What is the difference between CBD and CBD-A?

CBD-A is a precursor to CBD

There are many steps in cannabinoid synthase. The compounds in the hemp inflorescence form cannabigeric acid, which forms various cannabinoid acids, such as cannabidiolic acid (CBD -A). In general, CBD-A is considered inactive and decarboxylated CBD is considered active, but current research indicates that CBD-A would not be as useless as previously thought. As it warms up and ages, cannabinoid acids break down into cannabinoids. This process is called decarboxylation. Acidic cannabinoids are specified in the -a (acid) appendix. Raw hemp is non-decarboxylated.


CBD-A (cannabidiol acid) possibly more effective than CBD (cannabidiol)?

Raw hemp inflorescence is an excellent dietary supplement suitable for foods, groceries and skin care products.


In the light of current research, the health effects of raw hemp compounds are multidimensional and holistic, as the endocannabinoid system receiving these compounds has been shown to regulate, inter alia, pain, inflammation, appetite, digestive (34, 35).


Raw hemp can be used by the body for higher amounts of cannabinoids (1), which is why Dr. William Courtney, a doctor specializing in the benefits of raw hemp juice, suggests that CBD-A would be more effective than CBD in terms of its antioxidant, anti-diabetic and anti-ischemic effects. . Courtney says she has found health benefits in many of her patients using hemp raw. Patents have also been issued in the United States for the medicinal effects of cannabinoid acids (11, 3, 38).


As it warms up and ages, cannabinoid acids break down into cannabinoids. This process is called decarboxylation. Acidic cannabinoids are specified in the appendix -a (acid). Raw hemp is non-decarboxylated (2, 16).


CBD-A becomes used in the body differently than CBD. Both work in multiple ways, producing a wide range of effects. To date, more research has been done on the effects of CBD.


CBD-A has been found to be anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, antioxidant, analgesic, antiproliferative, anti-cancer, and antibacterial and antimicrobial (2, 3, 12, 15).


CBD-A has a stronger tendency to bind to the 5-HT1A receptor than CBD. 5-HT1A belongs to the serotonin receptors. These receptors elicit a wide variety of intracellular communications that produce either an excitatory (accelerating) or inhibitory (retarding) effect, depending on the chemical content of the message (13). Binding of CBD to 5-HT1A receptors provides antianxiety and depression-relieving effects (17). CBD-A has been shown to have antiemetic (nausea-reducing) effects that are even more potent than CBD or THC (17).


CBD-A can bind to GPR55, TRPA1, TRPV1, and TRPM8 receptors at doses of 1-10 μm. At higher concentrations, the compound may slow the degradation of endocannabinoid system enzymes via COX-1 and COX-2 receptors (29, 30).


Eating cannabinoids and cannabinoid acids may be key in the treatment of chronic diseases caused by endocannabinoid system deficiencies (9), such as migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, glaucoma, fibromyalgia, and potentially many other diseases (10).


CBD has been found to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, be a more effective antioxidant than vitamin C or E, and have antiemetic, antipsychotic, and antiepileptic effects that act through, inter alia, 5-HT1A, GPR55, GPR18, TRPV1, and other TRP receptors. The United States even has a patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants (31, 32, and 33).


CBD has been found to slow the natural degradation of anandamide and thus increase the amount of endocannabinoids in brain synapses. This increase in endocannabinoids may be a significant factor in the neuroprotective and other health effects of CBD (18).


In addition, CBD has been studied to increase the amount of the neurotransmitter adenosine, which regulates the activity of adenosine receptors. A1A and A2A receptors play an important role in the cardiovascular system, regulating myocardial oxygen uptake and blood flow in the coronary artery. These receptors also have broad anti-inflammatory effects in the body (20).


CBD also acts as a so-called positive allosteric modulator for the GABA-A receptor, i.e. it can enhance or inhibit the conduction of signals at these receptors. In other words, CBD increases the ability of the natural agonist of the GABA-A receptor to bind aminobutyric acid. Aminobutyric acid is one of the most important neurotransmitters in mammals. This increased butyric acid binding has sedative and anxiolytic effects (19). CBD also has a similar negative effect on the CB1 receptor, which reduces the psychoactive effects of THC (21).


CBD is associated with the TRPV1 receptor, which is known to affect pain, inflammation, and body temperature (22).


According to some studies, CBD affects the so-called as an agonist that blocks or inactivates the GPR55 receptor. The GPR55 receptor is found especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in the regulation of blood pressure, bone density, etc. physiological processes. When it is overactive, osteoporosis occurs, which can potentially be treated with CBD. It has also been found to have antiproliferative effects, i.e., to reduce the proliferation of cancer cells. The GPR55 receptor causes the proliferation of cancer cells and is manifested in several cancer types (23).


CBD also potentially creates cancer-reducing effects by activating PPA receptors that are expressed in cell nuclei. Studies have shown that PPA receptor activation has anti-proliferative effects as well as the ability to regress or reduce cancer (25, 26). In addition, its activation has been found to degrade amyloid-beta plaque, one of the major causes of Alzheimer’s. Therefore, the PPA receptor agonist CBD may be useful in Alzheimer’s patients (24). PPA receptors also regulate genes involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic processes. Thus, CBD may also potentially help in the treatment of diabetes (27, 28)


Repeated experiments on animals and cells illustrate that cannabinoids have the potential to maintain health and prevent several diseases. On the other hand, more human studies are needed (2, 7, 12, 13, 14).




The unexplored potential of CBD-A and other cannabinoids




The understanding of the endocannabinoid system did not begin until 1990. In the light of subsequent studies, it was found that endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body, such as in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, central nervous system, and immune cells.


