What Is CBDA? Differences, Benefits & Effects

CBDA is an incredibly interesting cannabinoid that can be enjoyed in edibles or vapes. Additionally, for those seeking a more natural intake, raw cannabis juice, made from fresh hemp or cannabis, can be a great source of CBDA.

If you thought that was interesting, wait until we get into the details of CBDA. 

We’re going to be going through everything there is to know about CBDA in this crash course to one of the newest, and most exciting, cannabinoids out there!


  • CBDA, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant, differs chemically from CBD.
  • Exposure to heat or UV radiation naturally converts CBDA into CBD through decarboxylation.
  • Recent research highlights CBDA’s potential anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and anti-tumor properties.
  • While CBDA offers promising benefits, its interaction with certain medications remains a topic of study.

What Is CBDA?

CBDA, more properly known as cannabidiolic acid, is one of the major cannabinoid precursor compounds. It’s a pre-cannabinoid naturally found in the Cannabis sativa plant, including both the hemp plant and cannabis variants. In fact, it’s one of the most abundant cannabinoids naturally occurring inside of these plants.

CBDA can be converted into other acidic cannabinoids synthetically in a laboratory. Naturally inside the hemp plant, it can transform into other major cannabinoids, and it degrades into CBD over time, especially when exposed to harsh conditions like heat.

CBDA was first discovered in 1955 and was the first cannabinoid acid to be studied. CBDA would be isolated from other cannabinoids in the 1960s which marks the beginning of its research history.

It’s only with the passing of the 2018 farm bill in the United States that CBDA is finally starting to shine. This legalization has not only made it popular in the consumer market, but has also opened up plenty of new research opportunities into this exciting cannabinoid.

How Is CBDA Different From CBD?

How Is CBDA Different From CBD?

There are two main ways that CBDA is different from CBD. They’re different on a chemical level, and they’re also different in terms of how they interact with our body.

CBDA is what is known as a pre-cannabinoid. These are a series of compounds in hemp and cannabis plants that break down into cannabinoids that you might be more familiar with like CBD or THC.

CBDA can convert into THCA and other cannabinoids when the right enzymes are present inside of the plant. However, once extracted from the plant and taken away from these enzymes, CBDA can only ever convert into CBD. 

CBDA naturally converts into CBD over time, when exposed to the sun’s UV radiation, or when exposed to heat. Exposing CBDA to heat is called decarboxylation and is the same process that happens to THCA when you smoke cannabis or make edibles with cannabis flower.

CBDA also works differently inside of the body when compared to CBD. CBD blocks activity at the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. CBDA does not seem to affect these receptors and instead blocks certain enzymes associated with inflammation and other conditions.

That’s the basics for how CBDA works and why it’s different from CBD and other cannabinoids. However, we’ve been dancing around one of the biggest questions and that’s can CBDA get you stoned?

Does CBDA Get You High?

Does CBDA Get You High?

We need to cut right to the chase when it comes to the question of whether CBDA can get you high. CBDA cannot get you high.

CBDA is a pre-cannabinoid. This means that it will eventually break down into other cannabinoids. In the case of CBDA, it will break down into CBD.

CBDA and CBD have no ability to get you high. There are simply no psychoactive effects of these cannabinoids at any dose.

Psychoactive effects of cannabinoids are associated with Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, and other varieties of THC. However, many of the other cannabinoids have no such effects. 

You can safely use CBDA without worrying about unintentionally getting stoned.

The Current Research On CBDA

The Current Research On CBDA

The scientific community is just starting to approach CBDA with fresh eyes. This research is exploratory and designed to check out potential benefits, risks, and find a place for CBDA in our daily lives and well-being.

Some early studies in the CBDA have decided to look at how this cannabinoid functions. CBDA is incredibly abundant in raw hemp seeds and arterial parts of the plant, but researchers still know very little about the role that it plays in both hemp and in our body’s endocannabinoid system.

Research has already begun to reveal that CBDA has a potential anti-inflammatory effect1E. Nigro, M. T. Pecoraro, M. Formato, S. Piccolella, S. Ragucci, M. Mallardo, R. Russo, A. Di Maro, A. Daniele, and S. Pacifico, “Cannabidiolic acid in Hemp Seed Oil Table Spoon and Beyond,” in Molecules, vol. 27, no. 8, 2023, [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9029873/. This could even inhibit bacteria and other infectious agents. 

