What is Decarboxylated CBD?

decarboxylated-cbd

While there is more information than ever before about CBD, there are still quite a few things that not everyone understands about cannabis.

Decarboxylation is one of these things.

Decarboxylation is a process that applies to all types of cannabis, including medical marijuana use, recreational marijuana use, and in the use of CBD products created from hemp.

If you use cannabis in any way, shape, or form (including THC and CBD products) decarboxylation is something you will benefit from learning about.

What is Decarboxylation?

Illustration Of Decarboxlyation

Phytocannabinoids that are naturally occurring in cannabis are in an acidic form.

Decarboxylation is a process that removes a carboxyl group from a molecule. 

In the case of cannabis, a carbon atom is removed from a carbon chain, resulting in the release of carbon dioxide.

With cannabis, the process of decarboxylation converts the inactive compounds into active compounds that essentially unlocks its therapeutic effects.

Decarboxylation converts acidic cannabinoids present in cannabis into non-acidic cannabinoids. 

The process doesn’t convert 100% of the acidic cannabinoids. 

That’s why you will almost always see a level of acidic cannabinoids (i.e. CBDA or THCA) present on any cannabis product lab report.

Before cannabis (both hemp and marijuana) is decarboxylated, there isn’t naturally occurring CBD or THC present in the plant. 

Instead, these phytocannabinoids are found in an acidic state, better known as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).

In order to convert CBDA into CBD or THCA into THC, the process of decarboxylation must take place.

Decarboxylation takes place by two very simple things. Heat and time.

Have you ever stopped to wonder why people smoke marijuana rather than just eat it raw?

It’s because in order to achieve the desired effects, the THC present in marijuana must be heated up. 

Smoking and vaporizing cannabis heat up the compounds present in the plant immediately and offer the desired effects.

CBD is no different. In order to harness the therapeutic benefits of CBD, it must be decarboxylated before its consumed. 

There are, however, benefits of non-decarboxylated CBD and other cannabinoids in their raw, non-decarboxylated state as well.

The Benefits of Decarboxylated CBD

Almost all CBD products you’ll find have gone through the decarboxylation process. 

Why? 

Because decarbing CBD helps to release most of the therapeutic benefits CBD contains.

Decarboxylation “activates” the CBD in order for consumers to be able to experience all of its therapeutic properties.

Simply put, decarboxylation of CBD is necessary to get the most out of the beneficial cannabinoid.

That being said, there are some benefits to non-decarboxylated CBD and other cannabinoids as well.

Let’s take a deeper look. 

While CBD has been studied much more widely than CBDA, there are some brands that offer both “raw” (or non-decarboxylated) CBD and “regular” CBD (decarboxylated).

Both Bluebird Botanicals and Endoca, two of our favorite CBD brands, offer products with raw, non-decarboxylated CBD (CBDA).

There has been increased research on the acidic form of many phytocannabinoids, with evidence showing that CBDA contains benefits of its own.

Just like CBD, CBDA is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high.

Studies indicate that CBDA has beneficial therapeutic effects when taken by itself or with other cannabinoids. Some of these benefits include:

As you can see, CBDA has shown to have some benefits of its own.

One of the best ways to harness the benefits of these raw cannabinoids is through juicing

Most people don’t have access to CBD rich cannabis flowers, however, which is why more companies have started to offer an option for “raw” CBD oil.

Seeing that both non-decarboxylated CBD and decarboxylated CBD both contain therapeutic benefits, a product that blends both has the potential to offer increased benefit. 

This is why some companies now offer products that contain both CBD and CBDA in a 1:1 ratio.

Check out BlueBird Botancials and Endoca CBD to find products which offer both CBD and raw CBD (CBDA).

How is CBD Decarboxylated?

When it comes to decarboxylation, temperature is everything.

Remember that heat is what causes the decarboxylation process to take place, and while a lower temperature may take longer, it’s actually something that’s preferred.

Why?

Decarbing CBD (and THC) at lower temperatures allows for the preservation of terpenes.

Terpenes, responsible for giving cannabis its aroma and flavor, also contain therapeutic benefits of their own. 

Terpenes also work in harmony with CBD and other cannabinoids to increase their overall effects.

Want to try to decarb cannabis on your own? 

It’s really, really easy. All you need is some dried cannabis flower and an oven. Check out the following steps to decarboxylate cannabis at home.

  • Preheat oven to 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Break up dried cannabis flowers (buds) until they are in small pieces and place on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, ensuring to “stir” the baking buds every 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the cannabis has turned from green to medium-brown, it can be removed from the oven.

From here, you can use your decarboxylated cannabis to make your own edibles and extractions.

