Little is known about the different forms of CBD oil. Most people don’t realise that CBD oil can be raw, or heat treated. This can influence the cannabinoid and nutrient composition of CBD oil.
So, what is raw CBD oil and what is the difference?
What is raw CBD oil?
Raw CBD oil has not been treated with heat.
Almost all CBD oil available on the market has been heated. This is because heat is required for a chemical process called decarboxylation.
What is decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is the name for a chemical process that occurs when hemp and cannabis plants are heated. It involves molecules losing a carboxyl group from their molecular structure.
How is raw CBD oil different?
As we’ve already discussed, raw CBD oil contains CBD in its acid form, CBDa. This goes for all the other cannabinoids too. So raw CBD oil also contains trace amounts of THCa.
It is widely believed that CBDa is less potent than CBD – although further research is needed to conclude whether or not this really is the case.
But there are many other compounds in hemp and cannabis plants that are also very important – these are terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids.
Terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids
Terpenes are responsible for giving lots of different plants their aromas and tastes. Flavonoids produce orange, yellow, red, blue and purple colours in flowers, fruits and vegetables. Fatty acids are a broad class of compound, but the most famous ones are omega-3 and omega-6, or essential fatty acids. ‘Essential’ means that these fatty acids need to be obtained through our diet since the body does not make them on its own.
Raw CBD oil is rich in terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids
One of the key differences between raw CBD oil and conventional CBD oil is that raw CBD oil is richer in the other phytochemicals naturally occurring in cannabis and hemp plants.
So full spectrum, raw CBD oil contains more terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids than conventional CBD oils.
This is because during the heating process, some of the terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids vaporise and are lost from the extract.
So, while full spectrum CBD oil still contains terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids, a proportion of these nutrients have been lost.
It is no different to cooking fruits and veggies. While cooked spinach is most certainly good for you, raw spinach has all the enzymes and nutrients in tact and so has more nutritional value.
Raw CBD vs Decarboxylated CBD Oil: which is better?
There is no straight answer to that question, since both raw and conventional CBD oils have pros and cons.
Most people believe that CBDa is less potent than CBD, and so almost all CBD oil undergoes decarboxylation for that reason. However, since very little research is undertaken into CBDa, at this stage that is only an assumption.
But raw CBD oil, providing that it is full spectrum, is richer in other phytonutrients, some of which are lost if a CBD oil is heated.
So whether or not raw CBD oil is better than heat treated CBD oil is down to the individual and what they are looking for. If you want to get as much CBD as possible, then raw CBD oil is not for you. But if you like the idea of having a more nutrient-rich CBD oil, then raw is a good option.
How to get the most from raw CBD oil?
If you do choose to opt for a raw CBD oil, here is some advice for how to get the most out of your CBD experience.
Gently heat the oil
Raw CBD oil can be gently heated, which will partially decarboxylate the compounds in the oil without losing any terpenes, fatty acids or flavonoids in the process.
As long as the oil does not reach a temperature of over 42 degrees Celsius, then almost all the phytonutrients will remain intact.
However, even low temperatures can partially decarboxylate CBDa and convert it to CBD. So, if you’re looking to increase the concentrations of CBD in your raw oil, this is the way to do it.
We recommend using the ‘double boiler’ method to ensure the oil doesn’t get too hot.
This involves heating the oil in a glass bowl over a pan of boiled water, off the heat. Keeping the pan off the heat will ensure the temperature does not get too high.
Where to find organic, full spectrum raw CBD oil
At Aura CBD Oil UK, our 20% CBD Raw Drops are one of our most popular products. The great thing about our raw CBD oil is that we have already done the double boiling process mentioned above, so you can have the best of both worlds.
If you liked this article be sure to check out our blog where we upload new articles every week to keep you informed about the world of CBD.