Research is also looking into using CBDA to help individuals with chronic pain2Y. F. Zhu, K. Linher-Melville, M. J. Niazmand, M. Sharma, A. Shahid, K. L. Zhu, N. Parzei, J. Sidhu, C. Haj, R. Mechoulam, and G. Singh, “An evaluation of the anti‐hyperalgesic effects of cannabidiolic acid‐methyl ester in a preclinical model of peripheral neuropathic pain,” Br J Pharmacol, vol. 177, no. 12, pp. 2712–2725, Jun. 2020. [Online]. Available: DOI: 10.1111/bph.14997. Other cannabinoids have been demonstrated to be effective when it comes to treating pain, and it looks like CBDA will also have a role to play in pain relief. 

Of course, researchers are looking into how CBDA could interact with medications and drugs3Lyndsey L. Anderson, Maia G. Etchart, Dilara Bahceci, Taliesin A. Golembiewski, and Jonathon C. Arnold, “Cannabis constituents interact at the drug efflux pump BCRP to markedly increase plasma cannabidiolic acid concentrations,” in Scientific Reports, [Online] 2021 Jul 22. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-94212-6. This is an essential step in discovering the medicinal role that CBDA could play.

Now that we’re a little bit more acquainted with the current research into CBDA, let’s take a look at the potential benefits of this cannabinoid.

Potential Benefits Of CBDA

Potential Benefits Of CBDA

If there’s any cannabinoid that has potential benefits to improve our well-being, it’s CBDA. Let’s unpack some of the ways that CBDA might be used for healthcare and well-being.

CBDA shares a lot of these same potential medicinal benefits as CBD. This includes reducing inflammation, helping with anxiety and depression, and even having potential benefits when it comes to cancer treatment.

CBDA does work a little differently in the body. It works by blocking certain enzymes. These are the same enzymes that are associated with inflammation caused by disease or infection.

The unique effect that CBDA has on the body is certainly cause for a lot of optimistic research into its potential benefits.

We should take a closer look at the research around CBDA and see what scientists are saying about early ideas for its use in our lives.

Understanding The Benefits Of CBDA

Understanding The Benefits Of CBDA

We need to unpack the potential benefits of CBDA. Even though this cannabinoid was discovered decades ago, it’s just now getting its moment in the sun and researchers are only beginning to fully understand how it can be used to better our lives. 


There’s a lot of interesting Research into the use of CBDA as an anti-seizure medication. In fact, some very early research seems to suggest that this could be a very effective approach to helping individuals find relief from chronic seizures.

A British pharmaceutical company known as GW Pharmaceuticals created a pharmaceutical grade CBD medication known as Epidiolex. Epidiolex was even presented to the FDA for approval and became one of the first FDA approved hemp derived medications to pass FDA inspection.

Interestingly, one of the FDA’s requirements is that GW Pharmaceuticals go back to the drawing board and do research on CBDA as well as CBD. This has led to some new breakthroughs in CBDA research.

Studies conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals suggest that CBDA could be much more effective in relieving seizures than CBD. Further research is needed to really dig into this topic, but this early study is very hopeful.


CBDA has some unique properties when it comes to helping reduce inflammation and potentially even lower the risk of infection.

Most cannabinoids work by binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Other cannabinoids work by blocking activity at the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBDA works in a different way.

CBDA works by blocking the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme, a common target of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This enzyme is closely associated with inflammation and infection4F. A. Fitzpatrick, “Cyclooxygenase enzymes: regulation and function,” Curr Pharm Des, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 577-588, 2004. [Online]. Available: DOI: 10.2174/1381612043453144.

CBDA naturally breaks down into CBD over time. This means that some of the naturally occurring CBD will also help with the reduction of inflammation. 

More independent researchers have also found that CBDA has up to 100 times the affinity5E. B. Russo, “Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology,” in Front Integr Neurosci, vol. 12, no. 51, 2018. [Online]. Available: DOI: 10.3389/fnint.2018.00051 for receptor sites than CBD. This study specifically looked at using CBDA as an anti-convulsive medication. 


One of the most challenging symptoms of chemotherapy to treat consistently is nausea. In fact, many chemotherapy patients often rate nausea as one of the most troubling side effects of the treatment.

CBDA has been shown to bond to 5-HT serotonin receptors, a type of receptor that plays a crucial role in mood regulation and nausea control. By influencing serotonin receptors, CBDA can potentially help alleviate nausea and other related symptoms.

Nausea is a consistent symptom meaning that it persists for a long period of time. A medication that would be able to reliably lower nausea without causing other harmful side effects would be a major win for cancer treatment.


Here’s one of the most promising potential benefits of CBDA. researchers have already discovered that CBDA inhibits the migration of certain types of cancer cells6Shuso Takeda, Shunsuke Okajima, Hiroko Miyoshi, Kazutaka Yoshida, Yoshiko Okamoto, Tomoko Okada, Toshiaki Amamoto, Kazuhito Watanabe, Curtis J. Omiecinski, and Hironori Aramakia, “Cannabidiolic acid, a major cannabinoid in fiber-type cannabis, is an inhibitor of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration,” in PubMed Central (PMC), [Online] 2012 Sep 8. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.08.029.

