The Skinny On Decarboxylation

The cannabis plant doesn’t make THC or CBD. Instead, the natural form of these compounds are in their acid form (THC-A and CBD-A) and only become useful to ingest when it is decarboxylated (converted from the acid form to one without a bunch of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms clinging to them). Decarboxylation occurs a little during the drying and curing process (which is why some small amount of THC and CBD show up in the lab reports), but occurs completely when heated – which is what happens during smoking, vaping or cooking, and also why you won’t feel any effects from eating the raw plant.

However, you can’t just add the THC-A and THC to arrive at the Total THC because 12.3% of the THC-A content is made up of those acidic atoms, which is lost in the decarboxylation process. The correct formula (and the same numbers hold for CBD as well)  is this:

(THC-A) * (.877) + THC = Total THC

So if someone says they have this amazing bud that has 28% THC because the labs say it has 27% THC-A and 1% THC then they are overstating how much actual usable medicine that flower contains.  The real potency of that batch is (27% * .877) + 1% = 24.67%

The Skinny On Decarboxylation

The cannabis plant doesn’t make THC or CBD. Instead, the natural form of these compounds are in their acid form (THC-A and CBD-A) and only become useful to ingest when it is decarboxylated (converted from the acid form to one without a bunch of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms clinging to them). Decarboxylation occurs a little during the drying and curing process (which is why some small amount of THC and CBD show up in the lab reports), but occurs completely when heated – which is what happens during smoking, vaping or cooking, and also why you won’t feel any effects from eating the raw plant.

However, you can’t just add the THC-A and THC to arrive at the Total THC because 12.3% of the THC-A content is made up of those acidic atoms, which is lost in the decarboxylation process. The correct formula (and the same numbers hold for CBD as well)  is this:

(THC-A) * (.877) + THC = Total THC

So if someone says they have this amazing bud that has 28% THC because the labs say it has 27% THC-A and 1% THC then they are overstating how much actual usable medicine that flower contains.  The real potency of that batch is (27% * .877) + 1% = 24.67%

Why We Don’t Carry 40 Strains

QUANTITY IS NOT THE SAME AS VARIETY

Variety is created by understanding which differences are important and should be highlighted. Each product we carry serves a purpose within a range of medicinal and aesthetic qualities and is the highest quality of that product type on the market.

FRESHNESS 

Over time, oxidation degrades THC and reduces moisture content, affecting the quality of the medicine and the experience of consuming it.  With a narrower strain selection and a stock of products in constant rotation, we ensure everything we sell is as fresh as possible.

EXCELLENCE OVER STRAIN RECOGNITON

We often pass on strains that excite us in general, but which display poor lab results. The strain and genetics that a grower uses only tells us the potential; how the plant was cultivated will determine whether or not its potential was met.

Why We Don’t Carry 40 Strains

QUANTITY IS NOT THE SAME AS VARIETY

Variety is created by understanding which differences are important and should be highlighted. Each product we carry serves a purpose within a range of medicinal and aesthetic qualities and is the highest quality of that product type on the market.

FRESHNESS 

Over time, oxidation degrades THC and reduces moisture content, affecting the quality of the medicine and the experience of consuming it.  With a narrower strain selection and a stock of products in constant rotation, we ensure everything we sell is as fresh as possible.

EXCELLENCE OVER STRAIN RECOGNITON

We often pass on strains that excite us in general, but which display poor lab results. The strain and genetics that a grower uses only tells us the potential; how the plant was cultivated will determine whether or not its potential was met.

Why We Display All Our Flower

Lab results and strain lineage can tell part of the story, but in order to fully understand product it has to been seen – as well as felt and smelled. This is why we display everything we sell, both in-store and online, and why we personally handle samples of everything that comes through our doors.  With flower, this is some of what we look for:

STRUCTURE

The outermost sepal (or calyx) structure of the bud should not be stacked on top of each other (“fox tailing”) or loosely grouped together (“larfy”). These traits indicate that the growing conditions were sub-optimal – usually some combination of too much heat or too much humidity.

