What’s the difference between CBD and CBDa, and why does it matter?
What is the difference between CBD and CBDa, and why is it important to know? We get asked this question a lot, so we thought that we would devote an article to answering it once and for all.
Whenever you think about hemp or cannabis products, you typically think about either CBD or THC. However, most people understand what tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) is and, how they interact with our bodies, and the effects they produce.
THC is the compound responsible for that ‘euphoric high’ that you experience when you smoke or consume cannabis products. However, CBD doesn’t get you high in any way and has been linked to a variety of health and wellness products.
Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids, and they’re clearly the most dominant or abundant cannabinoids, but did you know there are over 100 other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant? So, what’s the difference between CBDa and CBD?
CBDa is actually the precursor compound to CBD. Although these two compounds are similar, there are some crucial differences between the two. In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at both CBD and CBDa and the differences between the two.
What Is CBDa?
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa) is a natural compound that occurs in every cannabis plant. However, CBDa itself is a relatively new discovery compared to many of the other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and was only discovered and isolated in 1996. Therefore, you’re more likely to find CBDa in raw cannabis plants that haven’t been processed in any way.
The single biggest difference between CBD and CBDa is that CBDa is the precursor chemical to CBD. Just like many other cannabinoids, CBDa undergoes a transition when the raw cannabis material is processed. If the cannabis plant is heated, dried, or cured, acidic compounds such as CBDa break down and transition into CBD.
In dried or processed cannabis, you’ll find a large amount of CBD. In contrast, in raw cannabis material, you’ll find large amounts of CBDa. A good example of a product high in CBDa is natural hemp oil.
Is CBDa the Same As CBD?
While both CBDa and CBD are cannabinoids, share a similar name, and are both found in the cannabis plant, the two are not the same. Both cannabinoids are used by the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate a variety of different bodily functions.
Although cannabis contains over 100 different cannabinoids, the amounts present will vary depending on the developmental age of the plants and what strain they are. Another factor that influences how much CBDa is present in the plant is decarboxylation.
What Is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation sounds extremely technical and complicated, so we’ll try and break it all down for you as simply as possible so that you understand the process. During the decarboxylation process, CBDa and other acidic cannabinoids will begin breaking down and losing their acidity.
When a cannabis plant is growing, there are only small amounts of CBD present. However, as the plant is heated or dried, the CBDa is converted into CBD. This is the decarboxylation process.
What Are the Potential Benefits of CBDa?
We’ve talked a bit about what CBD and CBDa are and how they’re different, so now it’s time to look at some of the potential benefits which CBDa may offer. First, however, it’s important to note that we still don’t know a lot about CBDa as it hasn’t been studied as extensively as CBD.
It wasn’t until 2008 that scientists really started to pay attention to minor cannabinoids such as CBDa. When scientists started studying CBDa, they noticed that it shared similarities with common NSAIDs. For example, they discovered that CBDa inhibits COX-2, which is the same chemical that NSAIDs inhibit.
Unlike other cannabinoids, CBDa doesn’t interact directly with the ECS. Instead, CBDa inhibits COX-2 activity, which can assist with reducing inflammation. There are other uses for CBDa. In one study, researchers found that CBDa was up to ten times more effective at reducing nausea and anxiety.
CBDa also influences 5-HT receptors, which are responsible for serotonin production in the body. Serotonin is essential for overall health and wellness, including reducing anxiety.
How Can You Take CBDa?
CBD and CBDa consumption methods are very similar and work in much the same way. However, if you are specifically looking for CBDa, then you need to carefully check the product ingredients to ensure that it’s actually in the product.
Most raw hemp or cannabis products should contain a small amount of CBDa. For example, if you buy a raw hemp oil, then you would take it orally the same way that you would take CBD oil.
However, if you don’t like the taste of raw cannabis products, and let’s be honest, some aren’t great, then you can also add them to your favorite morning shake or smoothie. Avoid hot drinks, as this could trigger the decarboxylation process and destroy the CBDa present in the product.
If you’re specifically looking for CBDa, then try to find products that list it as the main ingredient instead of taking regular raw cannabis products and hoping that it contains CBDa.
CBD vs. CBDa – Conclusion
Hopefully, now you’ll have a very clear idea of the differences between CBD and CBDa and why it’s so important to understand. If you’re new to the world of cannabis-based products and cannabis terms, understanding all the names can be quite overwhelming.
However, once you start to get a handle on all the different names, terms, and what they all mean, you’ll quickly realize it’s all pretty straightforward.
If you have any questions about CBD or CBDa, the differences between the two, or would like to learn more about CBD or CBDa in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly. Also, if you would like to read more articles like this, then comment and share, or reach out and contact us.
Our professional and friendly team is happy to assist you with your CBD-related questions.