CBD oil varieties, choices and confusions cleared up.

By| DiscoverCBD

What are the differences between all the different kinds of CBD oil?

So you have done your research and decided you want to give CBD oil a shot…awesome!  But did you know there are several variations of CBD oil?  If you are unaware of what those differences are or weren’t even aware there were differences then this article will help guide you through all the variations in type, packaging and strengths.  All of these differences can affect the CBD in the product and how the CBD reacts with your body, so naturally these are important details to understand when deciding to buy CBD oil.

There are three main types of CBD oil that just about all CBD oil products fits into.

  • -Raw
  • -Decarboxylated
  • -Filtered(commonly the “gold” line)

In the CBD Hemp oil market these three are common and knowing the differences between them can make for a better CBD oil experience.  Let’s take a closer look at each of these three types of CBD oil in detail.


Raw CBD oil is exactly as it sounds: “raw”.  Raw CBD oil will not be processed any further than its original extraction and will contain other compounds in it such as microscopic plant material, lipids (fats), chlorophyll, and terpenes, among other things, as it has not been filtered.  The color of this oil will usually be dark green to black and have a thick consistency.  Raw is usually the product of choice for people looking to benefit from the use of the entire hemp plant and not necessarily just cannabidiol.  This form of oil has the ability to contain multiple percentages of CBD and you can buy “raw” types of CBD oil from a few manufacturers in various strengths and multiple sizes.

Raw or unfiltered non-decarboxylated versions of CBD oil will always be the cheapest option as it has not been processed any further than the original extraction. Raw CBD oil typically contains a lower percentage of CBD (cannabidiol) by volume than the Decarboxylated or filtered (Gold) versions.


Decarboxylated is similar to “raw” except it has been “decarboxylated” The process of decarboxylation is seen as a way to increase the strength or effectiveness of the CBD within the oil and offers a faster reaction time for the CBD oil once it is in your body.  According to Wikipedia:

Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). Usually, decarboxylation refers to a reaction of carboxylic acids, removing a carbon atom from a carbon chain.” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decarboxylation.

By doing this the chemical then becomes more readily available in the human body. You can think of decarboxylated CBD oil as getting more bang per mg of CBD. Basically decarboxylation will turn CBDA into CBD which is a non-acidic molecule that can bind more readily to our natural CBD receptors therefore creating more “activity” within your body.  Decarboxylation is commonly referred to as “activated” which can leave the impression that CBD that is carboxylated will not have benefits or will be “inactive”. This is actually not the case, it will simply bind less readily than the decarboxylated form.

This type of oil will typically be dark green to black with a thick consistency at room temperature. Decarboxylated CBD oil is a mid-priced oil as it is processed more than “raw” oil but it is not heavily filtered like the “gold” oils. There are several different percentages of decarboxylated CBD oil available from a couple of different companies. 


“Gold” is the name most commonly used by CBD oil manufacturers for their filtered gold-colored CBD oil and usually represents their highest concentration CBD product.  The filtered, or “gold” varieties will typically be decarboxylated as well as being further filtered to remove the micro constituents such as chlorophyll, lipids and other non CBD plant parts. “Gold” CBD oil is also available in a variety of sizes and strengths.

As you may have already surmised, the “gold” version, with its purity and higher CBD concentration, also comes with the highest price tag; however, it still remains the most sought after and holds the highest market demand.

Dosing and Percentages vs Mgs

A quick note about dosing and percentages.  We suggest a daily dose of 0.1 gram twice a day; however, this is not for everyone and some manufacturers such as Pharma have it clearly stated on their packaging that they suggest a dose of 1 gram a day split into two 0.5 gram doses.  This is all personal preference and it really depends on the individual as well as the reason you’re taking it in the first place.  Because there is no general guideline i.e. “use X mg for this amount of individual’s weight” we always tell people to start with 0.1 a gram twice a day and if that isn’t working for you then gradually increase either amount or strength.

