What do we mean by Raw?

In fresh, raw cannabis, cannabinoids like CBD and THC are present as acids, CBDA and THCA.  THCA is not psychoactive until it becomes THC through a process called decarboxylation. CBDA becomes CBD through the decarb process, too, and there is benefit in this: the decarb form is more easily absorbed by the body, and works via the body’s endocannabinoid system.

But is there a cost? The cost is the trace compounds within cannabis that are lost when heat is applied to accomplish the decarb. How much heat? Typically 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Some decarbing will take place at lower temperatures, and as much as 25% of the CBDA will convert to CBD in the normal course of harvest and extraction. Some additional conversion from CBDA to CBD will take place in the body, too. But to get close to 100% of the CBDA decarboxylated reliably and within a short time frame, high heat has been the only option on the menu. Until now…

At Soul Mountain we created a better option. During our extraction process, some warming occurs and a temperature as high as 120°F (49°C) is reached. When we do our unique decarb process we hold to that same limit, and that’s what we mean by Raw. Our process results in a tincture that is about 85% decarboxylated, so that a healthy portion of CBDA, with its own distinct benefits, is retained.

That CBDA in the mix appears to effectively increase blood levels of CBD. As an article in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research reports,    “Interesting results were obtained from experiments in which capsules filled with either unheated or heated cannabis extracts containing 10 mg THCtotal(THC+THCA) and 10–15 mg CBDtotal (CBD+CBDA) estimated when fresh: pharmacokinetic analysis of the blood of patients ingesting two such capsules showed mean peak plasma CBD concentrations four times higher in the unheated extract than in the heat-treated extract (emphasis added)(1.24 ng/mL at 1.17 h vs. 0.30 ng/mL at 0.83 h, respectively). The results suggest that the use of unheated cannabis extract rich in acidic phytocannabinoids may beneficially affect the uptake and metabolism of CBD or other phytocannabinoids.”

There are about 500 phytochemicals in cannabis, and exactly how they are all orchestrated to produce health benefits for humans is a puzzle only partly solved. We do know enough about the cannabinoids and terpenes to identify benefits, but how the hundreds of minor players in the orchestra contribute has not been fully mapped. Yet we know they do contribute, some directly and others in supporting roles. What a shame it would be to cut our grand orchestra down to just a few headliner instruments!

Whole Plant?

When we use this term, what we mean is that we do our best to bring you as many of the 500 players as possible in our tinctures. Other products are called “full spectrum” to let you know that they are not selling CBD as an isolate- they include all of the cannabinoids and terpenes. We want you to have more. This is why we are dedicated to using alcohol as the solvent in our extraction process (see our article on this), rather than CO2 which leaves behind the water soluble constituents.

With Soul Mountain tinctures you get the water soluble constituents as well as the lipid ones. And with our unique low-temperature decarb process, you get the most complete profile of natural cannabis constituents you will find in any CBD tincture.