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What is CBDA? Benefits & Effects of Cannabidiolic Acid

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What is CBDA and what are its health benefits? In this post, we discuss if CBDA can aid in the treatment of anxiety, stress, depression, pain, or sleep problems. Here’s all you need to know about the health advantages of CBDA and how to use it to improve your day-to-day.

What is CBDA (cannabidiolic acid)?

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, produced by cannabis and hemp. Cannabis plants produce this cannabinoid in its acidic state, which then over time at room temperature, converts to the better-known cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol). This conversion happens faster at higher temperatures.

It’s worth noting that human research on cannabinoids is still in its early stages. We know even less about CBDA than we do about CBD at this moment. Early data, on the other hand, suggests that even tiny doses of CBDA can have considerable effects on the body.

What are the actual health benefits of CBDA?

Many people are surprised to learn that the phytocannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp exist in two states: acidic (for example CBDA, THCA) & neutral (CBD, THC). While the focus has been on neutral cannabinoids, new research indicates that cannabinoids in their original, acidic form possess incredible healing properties that work both together with and different from their neutral counterparts.

What specific conditions can CBDA benefit?

CBDA and other compounds found in cannabis and hemp can enhance the activity of the ECS and act on several other physiologic targets involved in health and healing.

The health benefits may include improvements in:

  • Inflammation
  • Mood and anxiety
  • Resilience to stress
  • Cognition
  • Neurologic healing
  • Pain signaling
  • Gut function
  • Tissue recovery after exercise or injury
  • Current and future animal and human studies promise to reveal even more…

CBDA Benefits Chart

CBDA Benefits Chart

What is the difference between CBDA and CBD?

CBDA is comparable to CBD in many aspects, having activation at serotonin and capsaicin receptors. Unlike CBD, it has not been found to affect cannabinoid receptors, but it has been demonstrated to target the COX enzymes linked to inflammation, a process similar to that of common over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines.

Therefore, if you’re unsatisfied with the results from CBD products, CBDA products may provide different results.

Which is the best cannabinoid for me?

Start with a reputable, full-spectrum hemp CBD product that contains naturally occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and other essential plant chemicals, including CBDA if available.

You should start with a CBDA product if:

  • You haven’t tried CBDA yet and wish to learn more about its advantages.
  • You’ve tried CBD in moderate to high doses (25-50 mg) in the past and weren’t happy with the outcomes.
  • You’re using THC and don’t want the effects of your hemp product to change it.

Adding or switching to CBDA can actually lower the amount of CBD and cannabinoids you use every day and significantly increase the benefits. Everyone responds uniquely to CBDA, so it is important to try it in the proper way to understand what it can do for you.

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a biological system in the human body that regulates and maintains health. The endocannabinoid system has varied functions in different tissues, but the final aim is always the same: homeostasis, which is the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite external variations, allowing organisms to maintain a state of equilibrium.

Your body’s ECS has been working hard to maintain cellular equilibrium since before you were born, assisting you in staying healthy and recovering from disease and damage. The ECS, which is located in all of the body’s tissues and organs, governs the immunological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and neurological systems, and hence has a significant impact on our overall health.

CBDA and other compounds found in cannabis and hemp can enhance the activity of the ECS and act on several other physiologic targets involved in health and healing.

Endocannabinoid System Image

Important Differences between CBDA & CBD

CBDA gets absorbed significantly better — 5x-11x times better— than CBD when taken orally.[1] There is also some evidence-based on animal models that CBDA is stronger and more potent than CBD, not just because it’s getting absorbed better but because it is acting more powerfully. For example, animal studies have found CBDA to be 10 times more potent than CBD in a model of seizures [2], 100x more potent in a model of inflammatory pain [3], 10,000x more potent in a model of nausea [4], and 50,000x more potent in a model of anxiety [5].

Important Differences between CBDA & THCA

Both of these cannabinoids are the original acidic versions of their better known cannabinoid counterparts, CBD and THC. Both are non-impairing when taken alone; When combined with THC they are synergistic and increase THC’s benefits. Compared to THC and CBD, there are relatively few studies on the potential benefits of cannabinoid acids. But anecdotal evidence and preliminary research appear to suggest that these precursors could also offer an assortment of benefits.

