Got cancer? Decarboxylate your Cannabis – Dennis Hill

decarboxylationgraphDecarboxylation is simply removing a carboxyl group (CO2+H) from the phytocannabinoid THCA to create the active THC, that will now fit the CB-1 receptor on certain cells. This process occurs simply through heating. You can use high heat for a short time, or medium heat for a longer time. High heat destroys much of the beneficial chemistry of the cannabinoids, terpinoids, and flavinoids. The optimum temperature is 240ºF. for 30-45 minutes. There is much opinion about the process, but this is a good place to start. As you see from the graph, the Russians were doing this over 20 years ago.

Essential to the success of this process is the preparation of the plant material previous to heating. The plant material must be really dry. Run it through a blender to break up the material. Remove stems. Lay it out on a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 240º, heat for 30-45 minutes. Follow with extracting the oil.

It is possible to perform the decarboxylation either on the extract, or with the dry plant material. Either way will work.

Why decarboxylation? If we are fighting cancer, we need to optimize the potency of treatment. THC kills cancer by shredding the mitochondria to disrupt its energy metabolism, while leaving normal cells untouched. THCA will not have this effect.

~ Dennis Hill


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121 thoughts on “Got cancer? Decarboxylate your Cannabis – Dennis Hill

  1. congrats on your VICTORY and good info!!!
    I have a question if u dont heat to 240f say I let the distiller dry out on 50f do you know if it can cure other illneses? if so witch ones?

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      • With all due respect, one study showing potential cancer inhibition from raw CBDA does not support your comment. What about raw THCA? Which is far more commonly the dominant cannabinoid in most strains.
        At the end of the day THC actually kills cancer through activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors and is by far the most potent and proven cannabinoid for treating cancer, THCA cannot activate either of these receptors and has very little evidence for anti cancer effects. CBD through CB2 and other pathways can also kill many forms of cancer. CBDA has been shown to interfere with some forms of cancer, as shown by the study you posted, and THCA may have some minor indirect effects that benefit the fight against cancer, which are mentioned in GW’s patent (2013059018) but there is a huge difference between mild indirect effects and actual potent cancer killing effects. THC is a proven cancer killing compound, CBD has been proven to kill some forms and turn off genes responsible for cancer spreading, and even CBN has shown efficacy as an anti cancer compound through CB2 activation. But the only raw cannabinoid acid to have any proven anti cancer effect is CBDA and that is limited to a very small number of studies on a small selection of cancers and THCA, whilst often accredited as anti cancer, has virtually no evidence for anti cancer effects. Considering most strains are predominantly THCA/THC with little to no CBDA/CBD present, decarboxylation remains essential for maximising cancer treatments. That is not to say that raw is worthless for treating cancer but compared to the quick and effective effects of decarboxilated cannabis it is pretty weak as a cancer treatment and possibly completely ineffective if predominantly THCA.
        Strangely many seemingly reputable sources actually credit THCA as anti cancer and not THC. But the actual evidence, both clinical and anecdotal, contradicts this stance.

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  2. Hi Rick – you have a good start. It is THC that kills cancer by shredding the mitochondria and starving the cancer cells. CBD will be important to keep the cancer from spreading and mitigating inflammation, so get as much CBD as possible to support the THC. Most important is THC; as you can arrange it, bring in the CBD.
    ~Dennis

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    • You are correct! The CBD/ THC mix is the most potent. Look for seeds with both in them naturally, don’t go for the hemp made CBD, You want the real deal with cannabis plants, f.eks. from the CBD Crew ( not CBD seeds! ) collection and your plants will be potent in not only THC but also in CBD!

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  3. My last oil tested at 77 percent THC, I did not decarboxilate. My question is, does not the process of burning off the alcohol get the job done??

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    • Dennis, please respond to this decarboxilate question, I also use Alcohol, Ever clear, and a water distiller to remove and recapture some of that alcohol. Is that hot enough. the time of heating is 2 to 3 hours. I’m Doug W. health Coach.
      we skyped once at Dougs house last year.. I have 3 Cancer client’s at this time using RSO.
      THA

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          • 240f for 45 minutes is based on the above chart. 297f is below vaporisation temperatures but is above the optimum recommended temps. According to the above chart temps as high as 297f will decarb very quickly but will also degrade a lot of THC to CBN in a relatively short time. The idea of 240f for 45 minutes is to get full decarb with out degraded too much THC

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            • Your Russian chart is based on heating a Hexene extract and not cannabis plant material. This idea that 297 F will degrade THC to CBD is not backed up by experiments at the two universities mentioned. Perhaps you should have read the results of the research which does not state ANY THC was changed into CBN. I have duplicated the work of those two Univesities as have many other people I tested my oil at the http://thewercshop.com/ and there was no CBN. I don’t know of any attempts to change THC into CBN by heating that succeeded.

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              • My comments are based on the chart at the top of this page. Which indicates that after about 7minutes at 145c the decarboxylation reaches about 70% and then THC quantity begins to nose dive. It was my understanding that this was down to THC converting to CBN at a faster rate than the remaining THCA was converting to THC. If this is not the case then what is the explanation for the drop in THC levels, the temp is too low to vaporise the THC, degradation is the only other logical conclusion.
                You say that the studies you refer to did not mention any CBN. Is that because there was none or just because it was not deemed relevant. Can you give a link to these experiments as I would be interested to see the data from them?
                My knowledge on this subject is not infallible and is based on others tests and studies but it is my understanding that 100% decarboxylation with out any degradation to CBN is incredibly difficult. I will try to find the exact source but I believe one of GW’s patents on cannabis speaks about having to apply two separate heating times and temps in an attempt to minimise degradation to CBN.
                THC degrades to CBN through heat and time, just as THCA converts to THC through heat and time. Cooking for too long or at too higher temps will degrade THC to CBN, as does excessive UV and oxygen exposure. That is my understanding of it. If I am wrong please correct and educate me.
                I’m still trying to gage likely approximate decarb percentage achieved just from the process of boiling alcohol in a rice cooker. This usually involves a few hours at 82 degrees Celsius (which is not sufficient for full decarb but causes some partial decarb)
                Finding info on decarb times at such low temps is virtually impossible. But many people have completed decarb with a coffee warmer, which is usually 60c, so I know it is possible if applied long enough.
                Any info you can provide that sheds light on this, or corrects my assumptions about decarb at higher temps and the potential for CBN would be appreciated. We’re all learning

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      • No that is not. Alcohol boils aprox 180 degrees F. Water boils at 212 degrees F. I would try putting your cannabis alcohol solution in a vegetable oil bath on a digital hot plate at 240 degrees F.

