what is the difference between cbd and cbda

What is CBDA? Everything You Need to Know About CBDA vs CBD

When it comes to cannabinoids, many people have at least an introductory understanding of what THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are, as well as their effects and possible benefits of use. However, there are over a hundred other compounds present in cannabis, and one of those cannabinoids is CBDA (cannabidiolic acid). Below, the cannabis experts at Medical Marijuana, Inc. explain everything you need to know about CBDA, including how it differs from CBD.

If you are interested in learning all about CBD, it is likely that at some point you have read about CBDA. CBDA is the abbreviation for a chemical compound called cannabidiolic acid. CBDA is found in cannabis plants, including both marijuana and hemp, and has a natural relationship with CBD, as CBDA is the acidic precursor to CBD.

Even though CBDA and CBD have a direct connection and are both cannabis-derived compounds, CBDA and CBD have distinct differences. Below you can find the answers to CBDA frequently asked questions, as well as explore the differences between CBDA vs CBD.

What is CBDA?

CBDA, or cannabidiolic acid, is one of the many cannabinoids that is naturally produced by cannabis plants. CBDA was first isolated in 1996 and is found most abundantly in raw marijuana and hemp material.

CBDA is the acidic precursor to CBD. Cannabis compounds go through major transformations over time, such as when they are dried or are exposed to heat. In raw cannabis, including fresh cannabis leaves and flowers that have not been dried, cured, or heated, all active compounds are first found in the form of acids, and that is the case with CBDA.

These inactive cannabinoid acids have an added carboxyl ring attached to their molecular chain. Either slowly over time or instantly when the acids are heated, they lose their acidic carboxyl group and break down into more active compounds. CBDA, for example, transforms from its raw form into the highly-sought-after active compound, CBD, through a heating process called decarboxylation.

People who juice raw cannabis enjoy a considerable serving of CBDA. The compound can also be found in raw hemp oil products, including CBD oil products that have not been decarboxylated or filtered in any way. This raw CBD oil containing CBDA can also be found in tinctures, capsules, and more.


CBDA and CBD are both cannabinoids, a class of chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant. There are an estimated 113 cannabinoids in cannabis, but the concentrations of each cannabinoid will vary depending on the variety of the plant and whether the plant’s materials have been decarboxylated.

CBD is present in only very small amounts in growing cannabis plants. Instead, most CBD initially exists as CBDA, and it isn’t until the plant is cut, dried, and heated that CBDA transforms into CBD.

Like CBD, CBDA is a non-intoxicating compound which means it doesn’t cause any euphoric effects when consumed.

Cannabinoids like CBDA and CBD interact with the body through its endocannabinoid system (ECS), a regulatory network that alters the release of neurotransmitters in the brain to keep functions in balance. However, CBDA and other acidic forms of cannabinoids affect the ECS in very different ways than the decarboxylated forms of cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, do.

What are the Potential Benefits of CBDA?

Now that you understand the difference between CBD and CBDA, it is clear that CBDA will offer different benefits than CBD. However, CBDA benefits are only just beginning to be fully understood. Researchers are still investigating the benefits of CBDA, including how the compound may be able to promote health and wellness.

CBDA benefits that have been discovered so far appear to be related to the compound’s influence on the endocannabinoid system and 5-HT receptors. Rather than bind directly with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, CBDA interacts with the endocannabinoid system by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. CBDA is also thought to influence serotonin-related 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors.

Healthy serotonin levels and a more efficient endocannabinoid system will lead to overall better health. Tasked with promoting homeostasis within your body, the endocannabinoid system keeps a long list of functions in balance, allowing the body to thrive and helping you to generally feel better.

Research into CBDA benefits is not as robust as more prominent cannabinoids like CBD. However, early promising studies indicate possible natural health benefits.

Where Can I Purchase CBDA?

If you’re interested in adding the potential natural benefits of CBDA to your everyday wellness routine, Green Label Real Scientific Hemp Oil® (RSHO®) provides raw hemp oil products that contain CBDA.

The CBD oil found in Green Label products is a natural hemp product that has not been significantly filtered or altered in any way. The oil is not decarboxylated after being extracted from the hemp plant, so the resulting oil is kept in its raw form, giving you a similar experience to juicing hemp.

RSHO® Green Label is actually higher in CBDA than CBD and is a good choice if you’re looking to experience the natural effects of cannabinoids that are still in their acidic form. Derived from hemp, RSHO® Green Label products with CBDA are legal in the United States.

RSHO® Green Label offers a variety of different products, allowing you to choose the form that works best for you and your personal needs. You can choose from a hemp oil concentrate packaged in a convenient oral applicator tube, hemp oil capsules, hemp oil liquids, and tinctures.

What is the Future of CBDA?

When it comes to the future of CBDA, there are still a lot of unknowns. Scientists have been examining CBDA for a relatively brief amount of time. In the short period since scientists have become familiar with CBDA, the compound has generally not been acknowledged as a viable beneficial compound. Compared to CBD, CBDA is much more unstable because of the natural process of decarboxylation.

However, relatively new research from renowned cannabinoid scientist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam suggests a potentially bright future for CBDA. At a cannabis conference in California in September 2019, Dr. Mechoulam announced that he and his team had found a way to transform unstable cannabinoid acids like CBDA into more stable compounds that will still interact with the body and its systems in the same way.

Dr. Mechoulam explained that his research team was able to stabilize CBDA by converting it into a methyl ester derivative called HU-580. This new compound appears to still influence the COX-2 enzyme and 5-HT receptors in the same way that CBDA does.

Researchers have just started scratching the surface of CBDA and there is still much to learn about the cannabinoid acid. There are still some possible benefits and uses for CBDA that may be uncovered in the years to come.

