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The decarboxylation process converts these inactive components in cannabis, which are not psychoactive, into active components – converting CBDA into CBD and THCA into THC.
The decarboxylation process is essential to unlocking all of the benefits that CBD oil offers consumers. CBD is non-psychoactive, so even after decarboxylation users won’t receive the “high” of THC products – the process is simply to be able to activate the various therapeutic compounds of CBD.
So, what actually is decarboxylation?
There is more information than ever before on the extraction processes of CBD oil and the benefits of using such products, but there are still a large number of things that many people do not understand – Decarboxylation is one of those.
Scientific studies have found that CBD oil can work as a treatment for various mental and physical illnesses (such as anxiety, cancer and chronic pain), as well as possessing beneficial properties such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics.
How does this process work?
We don’t want to write off the raw version entirely, as it may possess some unique characteristics of its own. Keeping CBDA alongside CBD also encourages the entourage effect, a phenomenon that boosts the overall effectiveness of cannabinoids. You can read more about research into the potential impact of CBDA here.
At its most basic, if you left hemp flowers outside in the sun, the heat would cause decarboxylation to occur over time. The same also applies if you heat hemp flowers with a flame—you would be converting CBDA to CBD. Obviously, in this example, it’s impossible to control the reaction, and excessive temperatures will destroy the cannabinoid altogether. For commercial production of CBD oils, decarboxylation is performed under controlled circumstances and carefully monitored.
Before we explain why decarboxylation matters, it helps to understand how hemp and other subspecies of Cannabis sativa produce cannabinoids. As a young seedling, hemp doesn’t automatically contain high concentrations of CBD. In fact, during the plant’s earliest stages, there are only a handful of cannabinoids.
What are the benefits of decarboxylated CBD?
The process outlined above isn’t the end of the chemical changes cannabinoids go through. Inside the plant, all cannabinoids exist in their raw, acidic form. In the case of CBD, it starts life as CBDA. Unfortunately, CBDA cannot interact with our endocannabinoid system in the same way as CBD, so we need to convert it from a raw chemical compound to an “activated” one. You can decarboxylate CBD by using heat or a series of controlled chemical reactions.
Essentially, decarboxylation allows CBDA to transform into its more influential counterpart. If you want to get the most out of CBD, it needs to be decarboxylated first. That’s why the majority of commercial CBD oils contain CBD with only trace amounts of CBDA. Neither of these cannabinoids exerts psychotropic effects.
To sum up, hemp contains vast amounts of CBDA, an acidic cannabinoid. Once it’s carefully extracted from plant material, CBDA is heated (decarboxylated) to become the CBD we know and love. CBD is the activated form, with a far greater influence over the endocannabinoid system.
All of the CBD produced at Cibdol is decarboxylated before CO₂ extraction to enhance the compound’s possible influence. Yet, our full-spectrum CBD formula also contains trace amounts of CBDA to encourage the entourage effect.