“Non-activated CBD” typically refers to cannabidiol (CBD) that has not been decarboxylated. Decarboxylation is a chemical process that occurs when cannabis is heated, such as during smoking, vaping, or cooking. This process removes a carboxyl group from cannabinoids like CBD, converting them into their active form.
In its raw state, CBD exists predominantly as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), which is the acidic precursor to CBD. CBDA has some potential therapeutic properties, but it is generally believed to be less potent than CBD in its activated form. When cannabis flower or hemp extract is heated, CBDA undergoes decarboxylation to become CBD.
Non-activated CBD products may contain CBDA alongside CBD, as they have not undergone the heating process necessary for decarboxylation. Some people believe that CBDA may offer unique benefits distinct from those of CBD, though research on CBDA’s specific effects is still ongoing.