CBD has been the mainstay trend of the health and wellness industry for about a decade now. It made headlines and the popularity of the cannabis plant and its cannabinoid compounds like CBD, CBG, THC, and others have led scientific researchers to investigate deeper into them. Although many are familiar with CBD, you may not have heard much about its cousin – CBDA. What is CBDA? Is CBD better than CBDA? What are the differences and similarities between CBD and CBDA?

What is CBDA?

First of all, CBDA means Cannabidiol acid. Some people view CBDA as the acidic archetype of cannabidiol, CBD. A typical cannabis plant contains CBDA, CBGA, and THCA as the main phytochemicals and not the well-known CBD and THC. Both CBDA and THCA are inactive acidic forms in nature which when heated turns into CBD extract. The chemical process that makes this happen is called decarboxylation reaction. CBDA is not as heavily consumed as CBD products are because extracting it involves careful heating methods, and let's just say it does sell well compared to CBD-based supplements. The availability of CBDA to most users is limited as most CBDA in a hemp (Cannabis sativa) plant has already converted to get processed CBD oil. However, a small number of processors are selling CBDA products obtained from raw hemp, which still has all the cannabinoids intact.

Is CBD Better Than CBDA? Which Should I Use?

CBD is better than CBDA in a few ways. One, it is more easily accessible whether you want to buy a pre-made packaged CBD or a CBD concentrate powder of which you can further prepare by yourself at home. You can get your high quality CBD product at Smilz. The pharmacological extractive process for CBD doesn’t involve the addition of aqueous solvents and controlled heating for decarboxylation reaction. So that reduces your risk of consumption of added solvents or other dangerous residues. Nevertheless, the choice of which cannabinoid to use is yours to make. 

What Are The Similarities And Differences Between CBD And CBDA?


  • CBDA has a carboxyl (COOH) group

As mentioned earlier, Cannabidoic acid is converted to Cannabidiol by the chemical process of decarboxylation. The term “decarboxylation” literally means the removal of the carboxyl functional group present in CBDA to convert it to CBD. This is the main difference between CBDA and CBD (both of which are cannabinoids). That difference in molecular structure though isn’t the only thing that differentiates them.

  • CBDA occurs more abundantly in natural plants

Botanists have stated in the past that CBDA occurs abundantly in nature. Therefore, the raw hemp plant has a big quantity of CBDA compared to that any chemists can extract. This is also to say that CBD is not the naturally occurring form in natural plants but it's only after decarboxylation that it can be derived.

  • The bioavailability of CBDA is higher

Bioavailability refers to the proportion of an administered drug dose that reaches the bloodstream. When CBDA is introduced into the body, its bioavailability is higher when compared to that of CBD. Furthermore, with higher bioavailability the body can distribute more of the cannabinoids and metabolism can kick in with less effort.

  • Differences in their physiological mechanism

The two compounds, albeit very similar chemical formulas, have very different physiological mechanisms. CBD works in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors (CBRs). Studies show that CBDA on the other hand works by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme which is related to inflammation. Another study points out that CBDA has more binding affinity for 5HT1A (serotonin) receptors than CBD. This scientific information suggests that CBDA has a greater impact on reducing anxiety and improving one’s mood and state of wellbeing.

  • CBDA is cleaner:

Well, this very point was previously raised but yes CBDA is cleaner than CBD as it occurs naturally in the raw cannabis plant and doesn’t require heating. Many of the intricate processes of extraction are not needed per se. Therefore, this implies that there is a lesser risk of included solvents or other dangerous residues.


  • Both are cannabinoids:

Both CBDA and CBD are derived from cannabis and hence, they belong to a group of phytochemicals called Cannabinoids. Cannabinoids have a positive influence on the nervous system except for tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, which is compulsorily eliminated in all legally sold CBD oils. The classical cannabinoid that is the craze of modern society is Cannabidiol which is abbreviated CBD.

  • They exert similar effects on the body: 

Both CBD and CBDA have several therapeutic effects on our bodies. Most of these benefits are congruent with one another. For instance, they both help reduce anxiousness in anxiety sufferers and relieve DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness). The full list of therapeutic benefits that CBDA can provide is not fully known as further studies are still ongoing in this regard.

  • Both are legal in the USA:

The 2018 Farm Bill was passed to implement the legalization of regulated usage of cannabis hemp plants in the USA. it stopped the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from charging or trying anyone using or selling hemp with less than 0.3% THC. The authorities have set up regulatory bodies to control the farm and industrial production scale. So both CBDA and CBD in whole or derived combo and all its compounds are legal in the US.


Both cannabinoids CBD and CBDA are classified as food supplements and not medicines. Therefore, very strict laws regarding their use are not in place yet. People can publicly buy from processors or online in the form of tinctures, edibles, and smoking vapes. Speaking of purchasing yours, you can head over to Smilz and discover what is available on sale. CBD is worth trying out because, besides the hype around it, experts also agree with the positive effects it has on the body.