good. NO, no it’s not — we’re actually miserable, high and while we would like to believe that wellness is our focus these days, all bets are off the second we get stoned.

The reality is, while the cannabis landscape is changing, some aspects of this broadening monster, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise, are destined to stay the same. We can put on a new uniform and change the way we comb our hair — present ourselves in a way that goes against the grain of those nasty stoner stereotypes — but we cannot run, nor can we hide from the fact that smoking weed really does turn the average user into a junk food junkie.

This point was made recently during a marijuana legalization event in upstate New York. This is where a team of researchers from the University of Buffalo surveyed hundreds of people in an attempt to gauge which way they were most likely to go when the munchies kicked in: Health food or junk food.

To achieve this, they had the attendees (all of them high on marijuana) fill out cards detailing which kinds of foods they were most likely to consume while under the influence of the herb. And as a reward for participating in the survey, the respondents were allowed to select a food item on their way out the door. They could have either an orange or a bag of chips. Want to guess which was most popular?

Researchers found that in spite of all the chatter these days about wellness and healthy munchies, most marijuana users are still more likely to grab a bag of chips as opposed to fruit. Nearly two-thirds of the 275 people surveyed went for the junk food, while 32% opted for the orange. Interestingly, 7% didn’t select a food item at all, which has us wondering what their secret is?

The outcome of the study, which was published in the journal of the International Society for Human Ethology, suggests that, as we enter a time when marijuana legalization is taking hold in more parts of the country, there is an increased need for more nutritional education in order to prevent the millions of cannabis users in the United States from becoming overweight.

“Given the dramatic increase in the accessibility of cannabis, there will be many more people experiencing the munchies,” said lead study author Jessica Kruger. “Public health has the responsibility of protecting the public, maximizing benefits and minimizing harm in any area. “We need more research and education on people who choose to use cannabis, moving public health from an abstinence-promotion model to a harm reduction model. This would include managing the dietary impact of cannabis use.”

Okay, okay, we get it — sometimes marijuana users don’t make the best dietary choices once the munchies take over. This is probably the reason the prospect of a CBD-burger from Carl’s Jr. is so appealing to some. But our love affair with diabolical foods doesn’t necessarily mean that all of us are on the path to becoming overweight slobs. In fact, a recent study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology finds that regular marijuana consumers are actually less likely to be obese than their non-using counterparts. While examining some 33,000 patients over the course of three years, researchers say that pot smokers just don’t seem to put on weight like those who abstain.

“We found that users, even those who just started, were more likely to be at a normal, healthier weight and stay at that weight,” Dr. Omayma Alshaarawy, co-author of the study and assistant professor of family medicine at Michigan State University, said in a statement. “Only 15 percent of persistent users were considered obese compared to 20 percent of non-users.”

Although researchers are not sure why cannabis use was linked to a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) there is speculation that weed creates some physical change in cells that helps moderate weight gain. Still, and this is important, researchers argue that marijuana users cannot expect to maintain that girlish figure by just smoking weed and eating whatever the hell they want. Sadly, that’s not going to work out. “People shouldn’t consider it as a way to maintain or even lose weight,” Alshaarawy said.

All in all, marijuana users are going to eat whatever they want to satisfy the munchies. Kruger says that the respondents who listed healthy foods on the survey did, in fact, opt for the orange, while those who listed junk food as their go-to grabbed the chips. There were no reports of people listing healthy food items, and then hypocritically gravitating toward deep fried, processed crap. So, it’s not that the wellness trend is a scam —  it isn’t. Considering all of the horrid diseases (cancer and diabetes) that have been linked to the consumption of certain foods, we would like to believe that most people are striking a balance in their nutritional needs to keep themselves off the slab before it is time. But then again, there is just something about those late night Taco Bell runs that we’re not willing to give up. Life is too short not to appreciate the simple things, especially when it is just so much fun to say “Beefy Fritos” when you’re high.

The post Cannabis Users Choose Junk Food Over Healthy Eats To Ease Munchies appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Cannabis Users Choose Junk Food Over Healthy Eats To Ease Munchies

The latest $50 buzz word reverberating throughout the cannabis community these days is wellness. Cannabis users are no longer just smoking for the sake of sinking into a head change that makes them giggle non-stop, they are medicating on a plant put here by God or aliens as part of a healthy lifestyle that is free of the dangerous grips of alcohol, fast food and other worldly pollutants.

And those days of catching a fiendish case of the munchies and then diving into all things burritos, pizza or any number of bizarre, mad science kitchen concoctions that the stoned brain can conjure up when that ravenous hunger sets in, well, that has changed too. We’ve since replaced that tasty, high-fat cuisine for fruits and veggies and, we’ve got to tell you, life is good. NO, no it’s not — we’re actually miserable, high and while we would like to believe that wellness is our focus these days, all bets are off the second we get stoned.

