CBD vs. CBDA – What’s the Difference?

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You’ve probably already heard a lot about CBD and the benefits it can have for your health and wellbeing. But there’s another compound of the cannabis plant that doesn’t get as much recognition – CBDA. This article will explain what CBDA is, how it differs from CBD, and what kind of benefits and uses it can have.

What is CBDA?

We’ve discussed before how the cannabis plant contains lots of different cannabinoids, along with other compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. In fact, more than 100 cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis. While CBD and THC receive most of the attention, CBDA is another notable cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant.

Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, is actually the precursor to CBD. This cannabinoid acid is one of many found in the raw cannabis plant. But once the plant is cut, dried, and heated, this compound changes molecular properties and converts into CBD.


Products that use raw cannabis or raw hemp oil will contain higher concentrations of CBDA and low concentrations of CBD. Like CBD, CBDA also interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, although not in the same way. It is thought that CBDA mainly has an impact on 5-HT receptors and the COX-2 enzyme. CBDA is also similar to CBD in the fact that it doesn’t cause the ‘high’ associated with THC.

CBD is more commonly used in wellness products because it is a more stable compound, since CBDA gradually goes through a process called decarboxylation where it converts into CBD. However, the raw form of CBDA is typically much more potent than CBD, so it can have stronger effects when it is used.

Uses and benefits of CBDA

Less research has been conducted into CBDA compared to CBD, so less is known about this compound. However, CBDA can still have its benefits in raw cannabis and hemp products.

The 5-HT receptors thought to be affected by CBDA are serotonin receptors. So, CBDA could help to maintain healthy levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a big part in regulating our mood. As well as improving mood, this could also help to fight mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

CBDA is also thought to have similar effects to CBD in terms of its ability to reduce inflammation and manage seizures, although more research is still required in these areas.

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