Decarboxylating hemp is necessary to change the CBDA to CBD
Phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, that are naturally occurring in cannabis are in an acidic form.
Decarboxylation is the process that removes a carboxyl group from a molecule.
In cannabis, the decarboxylation process converts the inactive compounds into active compounds that essentially unlocks its therapeutic effects.
Decarboxylation converts acidic cannabinoids present in cannabis into non-acidic cannabinoids, however, 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 (i.e. hemp, 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.
This is why eating marijuana raw does not give the same effects as smoking it would?
The THC present in marijuana must be heated up to achieve the desired effects.
Smoking and vaporizing cannabis heat up the compounds present in the plant immediately and offer the desired effects.
CBD works the same way. The hemp has to be decarboxylated before its consumed, in order to get the therapeutic benefits.
There are, however, benefits of non-decarboxylated CBD and other cannabinoids in their raw, non-decarboxylated state (CBDA).