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    • Decarboxylation is simply removing a carboxyl group (CO2+H) from the phytocannabinoid THCA to create the active THC, that will now fit the CB-1 receptor on certain cells. This process occurs simply through heating. You can use high heat for a short time, or medium heat for a longer time. High heat destroys much of the beneficial chemistry of the cannabinoids, terpinoids, and flavinoids. The optimum temperature is 240ºF. for 30-45 minutes. There is much opinion about the process, but this is a good place to start. ~Dennis

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      • Dennis – can you decarboxylate AFTER the oil is made? The person who made me aware of Cannabis Oil and its potential healing properties, gave me what I gather to be oil produced with the “BHO” method not the RSO method (or at least that’s what it looks like when I compare it to the pictures I’ve found online). I have no idea if it has ever been decarboxylated but am reading that generally “BHO” is not and given that my father does not seem to be having any reaction to it after ingesting it for a couple of days, I’m assuming it probably has not been decarboxylated. I’m wondering if I can decarboxylate it now and if so, would the methodology be the same – i.e., place it in the oven for about 30 mins at 240 F? (I’m sure this isn’t the most effective way but it’s all I have right now and trying to make the most of it). Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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        • Oil is probably best decarbed after as you can see when decarb is finished. As long as heat is above 110c you will see pin prick explosions on the surface while decarb is happening, when there is no more activity the decarb is complete. 30 minutes might be long enough, but it their is still activity then continue to cook. I doubt it would need more than an hour at that temp so check it every 20 to 30 minutes

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            • Could you elaborate please? I understand it is not as scientific as proper testing (but many do not have access to that).
              But when oil is heated above 110c then the decarboxylation is observable in the form of pin prick pops. When this activity stops decarb is done. Please explain the flaw in that logic. The pin prick pops is decarboxylation, when it stops decarb is surely complete, or else there would still be observable activity.
              Like I said I realise that proper lab testing would be more precise but in the absence of lab access this observation is the next best thing and a lot more than blind guess work

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      • A good place to start will not decarboxylate cannabis. Yes there is much opinion out there and there is this, “Cannabis oil: chemical evaluation of an upcoming cannabis-based medicine” presented at The International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines 2013 conference in Colonge, Germany. The work was done at TWO UNIVERSITIES Department of Pharmacy, University of Siena, Italy And the Plant Metabolomics group, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, The Netherlands. Their research says 145 C or 293 F for 30 min. ( i made a mistake earlier when I said 297 F ) And They found no CBN was created.

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    • Can I clarify that you tested oil that had 77% THC? Is that percentage of THCA conversion IE. 23% THCA, 77%THC? Or is it 77% of whole extract. Did you get a reading of THCA too? Was this result from oil that had only been heated enough to boil off alcohol, with out additional heat? I myself made oil relying on rice cooker to decarb as it boiled off alcohol, so am very interested to know how much decarb is achieved this way.

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    • Papa Ganja, you say your oil tested at 77% THC, was the test HPLC or GP? Was that 77% THC definitely active THC or could it be counting both THC and THCA combined? I also relied on boiling alcohol to decarb my oil and am desperate to know how much decarb is achieved by that process, so any test results from oil using the same method would help me gage quality of the oil I made when I was relying on rice cooker process to decarb.

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  4. Hi Dennis,
    Did the decarboxilation on 3oz in the oven. Perhaps I could say tried to decarb. The first try is always an adventure and raises more questions than it solves.
    For instance, I have an infrared thermometer and the oven heat at 240F is somewhere between too hot over 250 and 225. I tried adjusting several times to no avail. So, after finding out that I was baking for fifteen min at 259F i lowered the temp to between 219F and 242F and left it bake an extra 10 min for a total of 50 min.
    Now another question comes up. My guess is I was measuring the heat on the exterior of the pyrex bowl and picking up peripheral heat. So, the question: Am I to remove the bowl from the oven so I can shoot the laser right at the cannabis? It must be much cooler.
    I guess I’ll get another chance when I distill the oil. Hopefully the distiller will reach 240F. Any thoughts?
    By the time I finish this project The establishment will have found a cure.
    Thank you once again,
    Rick

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  5. Hi Dennis,

    Thank you for an excellent article. Can you tell me where you obtained the 240F/30-45 minute regimen? Because it doesn’t appear on that graph anywhere.

    Nugs and hugs,
    Old Hippie

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  6. Hello Dennis, and thank you for your important information! It is really great to get some scientific information. I really enjoyed learning from your papers! and congratulations on your fight!
    I was wondering if you know if being on Rituximab maintenance, after doing the R-CHOP would interfere or effect my CB1 or CB2 receptors from working properly with the medicinal oil. I know that Rituximab targets the CD20, I’m done the chemo and am in
    remission from(NHL). But have been planning to get to the real medicine soon, I just hope I have not damaged my body to badly or the important CB1 and CB2 receptors!! Thanks, Sincerely Jay.

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  7. Jason – I’ve not seen anything in the literature that suggest there would be adverse reaction between your maintenance meds and the cannabinoid oil extract. Cannabis is so naturally physiological, mimicking our normal endocannabinoid system. ~Dennis

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  8. The Goddess Delivers, an online delivery service, often has a 35% CBD oil with a ratio of 1 to 1 THC and CBD. But it’s not decarbolyzed. But you could do that part yourself.

    They also have THC High Strength Oil Cartridge which is decarbolyzed.

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  9. Hi Dennis,
    (bump)
    Thank you for an excellent article. Can you tell me where you obtained the 240F/30-45 minute regimen? Because it doesn’t appear on that graph anywhere.

