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CBDA vs CBD: What’s the Difference (And Does It Matter?)

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CBDA vs CBD: What's the Difference (And Does It Matter?)

Cannabinoids are the active components in cannabis and hemp plants. To date, scientists have identified well over 100 different cannabinoids.

You probably know some of them, like THC. More recently, CBD has been gaining a lot of attention for its health benefits.

Many cannabinoids aren’t so well known. CBDA is one of them. New research is shedding light on CBDA vs CBD, especially when it comes to health benefits. So, what’s the difference between these two cannabinoids?

Chemical Structure of CBDA vs CBD

Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, is very similar to CBD. In fact, CBDA is a precursor to cannabidiol, or CBD.

Several cannabinoids stem from the precursor cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA. Depending on which enzymes in the plant are activated, CBGA converts into one of three acids. CBDA is one of them.

Over time, CBDA breaks down into CBD. This process is relatively slow, but it can be sped up by a process known as decarboxylation. Usually, this involves applying heat, such as through smoking, vaping, or baking.

The heat causes CBDA to lose an extra group of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen molecules. When this happens, it becomes the more familiar CBD.

In fact, that extra COOH group is the only difference between CBDA and CBD on a molecular level.

Can CBDA do Everything CBD Can do?

CBD has become very popular lately. Many people are curious about its health benefits. Scientists have been researching everything from pain control to effects on cancer.

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Since CBDA and CBD are closely related, people are wondering if CBDA has some of the same health benefits.

Much less research has been done on CBDA, so the answer isn’t cut and dried. So far, studies have showed that CBDA has similar effects to CBD.

In some cases, CBDA may be even more effective. This seems to be the case for reducing nausea. One of the benefits of CBDA appears to be that it has a higher affinity for certain receptors than CBD.

CBDA also seems to affect serotonin levels by interacting with the 5-HT receptors in the body. This could impact on mood. CBDA appears to affect these receptors even more than CBD does, so it may be more helpful.

CBDA benefits also include anti-inflammatory effects. CBDA appears to inhibit COX-2 receptors, which reduces the body’s inflammatory response.

Where to Find CBDA

The good news is that CBDA occurs naturally in cannabis and hemp plants. If you buy a high CBD strain, chances are it’s loaded with CBDA.

That’s because CBDA is necessary to make that CBD. Most of the CBD in a cannabis or hemp product is CBDA until it’s heated. If you want to get the benefits of CBDA, try using raw hemp or cannabis products, as any heat will convert CBDA to CBD.

Full-spectrum oils are less processed. They may have some trace amounts of CBDA, along with other cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids for a Healthier Life

Measuring the health benefits of CBDA vs CBD seems to say CBDA is the winner. Both of these cannabinoids could help support better health.

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