What Is Raw CBD?

Over the past several years, Americans have grown very enthusiastic about CBD. If you’re familiar with the health and wellness benefits of CBD, this trend won’t surprise you. Early research has shown that CBD may help with any number of conditions.

For those who are interested in consuming CBD in its purest form – as close to the whole plant as possible – raw CBD may sound intriguing. Raw CBD is simply CBD that has not been heated, filtered, or cured. It contains an acidic form of CBD, CDBa, that may have anti-inflammatory and pain-binding properties of its own.

So what exactly is raw CBD, and why should you take it? Below, we outline what you need to know about raw CBD so that you can make an informed decision about what type of CBD is best for you.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It is one of hundreds of naturally-occurring compounds, known as cannabinoids,  in this plant. Along with THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – CBD is one of the most popular and well-known cannabinoids. 

In the United States, CBD is most often extracted from hemp, which is a species of the cannabis plant. It is legal to grow hemp in the U.S. provided that the THC content is 0.3% or less (compared to approximately 30% for marijuana). For this reason, if you buy a CBD product made from industrial hemp grown in the United States, it will have only trace amounts of THC (or may even be THC-free).

While the research into CBD is still emerging, it has been linked to a number of health benefits, including reducing anxiety, alleviating acne, decreasing pain and inflammation, and helping with many other conditions. Scientists believe that CBD works by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps to maintain homeostasis, or balance, in the body. 

One of the most intriguing areas of research into CBD is the entourage effect. Cannabis plants contain more than 120 phytocannabinoids, plus other compounds like terpenes and amino acids. Scientific research has shown that taking these compounds together may produce additional therapeutic benefits, known as the entourage effect. Given this potential benefit, many people are interested in consuming CBD in as close to whole form as possible – such as by using raw CBD.

What Is Raw CBD (CBDa)?

Raw CBD is cannabidiol that has been extracted from the cannabis plant and has not been heated, filtered, or cured. In this state, the raw CBD oil contains a substance known as cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) – the acidic form of CBD. If raw CBD oil is heated (decarboxylated), the CBDa loses its acidic carboxyl group and it is removed from the CBD extract.

According to early research, CBDa may have powerful health and wellness benefits. A 2008 study found that the molecular structure of CDBa is similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and demonstrated the same behavior that allows NSAIDs to reduce inflammation. In 2013, researchers discovered that CBDa is 1,000 times more powerful than other cannabis compounds in reducing nausea and anxiety.

Unfortunately, CDBa is far more unstable than CBD, and degrades in the presence of heat. Scientists are currently investigating ways to make CBDa more readily available and easier to take. 

How Is CBDa Made?

All cannabinoids are derived from cannabigerolic acid, or CBGa. This base compound forms all of the cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant. CBGa is then broken down by plant enzymes into three cannabinoid precursor compounds: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).

Once these acidic compounds are formed, they can be converted into the cannabinoids that we are familiar with – CBD and THC – through the decarboxylation process. By applying heat, the molecular structure of the acidic cannabinoid changes. The resulting product is considered a decarb CBD oil.

Raw CBD vs Decarboxylated CBD

In contrast to decarboxylated CBD, raw CBD oil has a dark green or blackish color. It is also very thick. CBDa or raw CBD contains a full range of compounds, including chlorophyll and fatty acids, allowing individuals to get as close as possible to that plant growing from the ground.

Decarboxylated CBD is heated and filtered. This process may increase the effectiveness of CBD oil, as decarb CBD oil is more easily absorbed into the body. It may be clear or slightly golden in color, or even dark brown, depending on the extraction method, carrier oil, and other ingredients added to the final product.

The main difference between the two types of CBD is that decarboxylated CBD oil has been heated, while raw CBD has not. Each carries all of the benefits of CBD. However, raw CBD may have additional benefits due to the presence of CBDa, while decarb CBD oil may be faster acting.

Buying Raw CBDa

If you are interested in trying raw CBDa, you may be intimidated by all of the options available. The first and most important thing that you should know is that because CBD is not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), your best bet is to only purchase CBD products that have been independently tested. A reputable CBD company should make these lab results available for you to review online, where you can get more information about the CBD and THC levels in the product, as well as the presence of any contaminants.

Next, look for CBD that has been extracted from industrial hemp grown in the United States. This hemp will contain no more than 0.3% THC – a trace amount that will not show up on standard drug tests. If you are worried about drug testing or about ingesting any THC, you can also choose a CBD isolate, which contains only CBD. By contrast, full spectrum CBD contains all of the beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant (including THC), while broad spectrum CBD contains some of the same compounds, minus THC and other cannabinoids..

If you want to take full advantage of the entourage effect, you may consider a raw, full spectrum CBD oil. That way, you will be getting CBDa, CBD, plus all of the other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids of the cannabis plant. 

Green Wellness Life offers a range of CBD products, all of which are made from American-grown hemp and have been independently tested. 

Ready to Get Started? We’re Here to Help.

CBD oil has a lot of potential benefits, particularly when it comes to relieving pain, inflammation, and anxiety. If you suffer from any of these conditions or simply want to give CBD a try.

While we aren’t doctors and can’t diagnose or treat you, we can offer you the latest research on CBD and CBD so that you can make a decision that is right for you. We can also answer your questions, and help you as you shop for a product that meets your needs. If you want to  learn more, give us a call at (866) 244-4223 (M – F, 9 am to 4 pm), press the live chat button, or fill out our online contact form.


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