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What are CBD and CBDA?

Process diagram of decarboxylation.


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What is the difference between CBD and CBDA?


CBDA is a precursor to CBD


There are many steps in cannabinoid synthase. The compounds in hemp flowers form cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), from which various cannabinoid acids are formed, such as cannabidiol acid (CBDA). In general, CBDA is considered inactive and decarboxylated CBD is active, but current research shows that CBDA is not 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.


CBDA (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 found to regulate, inter alia, pain, inflammation, appetite, digestive (34, 35).

From raw hemp, the body can utilize larger amounts of cannabinoids (1), for this reason, Dr. William Courtney, a doctor specializing in the benefits of juicing raw hemp, suggests that CBDA would be more effective than CBD when it comes to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and ischemia 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 -a (acid) appendix. Raw hemp is non-decarboxylated (2, 16).

CBDA 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.

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

CBDA 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). CBDA has been shown to have antiemetic (nausea-reducing) effects that are even more potent than CBD or THC (17).

CBDA 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 enzymes in the endocannabinoid system 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, among others, 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 disorders of CBD. health effects (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 deactivates the GPR55 receptor. The GPR55 receptor is found especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in blood pressure, bone density, etc. in the regulation of 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 types of cancer (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 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 the like. in 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).


CBDA et al. unexplored potential of cannabinoids


The endocannabinoid system was not understood until 1990. Subsequent studies have 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 and medicinal potential than we currently understand, as research is young and accelerating. (34, 35, 36, 37)

Thus, CBDA 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. e.g for warfarin (Marevan), CBD has been shown to 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.”

– AAJ 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 et al. Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Google Patents. 2003


This essay is part of my dissertation on cannabinoids.


Tommi Saltiola

Agrologist AMK

Hemp researcher⎟Hemp entrepreneur




  1. D. Butterfield. Top 10 Cannabinoids And What They Do. . 2016.
  2. D. Butterfield. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD -A): The Raw Cannabinoid That Fights Inflammation. . 2017
  3. Dr. Courtney. Raw Cannabis Advantages. Patients Out of Time. Interview during the Seventh National Clinical Conference at Cannabis Therapeutics in Tucson, AZ. . 2012.
  4. D. Butterfield. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD -A): The Raw Cannabinoid That Fights Inflammation. 2017
  5. N. Smith. Transdermal cannabinoid patch. . 2016.
  6. CJ Dibble and IB Cole. Methods for obtaining purified cannabis extracts and THCA crystals. . 2016.
  7. A. Izzo, F. Borreli, R. Capasso, V. Di Marzo and R. Mechoulam. Proposed Molecular mechanisms of the actions of non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids. Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new Therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb. 2009.
  8. S. Takeda, K. Misawa, I. Yamamoto and K. Watanabe. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD -A) as a Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitory Component in Cannabis. Drug Metabolism and Disposition. . 2008.
  9. EB Russo. Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain Therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions? . 2004.
  10. EB Russo. Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain Therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions? . 2008.
  11. Dr. Courtney. Why You Should Be Eating Raw Weed. . 2016.
  12. Radosevic. The Composition of Hemp Seed Oil and Its Potential as an Important Source of Nutrition. . 2000.
  13. D. Bolognini et al. Cannabidiolic acid (CBD -A) prevents vomiting in Suncus murinus and nausea-induced behavior in rats by Enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation. . 2013.
  14. AJ. Hampson Ym. Neuroprotective antioxidants from marijuana. . 2000.
  15. S. Takeda Ym. Cannabidiolic acid (CBD -A) mediated selective down-regulation of c-fos in highly aggressive breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells: possible involvement of its down-regulation in the abrogation of aggressiveness. . 2017.
  16. Dr. I Hunt. Decarboxylation. Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary.
  17. M. Schier et al. Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidio (CBS) l: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. Institute of Psychiatry – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and others. 2014.
  18. Deutsch DG. A Personal Retrospective: Elevating Anandamide (AEA) by Targeting Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) and the Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABPs). Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY, USA. 2016.
  19. Bakas T. et al. The direct actions of cannabidiol (CBD) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney et al. 2017.
  20. Ribieiro A. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: role for the adenosine A (2A) receptor. Neuroimmunomodulation Research Group et al. 2012.
  21. RB Laprairie. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a negative allosteric modulator of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2015.
  22. B. Costa et al. The vanilloid TRPV1 receptor mediates the antihyperalgesic effect of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), in a rat model of acute inflammation. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2004.
  23. G. Hu et al. Oncogene – The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 promotes cancer cell proliferation. Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology et al. 2010.
  24. G. Esposito et al. Cannabidiol (CBD) in vivo blunts β-amyloid induced neuroinflammation by suppressing IL-1β and iNOS expression. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2007.
  25. McAllister SD. Cannabidiol (CBD) as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells. California Pacific Medical Center and others. 2007.
  26. R. Ramer et al. COX-2 and PPAR-γ Confer Cannabidiol-Induced (CBD) Apoptosis of Human Lung Cancer Cells. American Association for Cancer Research. 2013.
  27. JN Feige. Transcriptional coregulators in the control of energy homeostasis. Institute of Genetics and Biological Sciences Molecular and Cellular. 2007.
  28. Y. Sun et al. Cannabinoids: A New Group of Agonists of PPARs. School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham Medical School. 2007.
  29. P. Pacher et al. Modulating the endocannabinoid system in human health and disease: successes and failures. Laboratory of Physiologic Studies et al. 2013.
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  33. Aidan J. Hampson et al. Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Google Patents. 2003.
  34. Martin A. Lee. The Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System. The Prop 215 Era. 2012
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  37. R. Mechoulam et al. Isolation and structure of a brain constituent that binds to the cannabinoid receptor. Science. 1992
  38. HAAJ Korthout et al. Medicinal acidic cannabinoids. United States Patent. 2010.
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Questions and answers about CBDa and CBD in general

What is CBDa?
  • CBDa stands for cannabidiol acid and is a precursor to CBD. CBD and CBDa are naturally occurring cannabinoids in hemp.
  • CBD is a cannabidiol.
  • CBDa = cannabidiol acid.
What are cannabinoids?
  • Cannabinoids are a group of compounds originally found in hemp, but they refer to all compounds associated with endocannabinoid system (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 CBDa the same thing as CBD?
  • CBDa (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
  • CBDa Hemp juice products are free of heavy metals heavy metal analysis
  • CBDa Hemp juice products are free from contamination contamination analysis
  • Click on the magnifying glass image to see the analyzes behind the links larger>
Are CBD products legal in Finland?
  • CBD is on the drug list, so each product is evaluated on a product-by-product basis in Finland.
  • CBDA, on the other hand, is not classified in the list of medicinal substances, so CBDA hemp products are not classified as medicines.
  • CBD oils are not sold in Finland as food supplements and ordering from another EU country is legal in accordance with the EU’s free trade agreement. Read more.
Is the use of CBDA hemp juice products visible in drug testing?
  • Not visible, as the tests measure the THC content. THC is the main 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 CBDA intoxicating?
  • CBD and CBDA are not intoxicating compounds
  • CBD and CBDA 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 CBDA 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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