Cannabis Conversion and Decarboxylation


The other day I was asked by an acquaintance why the tincture they were making had very little, if any, noticeable medicinal or psychoactive effect. They swore they followed the same process found in a book on making edibles and soaked the cannabis in high proof for weeks but the tincture just didn’t work.

The answer was simple but one that many in the cannabis industry don’t understand. One very important and necessary extra step had been overlooked. Cannabis used to make tinctures as well as other edible cannabis products requires decarboxylation. From asking around I have a feeling a lot of you just blurted out “Say What?”

So here is the deal. THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) is found in abundance in growing and harvested cannabis and is a biosynthetic precursor of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Wow, this sounds scary like organic chemistry, doesn’t it? It is, so for both of our benefits, I’ll give you the dumbed down version.

Research suggests THCA has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects but does not produce the psychoactive effect that make you feel “high”. This “high” is from the cannabinoid THC, of which little if any is found when cannabis is growing or recently harvested.

Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide (CO2). This means a chemical reaction takes place in which carboxylic acids loose a carbon atom from a carbon chain. This process converts THCA to THC, the much loved compound with many medicinal and psychoactive effects. When the cannabis drys, it very very slowly begins to decarboxylate and converts THCA to THC.

The good news is we don’t have to wait years for cannabis to decarboxylate. We can speed things along with a process that is a lot simpler than you might expect. Simply heating dried cannabis to the correct temperature for enough time releases that carbon dioxide and creates THC. Why have so many of you never heard of this before? Decarboxylating takes place without extra effort when cannabis is heated during the act of smoking or vaporizing. It also takes place to some degree when cannabis is cooked into butter or when hash and kief are added to a favorite recipe and then cooked in the oven.

When making tinctures, cannabis is not heated or baked, it is simply soaked in high proof alcohol. Decarboxylation never takes place and you end up with a product with a lot of THCA and very little THC. This may be a good for some symptoms but will not produce the results most expect.

More on Decarboxilation by Rambo and Marijuana Growers HQ

Marijuana and Sleep


People who smoke marijuana before bed often struggle to recall their dreams the next morning. Yet, when these individuals stop smoking, they tend to experience more vivid dreams than before.

Marijuana is known to affect various aspects of sleep, including activities that are not involved with dreaming. But there’s a simple reason why marijuana users tend to have less dreams.

This phenomenon can be explained by how marijuana affects the sleep cycle, specifically a stage known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

The brain is most active during REM sleep and most dreaming is thought to occur during this stage. Numerous studies have shown that using marijuana before bed reduces REM sleep. Researchers believe this is why marijuana users report fewer dreams.

During the night, the brain cycles through 4 different stages of sleep, spending the most time in deep sleep (or slow-wave sleep) and REM sleep. The amount of time spent in these two stages is closely related. In fact, studies show that marijuana lengthens the time the brain spends in deep sleep, which leads to less REM sleep.

Ingesting THC or marijuana before bed also appears to reduce the density of rapid eye movements during REM sleep. Interestingly, less REM density has been linked to more restful sleep.

Most studies on marijuana and REM sleep have looked at the effects of THC. However, other compounds in marijuana may interfere with THC’s effect on sleep. For example, CBD has been found to promote wakefulness compared to taking THC alone.

Regular users of cannabis experience an abnormal increase in REM sleep when use is stopped. This is called the REM rebound effect, which leads to longer and denser periods of REM sleep. The REM rebound explains why cannabis users often experience highly vivid dreaming when trying to quit.

The sleep disturbances that occur during cannabis withdrawal usually begin 24-72 hours after quitting and can persist for up to 6-7 weeks.

Interestingly, the REM rebound is not unique to cannabis use. Other substances that interfere with sleep, such as alcohol and sleep medications, can cause REM rebound too. What’s more, people who are sleep deprived often undergo a rebound in non-REM sleep.

The rebound effect appears to be the body’s way of coping with being deprived of certain stages of sleep.

While healthy people should avoid taking substances that alter their sleep, it’s not clear whether the effect of marijuana on REM sleep is actually harmful. In fact, experts are still not sure why we need REM sleep.

On the other hand, deep sleep is believed to be the most important sleep stage for repairing and restoring the body. Likewise, studies show that when deprived of sleep, the brain prioritizes deep sleep over REM sleep.

While more research is needed, it’s possible that the ability of marijuana to increase deep sleep, even at the expense of REM sleep, might turn out to be a good thing.

Anorexia, the Brain and Marijuana


TruthOnPot.com – It’s no secret that marijuana helps to increase appetite, but its potential to treat anorexia may not be that simple. 