Learn More About CBDA and Other Types of Cannabinoids

Now that you have an introductory understanding of CBDA, you are ready to purchase a CBD oil product that features CBDA. You can find our selection of products with CBDA for sale by browsing RSHO® Green Label products in our online store.

If you are interested in learning more about cannabinoids like CBDA and CBD, as well as tips on how to use CBD oil, take a look at all of the CBD oil resources Medical Marijuana, Inc. has to offer. The CBD Oil Education guide can help you become an expert on all things CBD in no time.

What is CBDA? While both cannabinoids, they have some major differences. We explore CBDA vs CBD, and what their differences and benefits mean for you. CBDA, like CBD, is non-psychoactive…

What’s the difference between CBDa vs CBD?

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  1. What is CBDa?
  2. Is CBDa better than CBD?
  3. What is CBDa used for?
  4. Is CBDa in CBD oil?
  5. Can you smoke CBDa?

CBD has received significant press for its potential pain and stress-relieving benefits, but have you heard of CBDa? If you’re not familiar with the term, you may have some questions about this lesser-known component of the hemp plant and cannabis plant.

What exactly is CBDa and how does it function? What are the benefits of CBDa? What is the difference between CBD and CBDa? Here we shine the spotlight on CBDa while breaking down how it differs from CBD, one of the most abundant naturally occurring cannabinoids present in cannabis.

What is CBDa?

CBDa, or cannabidiolic acid, is a compound that occurs abundantly in live hemp and cannabis plants. Like CBD, CBDa interacts with our bodies and endocannabinoid systems as a cannabinoid and may offer health benefits ranging from pain relief to mood enhancement.

CBDa is the acid form of CBD and bears the same relationship as THCa and THC. Dr. Adie Poe, assistant scientist at Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, and scientific advisor to Weedmaps, elaborated: “The plant makes the acid form, and the acid form is decarboxylated by heat. CBDa is just the “raw” or unheated form of CBD.”

CBDa is the acid form of CBD and bears the same relationship as THCa and THC. CBDa is the “raw” or unheated form of CBD.

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In other words, when CBDa heats up, it turns into CBD. In its original form, CBDa stays as is. Since CBDa has a close relationship with CBD, does one cannabinoid have more benefits than the other? Some CBDa research indicates yes.

Is CBDa better than CBD?

If your definition of better means more potent, then yes, CBDa could be superior to CBD. Sometimes dubbed the mother of all cannabinoids, CBDa has acted more potently than CBD as well as THCa in different scientific studies on animals.

But Poe cautioned against making premature assumptions about what CBDa can do for people. As she pointed out, “There is sparse evidence about CBDa’s medical benefits in humans, although a few studies have looked at its ability to reduce seizures, reduce tumors, and treat inflammation in animals.”

One such study was conducted by Japanese researchers and published in 2008 in the journal Drug Metabolism and Disposition. In this study, both CBDa and THCa were found to have an inhibitory effect on inflammation, but CBDa emerged as the stronger of the two.

In this study, both CBDa and THCa were found to have an inhibitory effect on inflammation, but CBDa emerged as the stronger of the two. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Another study, conducted by the same Japanese researchers and published in 2017 in the Journal of Natural Medicine, demonstrated the potential anti-tumor properties of CBDa. This study discussed the possibility that CBDa could combat the development of highly aggressive breast cancer cells.

With regard to nausea, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology evaluated the ability of CBDa to reduce nausea and vomiting in animal models. Results revealed that CBDa reduced toxin- and motion-induced vomiting while acting more potently than CBD. Researchers noted, “Consequently, CBDa shows promise as a treatment for nausea and vomiting, including anticipatory nausea for which no specific therapy is currently available.”

Clearly, CBDa has demonstrated beneficial properties in animals, but whether these studies have implications on human health remains to be seen.

What is CBDa used for?

One way the possible benefits of CBDa can be experienced is in homemade food and beverages. Poe shared, “CBDa is an important component of a full-spectrum raw extract. Hemp kief in your smoothie equals a nice anti-inflammatory micronutrient.”

A CBDa-infused smoothie might also contain superfoods such as kale, spinach, and ginger root. A handful of CBDa flower along with a teaspoon of CBD oil, plus some apples for taste and orange juice for texture could complete the recipe. This type of smoothie won’t get you high because THC is not an ingredient, but the drink could help fight off inflammation in the body and leave you feeling refreshed.

Is CBDa in CBD oil?

CBD and CBDa may both be present in oil depending on how the concoction was prepared. If CBDa is an ingredient in raw, unheated forms, then it could be an active ingredient in a therapeutic oil.

CBD and CBDa may both be present in oil depending on how the concoction was prepared. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Dr. Poe elaborated, “A consumer may encounter CBDa products out there in the world if the manufacturer has not heated the plant prior to processing. That is, if they take raw hemp oil and incorporate it into their products without heating, the “CBD” oil may actually contain CBDa. CBDa is anti-inflammatory, but it has other targets in the nervous system (serotonin signaling, for example), just like its de-carbed cousin.”

Likewise, tinctures can feature CBDa as the main ingredient if the cannabinoid has not been heated or processed in any way.

Can you smoke CBDa?

Consumption methods such as smoking marijuana will naturally convert CBDa into CBD because the cannabinoid heats up when you light a joint. So, you cannot directly smoke CBDa as its raw form changes into CBD. If you want to directly experience CBDa, you can experiment with certain ingestible oils, as well as tinctures, creams, and other cannabis topicals. Or, you can fix yourself a superfood smoothie or a cup of raw cannabis juice to take in some CBDa.

However you choose to use CBDa, you should consult with your physician before trying any new medicinal regimen and discuss whether any medications you are currently taking could interact with cannabis.

What’s the difference between CBDa vs CBD? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBDa? Is CBDa better than CBD? What is CBDa used for?