he Cannabis plant produces beneficial cannabinoids, but they exist in a form that can’t readily pass the blood brain barrier to reach the important CB1 receptors.
The blood brain barrier is semi-permeable, allowing some materials to cross from the blood into the brain, but prevents others from crossing. It protects the brain from foreign substances, hormones, and neurotransmitters.
Cannabinoid receptors are part of the cannabinoid receptor system in the brain and are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. The CB1 receptor operates mainly in the brain, but also in the lungs, liver and kidneys. The CB2 receptor operates mainly in the immune system.
To enable the cannabinoids to pass the blood brain barrier, they must first be decarboxylated. Decarboxylation is simply removing a carboxyl group (CO2+H) from the phytocannabinoids THCA and CBDA to create the active THC,and CBD that can break through the blood brain barrier and reach the CB-1 receptor on certain cells. This process occurs through heating.
Why decarboxylation? If we are fighting cancer, we need to optimize the potency of treatment. THC and CBD kills cancer by shredding the mitochondria to disrupt its energy metabolism, while leaving normal cells untouched.
When we use low heat to convert the THCA and CBDA into THC and CBD, the conversion happens much more efficiently than would happen normally in the combustion/smoking process. We need to control the decarboxylation temperatures carefully because overheating causes the active compounds to degrade and break down.
Flowers and oil are very hard for the body to absorb directly. Flowers are best made into concentrates such as BHO, bubblehash, Rick Simpson oil, High-CBD Hemp Oil, etc, which should all still be properly decarboxylated, then mixed with an edible oil source such as coconut oil or grape seed oil and made into pill form. The recommended temperature for decarboxylation is 225f for about 25 minutes and can easily be done in a home oven.