Why Do Labs Report Total THC So Differently?
Decarboxylation is the process whereby the acid cannabinoids (such as THCA) produced by the plant are heated to "activate" them by converting to the neutrals (such as THC). In the process, each acid molecule loses CO2 (carbon dioxide) which leaves as a gas. In concentrates, one can often see the bubbles during this process. Since the acid molecules lose mass (CO2 has a molar mass of 44 D), the percent by weight of ∆9THC will always be lower than the percent by weight of THCA. For THCA--->THC, the conversion results in THC (MW = 314.4 g/mol) from THCA (MW = 358.4 g/mol) so the ratio is 0.88. But that's not all that happens. In addition to losing CO2 and forming THC, THCA also forms other byproducts. In most instances, a good estimate of the total conversion efficiency is about 75%, but this will depend somewhat on temperatures and times used to decarboxylate. What is "Total THC"? The term "Total THC" does not have a well-defined meaning. It is calculated in different ways, producing very different results.READ MORE...
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