What Exactly is CBDA? Exploring CBDA vs CBD

Posted by Flora Sophia on

“CBDA…what’s that?! Is that a typo? I thought it was all just CBD! Why so many acronyms?!”

If you’ve navigated our website, or are still learning about hemp and CBD, you’ve probably had these thoughts rush through your mind. Don't worry, it’s not a typo and you are not the only one wondering what exactly CBDA is. By the end of this article, though, you'll be a CBDA pro and be better informed about whether or not you want to give CBDA a try. 

What is CBDA? 

CBDA is short for cannabidiolic acid. It is a 22 carbon terpenophenolic (part terpene, part natural phenols) compound. More simply put, it is one of many compounds produced in both hemp and cannabis. Like CBD and THC, it is considered a cannabinoid, meaning it has the ability to bind to the cannabinoid receptors which are found naturally in the human brain and play a role in body functioning.


CBDA is actually the chemical precursor or cannabinoid precursor to CBD. It is sometimes referred to as raw CBD. When exposed to heat or sunlight, CBDA goes through a process called decarboxylation and turns into CBD. Hemp plants will contain both CBD and CBDA. The amount of each present depends on the particular hemp strain and the stage of processing the plant is in. 

To produce hemp oil with high levels of CBDA, we harvest fresh hemp plants and put them through a gentle low heat extraction process, using either ethanol or Co2, to “pull” the naturally occurring CBDA and other beneficial compounds from the hemp material. It is critical to ensure the CBDA is not exposed to high heat, otherwise it will go through decarboxylation and the CBDA will convert into CBD. CBDA will also naturally convert to CBD slowly over time regardless of exposure to heat. To account for this, we only work with fresh hemp material and test levels frequently.

Effects of CBDA vs CBD  

While CBDA and CBD are very similar in composition, they are believed to affect the body differently. In general, CBD is ideal for anyone looking for relief from everyday stress, inflammation, and chronic pain. CBDA, on the other hand, is ideal for anyone looking for the benefits of calm, relaxation, and improved mood. These are general guidelines and it is important to note each person reacts differently to different cannabinoids. More research is needed to definitively recommend CBDA for specific applications. Sometimes it can take experimenting with different individual cannabinoids or cannabinoid combinations to achieve the desired results. Serving size can play a pivotal role as well. Try a product at a particular serving size for at least two weeks consistently before increasing your serving size or trying a different product. 

In addition to CBDA promoting calm, relaxation, and improved mood, CBDA may help fight Coronavirus. In 2022, Oregon State University conducted a study that found CBDA “binds to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people”. Further research must be done to replicate these results, but the study made waves in the health and wellness industry and was published in the Journal of Natural Products. Scientists continue to explore the potential medicinal benefits of CBDA.

Should I only take CBDA?

Whether or not to take only CBDA products versus combining CBDA with another cannabinoid depends on the individual and their desired results. There is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Many people find our 23mg CBDA tincture helpful in achieving the results they're seeking, while equally as many others prefer to combine cannabinoids and either take the 23mg CBDA tincture with another product or take advantage of our 35mg 2:1 CBD+CBDA formula, to reap the benefits of multiple cannabinoids. Again, it widely depends on the individual and how their body reacts. Ultimately, CBDA is effective on its own or in combination with other cannabinoids like CBD and CBG. 

Will CBDA make me feel “high”?

Unlike THC and similar to CBD, CBDA does not have psychoactive effects. CBDA can potentially make you feel drowsy, relaxed, or sleepy, but does not make people feel “high”. CBDA is an attractive remedy for this reason. Customers are able to achieve improved moods and relaxation without compromising their mental clarity.

What does CBDA taste like?

Our full spectrum CBDA tinctures taste similar to our full spectrum CBD products. Because all of our products are full spectrum, they have a strong natural/earthy hemp taste. One difference is that CBDA can taste a little bit more harsh and may cause a slight burning sensation in the back of the throat for some users. Some customers describe CBDA as having a slight “bite” to it. This is due to the raw acidic nature of CBDA and is no cause for concern. To help limit the hemp taste and potential burning sensation, many customers will pair our CBDA tincture with one of their favorite drinks or snacks.


As always, whenever you introduce a new product into your routine, it is important to consult a medical practitioner. Although there are no known extreme side effects of CBDA, individuals may experience drowsiness, sleepiness, dry eyes, or throat irritation. We do not suggest taking CBDA when operating heavy machinery or while pregnant or breastfeeding. 

We hope you now know much more about CBDA than you did before! At the very least, you can be confident that we didn’t just mistakenly add an “A” at the end of CBD. Now that you know more about it, CBDA might be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Don't just take our word, read the many reviews before trying one of our tinctures to unlock the powers of CBDA! 

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