We can always come back to it at the end okay so when we're thinking about preparing the plant the first step in creating medicine is typically going to be a process called decarboxylation it's a big long fancy word that basically means that we are applying heat to the plant um what's happening when we apply heat to the plant you can see it in this chart so all cannabinoids in the plant start out as a form of cbg that's called the precursor cannabinoid depending on what kind of cannabis plant it is that's going to turn into either thca or hemp cream a or a different cannabinoid and this is how it exists in the plant in its raw form so the a stands for acid it's a carboxylic acid group that's attached to the end of that molecule why is that important to know well especially in the case of thc thca is not psychoactive if you just consume raw cannabis that's a high thc variety it's not going to create any sort of intoxicating or psychoactive effect so if that's what you're going for you're not going to get very far with that if you want to activate that molecule you have to apply some heat and when you do that it breaks off that little acid group and transforms it into delta 9 thc which is what you are consuming in your body whenever you were to smoke or vaporize cannabis.
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Because again you're applying heat so this is the psychoactive molecule that that most people are looking for similarly with cbd most of the research that's been done on how cbd interacts in the body is on this heated form the decarb form of cbd um so people always ask me why do i have to do this with cbd as well and the answer is potentially not i'll talk more about that in a moment but if you're looking for cbd and the effects from cbd then yes you're gonna need to apply this decarboxylation step um it's sort of a delicate balance though because we don't want to apply too much heat what happens one of the things that happens when we apply too much heat for too long of a period of time is we can actually further transform this slimming gel into cbn now we saw in the previous slide that cbn is also psychoactive so that's not necessarily a bad thing but it's also a much more sedating compound so if we go too far it can result in that sort of couch lock that people describe which might be wonderful if folks are looking to work with their insomnia.
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Right but it might not be what you're looking for so just keep that in mind when you are creating your medicine we want some heat but generally not too much um the other step that this doesn't show beyond oxidization is that you're actually just going to be volatilizing them to the air and we definitely don't want that because then we're just losing the medicine so like i was saying heating removes this carboxylic acid group that's attached to the molecules in addition to activating it it makes these cannabinoids more available to the receptors in our body that are there to receive cannabis when we consume it and because the molecules are a little bit smaller