Thus, hemp cannabinoids may have more health effects and medicinal potential than we currently understand, as research is young and accelerating. (34, 35, 36, 37)


Thus, CBD-A may also have more latent effects than have been observed, as current studies have focused primarily on CBD and THC.




Calcium channel blockers, blood thinners, and other medications used to treat high blood pressure and arrhythmias may cause unwanted side effects in combination with CBD. CBD can reduce or prevent the breakdown of drugs. For example, for warfarin (Marevan), it has been reported that CBD may potentiate the effect of the drug. (39)




Finally, in addition to research data and user experience, there are already several patents in the United States for the medicinal and health effects of hemp:


“According to the invention, cannabinoid acids can be used to relieve pain and / or prevent inflammation, as well as to reduce nausea.”

– A. A. J. Korthout and Others Medicinal acidic cannabinoids. United States Patent. 2010


“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant effects, which may make their use useful in the treatment of several inflammatory diseases.”

– Aidan J. Hampson and Others Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Google Patents. 2003


This essay is part of my cannabinoid-related thesis.


Tommi Saltiola

Agrologi AMK




  1. D. Butterfield. Top 10 Cannabinoids And What They Do. http://herb.co/2016/02/06/top-10-cannabinoids/. 2016.
  2. D. Butterfield. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD -A): The Raw Cannabinoid That Fights Inflammation.http://herb.co/2017/05/20/cbda/. 2017
  3. Dr. Courtney. Raw Cannabis Advantages. Patients Out of Time. Interview during Seventh National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in Tucson, AZ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlsBGXNxJYU. 2012.
  4. D. Butterfield. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD -A): The Raw Cannabinoid That Fights Inflammation. Herb.co. 2017
  5. N. Smith. Transdermal cannabinoid patch. https://www.google.com/patents/US20160022627. 2016.
  6. C. J. Dibble ja I. B. Cole. Methods for obtaining purified cannabis extracts and THCA crystals. https://www.google.com/patents/US20170008870. 2016.
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  8. S. Takeda, K. Misawa, I. Yamamoto ja K. Watanabe. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD -A) as a Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitory Component in Cannabis. Drug Metabolism and Disposition. http://dmd.aspetjournals.org/content/36/9/1917.long. 2008.
  9. E. B. Russo. Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159679. 2004.
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  13. D. Bolognini ym. Cannabidiolic acid (CBD -A) prevents vomiting in Suncus murinus and nausea-induced behaviour in rats by enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3596650/. 2013.
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Questions and answers about CBD-A and CBD in general

What is CBD-A?
  • CBD-A stands for cannabidiol acid and is a precursor to CBD. CBD and CBD-A are naturally occurring cannabinoids in hemp.
  • CBD is a cannabidiol.
  • CBD-A is cannabidiol acid.
What are cannabinoids?
  • Cannabinoids are a group of compounds originally found in hemp, but they refer to all compounds associated with body cannabinoid receptors (Z. Fisar. 2009; AC. Howlett et al. 2002; DM. Lambert et al. 2005). These include phytocannabinoids, ie external cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, i.e. internal cannabinoids, and synthetic laboratory-produced cannabinoids. More than a hundred different types of external cannabinoids have been found in hemp. In total, hemp contains about 489 different compounds (N. Happyana et al. 2013).
Is CBD-A the same thing as CBD?
  • CBD-A (cannabidiol acid) is a precursor to CBD (cannabidiol) as it is in fresh hemp.
Is CBD safe to use?
  • The CBD is completely safe
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a critical research report on CBD and concluded that CBD is completely safe -> read the report WHO website
  • According to a WHO report, the CBD does not e.g. there is no risk of abuse or addiction
  • According to some studies, high levels of CBD may affect the efficacy and absorption of certain drugs
  • CBD may alter the activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in the liver due to drug-drug interactions
  • Calcium channel blockers and anticoagulants are not recommended for use with CBD
  • For more information on drug interactions, see from here
  • CBD-A Hemp juice products are free of heavy metals heavy metal analysis
  • CBD-A Hemp juice products are free from contamination contamination analysis
  • – Click on the magnifying glass image to see the analyzes behind the links larger>
Ovatko CBD-tuotteet laillisia Suomessa?
  • CBD on lääkaainelistalla, joten jokainen valmiste arvioidaan valmistekohtaisesti Suomessa.
  • CBD-A:ta sen sijaan ei olla luokiteltu lääkeainelistalla, joten CBD-A-hamppumehutuotteita ei luokitella lääkkeiksi.
  • CBD-öljyjä ei myydä Suomessa ravintolisinä ja tilaaminen toisesta EU-maasta on laillista EU:n vapaakauppasopimuksen mukaisesti. Lue lisää.
Is the use of CBD-A hemp juice products visible in drug testing?
  • Not visible, as the tests measure the THC content. THC is the only intoxicating cannabinoid. The amount of THC in the products does not exceed 0.2%, ie below the permitted limit. Based on the measurement analyzes, the products contain less than 0.1% THC.
Is CBD or CBD-A intoxicating?
  • CBD and CBD-A are not intoxicating compounds
  • CBD and CBD-A do not have intoxicating properties
  • The only intoxicating compound in hemp and medicated cannabis is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
  • Of the 113 cannabinoids identified in hemp and cannabis, only one is intoxicating (THC)
  • Our CBD-A products are made from industrial useful hemp that does not contain narcotic amounts of THC (always below the 0.2% limit approved in the EU)
  • THC is only found in varieties specially bred for medicinal cannabis


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