Wondering about the difference between CBD vs CBDA? We’ve got the answers you’re looking for in this simple guide so you can safely use them. What’s the difference between CBDa vs CBD? 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 The main differences between CBD & CBDA are: CBD can be extracted from the flower and leaves of hemp, while CBDA is the raw, unheated precursor of CBD. Both are non-impairing, non-intoxicating and help support body and mind.
The Difference Between CBD vs CBDA
While the cannabis plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids, THC and CBD tend to be the ones most commonly talked about. But there are many other cannabinoids that provide unique benefits for the body. One of the lesser-known ones is CBDA or cannabidiolic acid. And while it is similar to CBD, the two have their own unique properties. So what is CBDA, and how is it different from CBD? Here’s a guide on CBDA vs CBD, their effects, and how to use them.
What is CBDA?
Cannabidiolic acid is a type of compound found in cannabis called a cannabinoid. CBD is also a cannabinoid, but you won’t find much CBD if you look at a fresh cannabis plant. Instead, you would see abundant amounts of CBDA. CBDA is a compound that eventually becomes CBD. While CBD comes from grown and cured cannabis plants, CBDA occurs in plants that are still growing. CBDA is what’s known as an acid precursor of CBD and only comes about when raw cannabis containing CBDA is heated, causing what’s known as decarboxylation.
While there has been a lot more scientific research on CBD than CBDA, it is starting to become a cannabinoid of interest. And just like other cannabinoids, CBDA can be used in products for therapeutic use.
How Does CBD Affect the Body?
The medicinal use of CBD is becoming more common every day, and research shows that it is a safe substance with seemingly endless beneficial health effects. Many people use CBD for pain relief. It binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body to reduce inflammation and numb pain. This also makes it great for things like arthritis, injuries, and overall aches and pains. CBD is also popular for boosting mood, reducing anxiety and depression, and getting a good night’s sleep. Research also shows that it can help fight cancer by reducing cancer cells’ growth, and it helps reduce nausea for cancer patients going through chemotherapy.
How Does CBDA Affect the Body?
We are learning that CBDA also provides positive health effects a lot like CBD. And while the two are closely related, they actually work in different ways. CBDA doesn’t bind to cannabinoid receptors the way that CBD does. But it does interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and boots serotonin production. Studies show that CBDA can act as a COX-2 inhibitor, making it great for reducing inflammation and pain. It can also work as an antiemetic and help fight feelings of nausea and vomiting. One study even found that it works better than CBD at reducing nausea. It also has antidepressant-like effects, can help with sleep, and be used to treat epilepsy.
CBD and CBDA have many similarities, but since they work in the body differently, CBDA may be better at relieving certain symptoms than CBD. And science is just starting to learn about CBDA’s unique benefits.
CBD vs CBDA: How to Use CBD and CBDA
Both CBD and CBDA can be found in oils, tinctures, topicals, and other easy-to-use products. But some users juice the leaves of fresh cannabis to get the freshest form of cannabidiolic acid. Both CBD and CBDA can provide a lot of similar health benefits, and using them depends on your personal preferences and which one is better at helping your symptoms. The best approach is to use them together. Like other cannabinoids, they work very well when combined and can boost each other’s benefits through what’s known as the entourage effect.
Ready to see what CBD and CBDA can do for you? Come down and see us at one of our dispensary locations and our friendly budtenders will be happy to help you find the products that are right for you!
What’s the difference between CBDa vs CBD?
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.
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
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
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 is CBDA? Differences & Benefits of CBD vs CBDA – Healer
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that can be extracted from the flower and leaves of hemp varieties of Cannabis sativa. CBDA is the raw, unheated precursor of CBD.
Both CBD and CBDA are non-impairing, non-intoxicating and help support body and mind. They are just two of over 100+ cannabinoids and other physiologically active constituents in Cannabis sativa.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a well-known component of hemp with diverse health benefits. Many are surprised to learn that the hemp plant does not directly produce CBD. The plant actually produces cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) which converts to CBD slowly at room temperature, or rapidly when exposed to high temperatures.
CBD and CBDA share many physiologic properties, but also have some important differences:
- CBDA is more easily absorbed (up to 11 times) when taken by mouth, compared to CBD. 
- CBDA and CBD both have anti-inflammatory properties, but may act via different mechanisms in the body. For example, unlike CBD, CBDA has been shown to decrease the activity of the COX-2 enzyme, an enzyme responsible for increasing inflammation.
- CBDA may be more potent than CBD for some applications based on studies of rodent models of nausea , stress-induced anxiety , pain and inflammation, and seizures . We don’t know if similar results translate to humans yet, but it is possible that CBDA may be more effective than CBD at lower doses.
