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Yes, You Do Need to Decarb CBD: Why CBD Decarboxylation is Important 

By Cheri Sicard
May 15, 2019

Dear Cheri,

Is it necessary to decarb CBD or can I forego this step when cooking with CBD? How important is CBD decarboxylation?

You might think that CBD decarboxylation is unnecessary. After all, why would you need to decarb CBD, a strain that is not going to get you high?

However, the same rules apply to CBD as THC because raw cannabis contains the acidic form of CBD, known as CBDA, just as it contains the acidic form of THC which is THC-A.  And decarboxylation is the process that drops that extra molecule from the chain.

Now it’s true that neither CBD-A nor CBD should get you high, but even in THC decarboxylation, it is about more than activating the plant's psychotropic properties.  Likewise decarboxylation is still important with CBD as it activates many of the plant's medicinal qualities. It also increases its bioavailability.

When consuming CBD-A, your body needs to work harder in order to break down the molecule, but with decarbed CBD your body is, in theory, able to access the compound easier and faster.

Most commercial CBD tinctures, concentrates, and isolates are already decarboxylated, so if that is all you plan to cook with, this step will not be necessary. However, in rare cases these products might not be decarbed, so check the label and if it lists high quantities of CBD-A, then you might want to decarboxylate.

If you are cooking with high CBD flowers, whether they be from cannabis or phytocannabinoid-rich hemp, you will definitely want to decarboxylate.

While the word decarboxylation might sound scary all it means in practical terms is to add enough heat to cause the chemical reaction that drops the acid from the molecule chain.  For more information on how to decarb CBD, see my Decarboxylation tutorial.

Also know that the Ardent FX has a special setting specifically designed to perfectly decarb CBD. Learn more and get a coupon code here.

CBD Molecule Decarboxylation Illustration

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

  • There is a CBD product that has about half CBD and half CBDA (probably it was sprayed with a CBD isolate to increase potency). Will I ruin the CBD is I put it through a second decarboxylation??

    • It absolutely is NOT wrong, and nobody was talking about CBD isolate. If you know so much, you are welcome to get your own site to spew your propaganda, but this article is NOT wrong, and I do not appreciate your incorrect opinons here.

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