Without having to deep dive into chemistry, there is only one thing that you need to know when it comes to decarboxylation: it is a chemical reaction that is accelerated by heat. In the case of CBD, and elements present in hemp, it makes the components even more bioavailable and potent.
Raw CBD is heat-treated at relatively high temperatures and this accelerates the process to give rise to decarboxylated CBD. Raw CBD or its parent cannabis is as exactly as it sounds: it has neither been dried nor heated. Over time, naturally, decarboxylation does occur, but when it is combined with heat such as putting it in the oven at 2400C for 2 hours, that makes it decarboxylated.
So, Which is better?
Truth be told, there is no one correct answer when it comes to what is better: Raw CBD or Decarboxylated CBD. The correct answer is it depends on what you are looking to achieve.
Decarboxylation became a big deal especially during the pre-CBD community because it activates the THC that is present in raw cannabis. This means that a less potent form from which THC is derived is converted to high-potency THC and creates the psychoactive high that is associated with marijuana—many users were looking exclusively for this.
But as it turns out, the decarboxylation effect turns that latent CBD into the more-potent version and it is more bioavailable as well. If this causes the CBD to be turbo-activated as a result of the decarboxylation process, why would anyone want anything else?
The Raw Advantage
There are advantages to raw CBD as well, and this included the complements of terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and other naturally found raw materials that are present in hemp. Yes, they won’t be as potent or bioavailable but you will have access to every single one of them.
The process of heat treatment at 2400C causes the complete decomposition of many cannabinoids and because of which you will be missing out on the entire entourage effect that would otherwise be available. Plus, in the case of raw CBD, you get the non-psychoactive version of THC, too.
The Decarb Advantage
As mentioned earlier—a more potent and bioavailable form of CBD is available to you. if you are not clinging heavily to the entourage effect, then this would make sense. But truth be told, choosing between the two is like choosing between apples and oranges—it all depends on individual tastes.