What scientists now know is that anorexia actually leads to changes in the brain – specifically in pathways connected to marijuana. 

These pathways are part of the endocannabinoid system, which include natural marijuana-like chemicals (cannabinoids) and the receptors that they bind to. 

Last week, a team of Belgium researchers published more evidence of this relationship from a “well-known rodent model” of anorexia nervosa. 

Their findings appear online in the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

“These data point to a widespread transient disturbance of the endocannabinoid transmission, specifically for CB1 receptors in the ABA model [activity-based rat model of anorexia].”
They also concluded that a change in the brain’s cannabinoid system likely takes place as an effect – rather than a cause – of anorexia. 

Specifically, their findings suggest that the body creates more receptors to compensate for a “chronically hypoactive” endocannabinoid system in cases of anorexia. But these changes may only be temporary, since receptors rebounded to normal levels after the experiments stopped. 

Like marijuana, chemicals that make up the endocannabinoid system act as regulators of appetite. 

Some scientists believe that the body may produce lower levels of these chemicals in order to improve the ability to survive during periods of “prolonged starvation” – or anorexic states.

That is, patients with anorexia may experience a natural decrease in appetite because of changes that occur in the brain. 

Although yet to be tested in anorexia, the authors note that marijuana has been shown to increase food intake in other patient groups.

“Cannabis and cannabinoid agonist with minimal psychoactive side effect profile have been used as eating stimulants in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or cancer patients.”
Unfortunately, treatment options are limited when it comes to anorexia and full recovery is seen in only 40-50 % of patients, according to the authors. 

They hope their latest findings will lead to a better understanding of how marijuana-based treatments may be used to help patients recover from the eating disorder. 


The study was published ahead of print and received funding from the Research Council of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders, Belgium, and the K.U. Leuven Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center 


OUTDOOR GROW TIP Camouflaging Your Outdoor Marijuana Garden


Try to plant under trees or next to bushes, and keep only a few marijuana plants in any one spot. That way if some are discovered you’ll still have others to harvest. Through bending and pruning you can change the classic conical shape of the marijuana plants into something that might be mistaken for mere foliage. Plus, when you bend the stems horizontally, it can help to give more sun to growing buds, making your yield even larger.

Marijuana plants can be grown under trees, but remember that they need at least five hours of direct light and as much indirect light as possible (the more light, the higher the yield). Some cannabis growers have been known to pin flowers to their plants to help in the disguise. Another method is to grow near other plants that are close in color or size to your marijuana plants. Be careful though, because if these plants begin to wither and die, during the end of the summer growing season, your marijuana plants will stand out like a spotlight. 

Make sure your marijuana plants are out of sight from casual onlookers and try to take a different route to get to them each time you visit the site. When you visit your marijuana plants you might want to cover your tracks and try not to unsettle the environment too much. When seen from above, your different paths to the same place will have a bicycle wheel effect, focusing attention on the place where all the paths stop. Also, try to park near other cars even if it means taking a longer route to your marijuana plants. This is one reason why it is important to have a water source nearby. It is hard to look inconspicuous when toting a large amount of water into a remote area. Always have a good reason for being in the area and have the necessary items to make your claim believable.

These are some of the many contingencies that you must prepare for and think about well before you begin germinating your cannabis seeds. Sometimes it might be necessary to think small at first and grow fewer plants that you can be sure you will be able to harvest.

It can’t be said too many times; the most basic thing that you can do to protect your cannabis crop is to be very guarded about who you tell. If you must reveal its existence, never, ever disclose the location. If your site is well hidden then usually the reason you get ripped off or reported is because you bragged about your marijuana plants. If your plants are cut down or discovered, then it doesn’t matter how big they are or how much time you put in, because they won’t be there for you to harvest.

Learn More and Grow More with: I Love Growing Marijuana

More Pot = Less Domestic Violence


Researchers from Yale University, University of Buffalo and Rutgers recruited 634 couples from 1996 to 1999 while they were applying for a marriage license in New York State. After an initial interview, the researchers followed the couples over the course of nine years using mail-in surveys to measure the effects of marijuana use on intimate partner violence (IPV).  

The study defines IPV as acts of physical aggression, such as slapping, hitting, beating and choking, and it was measured by asking couples to report violence committed by them or toward them in the last year. 

At the end of the first year, 37.1 percent of husbands had committed acts of domestic violence. 

Marijuana use was measured by asking participants how often they used marijuana or hashish (defined as pot, weed, reefer, hash, hash oil or grass) in the last year. Participants were also asked about other drug use including alcohol, because, as the researchers explain the study, marijuana and alcohol are often used in conjunction. 

What the researchers found surprised them: due to the fact that alcohol and other substances are known to increase domestic violence, they hypothesized that marijuana use would have the same effect. But that was not the case.

