Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is one of the multiple cannabinoids naturally produced by cannabis plants. CBDA, first isolated in 1996, is most commonly found in raw hemp and the marijuana plant.

To date, CBDA has attracted much less attention than CBD and is less common on the cannabis market. However, the universal cannabis trend is bringing CBDA under the spotlight. If you’re wondering about the differences between CBD and CBDA and which is preferable, get comfortable and read on.


Cannabis Plant

Cannabis sativa is genuinely a great plant! CBD bears a close relationship to CBDA, but to understand the differences between CBD and CBDA, we first need to know sufficiently about the plant they’re derived from.

Cannabinoids– e.g., CBD, THC, CBDA, and CBGA– come from cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana plants. The cannabis plant is full of valuable cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These cannabinoids are responsible for causing the effects of marijuana (THC).

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the human body and brain. People are more familiar with THC and CBD than other cannabinoids. THC and CBD are only two components of the cannabis world, consisting of more than 124 different cannabinoids identified thus far.



Cannabinoids in the cannabis and hemp plants come from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), the mother of all cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the principal active cannabis compounds that interact with the body’s ECS.

The ECS system is a network of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body, including the central nervous system and the body. In the cannabis plant, cannabinoids are mainly found in plant material, especially in the buds and in relatively low concentrations in the leaves and stems.

The plant’s resinous trichome glands make the cannabinoids. As cannabis plants grow, the concentration of cannabinoids gradually increases to a peak of maturity. After the peak, the concentration slowly decreases when the plant matter is exposed to heat, light, or oxidation.


Cannabidiol (CBD)

Every day, CBD is becoming more well-known for its medicinal use. Research findings reveal a safe molecular compound with seemingly endless beneficial health properties. Many use CBD for managing pain.

It binds with cannabinoid receptors in our brain and body to reduce pain and inflammation. This interaction also makes it an excellent candidate for health conditions such as arthritis, injuries, and overall aches.

Cannabidiol is also well-known for enhancing mood, managing anxiety and depression, as well as getting “some well-needed shut-eye.” Studies also suggest that it can help fight cancer by reducing the growth of cancer cells, and it can relieve nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.


What Is CBDA

CBDA is the acidic precursor to CBD, cannabidiol. Over time, cannabis compounds undergo significant transformations, particularly when exposed to heat or dried. In the raw cannabis plant, fresh cannabis flowers and leaves that have not been dried, cured, heated, or active, cannabinoids are present in the form of acids, and CBDA is no exception.

CBDA is a cannabis compound found in cannabis and fresh hemp plants. CBDA can be found in minimal amounts in most cannabis plants. However, some plants have been bred to balance CBDA and THCA.

Hemp plants are best known for their high CBDA concentrations and trace amounts of THCA. Hemp plants can be made into a concentrated form containing beneficial cannabinoids, mainly CBD and THC, through an extraction process.



When it comes to CBDA, we should first mention CBGA, short for cannabigerol acid. CBGA is dubbed the “mother of all cannabinoids” or the “mothership.” This cannabis compound is the origin of all cannabinoids.

CBDA is the acid counterpart of CBD and is in the same compound as THCA and THC. CBDA and other cannabinoids are derived from CBGA, the precursor of the primary cannabinoid precursor compounds:


  • tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
  • Cannabichromenic acid (CBCA)
  • CBDA


Cannabis plants contain these main acidic precursors. After some complex interactions with enzymes in cannabis plants, CBGA is converted into these three major cannabinoid precursor species.

Then, if the plant is exposed to heat or sunlight, decarboxylation occurs to convert CBDA to CBD. In an enzymatic reaction, CBGA is transformed into a variety of cannabinoids. The resulting combination depends on the individual cannabis strain they’re derived from.

The heating process of decarboxylation transforms CBDA from its raw form into the sought-after cannabis active ingredient CBD. This decarboxylation can occur through vaporization, cooking, or smoking.

