Research based articles

What Differentiates CBD & CBDA?

CBDA and CBD are closely related, after all CBDA converts into CBD. Though they have many similarities, they also differ from one another. In this guide we are going to discuss what differentiates CBDA from CBD, and in some ways, what makes CBDA better than CBD.

CBDA makes CBD

CBDA is the acidic precursor to CBD, meaning when CBDA is decarboxylated, a process where cannabinoids are exposed to heat, it changes to CBD. Often times consumers assume they are the same, and though they have very similar molecular structures, they deliver different effects to the body.

What receptors do they interact with?

CBD interacts with various receptors in the body, producing an array of therapeutic benefits. CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2, responsible for modulating memory, pain, appetite, motor control, mood, and brings support to the immune system. CBD also interacts with other receptors, including the 5-HT1A or serotonin receptor.
CBDA differs from the majority of cannabinoids as it does not interact with the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead CBDA delivers its therapeutic benefits by interacting with various receptors and enzymes in the body, rather than the endocannabinoid system, including serotonin receptors and the C0X-2 enzyme, an enzyme associated with regulating inflammation.

Affinity to receptors

Both CBDA and CBD have an affinity to the body’s serotonin or 5-HT1A receptor. The serotonin receptor is most known for its role in controlling mood. However, it is responsible for modulating dozens of critical processes in the body including the cardiovascular system, pain signals, and nausea and vomiting. Research has shown CBDA has a 100-fold greater affinity to the receptor, allowing for lower doses of CBDA compared to CBD for a variety of instances including reducing nausea and vomiting, and helping patients with depression and anxiety disorders.


Bioavailability is the percentage or fraction of absorption of an administered drug or supplement that reaches the systemic circulation and is available to have effect. Through research CBDA was found to be 19x more bioavailable than CBD. This means the body absorbs more CBDA than CBD when taken an equivalent dose and allows for lower doses of CBDA to have an effect.
In 2015 GW Pharma, the maker of Epidiolex (An FDA approved drug for seizures with a fixed ratio of CBD), filed a patent regarding the use of a therapeutically effective amount of CBDA for the treatment of epilepsy. The findings within the patent found patients would require much lower doses of CBDA in comparison to CBD, siting CBDA was more bioavailable than CBD.

Products with CBDA and CBD

Currently, there are a wide range of products available with CBD. CBDA on the other hand has fewer options available, as it only recently became available in a stable form to infuse into cannabinoid-based applications. Both CBDA and CBD can be found in a range of tinctures, edibles, beverages, topicals, and more. However only CBD is available in inhalation form, such as smokable flower or vapes. This is because when heated CBDA turns into CBD, so though there is flower that has CBDA in it, the moment it ignites, it converts to CBD.
Let us help you!

Infusing CBDA, CBD, CBGA, CBG into your products?

Call us today to discuss how you can use our microcrystalline cannabinoid powder to easily infuse the extract into any cannabinoid-based formulation you desire.