Research based articles

Antioxidant effects of acidic cannabinoids, CBGA, CBDA, and THCA

Understanding Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a crucial role in maintaining and supporting health, as well as fighting a wide range of oxidative illnesses. Antioxidants are compounds that can be produced by the body and can also be found in a wide range of plants and foods. They help to defend cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells, and proteins, such as collagen, as well as damage DNA. When free radicals accumulate, they cause oxidative stress. This can lead to a wide range of health problems and increases the risk of developing chronic diseases, and cancer. Free radicals also damage the skin, which is why many skin care products contain ingredients with antioxidant properties, such as Vitamin E.
Oxidative stress can be detrimental if there is too much in the body, and many consumers are searching for natural antioxidant options to support their health and wellness. Acidic cannabinoids from the hemp plant are a great way to gain antioxidant benefits, without any unwanted side effects. Let’s take a look at what research says about the antioxidant activity of the acidic cannabinoids, CBGA, CBDA, and THCA.

What are acidic cannabinoids?

Acidic cannabinoids are the precursors of neutral cannabinoids. For example, CBDA is the precursor to CBD, and CBGA is the precursor to CBG. When acidic cannabinoids are decarboxylated, or exposed to heat, they convert to their neutral form. On their own, they have a wide range of benefits and in many ways are superior to their neutral counterparts. In fact, when CBDA was compared to CBD, it demonstrated itself to be 19x more bioavailable than CBD. Additionally, THCA was found to also have greater bioavailability than its neutral counterpart, THC. The research suggests that not only does this make acidic cannabinoids more powerful for numerous instances, but also allows consumers to use less acidic cannabinoids to feel therapeutic benefits.


The acidic cannabinoids, CBDA, CBGA, and THCA have all shown promising antioxidant activity through research. In a 2022 study, all acidic cannabinoids demonstrated antioxidant activity levels greater than that of Vitamin E. It was also noted oils with acidic cannabinoids showed heightened antioxidant effects than oils with their neutral counterparts. Acidic cannabinoids have a greater antioxidant effect, because the introduction of the carboxyl group to the aromatic ring of the phenolic group causes charge delocalization and the reduction of electron density, thus facilitating the phenolic radical formation. (Dawidowicz et. al 2022)
Another study conducted the same year examined the antioxidant effects of CBDA and CBD, when combined with trace amounts of other cannabinoids including, CBGA, CBG, and THCA. CBDA displayed greater antioxidant activity than CBD. However, both cannabinoids exhibited antioxidant activity and also had inhibitory effects against e. coli, p. aeruginosa, b. subtilis, and s. aureus. (Joki ́c et. al 2022)
Acidic cannabinoids are superior to their neutral counterparts in many ways, including their antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are needed to fight free radicals in the body to reduce the risk of a wide range of illnesses. They are also a great way to protect and support aging skin. With antioxidants playing a crucial role in achieving homeostasis in the body, it is prominent more research is done on these minor cannabinoids that have the potential to be used in major ways.
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