In short, it’s really quite simple… the answer is through heat and light, a process called decarboxylation. There are many ways to decarboxylate or active your cannabis. If you were making edibles, you would want to put your weed in an oven at around 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-90 minutes depending on the moisture of your product. Surprise! You can’t get high by simply eating some nugs (plus, that doesn’t taste very good either). Smoking a joint or a bowl obviously activates your weed, leaving you high. Though exposure to heat, sunlight will convert THCA to THC. Over time in a room temperate environment THCA will begin to break down as well.

Basically, heat removes a carboxylic acid group of atoms from THCA, converting it into a molecule and altering the THC structure, thus becoming the perfect shape to fit into our endocannabinoid system and the receptors that run throughout our central nervous system, resulting in that classic euphoric experience. Seems like we were designed to smoke marijuana!

Lesser known, THCA in its raw form offers a variety of medicinal benefits as well. THCA is commonly used as a nutritional supplement for its:

    • Anti-inflammatory properties
    • Anti-proliferative properties – THCA could prevent the spread of prostate cancer cells.
  • Neuroprotective properties – THCA has shown the ability to help protect against neurodegenerative diseases.  
  • Antiemetic properties (increasing appetite and decreasing nausea) – both THCA and CBDA help reduce nausea and vomiting, even more so than THC and CBD.


Most cannabinoids, including CBD, CBG, and THCV, are in the acidic form CBDA, CBGA, and THCVA when cannabis is harvested. The unactivated forms of THC and CBD, along with other cannabinoids, possess benefits that we are still learning about. 

See, stoners are smart too!

Watch for future blogs posted weekly!

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