- CBDA is unlikely to mitigate the adverse effects of THC, a common usage of CBD. While many people appreciate the combined effects of CBD and THC, some find that CBD weakens the beneficial effects of THC and may prefer CBDA.
Understanding The Benefits of CBDA
Most people are familiar with CBD oil, which is very popular these days for its health and wellness benefits. But there’s another lesser known cannabinoid called CBDA that is gaining attention from consumers and the scientific community as early findings show that even small amounts of CBDA can have significant beneficial physiological effects.
CBDA has many important differences to CBD that make it even more powerful, namely
- CBDA is better absorbed (5-11 times better)
- CBDA acts more strongly in studies on rodents for inflammatory pain, nausea, and anxiety.
- CBDA does not lower or diminish the benefits of THC like CBD.
Because high-quality human research on these cannabinoids is still emerging and there are still many unknowns, in this post we’ll share what you need to know about this CBDA oil.
- Relieve pain and inflammation after physical activity*
- Help with occasional sleeplessness*
- Improve mood, promote resilience to stress and relieve irritability*
- Promotes alertness and clear thinking*
- Enhance performance and recovery from exercise*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
What is CBDA oil?
Oils infused with CBDA are the best delivery method for taking CBDA. CBDA oil is generally concentrated and used as the active ingredient in cannabis tinctures, vaporizers, topicals, capsules, edibles and other products.
High-quality CBDA oils are harder to find because acidic cannabinoids are more difficult to extract and stabilize, but those currently available come in several forms: isolate, broad spectrum, full spectrum and Healer spectrum:
- CBDA Isolates contain CBDA alone. All of the other beneficial plant components are removed using a chemical process. Since these highly processed formulas don’t absorb as well, nano-emulsifiers are added to boost their effectiveness, and the consumer typically requires higher amounts.
- Broad Spectrum CBDA products contain CBDA along with some of the naturally occurring compounds from the hemp plant, without THC or THCa. These oils are also processed using chemical reactions to remove THC and THCA.
- Full Spectrum CBDA products include the legally allowed trace amounts of THC and THCA (a maximum of 0.3% THC). While the term ‘full spectrum’ is meant to describe products that retain all of the beneficial plant compounds, many products labeled full spectrum actually only contain THC while others add in terpenes from other plants.
- Healer Spectrum CBDA products are made using Healer’s patented nano-filtration technology to contain the full range of naturally occurring plant compounds including acidic and other minor cannabinoids, the legally allowed trace amounts of THCA and THC (less than 0.3%) , and the plant’s original terpenes, flavonoids and phytonutrients.
What is the most effective way to take CBDA?
Placing CBDA oil drops under your tongue (sublingual administration) is the best way to ensure fast and efficient absorption and minimize delays associated with digestion. CBDA oil drops may be added to food or drinks, too. However, you may require a larger amount and it may take longer to feel the effects. CBDA oil drops can be applied directly to the skin as a topical or added to your favorite cream or beauty product.
How is CBDA different from CBD?
In many ways, CBDA works similarly to CBD by influencing the endocannabinoid system and other biological systems within our bodies. But, CBDA has many important differences that make it even more powerful, namely CBDA is better absorbed (5-11 times better) and acts more strongly in the body regarding pain & inflammation after physical activity, symptoms of nausea, and worry.
You’ll see better results at lower dosages when using CBDA products (or whole plant hemp CBD products that contain CBDA) compared to pure or nearly-pure CBD isolate. If you have tried CBD without much success, don’t assume CBDA won’t help.
CBD or CBDA? Which product is best for me?
We recommend starting with Healer Hemp CBD, which contains mostly CBD and about 15% CBDA, along with the Healer Spectrum of naturally occurring minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other important phytonutrients.
While the human research on both CBD and CBDA is still emerging, early findings show that even small amounts of CBDA, like those found in our CBD formula, can have significant physiologic effects.
However, you should start with our CBDA product if:
- You want to try CBDA’s more powerful benefits or know you respond better to CBDA.
- You’ve tried CBD in the past in moderate to high amounts (25-50mg) and have been unsatisfied with the results
- You’re using THC and you don’t want your hemp product to decrease its effects
 Pellesi, L., et al. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 74.11 (2018): 1427-1436.
 Anderson, Lyndsey L., et al. Journal of natural products 82.11 (2019): 3047-3055.
 Rock, E. M., et al. Psychopharmacology 235.11 (2018): 3259-3271.
 Rock, E. M., et al. British Journal of Pharmacology 169.3 (2013): 685-69