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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 various reasons. In this guide, we explain:

  • What is CBDA, cannabidiolic acid?
  • 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 in order to get CBD, you first need to have CBDA. We've already covered the decarboxylation process, but it's a process that is crucial for the production of CBD.

Here's how it works: Most cannabinoids you know of, CBD and THC, start as cannabinoids called CBG. CBG is converted into three different types of cannabinoids: THCA, CBCA, and CBDA. From there, CBDA is converted into CBD by heat or time. You simply cannot have CBD without CBDA.

What does cannabidiolic acid do and how does it work?

What is CBDA, cannabidiolic acid?

CBDA is an interesting cannabinoid, and its properties are being further explored. Cannabinoids generally interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body by binding to CB1 or CB2 receptors. However, CBDA does not appear to do this. Instead, it may block enzymes such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) which are associated with inflammation and tumor development .

It's important to note that most CBDA studies were all conducted on animals.

What is CBDA good for?

Scientists have largely only studied CBD, as CBDA is not considered pharmacologically active - they didn't think an inactive cannabinoid does much. But when scientists noticed that the molecular structure of CBDA resembled that of traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), interest in the cannabinoid was renewed. Furthermore, CBDA has shown positive effects on the brain and stomach when administered to rats and shrews.

An important factor to consider, however, is that CBDA is relatively unstable. It can actually decarboxylate at room temperature if left out over a long period of time, but research into stabilizing CBDA is ongoing.

Where can you find CBDA?

There are some medical marijuana strains that are rich in CBDA, but the moment the marijuana bud is heated, the CBDA is converted into CBD. There are some CBDA oils, tinctures, capsules, lotions, and more available for purchase, but they usually contain little CBDA and contain a variety of other cannabinoids.