Final Thoughts

While decarboxylation is one of the most important parts of activating the various therapeutic compounds found in cannabis, it is something that is relatively unheard of to the basic consumer.

As you can see, however, decarboxylation is an extremely important part of harnessing the benefits of CBD.

Last Updated on

  • DJ Freeman says:

    Decarb activates the THC. So what if I don’t want any THC in my tincture? Will non decarbed still alleviate my pain?

    • James Peinkofer says:

      Hey DJ –

      Great question. You will want to stay with a CBD tincture for your pain.

      • Heather Englert says:

        So if the lab reports state that there are: CBD, CBDa, THC, and THCa – that specific product hasn’t been decarboxylated?

        • Hi Heather. Anything with an ‘a’ means it’s an acid still and has NOT been decarboxylated.

          • adrian says:

            CBD and THC present means it WAS decarboxylated. If CBDa and THCa is present means it was not decarboxylated completely which is totally ok. You don’t want it to be completely burn off because it will start to evaporate some of the beneficial compounds CBD and THC including.

    • Hal B says:

      THCA evaporates at a lower temp than CBD, therefore the THC present is lower than before the decarb process.

  • Chad Johnson says:

    GOOD READ!
    If the data you’ve provided is correct, I can decarb large-scale volumes
    (10+ tons per hour) of cannabis with my system.
    I understand the results vary with each strain, but what is the average yield of CBD oil per pound, or ton of decarbed cannabis?

    Thanks

    • Timothy Riggs says:

      Chad,
      Would you be able to provide any information on the system you are using to achieve 10+ tons per hour of decarbed material? I am currently attempting to alleviate a bottleneck in our process and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Javaris says:

    What are decarboxylated and non-decarboxylated cbd oils?

    • Hey Javaris. A decarboxylated oil will contain CBD, as it was heated to remove the acid part of the CBDA (as it naturally exists in the cannabis and hemp plant).

      A non-decarboxylated oil will contain the acid group still, so for example: will contain CBDA, THCA, etc.

      Please let us know if you have more questions!

      Thanks

  • keith says:

    I want to make a cbd oil that is concentrated by first making a dry ice kief and then infusing the oil with the kief. Should I decarb the buds prior to making the kief, or is it better to decarb the kief?

    thanks!

  • Delora Bolden says:

    Just wondering if we purchase the CBD flower from a dispensary to make our own CBD oil do we still need to do this process. I can’t seem to find this answer
    Thank you
    Delora

  • STEVE says:

    What about decarbing bulk CBD purchased from a CBD wholesaler? I recently bought 300 grams of 87% CBD oil. The other 13% are other cannabinoids (terpenes, etc). Its density is .92; it is thicker than molasses, almost a hard candy like texture and must be heated to 165°F to be able to work with it. It takes 20-30 minutes to liquify at that rate in a Mason jar it arrived in using a double boiler to distribute the heat. Does that count as decarbing or must the temperatures get above 225°F – 250°F for 30+ minutes to achieve decarboxylation? Or how long to decarb at 165° F, if that temp will achieve a decarbing state?

    Thanks,
    Steve

    • Thanks for your great question Steve.

      There are many different approaches you can research as the “best” decarboxylation technique.

      What I recommend you do, if you trust the wholesaler, is reach out to them and see what they would think is the best way for you to decarb your product.

      The most optimal knowledge will come from experienced manufacturers in the CBD space. I recommend reaching out to them as well.

      It’s important to be careful as I am sure you are trying to preserve the terpenes and minor cannabinoids during the decarboxylation process.

      Let us know how it works out and what you end up doing! Thanks!

    • Kenna says:

      I also get my CBD this way. My extractor offers a Decarbed option. Maybe ask for that?

  • LINDA MARIA PLUSCHKE says:

    Do you need/want to Decarboxylate CBG bud to get the benefits of the CBG? I specifically looking for the anti-inflammatory and neuro protective benefits of CBG.

    • Hi Linda. If you are talking about a finished, ready to use product, then the CBG will already be decarboxylated. In the flower, the CBG would be in its acid for = CBGA.

      Let us know if you have more questions.

      • Michael says:

        I can buy 50ml bottle olive oil infused cbda, can I heat the oil in a oven or double boiler and change it to cbd and if so what temp and length of time would you recommend, it is a 50ml bottle. Thanks

  • LENARD HUDSON, PMA says:

    Is it possible to increase the THC from carboxylating CBD?

  • Like it? Share it.

    >
    hemp

    FREE 5-DAY CBD CRASH COURSE

    Join over 15,500 people and learn all there is about CBD

    Let’s get you signed up: