Your cart
Close Alternative Icon
  • DAY
  • HR
  • MIN
  • SEC

30% off sitewide! Sale ends soon. -dsktp

30% off sitewide! - mbl

Memorial Day Last Chance | Shop 50% OFF → Memorial Day Last Chance | Shop 50% OFF →
  • DAY
  • HR
  • MIN
  • SEC

30% off sitewide! Sale ends soon. -dsktp

30% off sitewide! - mbl

CBD 101

What is Cannabidiolic Acid | CBDA Benefits & Uses

What is Cannabidiolic Acid | CBDA Benefits & Uses

Written By: Emily Spring

Over the past decade, the cannabidiol craze has captivated the health and wellness industry. With CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits and wide range of uses, the plant-based product has emerged as a viable threat to Big Pharma.

As researchers sought to learn more about CBD and the various other cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant, new compounds have been discovered—compounds with their own unique properties and potential uses. One example of this is Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), which researcher’s posit offers a wide array of health benefits. 

New to the subject? Read on to discover more. 

What is CBDA?

As one of the 113 known compounds in the cannabinoid spectrum, CBDA first gained notoriety in 2008 thanks to a study published by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Journal (ASPET).  The ASPET studies discovered that CBDA, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, produced similar anti-inflammatory benefits to CBD. Naturally, this acted as a springboard, stimulating significant scientific interest from medical groups. 

Now, after a decade of further research and a deeper understanding of the cannabinoid spectrum, CBDA has emerged as one of the essential compounds responsible for many of the cannabis plant’s therapeutic effects.

But what exactly is CBDA? How does CBDA differ from CBD? And what are some of CBDA’s most reputable benefits and uses? 

The best way to understand CBDA is to first understand its relation to CBD. 


CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the primary organic compounds produced by cannabis and hemp. It constitutes 40% of the plant’s extract and has thus far shown promising restorative benefits in a variety of areas. What makes CBDA significant to CBD is that, in reality, CBDA is CBD’s antecedent. Meaning, CBDA acid becomes CBD when raw hemp is heated in a process called decarboxylation. 

Essentially, CBDA is the raw form predecessor to CBD. CBDA has 100 times the affinity for the 5-HT serotonin receptors in our brains compared to CBD. This gives CBDA far greater bioavailability than CBD, allowing the body to metabolize the compound faster and with less energy because it’s less processed. With no added heat, CBDA is:

  • Cleaner and purer
  • Contains no solvents
  • Produces zero toxic residue

Although it’s still a somewhat novel product, as it stands, CBDA’s bioavailability could be the factor that pushes it to the forefront of the conversation surrounding natural and alternative therapies. The jury is still out, but some analysts posit that CBDA has the potential to overtake CBD in its applications, prevalence, and pervasiveness. 

How CBDA Enters Your System

Our brains have designated CB1 and CB2 receptors designed to bind directly to the psychoactive cannabinoids present in cannabis (think THC, CBD, etc.). These receptors are able to assimilate cannabinoid molecules into our system following cannabis consumption. However, CBDA does not follow this course, which is why it has no psychoactive effects. Instead, it’s thought to interact with our ECS’ (our endocannabinoid system which contains the aforementioned CB1 and CB2 receptors) COX-2 enzyme, acting as an inhibitor. 

Our ECS plays a crucial role in keeping our biological systems in homeostasis: regulating our biological systems to maintain conditions within a narrow range. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right. The fabled goldy-locks zone. Thus, CBDA, working as an inhibitor, might be capable of reducing inflammation in the body. 

The three key components of our endocannabinoid system are: 

  • Cannabinoid receptors – Present on the surface of cells transmitting information about the changing conditions to kick-start the appropriate cellular response
  • Endocannabinoids – Tiny molecules produced naturally by the body to activate non-psychoactive cannabinoid receptors
  • Metabolic enzymes – Enzymes that quickly break down endocannabinoids after they are used

Every vertebrate species on Earth contains their very own ECS. For humans, the trifecta is present within nearly every major system of the body. The fact that CBDA interacts seamlessly with this system demonstrates its significant medicinal potential. 

CBDA Benefits & Uses 

Now that we understand what CBDA is and how it enters your system, let’s take a look at the potential benefits and uses of CBDA.

  • Decrease Inflammation – In an experiment published by ASPET’s Drug Metabolism and Disposition Journal, CBDA was identified as a COX-2 inhibitor. In layman's terms, COX-2 is a type of enzyme that develops pro-inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are targeted by anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen). 

CBDA inhibits their development and can help alleviate chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis and inflammatory skin diseases. 

  • Reduce aches and sores In many cases, Cannabis has already proven to be a viable alternative for helping with bodily discomforts. While traditional methods can lead to opioid addiction and pharmaceutical dependency, CBDA appears to be a holistic substitute capable of reducing aches and discomfort without many of the drawbacks of traditional practices. Common uses include:
  • Decreases soreness caused by exercised-induced inflammation
  • Can be used as a topical agent for cuts and aches
  • Alleviates discomfort caused by tension headaches 
  • Improve moods – In a study published by the US National Library of Medicine in 2018, CBDA was shown to reduce “stress-induced anxiety” in rats and promoted chemical stability. In general, CBDA’s ability to impact 5-HT serotonin receptors promotes itself as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), much like traditional pharmaceutical medications. 

Serotonin is a core element of human motor skills, as well as emotions, sleeping, eating, and digesting. When levels are out of sorts, it impacts a person’s well-being and ability to function normally as seen with many patients who suffer from psychotic illness, mental health problems. Traditionally, such people have only pharmaceutical forms of treatment available, which come with their myriad adverse side-effects. Now, though, CBDA may be a proper substitute, especially since it has no signs of detrimental health effects or addictive qualities.

  • Nausea & Vomiting – In 2012, the British Journal of Pharmacology published a study on CBDA reducing toxin and motion induced vomiting. In another instance of CBD vs CBDA, CBDA displayed greater potency at enhancing the 5-HT serotonin receptor activation responsible for the body’s ability to attenuate nausea. Consequently, CBDA demonstrated the potential to be the first specific aid for anticipatory nausea, for which there is currently no specific therapy available. This would be an especially marvelous boon for people on chemo who are forced to endure long bouts of chronic nausea and vomiting.
  • Strengthening of Cells Nausea and vomiting are side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. While there are current medications to help decrease vomiting, nausea is much harder to control. And were you to ask patients, it ranks as one of the more daunting side-effects of chemo treatments. In fact, 1 in every 5 patients refuse further courses due to their chronic nausea. Additional research has posited that CBDA may be able to strengthen cells and halt or slow the migration of corrupted cells cultured outside the body. 

While these trials were conducted in petri dishes, CBDA displays great promise. Scientists have been studying CBDA for a little over a decade,  but more research is still needed in regard to full-spectrum cannabinoid therapies.

How to Use CBDA

One of the main ways CBDA can be administered is through CBDA oil. It’s most commonly found in full-spectrum cannabinoid oils (which contain CBDA) and are taken in variety of ways, including:

Simply put, there are a variety of ways to incorporate CBDA into your daily life. 

What’s Next For CBDA?

The 12 years of CBDA research has established a solid foundation of scientific understanding while making the case for further studies. Because it shows great promise as a potential aid for aches, soreness, tension, and exercise-induced inflammation, as well as a boon for improving moods and general wellness, medical cannabis companies are beginning to take notice of Cannabidiolic Acid. So, while we await specific CBDA products to develop, keep your eyes peeled for full-spectrum CBD products. These oils contain CBDA and work as the perfect introduction to your new routine.

CBDA has emerged as potentially the next major breakthrough cannabinoid. And, soon enough, CBD won’t be the only acronym that is a household name. So, whether you are looking for the perfect CBD gift for a loved one or you’re shopping for yourself, Plant People offers a variety of different products that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Visit our website today to find the perfect products for you!

Acronym Glossary 

  • CBDA | Cannabidiolic Acid 
  • CBD| Cannabidiol
  • ECS | Endocannabinoid System
  • FDA | Food And Drug Administration 
  • SSRI | Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
  • APSET | American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 


Written by Emily Spring 

Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.

Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy

Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.

Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.


ASPET. Cannabidiolic Acid as a Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitory Component in Cannabis

PUBMED.GOV. Acute Oral Cannabidiolic Acid Methyl Ester Reduces Depression-like Behavior in Two Genetic Animal Models of Depression.

NCBI. Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology.

BJP. Cannabidiolic Acid Prevents Vomiting in Suncus Murinus and Nausea-induced Behavior in Rats by Enhancing 5-HT Receptor Activation.

Google Patents. Use of Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy

Leafly. What is CBDA & what are the benefits of this cannabinoid?

Green-Flower. You’ve Heard About CBD – What About CBDA?.

Related Articles

Celebrating Earth Day: The Planet That Gave Us Mushrooms
A Month With WonderDay: Tracking Your Mushroom Journey
Together Forever: The Perfect Mushroom Matches for Stacking Adaptogenics

Leave a reply