    Nugs and hugs,
    Old Hippie

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  10. Hello Dennis and all
    I made the RSO but it must have an extremely high THC content as over a 3 month period I was not able to ingest more than 20 milliliters. 3 to 4 rice grain size doses per day. I have recurring prostate cancer and after taking the oil over 3 months my PSA has risen from .89 to 1.30. Taking any more oil than that per day made me basically non functional, and I did not seem able to build up any kind of tolerance to the psychoactive effects. Should I be trying for a lower THC content? I do not want to give up on this! I will be starting hormone treatments soon. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
    Greg

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  11. Greg:

    Interesting your PSA went up from 0.89 t0 1.30. I have been on RSO for about six months. I’m hoping some results will show up on my PSA blood test. Here are some data points over the last year. Things to ponder or at least wish for. The PSA numbers have gone up and up over the last year and a half. But now we have a turn around. Could it be the cannabis started to kick the hell out of the cancer cells (PSA 61.22 >> 462.68) and all those dead cells contained the PSA antigens to be absorbed into the blood stream. Hmmmmmm ?? So maybe another six months ? of all theories I like mine the best….

    Henry
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Date PSA Lab ID

    09/23/2013 234.50 WRL
    09/03/2013 462.68 WRL
    07/01/2013 198.5 Quest
    06/06/2013 185.91 WRL
    04/29/2013 92.89 WRL (cannabis 03/02/2013)
    02/11/2013 61.22 WRL
    01/09/2013 64.38 WRL (30 min after Quest lab)
    01/09/2013 60.8 Quest
    12/06/2012 54.21 WRL
    10/26/2012 60.91 WRL

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    • Hello Henry, thanks for taking the time to reply to me. How much RSO have you been able to get down the hatch, so to speak? I am now embarking on hormone treatments as what I was able to take did not seem to be doing the trick.I have not given up on the RSO treatment, but think I need to find ( or make ) an oil with a higher CBD content and a lower THC content. The oil I made would have wiped me out if I tried to take a gram a day!
      Thanks
      Greg

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  12. Hello Dennis, Had a psa of 414.9 May 24,2013 & gleison score of 9. Started hormone treatment June 6th and indica RSO 1 cc/day on June 29. Had next psa test of 6.9 along with 2nd Eligard shot on Sept 6. My Dr. acts as if this is normal. On Oct 18 had another psa score of 2.5. Dr want to give me another shot on Dec 6 and still act as if this is what he expected. I have not told him of the RSO and still insist that I’m a short timer. Dennis is this normal for eligard treatment for I cannot get a straight answer from an oncologist radiation Dr? EHB

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      • no, additional cooking will be needed to complete decarboxylation. Heat oil to between 110c and 130c (230 to 266f) until activity stops (pin prick pops). Should take less than an hour

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  13. We have heard several times about prostate cancer patients using Cannabis Oil and having their psa go way up, then plummet as it will. Greg – it sounds like you have oil made from a Sativa strain and that is why you are getting such a head high. You need oil from an Indica plant, and if made into suppositories you can tolerate a much higher dose, AND they are closer to where they need to be when dosed to get at the cancer. Good luck!

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  14. I understand the optimal temps for rapid decarboxylation are above 105(Celsius). But sadly this information comes too late for me, as I have already tried and failed to cure my father with cannabis oil. For 4 months the oil relied primarily on the rice cooker process for decarboxylation (after 4 months I was advised to place in oven at 110 for an hour). What I am desperate to know is what level of decarboxylation is achieved in the rice cooker when it is boiling off alcohol (82.4 degrees Celsius). While the oil did receive additional heat to finish evaporating the solvent, the only temp I can guarantee was the heat achieved during the rice cooker process. I know partial decarboxylation was achieved at this temp, as it was psychoactive to eat, but I am also pretty sure that this decarboxylation was likely incomplete during this initial 4 months. Despite receiving oil that was definitely cooked 100% for the remaining 6 months, it proved too little too late to save him. The possibility that this oversight was a factor in my failure is obviously very upsetting and I am desperate to learn more about how much decarboxylation is likely achieved by the rice cooker as it boils off the solvent, so that I can try and gage minimum likely potency of the oil I made for him for the first 4 months of the treatment. I am glad decarboxylation is now being clarified more, but as this info comes to late to help me, I was hoping someone could help answer my questions on approximate decarboxylation from the rice cooker process.

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  15. Matthew, sorry for your loss brother and you are not alone. I am a brain cancer survivor and I also struggled to make the oil the right way as well. I am here on this page because I am still trying to get this process down right. Decarboxylation seems to be the final process that I did not understand until recently. I have made so many batches of oil over that last 2 years and did not understand why it was not potent. I am just on this day starting to test some oil I reheated for 1.5 hrs at 225 F. Last night I tested a small sample & i do believe it worked. I slept dam good last night too. So from what Dennis Hill says here & others I have read, the oil you have is still good, you just need to Decarb it in the oven. If you have oil in jars, or in syringes , put it in a stainless steel cup and back into the oven at 225 for 1 hr to 1.5 hrs and see if that fully decarbs it. the heat will not hurt any medical values at 225F…Best of Health…

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    • Thank you for your kind words. I now know optimal decarb temps, and yes the temps you speak of do seem to be the best. The oil I made prior to adding the oven step was partially cooked as it was psychoactive, but not as potent as it was after adding the oven step. It is too late to make a difference for my dad, but I do desperately want to know more about how good the oil I made was when I was relying primarily on the rice cooker to decarb it. It surprises me that this aspect is not better clarified as it does seem to be very important. If anyone can shed any light on likely decarboxylation at 82.4 degrees Celsius it would help me gage potency of the oil I made for that initial 4 months. My oil did receive higher temps briefly as last traces of solvent evaporate along with the water I added, but as I cannot say for sure exact temps and time involved I would like to find out how much decarboxylation occurred as the alcohol boiled off (a process that took a few hours all in) so I can gage minimum potency of oil, knowing that a little extra heat was applied in after this.

