Dela-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was first isolated from cannabis plants with its boiling point documented in 1964 in Israel. That discovery was made 22 years after the first extraction of THC isomers. Before then or even Roger Adams’ discovery of CBD in 1940, though, a compound with a similar boiling point as THC was noted in cannabis oil provided by Merck at the time. Oddly then, a deep well of misinformation surrounds cannabinoid boiling points in publications today.
CBN found in 1800s cannabis oil by Merck
R.S. Cahn found a new compound found in 1986. The molecule turned out to be cannabinol (CBN), the first cannabinoid discovered. This means that a boiling point elucidated CBN more than a century ago. Regardless, cannabinoid boiling points are riddled with misinformation today.
The temperature at which THC boils has been accurately reiterated by leading chemists in recent years. Two examples are Dr. Mark Scialdone, and separately, Dr. Markus Roggen of Delic Labs. Both chemists have laminated the correct cannabinoid boiling points on various platforms. Scialdone has discussed in length the discoveries made in 1986.
Yet common information shared on the Web and Social Media incorrectly depicts the boiling points of CBN as 185° and THC as 156° degrees Celsius.
Boiling points in a deep vacuum
If you were told vape pens boil CBN at 185 degrees Celsius (365°F), perhaps the communication came from outer space. While water does boil at room temperature and CBN boils at 185°C under a deep vacuum. Cannabinoids boil at much higher temperatures on Earth’s surface, where consumers toke up.
CBN and THC both boil above 400° Celcius on the planet’s surface. Creating misinformation, the temperatures that cannabinoids boil at under a full vacuum are often used to depict regular boiling points, too. To clear the confusion, an equation is used to adjust boiling points at different atmospheric pressures.
Let us if you know in the comments if you were familiar with the true temperature that cannabinoids boil. And check out this story to read how THC aerosolizes rather than boils in a vape pen.
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- The boiling point of CBG is only known based on predicted values calculated using a mathematical equation, it is not yet known based on direct experimental data.
- Gaoni Y, Mechoulam R. Isolation, structure, and partial synthesis of an active constituent of hashish. J Am Chem Soc. 1964;86(8):1646-1647.
- Pertwee R. G. (2006). Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years. British journal of pharmacology, 147 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), S163–S171.
- Wood TB, Spivey WTN, Easterfield TH.
- Xl. —charas. The resin of indian hemp. J Chem Soc, Trans. 1896;69(0):539-546.