What Is Raw Hemp Extract?
Two of the most common types of hemp extract are raw and decarb. Both contain cannabinoids which have an effect on our bodies and minds when consumed. The effects happen when the cannabinoids come into contact with our endocannabinoid system – a vast and complex network of receptors in our nervous system.
But it is not only cannabinoids which have an effect – or an entourage effect – on our ECS. Terpenes, or aromatic compounds, found in the cannabis plant also have a significant impact on the absorption of cannabinoids. The over 200 unique traces of terpenes in the cannabis plant (compounds that give each breed of cannabis its own unique scent and taste) is also able to boost the effects of certain cannabinoids, as well as contribute with their own positive effects.
So What Does This Have To Do With Decarb?
Decarb (short for decarboxylation) is a word used to describe the type of method used to extract the natural compounds of the cannabis plant. Such methods include heating and drying of the plant material, which are processes that activate certain reactions in the plant and ensures the extractions of the desired compounds.
During heating and drying (decarboxylation), the natural presence of the cannabinoid acid THCa (a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis) is transformed into the carbohydrate THC. The level of THC in cannabis oil is often not significant enough to produce the “high” normally associated with the psychoactive compound THC, but its presence does enable other cannabinoids, such as CBD, to be absorbed more efficiently by the ECS receptors through the entourage effect.
The decarb process thereby makes both CBD and THC more readily available for absorption by the body (i.e. a high bioavailability), but the heating and drying process can also risk damaging the natural state of these compounds, namely CBDa and THCa. These cannabinoid acids have in their raw state their own unique health benefits, which can be broken down through decarboxylation.
While the decarb process does make the individual compounds (like cannabinoids and terpenes) more readily available for absorption by the body’s ECS, the process also damages the entourage effect between these cannabinoids.
What Is Raw?
Raw indicates that the cannabis or hemp plant material has not undergone any heating or curing processes, such as decarb. This means that cannabinoid acids, terpenes and other trace amounts are still present in the plant material, and thereby also in the oil produced from this material.
In its raw state, the hemp plant contains both CBD and CBDa. CBD can be present in the same plants as is THC, but industrial hemp is defined as a plant with very low trace amounts of THC. As such, hemp is a great plant to extract CBD from, without corrupting its natural state and effect.
Through CO2 extraction processes, no heat or drying is applied to the plant material, enabling the extraction of both CBD, CBDa, THCa and other natural compounds of the cannabis plant that have been found to have a positive effect on the state and health of our minds and bodies – all through their interactions with our endocannabinoids system.
CO2 extraction furthermore ensures a clean extraction, free from any chemicals. The oil is then cold filtered, which results in the cleanest and most natural cannabis oil, full of cannabinoids, terpenes and other natural compounds that merge together to produce an optimal oil for consumption as a health supplement.
Is Raw or Active CBD Better?
Opinions differ but some research has suggested that CBDA has a more potent effect on pain, inflammation, and other ailments. In fact, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, CBDA was found to be 1,000 times stronger than CBD in alleviating nausea in rat models. In a 2019 interview with Discover magazine, the man dubbed the "Father of Cannabis" for his discovery of THC in 1964, Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam, said that CBDA is a "very good anti-anxiety agent, and we have found that it lowers the side effects of cancer chemotherapy. It also has an anti-depressive effect and it's a pretty potent anti-pain compound."
A new 2022 study from Oregon State University finds CBDa and CBGa - found in raw hemp extract - can help prevent Covid infection (https://bit.ly/cbdacovid). While it makes no claim to be a magic bullet, the results are compelling. No doubt we will be learning much more.
It is important to note that CBDa and CBGa are not the same as regular CBD oil. These two compounds change to CBD and CBG after the extract has been heated. To get CBDa and CBGa, you want to look for capsules or oils made with raw hemp extract. This extract has been cold processed (like extra virgin olive oil) and leaves the original plant compounds in tact. Find raw hemp extract capsules here on our website.
Choosing Between Raw or Decarb
Raw hemp extract has a wide range of cannabinoids and beneficial compounds, such as terpenes, CBDa, CBGa and THCa, which are otherwise broken down during the decarb process. Raw hemp extract may be hard for the body to absorb and digest for people with a sensitive stomach or gut. Decarb (heated) extract has quicker absorption.
In general, people suffering from Alzheimer’s, mild anxiety, depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, psoriasis, and asthma and other lung diseases have reported most benefits of Raw hemp extract, while those with more severe anxiety, ADD/ADHD, migraines, stress, and sleep issues have found relief from the Decarb CBD.
Because of the varying effects on each person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), we always recommend taking it slow and beginning with a low dose, no matter the choice of CBD. Consult with your physician to see which is best for you.