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  16. 145 degrees celcius for 30 minutes for decarboxylation was validated in this study:
    Cannabis Oil: chemical evaluation of an upcoming cannabis-based medicine
    by
    Luigi L Romano, Arno Hazekamp
    Department of Pharmacy, University of Siena, Italy Plant Metabolomics group, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    There are doxens of posts about time and temprature need to decarboxylate I would give more trust to a method validated at two universities that from an unknown poster on the internet.

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    • I don’t know what post you read but this is according to work done in two university labs. This is much more dependable than a web site posting.
      Lonnie Painter
      Laguna Woods Medical Cannabis

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          • Hi. I am writing this because there is a lot of weight put on university studies. I have a medical back ground and all though a quantitative verification is good I still believe a historical knowledge from people that do this daily have a heavier validation quotient for me over a group students devoting their time in a strict environmental and controlled environment. I’m at home using not scientific equipment. Science has hidden this fact of curing cancer since the 70s. I will explore websites and experiences (subjective qualitative values) and learn on my own. Cannabis has been home decarb for many many years. 240C x 30 mins in my Canadian high humidity and sea level conditions work for me. As for Sativa and Indica having different reactions, again an experience that cannot be challenged by science as it is subjective. I am sorry for those that can not tell the difference between sativa aND indica. I am one that cannot tolerate sativa as it is to head intensive for me.

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  17. Has anyone tested partially cooked oils to see what level of decarboxylation is achieved at temps below the recommended optimum temps. I know now the ideal temps, but as many oil makers have access to testing facilities I was wondering if any had tested oils heated at lower temps, ideally around 82 degrees Celsius, to see what level of decarboxylation is achieved at such temps. I am desperate to gage likely potency of oil I made in the past where I relied on rice cooker process of boiling alcohol to decarb the oil. I don’t understand the chart well enough to gain such info. If any oil makers have tested oils cooked at these temps please share results.

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  18. This is all so confusing. So I decarbed 2 batches I made @225/230 for half an hour. My oven is very inaccurate and i used a good quality thermometer to monitor the temps during decarb. Is this sufficient? Also are there home test kits one can use on the oil to insure efficacy? The labs in Cali won’t test for me as I live in NJ. Thx.

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  19. Dennis – the Rick Simpson instructions state to place the oil on a “gentle heating” device at the very end…do you know what the science and purpose behind this might be? From what I gather, he’s referring to something like a mug warmer which (as far as I can tell) gets no hotter than 140 degrees F. Trying to understand what’s behind this as there doesn’t see to be enough heat there to do anything…? Your thoughts/comments are appreciated.

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    • I too would be interested to hear Dennis’ thoughts on this. Igor, although, as you mention the temp is below the recommended temps for rapid decarb, it is claimed that the coffee warmer stage is to complete decarb, in addition to evaporating last traces of water and alcohol. The problem is that Rick doesn’t state decarb as a reason, in fact he doesn’t mention decarb at all or allude to the need for heat in anyway. The only time he mentions heat in his instructions is when he warns against it getting too hot. If the coffee warmer stage really does complete decarb it would surely take many hours at such low heat and doesn’t seem very efficient. And “gentle heating” of less time or temp would surely mean oil that is only partially cooked.
      I personally have a big problem with this vagueness in Rick’s instructions because coupled with his failure to mention decarboxylation in anyway, or minimum temps required, this contributed to my own failure to fully complete decarboxylation in oil I made for my father, which failed to cure his cancer. I am desperate to understand the level of decarboxylation achieved by the rice cooker stage of boiling off the solvent, which in the case of Isopropyl alcohol boils at just over 80 degrees, so I can try and gage likely potency of my oil. And I repeat my pleas to any oil makers with access to testing facilities who could help me gage this. My father had oil that was likely only partially cooked for 4 months before I discovered the rapid decarb temps and was advised to put oil in oven for hour at 110 Celsius after rice cooker stage to finish decarb. While I cannot be sure if this was a factor in my failure (partly as I have no real idea of how much decarb was achieved prior to oven stage) and while I am not trying to throw blame at Rick for my oversights, as I blame only myself for this, I do feel strongly that Rick needs to address this issue as his instructions are too vague and decarb is too important to be omitted from the info he provides.
      I actually didn’t use a coffee warmer at all, instead using boiling hot water to heat the oil until it stopped producing visible bubbles. I was unconcerned with decarboxylation, concentrating only on removing all alcohol from the oil. So took more care in protecting it from too much heat, as per Rick’s advice.
      Ricks guide makes no mention of decarb, even if coffee warmer can complete decarb he doesn’t even insist on it, he just gives the vague description of “gentle heating device”, giving the coffee warmer as an example. Makes no mention of minimum temps or times or that heat is actually required at all, other than to boil off solvent. Decarboxylation is an important aspect and I still don’t understand why Rick makes no mention of it, especially when he has been made aware of the incomplete decarbs from people following his instructions.

      In addition to Igor’s question, Dennis, would you please tell me (if you know) how much decarb would be achieved by rice cooker alone, using alcohol as solvent. And how long would you expect coffee warmer to take to finish it off, as I imagine it must be many hours.

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      • Matt – I too am struggling with the whole decarboxylation issue although I am confident that Dennis’ advice to decarb first and then make the oil will produce the necessary result. Here are a couple of facebook posts that you may want to take a look at. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=364676706912808&id=298774923502987 and https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=298774923502987&story_fbid=337818342994309. In one of the posts, I believe it is mentioned that Rick Simpson used to use a still set at 130 degrees Celsius. If you look at the chart provided above, that would have decarbed the oil very quickly as well as burning off the solvent. Obviously, the rice cooker doesn’t have the same ability. Would be interesting to know (although probably impossible) what kind of success rates RSO has had using just the rice cooker. That might shed some light on the decarboxylation process.

        Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be an exact science yet. I think all we can do is educate ourselves as best as possible and forge ahead. Thankfully, there are people like those on this site and others who are constantly sharing their knowledge to help move us all forward.

