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  • by Nicola Boulton September 05, 2022 5 min read

    CBD and Decarboxylation

    Different methods of extracting cannabidiol have been used over the years. The plans are not limited to carbon dioxide, olive oil extraction, solvent use, and steam distillation. These methods aim at the total removal of cannabidiol from the cannabis plant. Decarboxylation is also essential to improve cannabidiol. This article explains CBD and decarboxylation and how it is used in extraction.

    The benefits and safety of cannabidiol may depend on the method used to extract it. The primary benefits one might reap from cannabidiol are not limited to reducing anxiety, reducing stress and mental condition, alleviating chronic pain, and controlling cancer symptoms. However, one might wonder why the cannabis plant is smoked other than eating it raw. The main reason cannabis is smoked is bound to this process of decarboxylation, which aims at activating compounds that make one feel 'high.' Many individuals lack information on this process. Moreover, the article will help one know various methods used to extract cannabidiol, its types, the form in which it is delivered, and the therapeutic benefits one gets from it. Peer into the article and find out the truth behind decarboxylation:

    CBD vs. THC

    If one is a regular smoker of cannabis or the compounds CBD and THC might not be familiar to such a person. According to VanDolah et al. (2019), CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound extracted from cannabis sativa or hemp. In cannabis sativa, one can remove it from any part of the plant, while in the hemp plant, it is concentrated on the plant's leaves, flowers, and bark. Cannabidiol has broader applications in medical and recreational fields; hence one can be free to embrace it and enjoy such benefits. However, THC is a compound in the cannabis plant that causes a 'high' effect on an individual smoking cannabis plant. Much consumption is associated with psychoactive effects, addiction, and over-dependence.

    CBD and Decarboxylation

    Decarboxylation is the process of converting acidic forms of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol into neutral formats. The cutting documents like CBDA and THCA are converted to CBD and THC, respectively. It is essential as inactive compounds are converted to active ones, reducing the psychoactive effects they may have on an individual. Below is how decarboxylation works and the benefits as far as the life of an individual is concerned:

    Decarboxylation: How Does It Work

    To help one understand decarboxylation, having an image of the one smoking is good. The reason why cannabis is smoked is that the conversions of inactive cannabidiol to active cannabinol require heat and high temperatures; hence smoking achieves this. Even though partial decarboxylation can be achieved through drying, the complete process requires a laboratory setup with skilled personnel and high technology.

    Benefits of Decarboxylation

    Since the benefits of cannabinol like cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol cannot be obtained when the cannabis plant is raw, the process aims at unlocking such benefits; hence one can get all the cannabidiol benefits. Moreover, one cannot feel 'high' from cannabidiol even after it has been activated to its active form since cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound.

    Methods of CBD Extraction

    There are various ways of extracting cannabidiol from cannabis sativa or hemp plants. The methods used to remove CBD include olive oil, carbon dioxide, solvent extraction, and steam distillation. The following are discussions on each form of extraction:

    Superficial Carbon Dioxide Method

    The word superficial means that it can exist in both a gaseous and liquid state. Superficial carbon dioxide is the best method as it helps isolate all cannabis compounds into the one intended by an individual. However, the technique is expensive, limiting more companies from embracing it. If one needs the purest cannabidiol, it is advisable to go for the one extracted using this extraction method since most chemicals have been removed.

    Olive Oil Extraction

    Here olive oil is used as the primary solvent under optimum temperatures. The hemp is first heated to a given temperature; then, olive oil is added to it to enhance the extraction of cannabinoids. The oil does evaporate as ethanol; hence the end product will contain oil. To remain with pure cannabidiol, further purification ensures a refined product. This method is cheap and can be done in a home setup, but with the end product being perishable, one will need to look for the market after its extraction.

    Steam Distillation

    The steam is used to remove volatile compounds, ensuring the production of pure products. The resultant effect is then cooled and condensed to have essential blends. Like olive oil extraction, this method is cheap and does not require more skills. However, the process may be expensive as more plant materials are needed, but fewer products are obtained.

    Types of CBD

    There are different types of cannabidiol according to the compounds used and the level of THC. Therefore, types of cannabidiol are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. They are illustrated below:


    Lachenmeier et al. (2019) explained that cannabidiol contains most cannabis compounds with at least 0.3% THC. It has the most therapeutic benefits, among other types. According to Romano et al. (2019), this type is not favorable for the first cannabidiol consumers since it contains most chemical compounds making it have a characteristic smell and taste.

    CBD Isolate

    It is the purest type of cannabidiol, free from any compounds of cannabis sativa except cannabidiol. CBD isolate is suitable for first-time cannabidiol consumers since it is free from either earthy smell or weird taste. However, one is limited to many benefits since the compound is also limited. According to Sarris et al. (2020), benefits are boosting appetite, boosting sleep, reduce anxiety, stress, and other mental disorders.

    Broad-Spectrum CBD

    Broad-spectrum cannabidiol is made up of most cannabis compounds except THC. Therefore, it does not bring a 'high' effect as it may be in full-spectrum cannabidiol. It can treat many conditions that, according to Hyson et al. (2022), are not limited to controlling the growth of cancer cells, boosting sleep, boosting appetite, and treating anxiety and pain.

    Methods of CBD Delivery

    The benefits of cannabidiol can be enjoyed through different forms of delivery. The following are the forms through which one can enjoy cannabidiol:

    • Application on the skin or external purposes.
    • Sublingual or oral applications. It involves ingesting cannabidiol products through the mouth. It is one of the fastest methods of cannabidiol delivery.
    • I was smoking or vaping. In this method, one inhales or smokes cannabidiol to enjoy and benefit from it. However, as much is unknown about this delivery method, one should be careful.


    For the benefits of cannabidiol to be at the exposure to many people, it should be further processed. The process of decarboxylation helps one to get the most benefits cannabidiol has. However, one needs to know how the process works, as this will help in trusting products from the process. Consequently, carboxylation's benefits are invalid as the inactive forms of cannabinol are converted to the active state. There are three primary ways of extracting cannabidiol from the cannabis plant, and one should choose any preferred method. The types of cannabidiol discussed can also enable one to select the best one according to the doctor's advice and recommendation.


    Hyson, P. (2022). Best CBD Oil for Cats: Top 7 Brands Reviewed. ORDER, 1, 00.

    Lachenmeier, D. W., Habel, S., Fischer, B., Herbi, F., Zerbe, Y., Bock, V., ... & Sproll, C. (2019). Are adverse effects of cannabidiol (CBD) products caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contamination? F1000Research, 8.

    Romano, L. L., & Hazekamp, A. (2013). Cannabis oil: chemical evaluation of an upcoming cannabis-based medicine. Cannabinoids, 1(1), 1-11.

    Sarris, J., Sinclair, J., Karamacoska, D., Davidson, M., & Firth, J. (2020). Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1), 1-14.

    VanDolah, H. J., Bauer, B. A., & Mauck, K. F. (2019, September). Clinicians’ guide to cannabidiol and hemp oils. Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 94, No. 9, pp. 1840-1851). Elsevier.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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