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CBDA vs. CBD: Benefits and Differences

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Both cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) are cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Although they are similar, they are not the same thing. If you’re considering using CBD or CBDA products, it’s essential to understand the difference between the two.

Let’s dive into the benefits and differences between CBDA vs. CBD and take a look at where these cannabinoids come from.


Where Do CBDA and CBD Come From?

CBDA is the precursor to CBD, and it’s found in raw and live cannabis plants. When CBDA is heated, it turns into CBD via a process called decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that eliminates a carboxyl group from CBDA, resulting in the creation of CBD. This process occurs naturally over time or at an accelerated pace when CBDA is exposed to heat.

Once decarboxylation occurs, you won’t find high levels of CBDA in cannabis since most of it has already been converted into CBD.

What Is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid existing in both hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike THC, CBD has no mind-altering or intoxicating effects. This means that it will not get you high. However, CBD is believed to have many potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety, pain, and inflammation.

CBD is extracted from the hemp or marijuana plant and added to a carrier oil, like MCT oil and hemp seed oil, to create CBD products. Most CBD comes from hemp plants, as these have a higher concentration of CBD and a lower concentration of THC. In addition, hemp-derived products are legal nationwide due to the 2018 Farm Bill. This makes hemp-derived CBD products more accessible to those looking for alternative and natural therapeutics.

How CBD Works

CBD impacts our bodies by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is a vast, complicated network of cannabinoid receptors and enzymes that regulate many of the body’s functions, including pain, mood, appetite, and memory.

CBD works by binding to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body and modulating their activity. This can result in potential benefits, including stress relief, reduced inflammation, and improved appetite. It may also interact with other processes in the body, such as serotonin production, which is associated with anxiety and depression.


Potential CBD Benefits

CBD is thought to have immense benefits, and researchers and consumers alike are eager to see more studies on the potential therapeutic effects of CBD.

Many studies have shown that CBD may provide relief from pain and inflammation. For example, a 2016 study found that CBD effectively reduced arthritis-related inflammation and pain in rats. Furthermore, a 2017 animal study also showed that CBD reduced chronic pain in mice.

CBD is also undergoing research for its potential effects on anxiety and depression. For example, a 2015 study discovered that CBD showed promise as a treatment by reducing anxiety levels in participants with social anxiety disorder. Additionally, since it modulates serotonin, it may also be effective in treating mental conditions linked to low serotonin levels.

Additional potential benefits of CBD include relieving symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy, relief from nausea, and stress relief. In addition, many people use it as a sleep aid, and research has shown that CBD may help treat insomnia and other sleep disorders.

It may also diminish the strong psychoactive effects of THC, making it a good option for those wanting the benefits of cannabis without an intense high.

CBD Products

You can consume CBD in many ways, including oils and tinctures, capsules, edibles, topical creams and salves, and vapes. The best way to take CBD will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Tinctures and CBD oil are the most popular methods of taking CBD. Most people take CBD oil sublingually, holding it under their tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing it. This allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream through the sublingual artery. The effects of CBD oil usually kick in within 20-30 minutes after taking it.

Capsules and edibles are good options if you’re looking for more long-lasting relief. When you ingest CBD, it must go through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream. Edibles can last up to 7 hours or more, so they’re a good choice if you need relief throughout the day.

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Full- and Broad-Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate

In addition to discovering the best ingestion method for you, you should also be aware of the cannabinoid content in your CBD products. For example, there are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate products.

Full-spectrum CBD products contain not just CBD but a wide range of other beneficial cannabinoids. These cannabinoids work together to create what is known as the “entourage effect,” a theory suggesting that cannabinoids work best in tandem with other cannabinoids.

For example, our CBGA + CBDA Synergy Softgels are full-spectrum and offer a potent dose of CBD along with the added benefits of CBGA, CBDA, and CBG. As a result, this product may be more effective than a CBD isolate in promoting overall wellness. This is because CBD isolate only contains CBD without any other compounds.

Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all of the same cannabinoids as full-spectrum products but with the THC removed.

