What Is CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid)?

CBD (cannabidiol), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that has gentle sedative properties, has been focused on in recent years due to its medical potential.

Discovered in 1940, Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid that’s one of the 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants that accounts up to 40% of the plant extracts. However,  CBD wouldn’t exist, without CBDA. So what’s CBDA?

CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) is one of the many compounds produced by cannabis and hemp. It serves as marijuana’s active ingredients, and dozens of them are within the plant. It’s a cannabis composing elements that interact the human brain and body to mimic the chemicals our brains naturally produce, then create a range of effects on medical and recreational, such as causing euphoria, alleviating pain, helping with depression, easing nausea,  pain, and stress relief, and more.

In activated state, these cannabinoids are known as THC, CBD, CBG, and so on. Before CBD and other cannabinoids are pharmacologically active, they exist in their acidic forms – thus, CBDA.  This means that the precursor to CBD in marijuana is CBDA or cannabidiolic acid. In addition, the case with other cannabinoids – raw cannabis flower, also contains THCA, CBGA, CBCA.

How Is CBDA Produced?

All cannabinoids start out as CBGA “the mother of all cannabinoids”. Various percentages of the CBGA turn into CBDA, THCA, and other cannabinoids when enzymatic reaction occurs in the plant’s trichomes. CBGA converts to three major cannabinoid precursor compounds, depending on which plant enzymes are activated to direct the synthesis:

  • THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
  • CBCA (cannabichromenic acid)
  • CBDA (cannabidiolic acid).

When decarboxylation occurs by exposing the cannabis plant to either heat or sunlight, CBDA converts to CBD. In other words, CBDA is the raw form or a predecessor to CBD. Purple weed, on the other hand, is the cannabis that changes pigments in order to achieve a goal before wilting in the cold, such as conserving energy or increasing the chances for pollination, but it’s produced the same process as other cannabinoids.

What Are The Benefits of this Cannabinoid?

Most of the research studies have been focused on the non-acidic forms of cannabinoids and this has left forms of acidic precursors in terms of benefits. However, developing studies show a silver lining over the acidic forms dark world, its potential benefits, and its uses slowly shift the way the world thinks of CBDA.


CBDA is believed to be effective against nausea. Receptors that control anxiety and well-being also regulate feelings of nausea, as well as vomiting and interact to calm queasy feelings. When it comes to choosing CBD vs CBDA for this purpose, CBDA is actually more effective.

Breast Cancer

A 2012 study out of Hokuriku University in Japan found that CBDA was effective at inhibiting the growth of an aggressive form of breast cancer. One study found that cannabidiolic acid can prevent breast cancer cells from migrating, meaning that it limits the disease’s opportunity to metastasize to other parts of the body. Although scientists have been working to figure out how CBDA affects cancer cells and how can this be put to use in real-world treatment, we sure know that science is heading us somewhere phenomenal with CBDA.


CBDA’s role as a COX-2 inhibitor makes it more than a cancer-fighter; it also makes it an excellent anti-inflammatory. COX-2 is the enzyme targeted by non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Researchers found that CBDA not only blocks this enzyme; it does it even better than THC.


The research found that CBDA not only affects the same receptors as the CBD (ones that control feelings of anxiety and well-being), but it also works as an antidepressant at doses that are 10 to 100 times less than the ones required of the CBD.


The current developing research believes that CBDA may work for epilepsy at lower doses than CBD and it truly may be since the manufacturer of the CBD-derived epilepsy drug Epidiolex has also patented the use of CBDA for epilepsy as it looks into its potential.