If I Smoke Cannabis, How Much THC Is Left In The Ash?

Did you ever wonder how much THC was left in the black soot in your cannabis bowl, pipe, or bong after you finished off the last hit? Could you get high of the ash and soot left stuck to the pipe or bong?

The awesome folks at Orange Photonics got asked the same question at a trade show and decided to use their testing briefcase to find out the answer! You can read their blog post about it here.

How did they set up the test?

  • Weigh 100mg of both ash material and the original cannabis sample
  • Add some LightLab solvent to a vile and add in the sample material
  • Shake it all up
  • Inject it into their LightLab testing system.

What do you think is the answer? How much THC is left after you “smoke a bowl’?

The Orange Photonics guys decided to guess before they saw the results, and what were the scientist all guessing the answer would be?

“We had some friendly bets about what the result would be. Values ranged from no THC left to about half of the starting THC content. One thing we all agreed was that most of the THCA would be decarboxylated into Delta-9 THC from the heat of the flame. THCA is made by the plant and is converted to Delta-9 THC through a reaction that typically involves heat. When cannabis is smoked, it converts from the inactive THCA into active Delta-9 THC.”

The Answer?

The lab results showed that as expected much of the THCA was converted to Delta-9 THC, though not all of it. The unburnt part of the ash and soot still had relatively high amounts of THC in it, so make sure you smoke every last bit of your bowl before you tap it out.

“One interesting note about the starting material. We noted there was a small amount of CBGA, or Cannabigerolic Acid present. This is the precursor to other cannabinoids. Typically, a plant creates CBGA, and then uses enzymatic processes to convert CBGA further into either THCA or CBDA depending on the plant genetics. CBGA is often found at higher levels in early flowering and by the time it is ready to harvest, almost no CBGA is present. This particular sample may have been harvested a little earlier than it should have in order to get the highest possible THC levels.”

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