CBDa vs CBD chemical formula on a green background

We can say that the CBDa is the parent of CBD since you cannot have the second without the first.

The difference is small, but let's see what is it all about:

  1. CBDa is raw, CBD is processed
  2. CBD was studied a lot more than CBDa
  3. CBDa is more potent, but CBD can be used by more common consumption methods

Let’s dig deeper!

First of all, what is actually CBDa? We all know what Cannabinoids are, right? CBD is one of the most famous Cannabinoids, besides THC, which are the components of a raw cannabis plant. A lesser-known fact is that CBDa is an actual precursor of CBD. It's a non-processed, raw form that can be found in the cannabis plant. The ‘a’ stands for ‘acid’ (CBDA = cannabidiolic acid), while CBD is what becomes of it after it’s being dried or heated and loses the acidic feature. In nature, this process happens when the hemp plant is getting older. Also, it can happen when it is exposed to the high heat of sunshine or when it is burned.

Similarities and differences of CBDa vs CBD

Both CBDa and CBD will not get you high, since they have no psychedelic effect. The compound responsible for it is THC or THCa in its raw form. CBDA targets receptors in the body in the same way. So, what’s the difference? The main difference is the level at which they have been researched. While we can find many medical trials about CBD, the same is lacking for CBDa.

Let’s find out if there is a reason for it.

What is the state of the CBD vs CBDa research? Is CBDa better than CBD?

CBD oil is believed to be helpful for some bodily and mental states, and therefore we can run into many pieces of research online. Cannabinoids in their acidic form are often seen as being ‘inactive‘. That’s why it was believed that they don’t affect the body’s endocannabinoid system and that’s why CBD was more interesting for the research than CBDa. But, the new research is trying to change this opinion. Some studies on CBDa features and possible benefits are done but it stayed at the preclinical stage in animal trials. The new studies showed that CBDa could be more potent.

One of them claimed that it could be a thousand times more powerful than CBD! Anyway, despite its demonstrated therapeutic potential, CBDA has not normally been considered a viable clinical treatment.

Is there something wrong with CBDa?

Well, nothing is really wrong, except it’s a very unstable compound and therefore it’s not so convenient for use.

Let me explain.

When being exposed to heat or sun, it loses the acidic feature. To really be consumed in its raw form, it needs to be taken fresh in a form of cold-pressed juice, or just eaten raw. CBDa may also be found in tinctures, topicals, capsules, oils, sublingual drops, syrups, and more.  Although there are some CBDa products on the market, it can be hard to find them as CBD oil is much easier to buy in many forms.

Why is CBD so popular?

One of the reasons could be that CBD is easier to preserve since it can be heated. Also, one of the most popular consumption methods of CBD is smoking. It’s impossible to do with CBDa since it will just become the CBD. Not to mention the space cookies! One of the most popular cannabis candies. CBDa cannot be baked, or it will lose the “a”.

But why should it be hard to eat it raw?

Beware, the taste is really intense! Especially in its raw form.

The raw CBDa is thicker, darker, and has a sharper taste and smell than CBD. That's why a lot of people choose to smoke it. Even though CBD also doesn’t have a glorious taste, it is considered less intense and more enjoyable than its raw counterpart.

One of the popular ways of consuming CBD is oil. If you are wondering if CBD and CBDa may both be present in the oil, the answer is: yes. But, it depends on how it is prepared. If CBDa is used in raw, unheated forms, then it could be an active ingredient in an oil.

Benefits of CBDa: The CBDa demand on the market could grow, though.

The consumption of raw things is very popular now. Some people are on a special “raw diet”, eating only raw food. Dehydrated or cold-pressed food/drinks are also acceptable. This can be considered even as a lifestyle nowadays. For this reason, it wouldn’t be strange if CBDa gets more publicity.

With more research, the popularity of CBDa could grow. Consequently, the offer for CBDa products could become wider. It is all about demand and supply after all, right? We already can see the rise of raw CBDa products’ offer, so it may stimulate detailed and more frequent research. After all, nowadays cannabis plants and their possible health benefits are becoming more and more popular fields for scientists. There is no doubt that all the components and features of cannabis plants will be more known to people since it seems like there is a big pharmacological interest in this plant.

What we know for now is that CBD Oil has more scientific background behind it.

That's why people still more often choose CBD over CBDa. That, and also the fact that the rare products, such as CBDa, are often more expensive because of their exclusivity. Although it is not clear enough if CBD oil really has more potential benefits, most of the consumers still like to stay with seemingly more proven and more popular products. People like science, therefore, they like to take what seems safer for consumption due to richer science research.

But, there is still a growth in popularity of alternative products, especially if they're coming in a raw form. This is giving a hope that we will know the final truth about all the similarities and differences between CBDa vs CBD in the future. Also, we could finally get an answer to the question which has the strongest potential health benefit.