Decarboxylation and CBD
At Hemp Bombs, we are committed to bringing readers the most helpful and informative content possible. This includes a more scientific look at some of the processes behind CBD and its effects. In this article, we’re going to examine a process called decarboxylation, something you may not have heard of that is important to CBD effectiveness. We’ll introduce the process, tell you why it matters, and leave with some helpful information to make more of your CBD use.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids derived from hemp. Depending on the source, it is believed there are between 60 to over 100 unique cannabinoids, each with different effects. CBD is the second most common cannabinoid, behind THC. Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, largely because of its low binding affinity for CBD receptors CB1 and CB2. CBD has a mitigating effect on THC - it brings down your high. CBD is reported to have a number of therapeutic effects, including anxiety reduction, relaxation, seizure relief, pain cessation, skin care, inflammation relief, and encouraged wakefulness and alertness. CBD is able to provide these benefits through an enzyme called FAAH, or Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase. Usually, FAAH helps break down the chemical Anandamide, known for creating “blissful” feelings and regulating appetite and pain response.
In order to bring about its potential effect, Cannabidiol needs to undergo a process called decarboxylation.
What is Decarboxylation?
The importance of decarboxylation comes from the fact that cannabinoids are not fully active in raw form. As we discussed in our comprehensive CBD guide, cannabinoids are the chemical compounds given off by cannabis flowers that bind to the different cell receptors within the endocannabinoid system. There are around 113 cannabinoids that have been isolated, with THC and CBD being the most well-known.
When cannabinoids, like CBD, are extracted from hemp, they contain an extra carboxyl ring or group (COOH) attached to their chain. In reality, the cannabinoid taken directly from the plant is THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) or CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid). While these acids do have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, they do not have the full-blown benefits or psychoactive qualities of CBD and THC.
Decarboxylation is the process of removing the carboxyl group from THCA or CBDA to turn the cannabinoid into active THC or CBD.
When Does Decarboxylation Take Place?
Decarboxylation occurs in two major ways, heat and time. When hemp is aged, dried, or curated, it begins to decarboxylate. But the main way THC and CBD become active is through exposure to heat. Smoking and vaporizing immediately decarboxylate cannabinoids due to high temperature, making CBD and THC fully absorbable.
Decarboxylation begins to take place at around 220 degrees Fahrenheit after around 30 minutes of exposure. For CBD and THC to become fully decarboxylated, it might take longer. When individuals “decarb” their cannabis or hemp, they will often do so at slightly lower temperatures for longer periods of time to preserve terpenes, phytochemicals that give off the plant’s scents. We know that certain cannabinoids and terpenoids are damaged at temperatures over 300 degrees, hence temperature recommendations in the 200’s
Fortunately, for Hemp Bombs customers, the CBD is active (decarboyxlated) before the product is manufactured. That means, that Hemp Bombs customers are getting the full range of CBD benefits without having to decarb the products. All of our products, from CBD Oils to CBD Capsules are fully active upon consumption.
Try Decarboxylated CBD
Hemp Bombs’ products have a strong reputation built on quality. All of our products are made with conscientious sourcing, in-house production, and solid distribution. If you haven’t sampled CBD products, try our fully-decarboxylated CBD today!