Migration is the technical term for when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. Cancers that spread become much more difficult to treat and preventing the spread of these cancers is a key part and winning the battle against this deadly disease.

CBDA could be used to prevent cancer migration which could dramatically lower the threat and severity of certain types of cancers. 

Anxiety And Depression 

Another area where CBDA could show strong benefit for medical treatment is with anxiety and depression. research has demonstrated that CBDA affects serotonin levels7D. Bolognini, E. M. Rock, N. L. Cluny, M. G. Cascio, C. L. Limebeer, M. Duncan, C. G. Stott, F. A. Javid, L. A. Parker, and R. G. Pertwee, “Cannabidiolic acid prevents vomiting in Suncus murinus and nausea-induced behaviour in rats by enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation,” in Br J Pharmacol, vol. 168, no. 6, pp. 1456–1470, Mar. 2013. [Online]. Available: PMC3596650 which means that it could be a potentially useful treatment for both of these Mental Health conditions.

Cannabinoids are currently at the forefront for treating psychological conditions. depression, anxiety, and many other conditions of all shown positive interactions with cannabis treatment.

CBDA is one of the newest cannabinoids to gain popularity and its place in mental health care is still being studied.

Potential Side Effects Of CBDA

Potential Side Effects Of CBDA

There are very few potential side effects of CBDA. This kind of cannabinoid is only recently starting to get popular which means that the community will get a better understanding of the side effects over time.

The short answer is that the side effects are very similar to regular CBD. You can expect dry mouth, slight changes in mood, and a small potential for drowsiness. You might also experience nausea or digestive discomfort, but that is probably related to the other ingredients in your CBDA product and not the CBDA itself.

Here’s a quick list of the potential side effects of CBDA.

  • Dry Mouth
  • Slight Changes in Mood
  • Mild Tiredness 
  • Upset Stomach
Synthetic CBDA

Synthetic CBDA

CBDA is naturally occurring in both hemp and cannabis. It’s also incredibly abundant in these plants. Why are so many people talking about synthetic CBDA?

It all comes down to shelf life and stability. CBDA is a very unstable molecule that wants to break down into CBD and other cannabinoids. It is very difficult to extract CBDA without accidentally converting it into CBD in the process.

This makes purifying and refining CBDA from hemp sources very challenging.

Researchers at the University of Colorado developed a technique for converting CBD back into CBDA8Synthesis and Purification of CBDA,” Venture Partners at CU Boulder, Aug. 25, 2022. in a single step. This allows manufacturers to create CBDA products that have more stability and better shelf life.

This also simplifies the refining process since it lowers the risk of losing a lot of your CBDA during production.

Even though CBDA is often synthesized from CBD, it’s not considered a synthetic cannabinoid. Synthetic cannabinoids are not naturally occurring and have or cannabis plants and can only be made by humans in a laboratory.

Even CBDA that’s been created in a laboratory is still considered a natural, non-synthetic, cannabinoid.

Is CBDA Legal?

Is CBDA Legal?

CBDA is a hemp derived cannabinoid which means it was made legal thanks to the 2018 Farm bill. Further legislation has also clarified that hemp derived cannabinoids, like CBD and CBDA, are legal on the federal level in the United States.

However, this legislation isn’t as straightforward as individuals in the cannabis and hemp Industries would like it to be.

Your state as well as your local jurisdiction might have their own regulations in place for hemp derived cannabinoids like CBDA. The wave of newly popular cannabinoids has also drawn new attention to the legality of these cannabinoids as delta-8 and other THC variants push the limits of legality. 

In summary, CBDA is legal on the federal level throughout the country. However, you should check with your state and local laws before shipping CBDA, enjoying it in public, or enjoying CBDA.

How To Use CBDA?

How To Use CBDA?

There has been a rush of new CBDA products to the market and this means you have more options than ever before when it comes to enjoying CBDA. Here are the three most popular ways to take CBDA.

Possibly the most popular way to enjoy CBDA is edibles. You can find a wide range of CBDA edibles with different doses as well as flavors.

Edibles are just consumed like normal food or candies. You can even use CBDA oil to make your own edibles at home.

There are also CBDA vapes. You can find disposable CBDA pens as well as refillable carts for your favorite vape pen.

Just make sure you get your CBDA vapes from a reliable retailer that has their products tested by a third party laboratory.

You can also use a CBDA or leave by holding it underneath your tongue. This is known as sublingual dosing. It works by allowing the CBDA to pass directly into the bloodstream through the blood vessels on the underside of the tongue.

Now that you know the three most common ways to use CBDA, let’s talk about which one is more effective than the others.

