Inactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) in the raw plant must be decarboxylated to the neutral phenols (THC and CBD) to interact with the endocannabinoid system. This occurs when dried cannabis flowers are heated, either by vaporizing, smoking, baking, or cooking. Many commercially available oils are decarboxylated to provide consistent and precise dosing.
These are responsible for the variety of scents and flavours of different cannabis varieties. Terpenes may have direct physiologic effects as well as interacting with cannabinoids to create the unique properties of individual cannabis varieties.
This is known as the entourage effect, a theory that describes the potential interactions between major cannabinoids, minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant constituents.