CURE

Curing is among the most important factors in producing quality flower.  If flower is dried too quickly the buds will become brittle, leading to a harsh smoke with less flavor and effect. Overly wet flower, on the other hand, will create a grass- or hay-like smell and will be susceptible to mold during long term storage.

SIZE

Bud size reveals how a grower sorts and grades harvested flower. Larger buds come from the top of the plant, are closer to the light source and are generally more potent and have a greater density of trichomes than smaller buds, which are from lower down on the plant and generally less potent. 

COLOR

No color is inherently better than another, although each strain has an ideal range of appearance. Color can also be indicative of plant placement – buds located closer to the top will present more vibrant colors that are indicative of that particular strain.

Why We Display All Our Flower

Lab results and strain lineage can tell part of the story, but in order to fully understand product it has to been seen – as well as felt and smelled. This is why we display everything we sell, both in-store and online, and why we personally handle samples of everything that comes through our doors.  With flower, this is some of what we look for:

STRUCTURE

The outermost sepal (or calyx) structure of the bud should not be stacked on top of each other (“fox tailing”) or loosely grouped together (“larfy”). These traits indicate that the growing conditions were sub-optimal – usually some combination of too much heat or too much humidity.

CURE

Curing is among the most important factors in producing quality flower.  If flower is dried too quickly the buds will become brittle, leading to a harsh smoke with less flavor and effect. Overly wet flower, on the other hand, will create a grass- or hay-like smell and will be susceptible to mold during long term storage.

SIZE

Bud size reveals how a grower sorts and grades harvested flower. Larger buds come from the top of the plant, are closer to the light source and are generally more potent and have a greater density of trichomes than smaller buds, which are from lower down on the plant and generally less potent. 

COLOR

No color is inherently better than another, although each strain has an ideal range of appearance. Color can also be indicative of plant placement – buds located closer to the top will present more vibrant colors that are indicative of that particular strain.

What We Look For In Concentrates

COLOR

Good waxes can vary in coloration. A wax that is a dark brown might be fine if it is a BHO extract, but it’s a bad sign if it was made using CO2. A green hue means that it contains chlorophyll, i.e., plant matter, either because the starting material was low-grade or the refinement process was poor. It signals a lack of purity and will create a poor taste. This is a color we never want to see.

TEXTURE

Concentrates have all kinds of names – crumble, honeycomb, budder and wax, among many others. With the exception of shatter, the distinctions usually come down to a matter of preference rather than quality, but an exemplar shatter should be purified of any the fats or lipids that give other extracts their waxy texture.  Such a shatter will vaporize efficiently and will snap apart rather than pull apart like taffy.

CLARITY

With most forms of extract clarity is not an issue; but with shatter, since cloudiness is caused by small pockets of unwanted lipids, an exemplar shatter will be perfectly clear.  This ability to see every imperfection makes shatter among the most difficult to produce and the most highly prized among consumers.

TEXTURE

Concentrates have all kinds of names – crumble, honeycomb, budder and wax, among many others. With the exception of shatter, the distinctions usually come down to a matter of preference rather than quality, but an exemplar shatter should be purified of any the fats or lipids that give other extracts their waxy texture.  Such a shatter will vaporize efficiently and will snap apart rather than pull apart like taffy.

CLARITY

With most forms of extract clarity is not an issue; but with shatter, since cloudiness is caused by small pockets of unwanted lipids, an exemplar shatter will be perfectly clear.  This ability to see every imperfection makes shatter among the most difficult to produce and the most highly prized among consumers.

COLOR

Good waxes can vary in coloration. A wax that is a dark brown might be fine if it is a BHO extract, but it’s a bad sign if it was made using CO2. A green hue means that it contains chlorophyll, i.e., plant matter, either because the starting material was low-grade or the refinement process was poor. It signals a lack of purity and will create a poor taste. This is a color we never want to see.