CBDA VS CBD: Understanding the 2 Cannabinoids


Cannabinoids are compounds found in the Cannabis plant. There are many cannabinoids present in a cannabis plant. So far, it is thought to have 85 to 113 cannabinoids with varying effect on the human body. Some of these cannabinoids have psychological effects or have a psychoactive element affecting how the brain functions such as THC, CBN, and CBDL. In this article, let us focus on CBDA vs CBD Cannabinoids.

Before discussing CBDA and CBD Cannabinoids, it would be important to learn how these compounds are being processed by our body. Here’s a basic rundown on how our body processes these cannabinoids.

Understanding How the Body Processes Cannabinoids

Our body is has a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is responsible for keeping our bodies regulated and maintaining balance. Our ECS has three components: Cannabinoid receptors, Endocannabinoids and Enzymes. All of these components work together to keep our internal body balanced. 

The Cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 is found mostly in the central nervous system and have a direct effect on cognitive and motor functions. CB2 is commonly found in the immune system and have a direct effect on neuroprotection and neuroinflammation. These cannabinoid receptors receive the cannabinoids resulting in physiological and behavioral changes.

The Endocannabinoids in our body is called anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These Endocannabinoids acts as a messenger where they are made to look for and activate the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. 

ECS is not the same for everybody. Some may have more levels of CB1 or CB2 while some have a higher rate of anandamide production than 2-AG. The differences in ECS is one of the driving force of cannabis research. It is widely known that the effects of marijuana vary from person to person. Understanding ECS would help us learn more about ourselves and why we love certain strains while others hate it.

CBDA Defined

CBDA or Cannabidiolic-acid is not a psychoactive compound found in Marijuana. This acid is the parent to CBD. CBDA can be found in the marijuana plant in its raw form. CBDA does not have any effect with the CB1 and CB2 Cannabinoid receptors but does have an interaction with our ECS as an inhibitor to an enzyme called COX-2. As a result, CBDA can potentially have anti-inflammatory and anti-emetic components.

Production of CBDA

As mentioned above, CBDA is the parent to CBD while CBGA is the parent to CBDA. CBGA or Cannabigerol Acid is known to be the “Mother of all Cannabinoids”. All the other types of cannabinoids originate from CBGA and are produced through a chemical reaction in the plants’ trichomes.

Effects or Uses of CBDA

Since CBDA is thought to an inactive compound, research on this acid has been very limited and focus was more on CBD. Recently, it has been found out that it has anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, studies are now being conducted to further learn about CBDA’s effect on nausea, epilepsy, breast cancer, and anti-inflammatory relief.

Usage of CBDA

Today, CBDA can be added into juices, smoothies, salad dressings, and sauces and can be consumed orally. They can also be added into any of your dishes as herbs, spices, and garnishes. The leaves can also be lightly steamed. Too much heat would activate the decarboxylation and will release CBD.

CBD Defined

CBD or Cannabidiol is activated when the plant is heated in a process called decarboxylation. The original compound is called CBDA or Cannabidioloc-acid. CBD acts as an antagonist on CB1 and CB2 where it acts as a blocker for the effects of THC thereby lessening the “high” that certain marijuana strains provide. For consumers, look for strains with low CBD content because they give a better high. 

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the one responsible for the psychoactive effects that cannabis plants have on the human brain. THC seeks out the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and activates them thereby affecting human behavior, perception, thinking, coordination and senses. This compound helps the brain to release dopamine which is the chemical in our brain responsible for making us feel happy or euphoric. 

Production of CBD

Decarboxylation is the process that helps produce CBD from CBDA. This procedure removes a certain carbon atom and releases carbon dioxide by applying heat and factoring in time. Here are ways on how to release CBD from the cannabis plant.

  • Vaping – immediately produces hug amount of CBD because of extreme heat
  • Smoking – immediately produces a huge amount of CBD because of extreme heat
  • Drying and Curing – Small amounts of CBD are produced by this process because it causes partial decarboxylation.
  • Heating – Small amounts of CBD are produced and can be added in the creation of edibles.

Effects of CBD

Effects of CBD has been widely researched for years now. These studies have proven that CBD does have positive effects on the human body. It is so far known to treat various conditions such as inflammation, seizures, chronic pain, mental disorders, migraines, nausea, bowel diseases, anxiety, and depression to name a few.

Usage of CBD

CBD can be inhaled, smoked or taken orally. They can be made available in different forms such as dried leaves, gels, supplements, gummies, and oils. DoctorOz discusses the impact of CBD oil on his site. CBD is also available as topical – These are creams created with CBD such as lotions and salves wherein can be applied directly on the body.

CBD Medical Possibilities

Research on the following is being conducted to find out the exact effects of CBD on the human mind and body.

Anti-Emetic – possible effects on vomiting and diarrhea connected to chemotherapy and therapies related to HIV/Aids.

Anti-Convulsive – possible effects on muscle spasms related to Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

Anti-Seizure – possible effects on seizures related to Epilepsy

Anti-Anxiolytic – possible effects on mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD and Autism

Antipsychotic – possible effects on schizophrenia

Final Thoughts

CBDA research is very much in its infancy and more and more pharmaceutical companies are already taking an interest in this specific cannabinoid. They are looking into the effects of CBDA in epilepsy and tumor reduction. Though CBD strains have been studied for a long time now, there is still much to learn and much to prove as to the benefits we can get from these compounds because in reality there should not be a CBDA vs CBD. For all we know, CBDA and CBD would actually work best together.

Share This Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

About The Author:

James Carico

James Carico

James is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger whose expertise is in the medical marijuana realm. His goal is to break the stigma towards marijuana and share knowledge and information about its brilliant characteristics that offer recreational benefits and boast medical benefits. He is an advocate of marijuana legalization worldwide as he believes everyone should have access to nature’s wonder herb. James enjoys a pot of Super Silver Haze marijuana in his free time as it not only brings him in a good mood but also relieves his body from pain and tension. He writes mainly on medical marijuana’s history, uses and benefits, and cultivation.