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The difference between CBD and CBDA

In natural CBD products, the CBD content should always be understood as the ratio of CBD to CBDA. Pure CBD can only be found in chemically processed isolates. This article explains why the presence of CBDA and the resulting lower CBD content do not represent a disadvantage, but rather make the product even more effective.


CBDa, short for cannabidiolic acid, is one of the primary cannabinoids of the hemp plant. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is the precursor of CBD. It occurs in the leaves and flowers of some cannabis varieties. In most cannabis strains THCA is the dominant cannabinoid, but not in the so-called useful hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) from which most CBD products are made.

Only when CBDA goes through the process of decarboxylation does the “A”, which stands for acid, disappear and CBD is formed. It is important that gentle decarboxylation is carried out since valuable ingredients such as flavonoids are destroyed by rapid heating or excessively high temperatures.

Decarboxylation is the process by which carbon dioxide and hydrogen are removed from CBDA and converted into CBD. This reaction can occur naturally when the plant ages through exposure to light and heat. However, it is more often accelerated by heating cannabis when cannabis varieties with high CBD are processed or smoked. Due to their similar chemical structure, CBDA and CBD have similar therapeutic effects, but there are some differences between the two molecules. The biggest difference between the two is the extent to which they work, which is being studied.

More CBD thanks to CBDA

Recently, an effect of CBDA has become known that should please every CBD user. It has been shown that the body can absorb twice as much CBD in the presence of CBDA. It is said that CBDA increases the bioavailability of CBD by a factor of 2. In products that contain CBD as well as CBDA (all natural CBD products), a significantly higher CBD uptake in the body can occur than with chemically processed CBD isolates.

Effects of CBDA in the body

Both compounds are similar in that they interact with the endocannabinoid system, but CBDA is currently much less well understood than CBD.

When the endocannabinoid system works properly, it regulates digestion, mood, sleep, immune function, memory, pain, fertility, and other important bodily functions.

Both CBDa and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system and thus help with many diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, MS, epilepsy, and diseases such as hepatitis.

CBDA is also promising as an anticonvulsant, anti-nausea and anti-emetic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. CBDA also has antibacterial, antioxidant and anticancer properties.

How does CBDA work?

CBDA does not bind directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors but interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the form of an inhibitor of the so-called COX-2 enzyme, whereby CBDA has the potential to reduce inflammation throughout the body. CBDA is also thought to interact with the serotonin-producing 5-HT receptor. This particular interaction may be responsible for the antiemetic effect of cannabis.

CBDA is generally regarded as a key component of the medical spectrum of cannabis and its multiple therapeutic applications. Some studies suggest that CBDA has some effects against tumors that are very similar to those of CBD.

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