Also, it can happen gradually if the raw plant matter is left at room temperature. The cannabis plant produces the acid form, subsequently decarboxylated by heat. CBDA is just the unheated or raw form of CBD.

Juicing raw cannabis provides a substantial serving of CBDA. This cannabinoid can also be found in natural hemp oils, for instance, CBD oil products that have not gone through decarboxylation or filtered in any way. You can also find raw CBD oils (with CBDA) in capsules, tinctures, and more.



In recent years, CBD has become popular as an oil product that provides therapeutic effects and is highly sought-after due to its potential usefulness in treating many disorders/ailments without any psychoactive effects (predominantly associated with THC).

Cannabidiol (CBD) is included in the FDA official register primarily for its use in the treatment of epilepsy. Nevertheless, many also utilize it as a relief agent to help with pain, inflammation, sleep disorders, or even skin conditions.

Compared to its famous cousins, CBD and THC, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), on the other hand, is much less known in academic and social circles alike. It was discovered before CBD, and recent studies into its benefits suggest that CBDA can be helpful for specific health conditions.

Like CBD and unlike THC, CBDA is a non-psychoactive compound. CBD is a decarboxylated form of CBDA. The decarboxylation process can occur instantly if vaped or smoked or gradually if the plant material is left to dry out under the sunlight or at room temperature.

Some CBD tinctures are formulated using two ingredients exclusively:


  • Clean & high-potency hemp extract
  • Mild grapeseed oil.


For instance, Full Spectrum CBD Tinctures are perhaps the most nutritious CBD tincture because, in addition to various benefits, CBD grapeseed oil consists almost entirely of Omega 6 fats.


How CBDA Affects the Body

Like CBD, CBDA, as a cannabinoid, can interact with the endocannabinoid systems (ECS) in our bodies and could offer various health benefits, including mood enhancement and pain relief.

Cannabinoids can affect the communication of cellular response signals, leading to a host of beneficial effects on the mind and body. CBD and CBDA show many similarities, but they function differently in the body.

The ECS system regulates many functions (neural functions) of the human body, such as coordination, learning, mood, memory, emotion, anxiety, stress, sleep, and pain. The ECS system is a relatively recently-discovered system that governs our homeostasis mainly using two primary receptors: CB1 and CB2.

Although CBD and CBDA are closely related, they work differently; CBD binds to the ECS cannabinoid receptors, whereas CBDA doesn’t. However, both can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and accelerate serotonin production.

Most cannabinoids, e.g., THC and CBD, bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but their acidic counterparts take a different approach. For example, CBDA interacts with the ECS system by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme, not directly affecting the central nervous system.


CB1 & CB2

While CB1 mainly binds to the nervous system and brain, the CB2 receptor primarily interacts with the immune system. The human body naturally makes its endocannabinoids. When these endocannabinoids are out of balance, we uncomfortably feel anxiety, stress, other mood disorders or could even have trouble sleeping.

Cannabinoids found in cannabis– THC, CBD, CBDA, and others– could mimic the body’s natural endocannabinoids. They interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to bring many potential health benefits.

Different cannabinoids offer different recreational and health benefits, each having its individual and unique properties. They also bind or interact with receptors differently. Cannabinoids often work even better in synergy with other cannabinoids and compounds (terpenes), resulting in what is known as the entourage effect.


CBDA & The ECS System; A Closer View

Now that we’ve learned about CBD and CBDA, it’s clear that CBDA may offer different benefits than CBD. However, the properties of CBDA, including its benefits, are just beginning to be adequately understood. Researchers are newly investigating the advantages of CBDA and how the compound may promote health and wellness.

The health benefits of CBDA unveiled so far appear to somewhat relate to the compound’s interactions with the ECS system and with the 5-HT receptors. Instead of binding directly with ECS receptors, CBDA induces its effects by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. Moreover, CBDA is thought to influence 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors.

A more efficient endocannabinoid system and healthy serotonin levels can improve overall health. The ECS system, tasked with enhancing homeostasis in the body, retains a wide variety of functions in balance, helping one generally feel better and allowing the body to thrive.


