THCA Decarboxylation: An Unexpected Mechanism
Speaking at The Science of Cannabis Extraction 2021 online symposium in June, Dr Brian Smith, Founder, CEO & Chief Technical Officer of Big Sur Scientific presented his recent research on THCA decarboxylation.
Abstract: We have discovered a new mechanism for THCA decarboxylation using mid-infrared spectroscopy to follow the reaction. Previous work on the gram scale showed a first order reaction rate limited by the concentration of THCA. Our work on the kilogram scale found the reaction is zeroth order and rate limited by the surface area of the vessel being used to heat the reactants. This discovery has important implications for how extractors can optimize their decarb reactions to save time and money.