Excellent Heat for Vaping? | Decarboxylation of Cannabinoids


  • Phyto-cannabinoids [produced or derived from the plant, Cannabis. Sativa.]
  • Endo-cannabinoids [produced in the human body]
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids [produced in a lab with a chemical structure that approximates the endocannabinoids we produce]

The scope of this post will only talk about the optimal temperature for “vaping” as it pertains to phyto-cannabinoids.

Phyto-cannabinoids: These extracts are non-psychoactive till adequate heat is applied to bring about a reaction recognized as decarboxylation.

The following are carboxylic, acid-containing, precursors to what we collectively refer to as cannabinoids. These acid precursors are the compounds made by the plant C. Sativa.

  • (Δ9 – THCA) Δ9 Tetrahydrocannabinoic Acid
  • (CBDA) Cannabidiolic Acid
  • (CBGA) Cannabigerolic Acid
  • (CBCA) Cannabichromenic Acid

From these 4 precursors, eight groups of cannabinoids can be made by way of decarboxylation.

  • (Δ9 – THC) Tetrahydrocannabinol
  • (CBD) Cannabidiol
  • (CBC) Cannabichromene
  • (CBG) Cannabigerol
  • (CBN) Cannabinol
  • (CBL) Cannabicyclol
  • (CBE) Cannabielsoin
  • (CBT) Cannabitriol

Of the 86 cannabinoids identified, the majority of them can be categorized as structural analogs of 1 of the eight compounds listed above. In other words, the majority of cannabinoids that have been identified approximate the molecular structure of 1 of the eight compounds listed above.

The production of the eight cannabinoid groups and their analogs is accomplished by way of a chemical reaction recognized as decarboxylation. In the context of the carboxyl acid-containing precursors located in C. Sativa, decarboxylation requires the removal of a carbon atom from the carbon chain in the molecular structure of the acid.

What is Decarboxylation?

What this indicates is that the acid loses a carbon atom by way of a procedure referred to as oxidation. When cannabis is heated, or burned, the atoms comprising the acid grow to be agitated and start to vibrate and bump into other atoms. In the context of smoking, or vaping, the atoms comprising the plant material or e-liquid start to bump into the ambient oxygen molecules and bind with them.

The carboxyl group located on the acid-containing precursors of C. Sativa bind with the ambient oxygen when heat is applied, specifically at temperatures above 105 degrees Celsius. The byproduct of this is the formation of carbon dioxide (CO2).

What is left is a neutral cannabinoid that is accepted freely by the endocannabinoid receptors located on the surface of the cells in our physique immediately after we inhale the vapor or smoke.

With out undergoing a procedure of decarboxylation, the cannabinoic acids can not be converted to cannabinoids that our physique and cells can procedure. In other words, decarboxylation by way of oxidation converts the cannabinoic acids into compounds that are bioavailable to our cells.

It just so takes place that heating, or burning, are the most preferred techniques to decarb cannabinoic acids, but the truth is that oxidation can be accomplished devoid of the presence of oxygen. In chemistry, the term oxidation has a extra extensive definition, which is the loss or acquire of an electron.

Oxidative enhance, or lower, depends on the electronegativity of a molecule or atom. In a quite common sense, acids have a tendency to be extra positively charged than ambient oxygen. This indicates that from the outset, oxygen is primed to acquire electrons and compounds like the cannabinoic acids are primed to shed electrons.

The protons in an oxygen atom are pulling electrons to the nucleus. Given that the cannabinoic acids are positively charged, and carry an excess quantity of electrons, their electrons are susceptible to becoming pulled by the protons located in the oxygen atom. The electrons that are most susceptible to binding with oxygen from the cannabinoic acids belong to the carbon atoms in its molecular structure.

In other words, the cannabinoic acids, by virtue of their composition, are prepared to decarb. When we introduce burning, or heating, we are catalyzing the oxidation of the cannabinoic acids. Nevertheless, heating, or burning, is only 1 catalyst for decarboxylation. Chemists can accomplish the exact same reaction by way of other indicates in a lab.

What does all of this have to do with “vaping”?

The problem is that the temperature at which carboxylic acids decarboxylate at an accelerated price is 105 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, it is not clear irrespective of whether or not the temperature needed for decarboxylation is adequate for “vaping”. A discussion about optimal temperature for “vaping” would call for an assessment of the person boiling points of each and every of the constituents located in an e-liquid, dry herb, and extracts.

Phyto-Cannabinoid Boiling Points

  • Δ9 – THC: 157°C
  • CBD: 160-180°C
  • CBC: 220°C
  • CBG: 52 MP
  • CBN: 185°C
  • CBL: N/A
  • CBE: N/A
  • CBT: N/A
  • Δ8 – THC: 175-180°C
  • THCV: &lt220°C

Terpenoid Boiling Points

  • b-myrcene: 166-168°C
  • b-caryophyllene: 119°C
  • d-limonene: 177°C
  • linalool: 198°C
  • pulegone: 224°C
  • 1, eight-cineole: 176°C
  • a-pinene: 156°C
  • a-terpineol: 217-218°C
  • Terpineol-four-ol: 209°C
  • p-cymene: 177°C
  • borneol: 210°C
  • Δ-three-carene: 168°C

Flavonoid and Phytosterol Boiling Points

  • apigenin: 178°C
  • quercetin: 250°C
  • cannaflavin: 182°C
  • b-sitosterol: 134°C

Added Constituents

  • Propylene Glycol: 188.2°C (boiling)
  • Pure Glycerin/Glycerol: 290°C (boiling)
  • Flavours: TBD

As you can see, the points at which each and every of these constituents sublimate differ considerably from each and every other, and all of them sublimate at a temperature greater than what is needed to catalyze decarboxylation.

We have to have to establish the optimal temperature, or temperature variety, for “vaping” and give the justification for it.

In order to make that determination, there are a quantity of inquiries that have to have to be answered, and consensus accomplished. They are as follows:

  • Is 105°C the temperature at which cannabinoic acids decarboxylate at an accelerated price? If not, what is the appropriate temperature?
  • What are the thermodynamic properties of e-liquids, dry herb, and extracts, how do they heat up?
  • What is the numerical distinction in temperature involving vaporization and combustion for e-liquids, dry herb, and extracts?
  • What constituents of the e-liquid, dry herb, or extract generate visible vapour, is the presence of a visible vapour required for “vaping” to perform?
  • Why do some “vape pens” generate extra vapour than other folks, is it mainly because they are heating the e-liquid, dry herb, or extracts to a greater temperature?
  • Is it required to standardize, or regulate, how highly effective a device can be, or to what temperature (max/min) an e-liquid, dry herb, or extract can be heated?
  • Are there wellness dangers related with “vaping” at a greater vs. reduce temperature?
  • What are the implications on the e-liquid, dry herb, or extract (yield of cannabinoids) at greater vs. reduce temperatures?

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