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CBDA: A Complete Introduction to Cannabidiolic Acid

By Kit O’Connell

Did you know that CBD is just one of many beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant? Today, we’re looking at CBDA, one of its closest relatives, and a compound with benefits all its own.

CBDA, short for Cannabidiolic Acid, is actually the “precursor” of CBD, meaning that all CBD found in the hemp plant begins as CBDA. Through time and heat, or other natural chemical processes, cannabidiolic acid transforms into cannabidiol (CBD). Today, scientists are beginning to explore the unique benefits of CBDA. In addition, products featuring CBDA, typically mixed with CBD, are beginning to become more widely available.

Much like CBD itself, researchers believe CBDA could be anti-inflammatory, but the potential goes much further. Although research is only just beginning, anecdotal reports from experts and consumers show this compound has incredible promise.

CBD vs. CBDA: The basics

  • CBD and CBDA are distinct cannabinoids, closely related compounds found in hemp and cannabis plants.
  • CBDA is the precursor and "acidic" form of CBD. CBDA turns into CBD when heat is applied or over time.
  • Compounds like CBD and CBDA work by interacting with the human endocannabinoid system, a unique system of receptors found throughout our nervous system.
  • Scientists report CBD interacts directly with the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system, while CBDA seems instead to block release of COX-2, an enzyme relating to inflammation.
  • Studies show both CBD and CBDA could reduce inflammation, while CBDA has also been studied as a possible treatment for nausea and certain forms of epilepsy.
  • Experts think CBDA might also someday be used to treat certain inflammatory skin conditions.

What is CBDA and how does CBDA work?

CBDA is the “acidic” form of CBD. Through various complex and fascinating chemical processes, when hemp grows it creates hundreds of unique compounds in its leaves and flowers. What begins as CBDA changes over time, through heat and aging in the plant, into CBD.

Originally researchers thought that CBDA was “inactive” and that only CBD, the non-acidic form, was capable of helping people feel better. Now, researchers are learning that CBDA just works a bit differently in our bodies, through a different method of action.

Both forms of the compound work by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system, a unique series of receptors found throughout our bodies including our nervous system and internal organs. While CBD interacts directly with certain receptors called CB1 and CB2 receptors in our nervous system, CBDA instead inhibits an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 or COX-2. COX-2 enzymes are released in our body after injury or during other incidents which cause inflammation.

If it sounds complicated, the most important thing to remember is that CBD and CBDA are closely related natural compounds found in hemp, but scientists think they work differently in our bodies. Even better, they work great when taken together, which researchers call the “entourage effect.”

What are the potential benefits of CBDA?

From our explanation above, you might have guessed one way that scientists think CBDA can help is by addressing inflammation.

Since CBDA seems to interact with enzymes in our bodies that regulate inflammation, scientists are very interested in learning more about it. While the current academic research has just begun, focusing only on animal models (using rats), anecdotally CBDA consumers and hemp experts report that the compound can relieve symptoms of inflammation and soreness. Some preliminary research also suggests it could help with conditions that cause skin inflammation. Clearly, more research is needed.

Another interesting avenue of CBDA research involves the ability of CBDA to reduce nausea. In a study published in 2013 by the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers at Ontario’s Guelph University looked at the interaction between serotonin and CBDA. Serotonin is a vital neurotransmitter that helps keep our minds healthy, but it’s also been linked to nausea. The researchers found that CBDA seemed to help several different forms of nausea, including hard to treat forms caused by chemotherapy.

Finally, much like CBD seems to help with symptoms of epilepsy disorders, there’s some initial research suggesting CBDA could help with symptoms of epilepsy disorders too. GW Pharma, which currently makes the only FDA-approved CBD-based epilepsy drug, also investigated the potential for CBDA to treat epilepsy. They were impressed enough with the results to file a patent.

It’s important to remember that all this research is just starting, and very little of it has been carried out in humans. While learning about this research is fascinating (at least to us!) and gives a glimpse into the ways CBDA could help people, it doesn’t mean you can use over-the-counter CBDA supplements to treat any medical conditions. We’re not doctors, and you should always consult with a medical professional before starting a new supplement or other treatment regime, especially if you’re considering using it to help with a serious condition like epilepsy.

Where can you buy CBDA or CBD products?

Anavii Market offers a full range of CBD and CBDA supplements, carefully curated to select only the very best, safest, and highest quality products. You can find CBDA in our full spectrum hemp extracts, and in our CBDA tinctures. Here's a brief guide to CBDA products we carry:

Hemp Products with 50% CBD and 50% CBDA:

Other Hemp Products with CBDA:

A brief note on flavor - CBDA has a rather strong flavor so if you are sensitive to taste, you will likely enjoy a capsule containing CBDA more than an oil

Of course, if you have any questions, we’re here to help.

Reach out to Anavii Market and we’ll help you pick the best CBDA and CBD products for your needs.

  • Call – 502-209-8808
  • Email –
  • Message us on social media – @anaviimarket or @anaviimarketcbd


How Can I Tell if My CBD is Working?

Did you know that 1 in 7 Americans use cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant? ...

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