At this time we know that CBDA and THCA have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties as well as neuro-protective benefits that slow damage to the nervous system and brain. In his clinical practice, Dr. Dustin Sulak has been impressed by the anti-seizure properties of THCA in extraordinarily low doses, as well as it’s anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties.

How To Use CBDA – Dosage Guide

Many medicinal components including CBDA and other acidic cannabinoids are diminished or lost when smoking or vaporizing cannabis flower, though very small amounts of acidic cannabinoids can be absorbed through these delivery methods.

Wide-spectrum products such as tinctures and drops that are formulated for precision dosing are an excellent method for getting acidic cannabinoids. However, CBDA and other acidic cannabinoids can also be lost or destroyed by conventional extraction and manufacturing methods. Choose products that contain significant amounts of CBDA to achieve superior benefits. Make sure to keep these products refrigerated so the acidic cannabinoids don’t gradually convert to neutral ones at room temperature.

Start with 5-10mg twice daily and gradually work up to 20mg if needed. Most people report noticing the effects and how the benefits increase over the first 30 days. CBDA can have a peppery taste when taken in drops, which can be washed away with a sip of water.

How to Use CBDA Oil

The key to getting the best outcomes is to use the right dosage that’s suited to your specific needs. Therefore, in order to get the most out of CBDA, you’ll need to figure out what your specific ideal dose is and how often you should take it.

Dr. Sulak suggests starting with CBDA drops administered under the tongue for treating and avoiding chronic pain and other symptoms. Some of the medicine will be absorbed quickly into your circulation through your mouth’s network of capillaries, providing rapid relief, while the remainder will be digested and provide a delayed impact. Furthermore, consuming CBDA in this manner allows you the fine tuning required to determine your unique ideal dosage quantity. This is especially true with Healer brand drops, which are meant to contain roughly 1 mg of THC per drop. As a result, tinctures or drops are the most cost-effective option.

CBDA drops (or capsules/edibles) used with a fat-containing meal or snack can boost absorption by up to 5-fold, making the therapy more effective and less costly

How to Use CBDA Edibles

When administering drops sublingually (under the tongue) isn’t practicable, you can add them to meals or take it in capsule form. Because CBDA travels through the digestive system first, which impacts onset and efficacy, results may take longer and you may need to take a bigger dose. Switch to drops if capsules or other edibles take too long to start functioning, or if they don’t perform well even at moderate to high dosages, or if you have low stomach motility.

Healer Usage Guide & Response Tracker

The Benefits of Combining CBDA & THC

When taken together with THC, CBDA doesn’t diminish THC’s impairing effects like CBD does. For people who use THC for recreational or spiritual purposes but would also like the benefits of CBD without diminishing the THC effect, CBDA is an excellent alternative.

How to Improve Your Health by Combining Cannabinoids

Finding your ideal THC to CBDA (or CBD) ratio can be extremely effective, well-tolerated, and non-impairing. Begin with low or moderate amounts in the ratio of 1:4 THC:CBD (1 mg THC to 4mg CBDA or CBD or higher ratio of CBDA).

Dr. Sulak advises that this therapy be pursued under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

Check Out Our Webinar

In our webinar, Dr. Sulak answers the questions frequently asked about CBD and CBDA by patients and health providers, and presents research.

Topics Covered:

  • CBD effects in the body
  • How does CBD work?
  • How is CBDA different?
  • CBD for anxiety
  • CBD for pain and opioid use
  • CBD and epilepsy
  • CBD or CBDA for sleep?
  • Topical CBD
  • Trouble with CBD products
  • Common mistakes with CBD
  • Strategies for success with CBD
  • Selecting a safe and reliable product


[1] Pellesi, Lanfranco, et al. ” European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 74.11 (2018): 1427-1436.

[2] Takeda, Shuso, et al. Drug Metabolism and Disposition 36.9 (2008): 1917-1921.

[3] Rock, E. M., et al. British Journal of Pharmacology 169.3 (2013): 685-692.

[4] Rock, Erin M., et al. Psychopharmacology 234.14 (2017): 2207-2217

[5] Anderson, Lyndsey L., et al. Journal of natural products 82.11 (2019): 3047-3055.

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