If you don’t want to get into chemistry, the only thing you need to understand about decarboxylation is that it’s a chemical process that occurs over time and is accelerated with heat. And it makes many elements in the cannabis plant–such as CBD–much more potent and bioavailable. For those who are interested, the chemical reaction involves a carboxyl group (COOH), being exchanged for hydrogen atoms and producing carbon dioxide. You now know.
Decarboxylated marijuana is cannabis that has been heated to a high temperature in order to speed up the process. Raw cannabis is, however, exactly what it sounds. It’s cannabis that hasn’t been heated or dried. Although some decarboxylation can occur naturally over time, even without heating, time mixed with heat (i.e. The product is officially considered “decarboxylated” when it is placed in an oven at 240°F for approximately two hours. Raw cannabis is not heated and therefore, it cannot be decarboxylated.
Which is better: raw or cooked? It depends.
This leads to the obvious question: Which is better? Which is the best? Which is better?
Although it is not always the best answer, it is the correct one. It all depends on what you are looking for.
I’m going to be honest with you. In the pre-CBD cannabis community , decarboxylation was a huge deal because it activates THC in cannabis. This is known as THC (or THC-a) and turns it into high-potency THC. As it turned out, decarboxylation also activates cannabis. This makes the less-potent CBD-a in raw hemp into the more bioavailable CBD we all love and know. We are discussing this topic now because it is so important.
You might be thinking that decarboxylation “turboactivates” important cannabinoids making them more potent, bioavailable and accessible. Why would anyone want to use anything else?
Most people won’t accept anything less than decarb, regardless of whether they are seeking the psychoactive effects of THC or the many non-psychoactive benefits that CBD offers. The best way to obtain the most bioavailable CBD is by decarboxylation.
The raw advantage: Good on paper, but…
Raw CBD has a fair advantage, however. You get all the flavonoids, the terpenes, and cannabinoids that are naturally present in the raw material. They may not be as potent or bioavailable, but they are all there. This may not be as advantageous as it appears on paper. You can preserve many compounds that may have been damaged by high heat at 240 degrees.
Raw contains the non-psychoactive THC-a version (called THC-a) and a less potent, bioavailable version (called CBD-a). These “inactive” compounds may have anti-inflammatory properties. Raw cannabis is more difficult to digest than processed. Although high heat decarb can damage or eliminate some of the trace synergistic substances found in raw cannabis, it is still not clear if it does. In any event, “low” heat carb (i.e. under 240 degrees).
The decarb benefit: bioavailability and the entourage effect
With decarb products, you’re getting a much more bioavailable and potent form of CBD, not to mention plenty of flavonoids and terpenes that survive the decarb process just fine, and produce the desired “entourage effect.”
You may need to try different products to find the best one for you. One thing to remember is make sure you only choose a trusted, experienced manufacturer who knows their stuff. This will ensure that you get the best product possible, no matter what choice you make.
This post was written by Flo Sugyatno, operations manager of PureMed and CBD Expert. At PureMed we are the best providers of Best CBD Gummies! We know that the best product comes from the best ingredients. That’s why we only use local, non-GMO ingredients that are grown without pesticides! We Produce Worry-Free CBD.