The reality is, while the cannabis landscape is changing, some aspects of this broadening monster, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise, are destined to stay the same. We can put on a new uniform and change the way we comb our hair — present ourselves in a way that goes against the grain of those nasty stoner stereotypes — but we cannot run, nor can we hide from the fact that smoking weed really does turn the average user into a junk food junkie.

This point was made recently during a marijuana legalization event in upstate New York. This is where a team of researchers from the University of Buffalo surveyed hundreds of people in an attempt to gauge which way they were most likely to go when the munchies kicked in: Health food or junk food.

To achieve this, they had the attendees (all of them high on marijuana) fill out cards detailing which kinds of foods they were most likely to consume while under the influence of the herb. And as a reward for participating in the survey, the respondents were allowed to select a food item on their way out the door. They could have either an orange or a bag of chips. Want to guess which was most popular?

Researchers found that in spite of all the chatter these days about wellness and healthy munchies, most marijuana users are still more likely to grab a bag of chips as opposed to fruit. Nearly two-thirds of the 275 people surveyed went for the junk food, while 32% opted for the orange. Interestingly, 7% didn’t select a food item at all, which has us wondering what their secret is?

The outcome of the study, which was published in the journal of the International Society for Human Ethology, suggests that, as we enter a time when marijuana legalization is taking hold in more parts of the country, there is an increased need for more nutritional education in order to prevent the millions of cannabis users in the United States from becoming overweight.

“Given the dramatic increase in the accessibility of cannabis, there will be many more people experiencing the munchies,” said lead study author Jessica Kruger. “Public health has the responsibility of protecting the public, maximizing benefits and minimizing harm in any area. “We need more research and education on people who choose to use cannabis, moving public health from an abstinence-promotion model to a harm reduction model. This would include managing the dietary impact of cannabis use.”

Okay, okay, we get it — sometimes marijuana users don’t make the best dietary choices once the munchies take over. This is probably the reason the prospect of a CBD-burger from Carl’s Jr. is so appealing to some. But our love affair with diabolical foods doesn’t necessarily mean that all of us are on the path to becoming overweight slobs. In fact, a recent study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology finds that regular marijuana consumers are actually less likely to be obese than their non-using counterparts. While examining some 33,000 patients over the course of three years, researchers say that pot smokers just don’t seem to put on weight like those who abstain.

“We found that users, even those who just started, were more likely to be at a normal, healthier weight and stay at that weight,” Dr. Omayma Alshaarawy, co-author of the study and assistant professor of family medicine at Michigan State University, said in a statement. “Only 15 percent of persistent users were considered obese compared to 20 percent of non-users.”

Although researchers are not sure why cannabis use was linked to a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) there is speculation that weed creates some physical change in cells that helps moderate weight gain. Still, and this is important, researchers argue that marijuana users cannot expect to maintain that girlish figure by just smoking weed and eating whatever the hell they want. Sadly, that’s not going to work out. “People shouldn’t consider it as a way to maintain or even lose weight,” Alshaarawy said.

All in all, marijuana users are going to eat whatever they want to satisfy the munchies. Kruger says that the respondents who listed healthy foods on the survey did, in fact, opt for the orange, while those who listed junk food as their go-to grabbed the chips. There were no reports of people listing healthy food items, and then hypocritically gravitating toward deep fried, processed crap. So, it’s not that the wellness trend is a scam —  it isn’t. Considering all of the horrid diseases (cancer and diabetes) that have been linked to the consumption of certain foods, we would like to believe that most people are striking a balance in their nutritional needs to keep themselves off the slab before it is time. But then again, there is just something about those late night Taco Bell runs that we’re not willing to give up. Life is too short not to appreciate the simple things, especially when it is just so much fun to say “Beefy Fritos” when you’re high.

The post Cannabis Users Choose Junk Food Over Healthy Eats To Ease Munchies appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Decarboxylation: How Cannabis Becomes Psychoactive

Decarboxylation, which is an essential action in enjoying cannabis flowers and edibles, is a process in which carbon dioxide (CO2) leaves a stable molecule and floats off as a gas. Atoms in a molecule can be thought of like billiard balls, with each one having a size, weight, and exact position. As these atoms float away, the substance left behind will become lighter, like a dry towel being lighter than that same towel soaking wet. The idea is that as the CO2 leaves, the weight left behind is reduced.

