The Science of
Decarboxylation & Extraction
The Importance of Getting It Right
Decarboxylation is the process that converts the cannabis plant’s inactive ingredients into active ones in order to deliver the intended therapeutic effect. The challenge is that not all decarboxylation processes are the same and this can result in considerably variable output. Learn how Medisenol has uniquely overcome this problem.
Cannabis Can Be Inconsistent - But Does it Need to be?
A common complaint among those who ingest cannabis oils (and other non-smoked formats) is product inconsistency. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Three recent published studies highlighted the variability (and therefore unreliability) of the extract market.
Vandrey et. al. Journal of the American Medical Association
Bonn-Miller et. al. Journal of the American Medical Association
Gibb et. al Centre for Medicinal Cannabis
To understand the results of these studies and others like them it’s necessary to understand decarboxylation.
What is Decarboxylation and Why Does it Matter?
Decarboxylation is the chemical reaction that converts inactive cannabinoids to active cannabinoids.The conversion of inactive cannabinoids to active cannabinoids is accomplished when high heat is applied through the process of smoking. Without smoking, the decarboxylation process must be achieved during the manufacturing process.
The two most widely understood cannabinoids today are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In order to produce a cannabis oil with THC and CBD, heat is applied to the raw plant so that the precursor acids (THCA and CBDA) are converted to THC and CBD through release of carbon dioxide (CO2). This process in known as a decarboxylation.
Using conventional heating methods, it is difficult to achieve reliable and consistent levels of decarboxylation. Only some of the cannabinoids in the plant get decarboxylated, leaving significant amounts of the less active THCA and CBDA in the final product instead of the active THC and CBD. THC has much stronger affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors compared to THCA. CBD binds weakly to the CB2 receptor whereas CBDA does not bind at all. CBD is a negative allosteric modulator that binds to other receptors.
Decarboxylation is Difficult
While a quick internet search may make people feel confident they can easily make their own cannabis oil at home, the process for making a consistent product is actually quite difficult. There have been numerous documented examples of inconsistent product, and we felt it was important to shine a light on this issue.
We sponsored a study conducted by the University Health Network in Toronto to test samples of cannabis oils sold by Canadian Licensed Producers in 2018 and 2019. The study is ongoing but preliminary data suggests a significant number of samples were not fully decarboxylated.
A June 2019 study out of England’s Centre for Medicinal Cannabis also showed that products on the market are highly variable.
Our Patented Decarboxylation
We collaborated with scientists at the University Health Network in Toronto to develop a decarboxylation and extraction platform that would fully decarboxylate the raw plant every time.
After 5 years of R&D, we have achieved our goal. Medisenol is the product we make using our patented, proprietary, state-of-the-art decarboxylation and extraction technology.
When you’re authorizing cannabinoid-based medicine for your patients you expect the product to work the same way every time. We have made it our mission to manufacture a cannabinoid-based product that provides the consistency you expect from a pharmaceutical product. We hold ourselves accountable to a ‘batch-to-batch’ level of THC and CBD consistency that is best-in-class in the industry.