CBDA molecule in front of bluebubbles

What is CBDA, Cannabidiolic Acid

Cannabidiolic Acid, or CBDA, is one of the many cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp plants, and it’s unique for a variety of reasons. In this guide, we’ll explain:

  • What is CBDA?
  • What Does CBDA Do and How Does it Work?
  • What’s the Difference Between CBD and CBDa?
  • What is CBDA Good For?
  • Where can you find CBDA?

What is CBDA?

CBDA is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, and it’s important because to get CBD, you have to first have CBDA. We’ve covered the decarboxylation process before, but it’s a process that is crucial to the creation of CBD.

Here’s how it works: Most of the cannabinoids you know about, CBD and THC, start as a cannabinoid called CBG. CBG converts to three different types of cannabinoids: THCA, CBCA and CBDA. From there, CBDA is converted, with heat or time, into CBD. You simply can’t have CBD without CBDA.

Interested in cannabinoids? Learn about them in our guide "what are cannabinoids" today.

What Does CBDA Do and How Does It Work?

CBDA is an interesting cannabinoid, and more research continues to be done on its properties. Cannabinoids, generally speaking, interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body by binding to CB1 or CB2 receptors. CBDA, however, doesn’t appear to do this. Rather, it may block enzymes like cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is associated with inflammation and tumor development.

It’s important to note that the majority of CBDA studies have all been conducted on animals. GW Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures Epidiolex, the first prescription drug that contains CBD, has also been tasked by the FDA to research CBDA.

What’s the Difference Between CBD and CBDA?

CBD and CBDA are unique cannabinoids, but you can’t have CBD without CBDA. This is because when CBDA is decarboxylated via heat or time, it becomes CBD. This means it’s actually difficult to find CBDA in its natural form. Generally, you can find products that contain CBDA, but you may have difficulty finding anything that contains only CBDA.

What is CBDA Good For?

Scientists have largely only studied CBD, as CBDA isn’t considered pharmacologically active—they didn’t think an inactive cannabinoid did much. But when scientists noticed the molecular structure of CBDA looked similar to common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), interest was renewed around the cannabinoid. In addition, CBDA has been shown to positively impact the brain and stomach when administered to rats and shrews.

But one important factor to consider is that CBDA is relatively unstable. It can actually decarboxylate at room temperature if left out for a long period of time, but research continues on how to stabilize CBDA.

Where Can You Find CBDA?

There are some medical and recreational marijuana strains rich in CBDA, but the moment you heat the marijuana flower, the CBDA will convert to CBD. There are some CBDA oils, tinctures, capsules, lotions, and more available for purchase, but they are typically low in CBDA and include a variety of cannabinoids in them.

If you’re interested in experiencing CBD in marijuana, visit one of our locations in your state and talk to cannabis experts. They can help you find products high in CBD and talk more about CBDA.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.