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        • I now feel confident I know enough about the optimum times and temps to decarb fully, but this knowledge comes too late for me. This is why I am desperate to understand how much decarb is achieved by rice cooker process. It is clearly important and I just don’t understand how Rick can be so vague over such an important aspect.
          I appreciate Dennis giving more specific instructions on this and it’s good to see it become better explained elsewhere. I just wish I knew how partial the decarb is from the rice cooker stages so I could gage likely potency of oil I made in the past. But my obsessions aside, it is important for everyone to help educate people to important info like this, every bit of knowledge improves the quality and hence the success of this medicine.

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    • Dennis – can you please weigh in on this issue? If you decarboxylate per your suggestion in the oven BEFORE making the oil using RSO method, do you need to or should you put the oil on a “gentle heating” device to finish it off as RS suggests? Concern is to not overheat the oil as the “gentle heating” device itself can get pretty hot (approx 190-200 degree F per infrared thermometer). Please…need to make sure I understand. Thank you.

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      • Igor – I think what Rick is suggesting by “finishing it off” is to make sure all the solvent is gone. 200º is still below the temperature that breaks down THC. ~Dennis

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  20. Decarboxylation occurs when cannabis is heated to 240 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 – 45 minutes. This works before or after extraction. Follow Rich Simpson instructions; but also experiment to see how to make it better. Revise your procedure as you gain experience and learn more about the process. ~Dennis

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    • With all due respect Dennis this doesn’t really answer any of the questions raised, mine or Igor’s. We know how to decarb now, but I am still desperate to know how much decarb is achieved by rice cooker, which I understand you may not be able to answer, but if you can I would really appreciate knowing. As it would help me gage quality of previously made oil.
      Igor, I personally think some additional heating after rice cooker is worth doing even if you have already decarbed it, just to get rid of last traces of solvent, but not for as long as you would need to finish decarb, though I would like to hear Dennis’ opinion on this.
      Also Dennis, you say follow Rick’s instructions but neither the rice cooker or the coffee warmer reaches the temps you just confirmed as necessary to decarb. All the graphs on decarb only show up to 50 minutes, so I have no idea how much decarb would be achieved by rice cooker at 80C, which would be for a couple of hours. Coffee warmers are supposed to hold temps or 50C, though some seem to go higher as Igor alluded to, both rice cooker and coffee warmer are way below optimum temps for decarb so I am assuming it would require many hours at that heat to complete decarb (if this was not already completed prior). I followed Rick’s instructions but didn’t realise that decarb needed more heat than it received from rice cooker, so clarification is definitely needed. My personal opinion is that Rick’s instructions are too vague and neglect to provide info on decarb, so many people could easily fail to decarb oil properly if they do not apply enough time and heat after rice cooker stage.
      Even if you can’t answer my questions (about decarb from rice cooker) please address Igor’s question. This issue can get confusing for people and clarification is important.
      Igor, my personal advice on decarb (for what it’s worth) would be to decarb after, simple because you can see decarb occur when in oil form (in the form of tiny pin prick pops on the surface) so you can gage more accurately when it is done, and help avoid too much unnecessary heating. Oven at 240F (120C) would seem more efficient than a coffee warmer which could take many hours to finish and possibly leave you with more CBN from degraded THC by the time decarb is finished, where as the 240F for 30 to 40 minutes seems better for converting all THCA to THC, with out degrading too much THC to CBN. But again would like to hear Dennis’ thoughts on this

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      • Matthew – Sorry I cannot help you with these details, as I do not have the lab experience necessary to be authoritative on this. ~Dennis

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        • Thank you anyway Dennis for the response. It appears painfully clear that the rice cooker process of boiling off alcohol does not achieve full decarboxylation, which just adds to my personal frustration that Rick does not include decarboxylation info in his guides (doesn’t even mention decarb in his video) and why separate cooking that you recommend is not part of all his protocols. It seems if decarboxylation is indeed as important as it seems to be then it should be emphasised much better.
          Raw promoters like Dr Courtney insist that THCA is more effective anyway, but the science does not really support such claims and decarb appears to be vital to the process. I am glad that you explain it in your info, but I don’t know why Rick and so many other oil makers make little to no mention of it and why raw promoters like Dr Courtney claim raw is better.

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            • How do you know this? And if this is the case then why would people need to cook the weed before hand, or the oil after extraction? Don’t get me wrong I would love to sincerely believe that full decarboxylation is achieved as the solvent is boiled off but the boiling point for the solvents (in the case of alcohol 82c) is way below the optimum temps for rapid decarb (110c to 130c for full decarb in under an hour). I don’t know how much decarb is likely to be achieved during the solvent cook off, I guess I depends on many other factors (like solvent, batch size, prior decarb etc.) but I feel pretty sure that decarb is partial at best from this process and will require a lot of extra cooking to convert all the raw THCA to THC.
              While we are on the subject, one of Dennis’ previous comments spoke about cooking off ethanol at 250f. I was under the impression that ethanol alcohol, like Isopropyl alcohol, boiled at 82c (180F). Can you clarify this?

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                    • Thank you for replying but I have already seen this information. I am aware of the optimum decarb times and temps required for full decarboxylation and it is primarily this information that leads me to believe that the process of boiling off alcohol in a rice cooker, as per Rick Simpson protocol, is not sufficient to complete full decarb.
                      Optimum temps for rapid decarb (with in an hour) are between 110c and 130c (230 to 266F). Alcohol boils at 82c (180F) and while it generally takes more than an hour to boil off all solvent it seems unlikely that full decarb will be achieved.
                      That was why I questioned the notion that solvent cook off completes decarb

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        • Hi Dennis,

          Someone posted “to avoid Industrial Hemp when making CBD” (Not sure if it was you). I understand that good cancer treatment needs THC also, but I have trim that is high THCa and very little CBDa, so I want to make straight CBD to mix with the THC from the trim. How would I do this without Hemp unless I grow my own Charlotte’s Web or AC/DC?