What Is The Most Effective Way To Take CBDA?

The most effective way to take CBDA is going to depend on the type of experience that you’re looking for. Let’s go over the different ways that CBDA can enter the bloodstream.

Vaping CBDA or taking it sublingually under the tongue is going to be the fastest way to get CBDA into your system. This is because these two methods allow the CBDA to pass directly into the bloodstream.

Vaping or sublingually dosing CBDA means that you often need to take a smaller overall dose to have and still have a strong effect. However, the effects of inhaled or sublingual CBDA tend to dissipate more quickly than with other methods.

Edible CBDA tends to take longer to kick in. It can take somewhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours for the CBDA to start having an effect. Consuming CBDA also usually means that the effect is going to linger for a little bit longer than it would if you vaped or sublingually took your CBDA.

Vaping, sublingually administering CBDA, and eating a CBDA out of all are all effective ways to get CBDA into your body.

The Synergy of Cannabinoids

While CBDA is gaining traction for its unique benefits, it’s essential to understand the synergy between various cannabinoids. For instance, the combination of CBDA with other acidic cannabinoids can potentially enhance the overall therapeutic effect. This concept, known as the “entourage effect,” suggests that cannabinoids work better together than in isolation.

Wrapping Up

As we delve deeper into the intricacies of Cannabis sativa, the prominence of CBDA, becomes increasingly evident. The surge in CBD products in the market underscores the growing recognition of its potential benefits. For both seasoned enthusiasts and those new to the realm, CBDA represents a promising frontier in the exploration of natural wellness solutions. As research progresses, the future of CBDA remains bright and full of potential.


How Will CBDA Oil Make Me Feel?

CBDA is not intoxicating which means it won’t have any euphoric effects. It’s not associated with a dramatic change in mood, but it might help you feel more centered and calm. CBDA is also not connected with feelings of drowsiness.

Does CBDA Interact With Medications?

CBD has been shown to interact with certain types of medications like antidepressants, THC, and a few other medicinal compounds. It stands to reason that CBDA could also interact with medications. If you’re considering taking CBDA and you’re currently on a prescription medication, it’s best to consult with your doctor about any potential interactions.

How Much CBDA Can I Take?

We don’t have accurate break points for how much CBDA you should take a day like we do with THC. Somewhere between 5 and 20 mg of CBDA could be a good place to start, but higher doses are thought to be associated with different therapeutic benefits. We recommend starting with a low dose of CBDA and working your way up until you’re experiencing your desired effects.

Is CBDA Good For Anxiety?

CBDA could be a very good choice for anxiety. A study done on mice demonstrated that CBDA was able to have a noticeable effect on anxiety at doses 10,000 times lower than CBD. While further research is needed, things look very promising for CBDA and anxiety.

Does CBDA Help With Sleep?

Research is looking into how CBD can be used to help with sleep and it stands to reason that CBDA can also have a potential benefit when it comes to restfulness. Other cannabinoids, like THC and CBG, are associated with helping individuals fall asleep and sleep better throughout the night. Currently, it is thought that CBDA alone cannot help with sleep, but it might be able to help with sleep when working with other cannabinoids.

Does CBDA Help With Depression?

There’s early research that shows that CBDA could be very helpful for individuals with depression. CBDA acts on the same receptors that are targeted by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This seems to suggest that CBDA could help with depression.

Is CBDA Anti-Inflammatory?

Formal research into CBDA and its medicinal properties is still relatively new, but CBDA has been shown to reduce inflammation and have an anti-inflammatory effect in some studies. Researchers studied CBDA for both anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to act as an antibacterial agent and as an antitumor compound.

Does CBDA Need To Be Refrigerated?

You should keep your CBDA refrigerated and in an airtight container away from light. High temperatures, time, and exposure to light and oxygen can cause CBDA to convert into other cannabinoids like CBD. Storing it in the fridge is a great way to make your CBDA last even longer.

Wrapping Up Your Introduction to CBDA

CBDA might be new to the scene, but it has a lot of potential. Whether you’re looking to find CBDA edibles or a CBDA vape cart, you can pick up something that lets you try out this relatively new cannabinoid today.

Remember that CBDA cannot get you high, but it just might have a positive impact on your well-being.


Danny Blanton
Danny Blanton
Danny Blanton, an experienced writer on our vaping website, brings a decade of industry expertise, including cannabis-related subjects. With a keen sense of product evaluation, Danny provides insightful reviews on vaping devices, e-liquids, and accessories. His dedication to staying abreast of the latest advancements in vaping technology ensures our audience receives accurate and timely information. With in-depth knowledge and a commitment to quality, Danny enriches our platform, delivering valuable content to readers seeking trustworthy insights.
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