We have also been asked on a number of occasions about how many mgs of CBD are in “X” syringe.  To figure this out you need to know that there are 1000 mg’s in each gram and depending on the percentage you can then tell how many mgs of CBD are in the CBD oil syringe you are looking at.  For instance:  if you have a 1 gram syringe that is 15.9% CBD then you will have 159mg of CBD in that 1 gram syringe, if the syringe is 25% CBD  by volume then it would have 250mg of CBD in the syringe.  Some syringes such as the PlusCBD syringes run a range so they are a little more difficult but the same math applies.

Use the formula as follows:

% x 10 x grams = total mgs in syringe.

For example the Pharma gold 17% 5-gram syringe will have 17 (%) x 10 x 5 (grams) = 850mgs (total mgs in syringe).

You will also encounter a few different types of packaging when purchasing CBD oil so we wanted to clarify the typical uses for these different packaging options. The first and, by far, the most common type of packaging is going to be the syringe but there are also small plastic jars and silicone containers.


The syringe is both the easiest for storing and dispensing CBD oil; however, there can be a few drawbacks. While a syringe is perfect for accurate dispensing (because it has the mgs written right on the side of the syringe) it can also be tricky when the syringe is cold and the oil is thick.  When the syringe is stored in a cold place such as a refrigerator, the CBD oil can get so thick it’s nearly impossible to push out which results in jumpy pushes and inaccurate dispensing or, even worse, a bruised thumb.  A quick way to make sure the CBD oil dispenses easily is to warm up the syringe by placing it in some warm tap water or by wrapping the syringe in a towel that has been wet down and placed in the microwave to get warm.  Once the syringe is warm the CBD oil will dispense much easier.  Also be aware that the “gold” varieties of oil typically don’t need to be warmed as much as the “decarb” or “raw” versions as it has already been filtered and is thinner to begin with.  Also, be aware if you warm up the syringe too much the cap will pop off from the expanding pressure and leak out.

Plastic Jar

You can find 1 gram increments of “raw” oils in a small plastic container as well as 1 gram increment “gold” in a plastic jar.  These plastic jars are more difficult to dose given there are no exact increments which makes these little jars the typical choice for people applying CBD oil topically where you will just be putting a small amount on your finger to rub on your skin or ingest orally.  Many people choose the small jars because they prefer not having to warm up their syringes before being able to get to the CBD oil inside and opening a jar or just leaving the jar open was a more convenient option for them.

Silicone Jar

A more recent packaging choice was brought forward by Pharma when they started using silicone no stick containers to store their 25% “gold” CBD oil, specifically used for “dabbing”.  These jars are certainly easy to open but they sometimes will open in your pocket when you don’t want them to.  The other benefit is that the CBD oil sticks very little to silicone so it’s generally easy to get every last bit of CBD oil out of these jars.


While we know it may be confusing at first to decide on the specific type of CBD oil you need it’s actually quite simple once you know what the differences are.  We hope this article will be of help to those of you who were either on the fence about dosing and various types and their uses, or just weren’t exactly sure about what everything meant. With this information we believe you can make a good decision that you will be happy with and in the end provide you with the many benefits CBD has to offer.

DiscoverCBD.com and Discover Health Inc. does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (USA CSA). The company does sell, and distribute hemp-based products.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always check with your physician before starting a new dietary supplement program.

We often cite research and articles intended to provide you with valuable health information. If we list a research link in our articles, blog postings, or social media accounts to a website where we sell products or have product information, the exit disclaimer indicates that when you click a link you will leave the DiscoverCBD.com website and visit an external link. Links to any informational websites are provided solely as a service to our users. External links provide additional information that may be useful or interesting and have no affiliation to the promotion, sale and distribution of DiscoverCBD.com or Discover Health Inc. products. The link does not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by DiscoverCBD.com or Discover Health Inc. and none should be inferred.

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