          Dick

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          • Dick – Was not me who posted “avoid industrial hemp” but perhaps I can interpret the intent. Hemp gives us a little CBD but little else; it is poor in cannabinoids, enzymes, terpenes, phenols, flavonoids, and other therapeutic agents. Looks like growing it is the simplest, most direct means of getting straight CBD; as far as I know. ~Dennis

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  21. check out the chart above ,heat cannabis first in oven 240 f or 110c for about 40 minutes,then do your oil ,if you have already done your oil put it in the oven and do likewise,check how hot your rice cooker gets with a thermometer then refer to chart above to see thc content ,by the looks of it, if the cooker stays under 105 c then the thc content should be around 5%

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    • The oil I am asking about has already been made and used, I am trying to gage likely potency of it because it was part of a failed cancer treatment and I am trying to gage partial decarb so I can gage its relevance to the failure. So thank you for the advice but it doesn’t really help me, I do now know how to properly decarb. To be honest I don’t understand this chart 100%, but from what I can see it only shows up to 50 minutes heating time it only shows specific temperatures, so you cannot deduce how much decarboxylation occurs under 106c except to know that it would be somewhere in between the reading for 106c and the reading for 94c, and decarboxylation after 50 minutes can only be assumed based on the trend up to 50 minutes. For example does the increase shown at 80c carry on at similar rate, does it dip or does it increase? There’s no real way of knowing from this chart. Also it does not really represent percentage as in 94C for 50 minutes is 5%. It says 5mg/g. The peak is 15mg/g. So if the 15mg represents 100% decarb then 5mg would be more like 30% decarb. Maybe I am not understanding the chart properly but that is what it seems to be saying from what I can see.
      That is my question, Igor is questioning why Rick’s method does not involve heat of more than 106c, even if you use a coffee warmer which does not go above 70c. I am guessing that eventually heats below the optimum would decarb, like many months at room temp can decarb dry weed, but at coffee warmer temp this chart would suggest it would need many hours to complete decarb. But again this chart doesn’t really help shed light on that as it doesn’t show results past 50 minutes or temps below 80c. Also why does it start at 3mg? Was that the amount of THC prior to heating or does it represent the instant decarb of all the temps shown.
      Basically I am asking about decarb with out coffee warmer (or other heating device) and Igor is asking about the fact that Rick’s method does not involve temps above 105 at any point, regardless of weather you use a coffee warmer, which stays below 70c.

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      • Hi Matt. My research is continuing and what I’m finding is that there are many more questions than there are answers – especially on the topics of decarboxylation and choice of solvent. Like you, I am very interested in finding the “exact” answers but am finding that none exist (at least so far). Fact is that most of the work is being done by “average” people in non-lab settings with relatively crude equipment – i.e., there are no real controls and no sophisticated equipment to measure results. It’s all very ad hoc. This necessarily means that answers to our questions will be much harder to come by with the precision you and I both seek…at least for now. If I learn something, I will certainly post it and share.
        I did feel compelled to write to you because I know you are trying to figure out if your previously made oil was made the “right way” and my heart goes out to you because you lost your father in the process. My condolences to you on your loss. I know I haven’t given you any of the answers you seek but I hope you can take some comfort in knowing you did all you could. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t seem like there is conclusive information on these topics. A lot of thoughts and opinions (some more valuable than others) but few hard scientific facts. This is the problem when people aren’t given the freedom to choose their own medicines. Hopefully, that will change. Best to you…

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        • thanks Igor, I appreciate your kind words. I wish I could say I felt that I did the best I could, sadly I feel that the oversight regarding decarb was an important oversight and as such rather than feeling like I did the best I could I actually feel like I let him down and messed up on something that I should have known more about. But that is my problem, no one else’s. I was just hoping that I could discover how much decarb was achieved when I relied on the rice cooker and that maybe someone with access to testing facilities would be able to help shed some light on this, or that maybe someone like Dennis would know.
          You are right, such situations do just highlight the need for this medicine to be properly available with out the barriers of prohibition and if it wasn’t for the corruption and lies facilitating such a shameful situation then this medicine would be properly available to all cancer patients, including my step father, and people like me would not be left on our own to make and administer a cancer treatment, and then left to curse our mistakes when the treatment fails.
          While it looks like no one here, Dennis included, can help me with my questions, I am glad to see decarb better explained for future oil makers. Though I try to resist such feelings I cannot help feel a little bitter towards Rick Simpson over his vague, slack, and even misleading, advice. And have been more than a little disappointed by his refusal to acknowledge the confusion or make any effort to amend his instructions in way that clarifies this issue. So far his instructions continue to neglect to mention decarb at all.
          If you do come across info that will help me with my questions then please do share, as I know these questions will never stop haunting me. Thank you for acknowledging what I am actually asking about as well, as much as I appreciate the advice of others here, no one seems to be actually reading my question properly and just keeps telling me what I already know.
          I’m sorry to everyone else on this forum for filling it with my own sad story and seemingly irrelevant questions, but making mistakes with someone’s cancer treatment is not something that I can just forgive myself for and move on from, so all I can do is try to discover how much of a mistake I really made and how significant it was likely to be to my failure.
          Igor, you may not be able to give me the answers I seek, but I appreciate you actually reading my comment and properly understanding my question, and taking the time to reply. Thank you.

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  22. Dennis – quick point of clarification please. Do you know if decarboxylation is complete when all bubbles stop (regardless of heat source you use at end of process)?

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  23. Hi Dennis, I want to use your recommendation for decarb at 240 degrees F for 30-45 minutes. I read one technique that said to use a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and another layer of foil over the cannabis to prevent any of the good stuff from escaping. Does this sound okay to you? Thanks a lot and have a great weekend.

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  24. Hola Dennis from Mexico City. I got a bit confused maybe because English is my 2nd language. You say that, according to the Russians experience (graph), the optimum temperature for decarboxylate is 240ºF for 30-45 minutes, but according to their graph the optimal temperature should be 252ºF for 27-34 minutes, after that starts THC starts declining. Could you elaborate on that please? Gracias🙂

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  25. Hola – All we want to do here is get enough heat to release the carboxyl group (CO-OH) from the THC to make it fat soluble, and allow it to fit the CB1 receptor. Either of these specifications will work, so don’t worry about it. Approximate it the best you can, and it will decarboxylate the material. We don’t need to be overly picky. ~Dennis

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  26. Dennis I had prostate op (radical) October 2005. I had no chemo or radiology. My PSA after op has never dropped to “0”… I am now up to a PSA of 0.30 in 9 years with no prostate in my body. I’m 71 y.o. I’d appreciate your best advice. I’m prepared to move to Washington or Colorado for treatment. I just need to know where to start.

