Article by Travis Cesarone, Cannabis Life Network
It is commonly known that THC boils at 155 to 157 degrees Celcius. Or, at least, that is a common misconception, since THC actually boils above 400 degrees Celcius. However, vape pens operate at temperatures far below THC’s true boiling point, so how does the cannabinoid turn into an aerosol and get into the lungs?
…THC is transported to your lungs in oil droplets…
How do boiling points change?
Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius at normal atmospheric pressure. However, that temperature will change if the pressure changes. This change can be achieved by sucking the air out of a special, sealed chamber with a pump, or much more slightly, with an elevation change.
In fact, it is easier to boil water in a vacuum oven as the pressure can be reduced to near vacuum. At those low pressures water might boil at room temperature. And only at such low pressures is it that THC boils around 155 to 157 degrees Celcius, not at the atmosphere pressure of sea level.
How did THC’s boiling point become so ambiguous?
THC’s boiling point is listed on many chemical references pages, and even Wikipedia, as 155 to 160 degrees Celcius, but that is at 0.05 millimetres in mercury (HG), or close to a full vacuum. Earth’s normal atmosphere at sea level is approximately 760 mm in mercury when looking at a graph in a book, which is one unit of atmosphere, or 101.351 kilopascals (KPA).
So, how do we figure out THC’s actual boiling point from this data if we do not have any other references?
What the heck is the Clausius Clapeyron Equation?
A method to figure out THC’s true boiling point is to use a fancy mathematical tool that is designed to adjust boiling points under different pressures. This tool is known as a temperature-pressure nomograph and is based on the Clausius Clapeyron Equation. But, an even easier method to discover THC’s misinterpreted properties is to just call a scientist.
Sometimes it is best to simply #AskAnExpert
I was honestly reminded of THC’s true boiling point while following CBDV on Linkedin, a laboratory in British Columbia, Canada that is licensed by Health Canada to test and research cannabis as well as psilocybin. This lab is now owned by Delic Labs and was founded by Dr. Markus Roggen who holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.
CBDV is at the forefront of testing the emissions from vape pens and joints, a test that will become mandatory across the United States by 2022. So, I decided to call Dr. Roggen to learn more about vape pen testing and the state THC is in while it is vaped, especially when considering this remarkably higher boiling point of approximately 425 degrees Celcius.