What is CBDA and How Does It Work?


Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, is one of the 110+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It’s the precursor to CBD, meaning it can convert from CBDA to CBD in the right conditions.

The family of cannabinoids is closely intertwined. Cannabinoid production starts when an enzyme causes geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid to combine and form CBGA. CBGA is independently converted to either CBG, THCA, CBDA or CBCA by four separate synthase enzymes. Because of its role as the precursor to all other cannabinoids, CBGA is commonly known as the mother cannabinoid

The two most prevalent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are CBD and THC. However, in their original state, these two cannabinoids exist almost entirely in the acid form and are known as THCA and CBDA, or “THC acid” and “cannabidiolic acid.” When these acidic cannabinoids are heated, a chemical reaction takes place. As a result of heating, the cannabinoids change form to become THC and CBD.

This process by which raw cannabinoids like CBDA are then transformed into CBD is called “decarboxylation,” or “activation.”. This can occur when CBDA is exposed to heat or gradually over time. 

How does CBDA work differently from CBD?

Raw and heated cannabinoids interact with different receptors and enzymes in the body. Raw cannabinoids like CBDA may be less active in the brain, while still active in the body, especially the gut. In the heated form, they become more available to the endocannabinoid system. The active or “heated” form of THC is what actually binds to the cannabinoid receptors and causes users to feel “high.” 

Likewise, while most cannabinoids bind directly with either the CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBDA indirectly interacts with the endocannabinoid system, much like CBD, but in its own unique ways! Both CBD and CBDA can help support emotional balance, healthy energy levels, and managing daily stress.†

Check out the below infographic for a quick summary of how CBDA stacks up to CBD.

cbda vs. cbd

Where can you buy CBDA? 

Now that you know about the unique properties of CBDA, where can you find it? Since it is present in raw hemp extracts, many people turn to raw cannabis juicing to get their fill of this acidic cannabinoid. We even have this raw cannabis smoothie recipe that’s perfect for summertime and easy sipping! However, raw cannabis isn’t the only place to get your CBDA.

Bluebird’s Hemp Complete blends feature a mix of both raw and heated hemp extracts, meaning you’re getting near equal amounts of CBD and CBDA with every serving you take of our Complete and Complete Concentrated CBD oils. 
You can also enjoy this blend in a soft gel format with our 
Complete CBD Soft Gels

Shop CBD+CBDA Soft Gels