Acidic and neutral cannabinoids

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and  CBD are the two most famous cannabinoids, but contrary to popular belief they are not actually present in fresh cannabis plants. The reason is that the plant produces all its cannabinoids in a slightly different form known as acidic cannabinoids or cannabinoid-acids. When sufficient heat is applied, cannabinoid-acids will quickly convert to their so-called ‘neutral’ counterparts by a process called decarboxylation. So when cannabis is burned for smoking, baked for edibles, or boiled for tea, THC-acid turns into its neutral form THC, CBD-acid turns into CBD, and so on for all other cannabinoids. This process is visualized in figure 3-1. Decarboxylation also spontaneously takes place in aging cannabis samples as a result of storage and exposure to light or room temperature, but at a much slower rate.

Medicinal cannabis can be used in several different ways, including vaporizing and preparation of tea.