"More frequent marijuana use generally predicted less frequent IPV for both men and women over the first 9 years of marriage," the researchers wrote. Not only that, couples who both used marijuana frequently -- compared to one spouse using it more than the other -- were at the lowest risk for subsequent partner violence.

Why would marijuana be different than other substances? Researchers hypothesize that the positive side effects of using marijuana may actually reduce conflict and aggression. They note that previous research has found chronic marijuana use to blunt emotional reactions, which could in turn decrease violent or aggressive behavior between spouses.

via: The Huff Post

More Evidence that Medicinal Marijuana can defeat PTSD


In a study, researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel were able to prevent rats from developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by treating them with the active compounds in marijuana, or cannabinoids.

Led by Dr. Irit Akirav from the Department of Psychology, the team used rats because of their similarity to humans in responding to trauma.

People with PTSD — a severe type of anxiety disorder — suffer from symptoms that can be set off by common triggers, also known as trauma reminders.

While PTSD is usually treated after symptoms appear, the team found that dosing rats with cannabinoids following a traumatic event could make them immune to future triggers. “In other words, cannabis made the effects of trauma reminders ‘disappear’,” explains Dr. Akirav.

The treated rats showed no symptoms of PTSD. But rats that were left untreated did, including impairments in memory extinction, changes in pain sensation and increased panic behavior.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the treatment worked by rewiring circuits of the brain involved with trauma.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence, the researchers note, suggesting marijuana can not only help manage symptoms of PTSD but also prevent symptoms from developing early on.

Despite the promising results, medical marijuana has never been studied in humans with PTSD. Hence, most doctors are unwilling to even consider it as a treatment option.

Still, researchers around the world have shifted their focus to cannabinoids as a future therapy for PTSD. Dr. Akirav’s group believes there is now enough evidence for human trials to proceed.

“The importance of this study is that it contributes to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD,” notes Dr. Akirav, “and thus supports the necessity to perform human trials to examine potential ways to prevent the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders in response to a traumatic event.”

Treating PTSD with medical marijuana is far from a new idea. In fact, PTSD sufferers are known to have higher rates of cannabis use compared to the general population. What’s more, brain imaging studies have revealed irregular cannabinoid pathways in people with PTSD, providing further support for cannabis as an effective treatment.

And despite the lack of clinical trials, many psychiatrists say they’ve witnessed patients benefit from using medical marijuana in place of other drugs.

Much More at: Leaf Science

GROW TIP Topping Your Marijuana Plants for Better Yield


Topping marijuana is typically misunderstood by most growers. A single growing shoot might produce a larger individual cola, topping the plant gives you 4 colas that can soak up the best light intensity. The entire plant, in general, is allowed to get more light and produce bigger buds. Although individual colas might not be as large, the cumulative yield is much greater than an un-topped plant.

It’s vital that you top the plants early on so that you get a solid start. When my clones take root properly and start to grow out, I cut out the meristem, which divides the plant into 2 growing shoots. Growth will slow initially, but the plant will eventually become stronger and yield more. If you top low enough, the marijuana plant will create 4 growing shoots. Download my free grow bible for more marijuana pruning techniques.

Although most strains take well to topping, some don’t. Really short, slowly-growing indicas like Urkle simply take a long time to grow when topped. Even so, we can usually expect 5 ounces per plant with this method. To put it plainly, all plants improve with topping, but certain slow-growing strains may take a while to mature properly.

The key with most strains is to top early (around 10 inches with a few internodes). This allows the plant to keep a low profile while also providing the optimal amount of bud sites that receive the best light. Another benefit is that you don’t need as many plants to entirely fill up a room. Medical limits often make it more beneficial to have fewer plants that can give you the same yields as more plants.

Seedlings are slightly different. It’s important to let the seedling develop and grow at least 4 to 5 internodes prior to topping. Topping a seedling too early will shock a plant, slow down the growth process, and waste a ton of time. A seeded plant should be given enough time to take root properly and produce a few sets of fan leaves. I generally wait until I see roots coming out of the drain holes before I top.

More Grow Tips at: I Love Growing Marijuana 

Elevate Accessories 10% OFF w/Code MRSTINKYS

Elevate Accessories 10% OFF w/Code MRSTINKYS
Heirloom Quality Smoking Accessories that are made to Last a Lifetime

Everything at Randy's 10% OFF with MRSTINKYS

Everything at Randy's 10% OFF with MRSTINKYS
Wired Rolling Papers, Hemp Wicks, Cleaners, Vaporizers and More

Popular Posts Last 30 Days

Roll-uh-Bowl