How to Use CBD

Regardless of which CBD products you choose the general process for using cannabidiol is the same. First, start with a small dose of CBD and increase gradually until you reach the desired effect. Generally, a dosage of 50-75 mg is a good starting point for most people. After that, you can slowly increase the dosage by 25 mg until you reach the recommended dosage.

Always carefully read the instructions on the label and follow them. If you’re unsure about anything, ask a professional before using CBD. Certain medications and conditions can interact with CBD adversely, so it’s always best to be safe.

What Is CBDA?

CBDA comes from CBGA, the parent molecule from which all cannabinoids are derived. When CBGA comes into contact with enzymes in the cannabis plant, it begins to break down into CBDA.

CBDA won’t get you high. However, like CBD, it has numerous potential health benefits. Many people have started using CBDA to manage anxiety, inflammation, nausea, and other conditions. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.

How CBDA Works

When you consume CBDA, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in your body, like CBD. However, CBD has a higher affinity for these receptors than CBDA does. So far, it has been shown to work as a potential COX-2 inhibitor, meaning it could help reduce inflammation. In addition, it may also work as an anti-nausea agent by interacting with the 5-HT receptors in your brain.

Although much research is needed to understand how CBDA interacts with the human body, early research suggests it’s a promising treatment for several conditions.

Potential CBDA Benefits

CBDA is most commonly associated with its potential anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea effects. However, in 2022, Oregon State University released their findings showing that CBDA effectively prevented COVID-19 from entering human cells in two different variants.

In addition, CBDA may also offer other benefits, such as:

  • Reducing anxiety

  • Managing pain

  • Alleviating symptoms of depression

  • Treating seizures

  • Stimulating appetite

CBDA Products

If you’re interested in trying CBDA, there are many different products to choose from. However, it’s important to note that CBDA products are much more expensive than CBD products because CBDA is a less common cannabinoid. It’s also more difficult to extract from the cannabis plant.

Some popular CBDA products include:

  • CBDA oil

  • CBDA capsules

  • CBDA gummies

Fortunately, CBDA is starting to become more widely available as its demand increases.

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How to Use CBDA

When using CBDA products, the recommended dosage will vary depending on the product you’re using. Like CBD, it’s best to start with a low dose and increase it weekly as needed.

Most people take CBDA oil sublingually, and the effects usually kick in within 20-30 minutes. If you’re using a tincture, place a few drops under your tongue and hold them there for 30-60 seconds before you swallow. This allows the oil to enter your sublingual glands into your bloodstream.

Don’t use CBDA or any other cannabinoid products if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Research on whether cannabinoids are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women is still in its early stages.

Finding Reputable CBD and CBDA Products

If you’re interested in trying CBD or CBDA products, it’s essential to do your research and buy from a reputable brand. Unfortunately, the cannabinoid market is still largely unregulated. This means that not all CBD and CBDA products are created equal. In fact, some products may not contain the cannabinoids they claim to or may be contaminated with heavy metals or other harmful substances.

When buying CBD or CBDA products, look for brands that:

  • Use third-party lab testing to authenticate the potency and safety of their products

  • Have a good reputation

  • Offer clear and concise product information

  • Use high-quality hemp that’s grown in the United States

  • Have good customer reviews

Researching and buying from a reputable brand is the best way to ensure you get a safe and effective cannabinoid product.

Final Thoughts: CBDA vs. CBD

CBDA and CBD are both cannabinoids that offer a variety of potential health benefits. CBDA is the precursor to CBD, and it’s less common and more expensive than CBD. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth trying. If you’re interested in using either CBD or CBDA, be sure to do your research and buy from a reputable brand. In addition, always start with a small amount before increasing your dosage. When it comes to CBDA and CBD, sometimes less is more.

At Let It Grow Hemp, we offer a variety of high-quality CBD and CBDA products, including CBD tinctures, CBGA + CBDA softgels, and more. Check out our online store or visit our blog covering health-oriented topics related to CBD and CBDA for more information


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