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What is Decarboxylation?

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Decarboxylation plays an important role in maximizing the effects of Cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis. The cannabinoid has been gaining praise recently for its long list of medical benefits. People suffering from physical pain, anxiety, depression, IBS, and other conditions are finding relief through the use of CBD. This compound has been proven through extensive research to be effective in improving general health, with very minimal side effects (if any).

Decarboxylation is an essential step in the process of creating effective CBD oil. Raw cannabis in its natural, plant form does not offer as many health benefits as it could without the decarboxylation process.  In this article, we will review the importance of decarboxylating CBD, the relationship between decarboxylation and terpenes, and the disadvantage that may come with the process.

To begin, here is a comprehensive explanation of decarboxylation:

Decarboxylation Overview

Decarboxylation refers to a chemical reaction that causes a carboxyl group to be removed, resulting in the release of carbon dioxide. It turns inactive components in raw cannabis into active components, further unlocking the beneficial effects of the plant. This process can be natural or artificial. Although cannabis undergoes natural decarboxylation over time, the process can take months to complete under normal storage conditions. Cannabis extractors typically speed this process up with the application of heat.

The two main catalysts for decarboxylation are heat and time. Drying and curing cannabis over time causes partial decarboxylation to occur. This is why some cannabis flowers test positive for trace amounts of THC. Smoking and vaporizing will instantaneously decarboxylate cannabinoids due to the extremely high temperatures. This makes them instantly available for absorption through inhalation.

Heating cannabinoids preserves the integrity of the material used so that consumers can enjoy the effects of cannabis the way they please.  Edibles require these cannabinoids to be present in order for our bodies to absorb them throughout digestion.

The Importance of Decarboxylating CBD

In order to understand the process of decarboxylation, we must first address  the difference between CBD and CBDa.

CBDa is known as the acidic precursor to CBD. When cannabis grows, it initially produces CBDa, not CBD. Although it is an “inactive” component, the acidic form offers a number of health benefits. Researchers have found that CBDa can help fight bacterial infection, nausea and cancer. It can have a positive impact on many bodily functions, including immune system function, metabolism, mood, appetite, and more.

In order to activate the full benefits of CBD,  it needs to be heated through vaporization, cooking, or smoking in order for the decarboxylation to occur. Even after the process is complete, users will not get “high” by taking CBD. This is because CBD is  non-psychoactive and does not bind to receptors in the way THC does.

The Decarboxylation Process

The temperature that is used for decarboxylation is extremely important. Lower temperatures typically cause the process to take longer. Although time consuming, delaying this process can be a good thing, as it enables the CBD to retain more terpenes. Terpenes are the essential oils that give cannabis its unique smell and flavor. In addition to this, they offer their own package variety of benefits.

If the cannabis is exposed to extreme heat, the opposite effect occurs. The terpene oils will inevitably be lost. Some consider this as a disadvantage to the decarboxylation process, because terpenes can boost the power of CBD and other cannabinoids. It is suggested that if you’re aiming to maximize the effects of CBD, that you should heat your cannabis at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.

Takeaways

  • Decarboxylation is the heating of cannabis.
  • If you are looking for maximum benefits from your CBD product, it must undergo decarboxylation.
  • Decarboxylation can be performed before, during or after the extraction of CBD.
  • Decarboxylation can enhance CBD by enabling terpenes.
  • It is recommended that you choose products from  reputable manufacturers  who use proper decarboxylation methods.

Daintri’s  focus is on health and wellness. We curate only the best of the best CBD products to help you live your healthiest life. Daintri offers a wide variety of CBD products for all types of consumers including CBD  oil,  tinctures,  edibles,  vapes,  beauty products,  pet products  and more. If there are any questions about products, manufacturing processes or extraction methods,  please let us know. We are on a mission to help as many people as possible with the health ailments of CBD.

*To view Daintri’s sources for this and all Education Center articles, click here.

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