The two cannabinoids are closely related. In fact CBDA is the precursor to CBD. What his means is the “A” stands for acid. In the process of decarboxylation, heating, the acid is changed and is no longer an acid. Therefore, it becomes CBD. While this is very oversimplified, the chemical process is not as important as the differences between what each of these cannabinoid compounds does. Let’s look at them individually.


CBDA stands for Cannabidiolic acid. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning that it will not make you high. There is no euphoria and no hallucinogenic impact from CBDA. It is the precursor to CBD and can be found in raw or living cannabis.

It is found more abundantly in hemp, which has been bred and industrialized for cultivating CBD oil. It converts to CBD through decarboxylation which can happen from heating or being exposed to prolonged sunlight.

The only way to consume CBDA is through juicing raw cannabis or purchasing tinctures, topicals, or capsules formulated from raw cannabis.

CBDA itself is a strong anticonvulsant, anti-nausea agent that can help stop vomiting, and it is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It may have anti-cancer properties because of the high level of antioxidants and it also has properties indicating a use as an antibacterial.

CBDA is too large to bind to a CB receptor of the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). It has to lose that “A” and become CBD in order for that to happen, but it can still impact the ECS in other ways. It interacts and acts as an inhibitor to one particular enzyme of the system, COX-2. That helps CBDA to influence the body’s response to reduce inflammation.

CBDA also interacts with the serotonin receptor, 5-HT. It is thought that it antagonizes this receptor to produce more serotonin, which enhances the moods and helps to fight depression and mood disorders in those who are impacted by low serotonin levels. In fact, taking CBDA will begin working almost immediately, within minutes. Commonly prescribed medications don’t begin working for up to 5 weeks on average.

It Is Backed by Research

In 2008 a study was conducted that showed CBDA’s anti-inflammatory value, anther in 2012 took a very hard look at CBDA as an anti-cancer agent. In February of 2013, findings were released from an additional study that that showed CBDA’s effects as an antiemetic. Further research and study concluded in 2017 that CBDA may have application as a treatment for aggressive breast cancer.


CBD has been found to have impact on additional things and has its roots in CBDA, however, because it is smaller, it can directly bind with CB2 receptors of the ECS. In this way, CBD impacts even more things. CBD can still impact seizure activity in a positive way, and it does a whole host of other things too.

Some of the chronic conditions that have reported positive impact on symptoms through the use of CBD include:

  •        IBS
  •        Crohn’s disease
  •        Parkinson’s disease
  •        Diabetes
  •        Stroke
  •        Heart disease
  •        Depression
  •        Anxiety
  •        Fibromyalgia
  •        Cancer-fighting
  •        ….more

CBD seems to have wider ranging effects because it can physically bind with the ECS and not just operate as an antagonist to get other systems to function better. CBD directly impact the body by binding with the ECS and forming a whole new lipid molecule that enters the neural network and works to block pain, seizures, help the metabolism function more smoothly, boost the immune system, and regulate moods.

This is an impressive list of things for such a small molecule, but it has much research to back it up as well. In fact, CBD has more research than THC does, having been the first cannabinoid that was thoroughly researched and is still enjoying research.

We’ve likely on scraped the tip of the iceberg with CBD research and already science has developed medications for Epilepsy, resulting in a new drug called Epidiolex. It is designed for patients who have tried all the other drugs with no or few results.

Epidiolex is made from the active ingredient Cannabidiol (CBD). This received the stamp of approval from the FDA, which is not easy to get and was an enormous step in the cannabis industry being accepted as a positive thing for humans.


The main difference between the two is that one is an acid and the other is not. One, being an acid, is too big of a molecule to directly impact the ECS so it works to antagonize the system, as well as the system which produces serotonin for directly impacting moods which can include depression and suicidal tendencies, making it a potentially valuable tool to mental health therapy.

Both are cannabinoids and neither is harmful to you or addictive. Much more research is needed on CBDA to determine the level of impact it can have for humans and if it can become a viable option for manufacturing medications in the future, as CBD has become.

There is no doubt that there is a place for both, given the research conclusions that have already been found and more applications for both will be examined through independent study at universities and in private research foundations.

Pharmaceutical companies are likely to take a hit from the people flocking to marijuana and CBD oils right now, for the information that has already been learned. People in countries all over the globe are seeking remedies that are more natural for chronic conditions and pain. The results are outstanding so far and only good can come of more research.

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