Did you know that many cannabinoids like THC and CBD are not active in raw cannabis plant material? In raw form, THC is found as THC-A, which is entirely non psychoactive. CBD, in its raw form, is CBD-A. Oddly, these compounds do not offer the well known therapeutic effects, until dried and aged, or heated. These acids of THC and CBD contain an extra molecular carbon chain that will not fit into the same endo-cannabinoid receptors in the human brain, causing completely different results. While THCA and CBDA are beneficial for cleanses and intestinal health, many of the effects that users seek out require these compounds to be decarboxylated. Decarboxylating (or decarb) is essentially “activating” the cannabinoids for maximum therapeutic value, like pain relief, anti nausea, and as a sleep aid. If you smoke or vaporize your cannabis, then you are already decarboxylating your material in the process. But for those who choose to medicate orally or topically, additional measures need to be taken to maximize the value of your medicine. Even if you are choosing to bake with your plant material, it is recommended that you decarb prior to ensure your cannabinoids are at full potential. Once your plant material is decarboxylated, you have a fine starting point for edibles, tinctures, infused oils, and topicals.