Chemical-assisted decarboxylation

Hi all,

New to Future4200 and loving it so far. I was wondering if any of you might have insights into lowering the decarboxylation temperature to a degree that won’t destroy your valuable terps from a low temp extraction. I saw a few people talking about using MgO, and I also found this patent in the literature:


Anyone know what sodium catalyst they’re talking about? I’m thinking its Na2O. And their process is aqueous, meaning you’re raising the pH by adding the sodium catalyst. Is it the basic aqueous environment that is lowering the activating energy for decarboxylation? Or could you add Na2O to a crude extract, heat it to 70 C and have decarboxylated product in half an hour?

Thanks in advanced for any insights

If the goal is to preserve terpenes I do not think they will survive the exposure to sodium.

Link us this paper and if there’s any hope of gleaning the reaction kinetics, I’ll get you a response.


why will sodium destroy terpenes?

WO2019057994A1.pdf (653.8 KB)

Referenced page is on 7/16. Thanks all for your responses.

Terpenes are pretty fragile molecules, it takes very little for them to break down. If the plan is to use sodium oxide it’s not a stretch to believe that the terpenes will oxidize. If it’s pure sodium you’re using we all know that sodium by itself is highly reactive.

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any insights here TheGratefulPhil?

Thank you

From a light skim, it seems like the catalyst used here (Al2O3) can be used to selectively decarboxylate THCA to THC, while keep CBDA in its acid form. The purpose being to allow separation of the two into two phases.

What application are you trying to achieve? If it’s selective decarboxylation of THC, then it seems like it can be achieved if the THCA is made aqueous and reacted with Al2O3.

Thanks for the insights. I would be looking for a catalyst that could decarboxylate both THCA and CBDA (that or have one catalyst that does each).

I know it’s a stretch, but I believe a lot of terpenes get oxidized/spent in the decarboxylation process prior to SP/WF distillation. True, many terps get destroyed in the initial decarb and the extraction itself. But reducing the temperature every 10 degrees should decrease the rate of terpene oxidation by 2 fold, if the reaction mechanism is first-order ish. So if I can reduce the decarboxylation temperature from 140 C to 90 C, I should have 32 times (2^5) the usable terpene concentration. Maybe then the first pass fraction of terpenes will smell slightly less awful.

Any thoughts on this? Thanks