Is CBDA Legal

CBD and CBDA are often viewed as different cannabinoids. However, CBDA has been generally treated like CBD in the U.S. and selected other countries legally.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production, allowing CBD products to flood the market. According to the law, CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC by dry weight are legal; but cut-off limits vary from country to country.

Because CBDA is non-intoxicating, it is entirely legal in almost all states. The demand is considerable for both recreational cannabis and medical cannabis in states where it is legal. In states that prohibit the sale of THC-rich production, CBDA Products should not contain any THC.


How To Consume CBDA

CBDA can be bitter, so you should add sugar or another sweetener. CBDA comes in a wide variety of products, including oils, tinctures, topicals, sublingual drops, tablets, syrups, and more.

Although various CBDA products are available, finding them on the market can be challenging. Most products have been decarboxylated to the hottest cannabinoids, i.e., CBD and THC. As a result, the products may contain negligible amounts of CBDA or THCA. The products then have low CBDA constituents and are therefore not clearly labelled.

CBDA is usually consumed as CBD, but it can be beneficial in its raw form. It can be consumed or ingested via tinctures, vape cartridges, concentrates (shatter & budder), raw cannabis juice, topical creams, raw CBD oil, and so on.

Some people tend to juice uncured/raw cannabis to experience the benefits of CBDA. However, there are certain new products available based on natural hemp or offer a broad array of cannabinoids such as CBDA, together with naturally occurring terpenes and flavonoids found in the plant.

These products are often called “full-spectrum” and can come in capsules, tinctures, or topicals. Full-spectrum CBD products featuring significant contributions from CBDA lead to the entourage effect. This effect refers to the synergistic interaction of these botanicals when ingested collaboratively. While cannabidiol alone can have benefits, the synergy of other cannabinoids (and terpenes) holds more potential when combined to produce a more pleasant experience for the user.

CBDA may not be as popular as CBD, but it is a crucial ingredient of the hemp plant because cannabidiol wouldn’t exist without it.


Potential Health Benefits of CBDA

According to scientific findings, CBD and CBDA can offer positive health effects. CBDA can operate as a COX-2 inhibitor, excellent for reducing pain and inflammation.

CBDA can also act as an antiemetic that effectively fights feelings of nausea and vomiting. Cannabis scientists indicated that it might work even better than CBD in relieving nausea. CBDA has antidepressant-like effects, and it can treat epilepsy and help with sleep.

Cannabidiol is a popular component providing multiple health benefits. The cannabis plant doesn’t instantly produce CBD. The plant has cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), transforming to cannabidiol slowly and gradually at room temperature or quickly with exposure to high temperatures.

Since it’s notably safe and therapeutic, CBD has focused on the legislation, media, and research– including medicine. We’re learning more about the therapeutic potentials of CBD.

It is, however, essential to note that reliable human research on cannabis is still inconclusive, and there are still many unknowns. Up to now, we know even less about CBDA acid than cannabidiol. However, based on early findings, even small amounts of CBDA can lead to considerable beneficial physiological effects.

CBDA shows early promise with beneficial health properties in treating various ailments. The correspondence between CBDA and serotonin receptors can affect everything from mood to nausea to inflammation.

CBDA is shown to associate more intensely with the activation of 5-HT1A serotonin receptors compared to CBD. Serotonin controls many physiological functions such as mood regulation, nausea, and intestinal motility.

Up to now, clinical trials have primarily concentrated on animal models. Until tests are performed on human health and how CBDA functions, we cannot fully assess the potential benefits of CBD and CBDA.

In what follows, some potential health benefits of CBDA have been compiled:



Cannabidiol burst into the mainstream as soon as the FDA first approved a CBD-based drug known as Epidiolex. The approval was made primarily for cannabis-derived prescription products in treating drug-resistant epilepsy.

It’s believed that CBD’s acidic precursor has some potential to mitigate the frequency and severity of seizures. Studies have been performed comparing the effects of CBD and CBDA. It is believed that CBDA has a higher bioavailability and a faster-acting effect compared to its parental compound.