Decarboxylation typically occurs by heating, but can also be caused by exposure to certain frequencies of light, and certain substances like molecular oxygen in the air.

If the weight of the molecule before and after its decarboxylation is known, then a percent of mass lost in decarboxylation can be calculated. If the CO2 contributes 10 percent of the weight of a molecule, than 90 percent of the mass remains after decarboxylation. This would mean that continuously heating 100 grams of this substance would eventually yield 90 grams of the decarboxylated substance, as the remaining 10 grams represent the weight of CO2 which gassed off.

How Does Decarboxylation Affect Cannabinoids?

Decarboxylation of cannabinoids and cannabis products is very crucial to understanding the power of cannabis as medicine. The cannabis plant only has the ability to produce cannabinoid acids, like THCA, and THC is only created by decarboxylation outside the plant. This decarboxylation is usually done by fire when smoking, or by baking in edibles. Most cannabinoids lose approximately 87.7 percent of their mass upon decarboxylation. This means that if you had 100 grams of crystalline isolate of a cannabinoid acid, such as THCA, after decarboxylation you would have 87.7 grams left of THC.

This is important for people decarboxylating their cannabinoids themselves, such as producers of cannabis-infused edible products and hash oil producer that wish to sell decarboxylated oil. This is also important for advertisers of raw cannabis products such as cured cannabis flower, who must either report the value of the cannabinoid acid directly observed by the testing lab, use the theoretical conversion, or display both.

This labeling issue with raw flower is not as easy as it seems at first glance. Let’s consider a typical example of THC-dominant cannabis. The lab will test the flower and find 26 percent THCA and 3 percent THC. This is because some of the cannabinoid acids produced by the plant are decarboxylated by air and sun before harvesting and curing. The smaller the amount of THC observed directly by the lab typically indicates that the cultivator has submitted fresh cannabis that has been protected from light and exposure. A very high THC content indicates that the cannabis flower is not as fresh and been more exposed.

Now the dispensary has to either advertise two numbers, 26 percent and 3 percent, or advertise one theoretically calculated number, 25.8 percent, or both. Both allow the patient to access the greatest amount of information and be the best informed, while also reducing liability on the cannabis business involved in label making.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a well-known cannabinoid for being the primary intoxicant and euphoriant of cannabis. THC is also one of the most practical and safe treatments for neuropathic, chronic, and other types of pain. THC is effective in addressing both the immunological and symptom component of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Despite the fact that THCA is not an intoxicant, it is a powerful medicine. THCA is one of the strongest anti-inflammatory agents in cannabis. Smokers receive very little to none of this cannabinoid, due to its decomposition in the smoking process. THCA is an anti-inflammatory agent, and according to one study, a more powerful neuroprotective agent than THC. THCA is a powerful COX-1 and COX-2 antagonist, similar to aspirin and ibuprofen, but with far less toxicity to the liver.

The effects of THCA and THC reflect the diversity of action on the human body a cannabinoid and its precursor acid can have. The other cannabinoids, CBD, CBG, CBC, and THCV all have acid forms which have distinct effects on human health.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to be an effective medicine for people suffering from anxiety. What CBD has also been shown to be effective at fighting is breast cancer cells. Many of these studies find that CBD promotes apoptosis, or cell suicide, in breast cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is CBD’s acid precursor from raw cannabis flower. CBDA has also been shown to fight human breast cancer, but in a different way. Whereas CBD causes apoptosis in breast cancer cells, CBDA has been shown to slow or stop metastasis of breast cancer cells by arresting their motility, or ability to move throughout the body. This evidence would indicate that a breast cancer patient may want to talk to their doctor about dual CBD/CBDA therapy, taking both decarboxylated CBD and raw CBDA together.

Cannabigerol (CBG) has been shown to have some potent anti-inflammatory properties that are particularly applicable in inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). Additionally, CBG has been shown to have some properties not known among many other cannabinoids, such as an ability to interact with human adrenal receptors and serotonin receptors. Currently, more studies need to be done on cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) in isolation from CBG to get an understanding what, if any, difference there are between the cannabinoid and its precursor acid on human health.

It is important to note that the mass loss is not a conversion rate. Mass loss assumes that all of a substance will decarboxylate and calculates how the mass will change. An accurate answer must account for how much of the cannabinoid will decarboxylate. Studies indicate that 30-70 percent of cannabinoids undergo decarboxylation under standard smoking conditions. This is why our calculations are only a theoretical maximum, and are not a result with the same standing as those directly observed in the plant. This is also why it can be very important to label your theoretical calculations as such, and provide all original values provided by lab results, as a means of reducing liability upon your business.

TELL US, have you ever heard of decarboxylation?

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