Many people have a general understanding of the difference between THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). As a recap, THC is the psychoactive compound that comes from the cannabis plant, while CBD is the non-psychoactive compound.
Many are aware of the benefits of both THC and CBD as well. However, not many people understand one of the lesser-known compounds: CBDA or cannabidiolic acid.
CBDA is another chemical compound found in cannabis plants such as marijuana and hemp. It’s the chemical precursor to CBD, making it similar, but there are still differences in its effects and how these compounds are made.
Read on to learn more about the differences between these two compounds.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the two more well-known compounds that come from cannabis. Unlike its sibling THC, it’s non-psychoactive. People most commonly use it to treat symptoms of anxiety, and also to reduce symptoms of diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
You can consume this compound in a variety of ways. It comes in several forms, like oil and vaping liquid. There are products on the market, such as lotions or oils that you can put on your skin to absorb, as well as gummies and other edibles to consume directly.
However, since most CBD products are processed, people sometimes fear an allergic reaction when consuming CBD products. This is where CBDA comes in: it’s simply unprocessed CBD, which is safer for people with allergies to consume.
What is CBDA?
CBDA is another compound that comes from cannabis. Like CBD, it is not psychoactive, so it doesn’t cause any euphoric effects when consumed. It is the chemical precursor to CBD, meaning it turns into CBD when it is heated or dried.
Most CBD products contain cannabidiol and not CBDA because the only way to consume the acid precursor is to consume cannabis raw through juicing it. This may seem strange, but it’s a better option for people who do not want to process their cannabis before consuming.
There are potential therapeutic uses of CBDA, but it has not been studied as much as CBD. CBDA and other acidic forms of cannabinoids are not pharmacologically active, meaning it doesn’t affect the anti-inflammatory properties in the same way that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) can.
It’s also been suggested that it can bind to specific serotonin receptors much more effectively than cannabidiol. This makes it effective at treating nausea and anxiety, especially for chemotherapy patients.
Is CBDA The Same as CBD?
Because CBDA is the acid precursor to cannabidiol, it does not technically do the same thing. When cannabis gets processed (cut, dried, and heated) the CBDA compound turns into cannabidiol. Raw cannabis contains mostly CBDA, while processed cannabis contains almost all cannabidiol and very little unprocessed CBDA. You can consume both compounds through absorption or ingestion.
However, neither are psychoactive like THC. Neither compound will make you hallucinate or produce euphoric effects, but both are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.
For this reason, researchers are studying to determine which compound is better for medical use.
What are CBDA and THCA?
CBDA is the non-psychoactive acidic precursor to cannabidiol. THCA is similar in that it is the acidic precursor to THC, the psychoactive compound of cannabis. THCA turns into THC when it gets cut, heated, and dried, all in the same manner as CBDA.
However, THCA does not turn psychoactive until it converts to THC. Although it’s in the infancy of its research, THCA has begun to demonstrate potential in the therapeutic medical industry.
THCA, like CBDA, can potentially be used for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-emetic and neuroprotective properties. Studies have also shown that it can help with insomnia and pain. However, more studies need to be done on THCA to verify the benefits. This way, scientists can fully understand the potential medical uses of both.
Which is Better: CBD, or CBDA?
Overall, CBD’s benefits and risks in medical applications have been studied and tested more than for CBDA. CBDA is more unstable of a compound than CBD, so it is less-studied and much less used than CBD.
For this reason, CBD may be a better choice than CBDA if you are concerned about the amount of official research on the compound. CBD is also more used, so its benefits and side effects are better known.
However, consuming CBDA has the same benefits without as much of a risk of an allergic reaction. Since CBD is processed, there’s more of a risk that cross-contamination with allergens may occur. Some studies have also suggested that far lower amounts of CBDA are needed to have the same effect as CBD. It also works the same as CBD but much faster,
Unfortunately, CBDA is slightly less stable than cannabidiol. For this reason, it generally isn’t considered a viable option for clinical treatment. However, in 2019, a research team in California announced that they had found a way to transform the unstable compound into a more stable one that retains the therapeutic properties. This research is still in progress, but it is promising for those wishing to use CBDA instead of CBD for its anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties.
With all this in mind, determining which one is better depends on each person. But consider this advice:
· If you’re more concerned about the background of medical research and how much it’s currently being used, you’re better off using CBD.
· If you’re more concerned about allergens and how quickly the compound starts working, you’re better off using CBDA.
If these factors aren’t make-or-break for you, feel free to try both, and see how each one works for you!
There are still many unknowns about the future of CBDA. Unlike cannabidiol, CBDA hasn’t been studied or acknowledged as a viable beneficial compound. CBDA is unstable, unlike CBD,
but new research suggests that CBDA may have a bright future when it is made more stable and studied more.
Researchers have only scratched the surface of CBDA, and there is so much more to learn about it. There may even be more benefits and uses for CBDA discovered as time goes on.
The world of cannabis compounds and their effects is vast and loaded with information. It may be overwhelming, but it’s worth learning about to stay informed about the future of alternative medicine.
Learn more about these compounds by browsing through our content – we recommend learning as much as possible about CBD and CBDA before making a purchase so you’re satisfied with the product.