Researchers concluded that lower amounts of CBDA are needed to come into action (to be effective), hence reducing the risk of CBDA side effects. In some cases, CBDA was shown to be even more effective in mitigating seizures than CBD.



Cannabidiolic acid possesses anti-inflammatory attributes and could relieve inflammation due to its ability to work as a selective COX-2 inhibitor. Cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes– COX-1 and COX-2– have different responsibilities.

While COX-1 is responsible for maintaining the intestinal mucosa and stomach, COX-2 causes inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin work by inhibiting the effects of the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.

Consuming these drugs over a long period can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, researchers have been attempting to create selective COX-2 inhibitors without any potential risk of damaging the stomach and intestinal mucosa. CBDA appears to work without the damaging effects on the gut.

Because of the exciting therapeutic potential benefits of CBDA, researchers have attempted to make synthetic variants that may be helpful for therapeutic applications. In particular, a reputable biochemist has synthesized a patented CBDA methyl ester.

A small change in the chemical structure makes this ester derivative more stable than its natural counterpart. Scientists have been working on the effects of this derivative on nausea and vomiting, anxiety, depression, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Synthetic CBDA can be on the horizon, but there is still no assurance it may function better than the natural form. For the moment, it’s recommended users test out the effects of CBDA through its raw form.



Some researchers have compared the effects of cannabidiol with those of cannabidiolic acid on different forms of nausea and vomiting. They’ve found that CBDA could be a more potent agent against these symptoms invoked by toxin- and motion-induced nausea and vomiting.

Researchers inferred that CBDA was significantly effective at alleviating anticipatory nausea. This symptom occurs, for example, when a person becomes nauseous immediately after chemotherapy treatment. Since there are no known treatments for this type of nausea, CBDA may offer a promising pathway.

In a further study, specialists examined the effects of a CBDA and ondansetron, i.e., an anti-nausea drug. They concluded that even a meagre amount of CBDA can noticeably improve the drug’s antiemetic effect.



In preclinical studies, CBDA was found to potentially prevent cancer cells from spreading in a type of breast cancer in which COX-2 levels were higher than average.

While CBDA was shown to help inhibit COX-2, it could also reduce the effectiveness of a protein associated with stimulating cancer cell growth and survival. Furthermore, CBDA appears to be able to help suppress breast cancer metastasis.

While more studies on the compound’s effects on cancer are required, CBDA has shown promising initial results in suppressing harmful cells in the body.


CBD & CBDA: Which One’s Better?

If better is defined as being more potent, CBDA may be superior to CBD. CBDA, sometimes referred to as the mother of CBD, is more potent than CBD and THCA in some scientific studies on animals. But, we must be careful not to make misleading assumptions about what CBDA can offer us.

Scientists state that there is, to date, sparse evidence about CBDA’s medical benefits for humans. Nevertheless, a few studies have delved into its potential to reduce seizures, treat inflammation, and eliminate tumours in animals.

In a 2008 study, both THCA and CBDA were revealed to possess an inhibitory effect on inflammation. A 2017 study demonstrated the potential anti-tumour characteristics of CBDA. This study unveiled the potential of CBDA in inhibiting the development of breast cancer cells.

As far as nausea, a 2013 study assessed the ability of CBDA to alleviate vomiting and nausea in animal models. Findings indicate that CBDA can potentially reduce toxin- and motion-induced vomiting and work more potently than CBD.

CBDA holds early promise as a treatment for vomiting and nausea. This symptom includes anticipatory nausea (without a current available specific therapy). CBDA has substantially beneficial properties in animals. Still, whether these results can be generalized to human health remains to be seen.


Bottom Line

If you wish to complete your everyday wellness routine with the natural benefits CBDA could offer, locate a licensed retailer and acquire the product you want. But make sure the CBDA products are thoroughly tested for authenticity, ensuring top quality and safety.

Please explore our website to explore a complete variety of our broad and full-spectrum CBD products (including CBDA).