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  27. so thca tincture wont cure cancer, but shitty tasting decarbed oil will. no you dont decarb it first, bcuz when you cook the tincture into oil, it already decarbes itself, and itll keep the terps and taste better.

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  28. Jazzzi – it is my understanding that the PSA test is not a direct measure of cancer in the prostate, but is a measure of inflammation. So you could have a positive PSA with no prostate. 0.3 is very low, probably don’t need to worry about anything unless it gets over 4.0. If you think you have cancer, consult an oncologist to get a test or scan that can verify your suspicions. Otherwise, just live the good life. ~Dennis

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    • Dennis – I thank you and all on your site for the Good Words I read. May God Bless You and Yours. I’ll keep up with your site in future. Jazzzi

      Like

  29. Hi Dennis
    my mother has stage iv breast ca with mets to lungs and liver
    nothing seems to be working for her, I came across this blog while researching RSO . I live in miami where it is hard to find medicinal marijuana to make the oil myself. I dont know how much time she has left, she is so weak the doctor suggested we put her in hospice.
    I think this is probably if any her only chance. I will like to have the information of someone that makes the oil decarb and following
    the correct guidelines of Rick Sympson and using the right strains. Please can I contact you by e-mail or phone.
    Thanks
    Maria

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  30. Dennis- What do you think of the claim that “cannabis paste” as promoted by newcure is superior to RSO? They say it’s much more efficient, less destructive to vital components and basically stretches the cannabis further. I’m about to make a batch of decarbed RSO, but want to make sure I’m not missing out on an improved method. Thanks… your site is great.

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  31. Chris – If you are using medical cannabis for cancer, best to decarboxylate the THCA (RSO). All other medical uses can use the NewCure method that only heats to 180ºF. Basically NewCure uses vegetable glycerine, low heat, for 10 hrs., to extract the cannabinoids. RSO extracts by ethanol at 250ºF. Choose whatever method meets your medical needs. ~Dennis

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  32. Dennis- It is for cancer, so this is mostly hypothetical and will likely stick with tried and true… but, what about using your decarb method, in the oven, first, before creating a paste ala the NewCure method? Would that decarboxylate the THCA sufficiently while leaving the maker with much more usable material at the end of the process?

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  33. Hi Dennis, pls reply to “Jazzzijr” on my new email. I’m in hospital now that my cancer has been found in my gall bladder bile duct opening at the pancreas. My New Email is: jazzzijr@hotmail.com … My 1st email to you was 1 Sep 14 about a 0.30 rising PSA which you thought may have been inflammation. Ive been setup for a 4 hour surgery 8 Oct 14; wish me luck and give much prayer. I still want to get in touch with someone that can help me with cannabis decarboxylate THCA (RSO) or the best medicine that you know. I must refuse “chemo” at all cost… As soon as I’m better, I would move to Wash state or Colorado for the medicine. Ta in Advance, Jazzzijr

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  34. Darn it! Just lost what I wrote! Anyway, my husband, 61, was diagnosed with bladder cancer about 4 mos. ago. No chemo or radiation, but 2 ‘scrapings’. Was to undergo procedure last nite, but uneven pupils indicated another stroke (he had one 2 weeks ago). Is on second batch of Tears. First made with high-grade pot and 99% isopropyl alcohol. New batch from pure kief and 153 proof grain alcohol. They aren’t working and I suspect he didn’t finish decarb process. New batch is very thick and hard to encapsulate, so I thinned it with a little DMSO and hempseed oil to give him by dropper. Can I decarb it further by heating on stove (propane) in a pan of water? I don’t want it to blow up or anything.

    Same stuff cured my mom’s hideous squamous-cell on her leg. Have photographic proof from beginning to end. It is also helping her dementia. Stuff is miraculous, but I need one more. Thank you for any help.

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  35. Cajajo – Yes you can complete the decarb at any stage. Just follow the instructions for time and temperature. Should be fine. Hope your husband will respond positively to the heating. ~Dennis

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  36. Thank you so much, Dennis. We had his urologist read about you a few weeks ago. He did, but was from an older article you’d written, with no follow-up as to how you are today. If only I could get him to bathe the bladder via the catheter with the oil!

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  37. cahajo – I hope your husband does well. As for my status, I have been cancer free for four years after taking the cannabis extract. Safe to say ‘remission.’ ~Dennis

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  38. I hope so, too. Thank you. Found out today it is in his liver. His kidneys were failing because cath wasn’t working, so they stented them.

    Like Igor above, I’d like to know about the bubbles coming up, too. Do you have to wait until they stop? That’s what I did last nite and it took a couple of hours! A friend gave us some he’d made as a back-up.

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    • Brian, apart from being unnecessarily insulting, your comment is not accurate. The decarboxylation issue is NOT a façade. THC kills cancer through activation of CB1 or CB2 receptors. Raw THCA cannot activate either receptors, so cannot kill cancer through this pathway. It is believed to have anti cancer effects of its own activated through other pathways like TRPM8 and TRPA1, even possibly through the COX1 and 2 interaction (though this is more relevant to inflammation). But not study has even shown THCA actually kill cancer.
      There is a similar difference between CBD and raw CBDA, where CBDA has shown some anti cancer properties but CBD has been shown to actually kill cancer.
      There is still potential for raw cannabis as a cancer treatment but the current evidence only really supports its value as a supplement to the properly cooked cannabis oil, not a replacement.
      At the end of the day THC and THCA are completely different in their medical effects as is CBD and CBDA. At this time only THC and CBD (the decarboxilated cannabinoids) have been shown to kill cancer and while raw THCA and CBDA does have its own medicinal properties, including some possible, likely less direct, anti cancer effects, decarboxylation is ESSENTIAL to convert the cannabinoid acids into the PROVEN cancer killing cannabinoids.

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        • Because the implications of TRPA1 affinity are not as well researched or seemingly as profound as the CB receptors, where THC has a higher affinity, particularly when it concerns its value for fighting cancer.
          In addition to this, CBG is also a decarboxylated cannabinoid (as oppose to raw acid, which would be CBGA) so the original point about the value of decarboxylation remains unchallenged by the value of other decarboxylated cannabinoids. The difference between THC and THCA just demonstrates the point easier as THC has proven anti cancer effects through CB1, CB2 and through blocking GPR55. THCA has no affinity with any of these receptors and while its affinity with TRPM8 (as well as TRPA1) may have anti cancer implications that make it valuable as a supplement, THC and CBD remain the most potent and proven cannabinoids to be used as the primary cancer treatment.
          Finally CBG is rare in many strains by the time it is cropped, despite CBGA (its acidic precursor) being produced by all plants as a precursor to all other cannabinoids, because CBGA is usually converted by enzymes in the plant to the other cannabinoids/acids, like THCA, CBDA, CBCA etc. So before you have a chance to decarb CBGA to CBG it has already converted to a different acid.
          As I said in my original comment, other cannabinoids including the raw acids like THCA and CBDA do have medicinal value, even anti cancer value, of their own through other pathways but they are not as established and at this stage do not appear to be as potent.
          As for why Marinol is less effective. It is too simplistic to say this indicates that THC is the least medicinal part. For one thing Marinol is synthetic THC and secondly THC, like most cannabinoids, appears more effective when combined with other cannabinoids. Similar observations have been made with CBD where efficacy is vastly improved when THC is also present as oppose to its use as an isolated compound.
          The emphasising of decarboxylation is not about the excuse to get high, it is simply that the neutral cannabinoids are most established and apparently more potent cancer fighters than their raw acidic precursors, making decarboxylation vital for your primary treatment.
          There are other conditions where raw may be more beneficial, epilepsy is an area where raw THCA may prove more effective than CBD and THC put together, as current patient reports strongly suggest this, and the interaction between raw cannabinoid acids and other receptors may show more medicinal benefits that make it a preferred route. But at this time, for cancer, decarboxylation appears to be vital for maximising efficacy and while all the cannabinoids appear to have some level of cancer fighting potency, THC remains the most established and potent (though admittedly it seems to be more effective when used with other cannabinoids than on its own).
          Don’t assume that emphasising decarboxylation or THC in particular is about an excuse to get high. Many patients would prefer to avoid the high and be able to maximise cannabis with the use of non psychoactive cannabinoids, be it the raw acids or other neutral cannabinoids, and it would probably serve the activists better if they could point to the non psychoactive acidic precursor THCA as equally or more effective medicine, but the sad truth is that THC is (at this time) the most proven and potent cancer killer for most types of cancer, and as most strains contain at least some THC (when decarbed) the use of a psychoactive compound is unfortunately necessary (though the high can be limited or even avoided with gradual dosing and other supplements).
          Don’t get me wrong, if research shows a non psychoactive alternative, whether it is raw (undecarbed) or decarbed strains with little to no THC, be it high CBG or CBD or CBC, then that would be great, but that is not the current reality.
          Most of the medicinal evidence for cannabis, especially regarding cancer, is involving the CB receptors, and generally shows THC to be the most effective. The other pathways used by other cannabinoids and raw cannabinoid acids should not be ignored, but at this time to not match up to decarbed, high THC extracts

          Liked by 1 person

  39. I have found the original source – The Journal of Chromatography Volume 520. I would like to purchase the article in which the above chart is included. Can someone please tell me the specific article name or author name for the Journal’s article? Dennis Hill cites the Journal name and volume number, but not the article name or author. Thank you to anyone who has that information.

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  40. Do any of you have any provable cases?

    Something that could be demonstrated according to modern clinical standards?

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  41. Hello Dennis!

    Hopefully you still come around here once in a while!

    I’m wondering, if there is already decarboxylation happening from burning off alcohol in a rice cooker, then is further higher-temp decarb in the oven going to break down the THC too much? As in…too much time (in the above diagram) leads to the break down in chemistry and potency?

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Jen

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  42. Jen4 – Some decarboxylation happens with any heat. 30 minutes at 240º F. will mostly decarboxylate. 60 minutes at 240 will be complete. Boiling point is 247º F. so stay below that in the oven. ~Dennis

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    • Dennis did you write 247F in error as a boiling point, and if not what is this the boiling point for? As far as I am aware THC can be heated to 266F with out evaporation, even as high as 280
      F (though the latter is not recommended because it can degrade to CBN if that temp is applied too long). But 247F is not the boiling point of any cannabinoids I am aware of, unless you refer to the cannabinoid acids or terpenes. Can you clarify because that number appears to be incorrect

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  43. James – You can check weedmaps.com for a dispensary near you. Ask for oil extract, aka:Rick Simpson oil. Follow instructions. ~Dennis

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  44. Hi Dennis,
    I made my second small batch of RSO and decarbed it in the oven. The first time I used a burner from a drip coffee pot and it seemed to work well. This time I had to use the oven and had no internet service or notes for info. and I put it in at 275 F for about 4 hours. Did I completely ruin this batch? I am making it for my Mom who has oral cancer. I appreciate any information you could give me, as well as all the work you’ve done on this site,
    Thanks

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  45. Hi Dennis,
    I don’t know if you got my post already, I just finished making my second small batch of RSO. The first time I decarbed it using a burner from a drip coffee maker and it seemed to work well. The second time I was unable to use that method, and used the oven. I had no internet service or previous notes and had the temperature at 275 F for 4 hours. Did I completely ruin that batch? I am making it for my Mom, who has oral cancer. Have you heard or anyone with this cancer using the oil? I would appreciate your answers, and also thank you for all the hard work you have put into this site,
    Shannon

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  46. Shannon – I have not tried oil cooked for 4hrs, so don’t really know the answer. However, logically, if the cook does not go over 275º it should not burn off. Personally, I would use it. But you could use the empirical approach and try it. ~Dennis

    Liked by 1 person

  47. My material is so dry that when the temp. reaches around 200f it starts smoking. Is that bad? I don’t want to ruin it, cause I don’t have a lot of money.

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