Top CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid) Questions Answered by CBD Science

Top CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid) Questions Answered by CBD Science

The hemp plant is a unique and curious plant that contains so many intricate strains, some that you may already be familiar with (such as CBD, THC, CBGA, CBN, or Delta-8 THC). However, there are over 100 different hemp plant strains, one of which is called CBDA. CBDA (also known as cannabidiolic acid) is a unique strain with many functions. We’ll discuss in this article exactly what it is, what it’s used for, and many other questions you may have. Let’s begin! 

What Exactly is CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid)?

CBDA stands for cannabidiolic acid. Initially discovered in 1996, this particular cannabinoid is found primarily in the unprocessed and raw part of the cannabis plant. Parts of the cannabis plant are processed to create usable CBD, thus transforming the raw CBDA into the cannabinoid you are already familiar with: CBD.

Through heating, drying, and curing the cannabis plant, CBDA is broken down to form new chemicals, thus eliminating the CBDA entirely. However, you can still find unprocessed CBDA in the raw hemp oil and other unprocessed cannabis products.   

What is the difference between CBD and CBDA?

Simply put, CBDA is the unheated “raw” form of CBD. When CBDA is processed and heated, the acid in the CBDA is processed, leaving just the CBD in its place. Think of it like popcorn kernels before you microwave them. It’s still popcorn after you heat it, just in a new and more easily consumed form. 

What Does CBDA Do?

Since CBDA is considered the raw form of CBD, it’s necessary to have CBDA before you can get CBD. But some people prefer the all-natural form, even though it can be challenging to obtain. CBDA is more water-soluble than CBD, allowing your body to absorb and utilize it more efficiently. CBDA also has a higher affinity rate, up to 100x more powerful. 

Does CBDA Get You High?

No, CBDA will not get you high. Just like CBD, CBDA does not contain more than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive element that gets you high. 

Will CBDA Cause You To Fail A Drug Test?

Since there are trace amounts of THC in CBDA, there is a possibility you will fail your drug test if you consume CBDA products. Your body processes the trace amounts of THC but leaves behind metabolites that contain the broken down parts of THC. Drug tests don’t test for specific types of THC, such as CBDA, meaning that the drug test may come back positive for the presence of THC in your urine or blood as your body breaks it down. To combat this, you should avoid taking CBDA for several weeks before your test to ensure you’re confident that the entirety of the THC has left your body. 

What Does CBDA Feel Like?

Since CBDA contains less than 0.3% of THC, most likely, you won’t feel anything right away. Some people reported feeling more active and alert after consistent use, but it won’t make you feel sleepy or disoriented like THC would.

What is CBDA Most Commonly Used For?

CBDA is most commonly used by people who prefer the raw and unprocessed form of CBD. As such, CBDA can be used to treat the same things as CBD can: anxiety, paranoia, PTSD, stress, minor pain relief, and many other issues. It’s also best when combined with CBD, as it can help with fighting nausea, pain relief, and some mental health issues. 

What are the Most Common Benefits of CBDA?

While CBDA is still relatively new to the market, some preliminary research indicates how CBDA can be used therapeutically. 


One such use is for inflammation, such as that from arthritis pain. A 2008 study concluded that CBDA helps block the COX-2 enzyme, the enzyme responsible for synthesizing into pro-inflammatory compounds. 

Nausea & Vomiting

Another use for CBDA is nausea reduction, noted to be even more effective than CBD products. If you have an upset stomach, CBDA might be able to quell your unpleasant urge to vomit and may soothe your stomach to the point where you can continue your day (or night).

However, using CBDA as nausea reduction has only been tested on lab rats, meaning there’s still quite a bit of research that still needs to be done before we can understand the full benefits of CBDA. 

Cancer Treatment

Whenever the word “cancer” is mentioned, there’s an immediate halt and instant wariness. Nothing hurts as much as finding out that you or a loved one has cancer. We’re in no way claiming that CBDA can cure cancer, but a study in 2012 found that CBDA was able to halt the migration of breast cancer cells.

This study was done in a lab in Petri dishes, so not actually tested on humans as of yet. However, further research may show that CBDA is indeed a viable method of stopping the migration of cancerous cells throughout the body. 


A British pharmaceutical company patented the use of CBDA as a form of antipsychotic medication. While it may take a while for CBDA to be formally recognized as a viable medicinal outlet, some research indicates that CBDA may be a way to help patients with psychotic episodes and seizures. 

What are the Most Common Side Effects of CBDA?

Unfortunately, there is very little research that documents the side effects of CBDA. Some research suggests that CBDA does not have the same sedating effects as CBD, meaning you won’t feel drowsy or sleepy after taking it. Other side effects include dry mouth, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure. 

Why is CBD More Popular Than CBDA?

CBD is much more accessible than CBDA. Since CBDA is raw and must be processed into order to be used, at that point, you may as well choose CBD. You can still find some products that include CBDA in them, but it’s most common to see CBD and CBDA combined into one product.

CBDA may also be more expensive than traditional CBD, as it is difficult to create a pure CBDA product. The body can also process CBD more easily than CBDA, which in turn allows the body to use CBD more effectively. 

What are the Most Common Types of CBDA Products?

Even though CBD is more commonly available, CBDA exists in several forms. Most CBDA products are blended with some form of CBD in order to make the product more effective. 

Tinctures & Oils

CBDA can be taken sublingually, also known as under the tongue. Release the dropper contents under your tongue, wait at least 60 seconds, then swallow.

The CBDA will be absorbed into your bloodstream and will be available for your body to utilize. You can also blend your CBDA oil into your foods and beverages, but since this requires the CBDA to pass through your digestive system, quite a bit of the CBDA is lost to digestion. 

Topicals & Creams

You can use CBDA topicals and creams to target pained areas, especially for those with arthritis and sore muscles. Since CBDA can only penetrate the dermal layer, no CBDA will absorb into your bloodstream. 


Capsules are another way to consume CBDA, but since they must pass through the digestive system, the capsule shell must be broken down. Then the CBDA can enter the bloodstream and be used by your body.  

Vapes & Extracts

This form of CBDA offers an excellent way to quickly and effectively consume the cannabinoid. The vapor is absorbed by the lungs and bypasses the digestive system entirely, entering your bloodstream in a matter of minutes. You will need a specialized pen or cartridge device to use CBDA vape juice and extracts, but a few quick pulls are all that is necessary. 


You can also use CBDA flowers to experience the health benefits of the cannabinoid. You’ll need to put in some work to be able to use this particular form of CBDA. An herbalizer or empty cigarette must be loaded with the flower, sans the stems and seeds, and there will be a strong hemp taste.

Just like CBDA vapes and extracts, CBDA flowers allow the cannabinoid to be absorbed into your bloodstream via the lungs, thus never being processed by your digestive system. 

How Long Does CBDA Take to Work?

Since there really aren’t any immediate effects of CBDA, you probably won’t feel anything after taking it. However, extended use of CBDA has been advertised as improving your health, both mental and physical. In lab rat experiments, CBDA worked to prevent nausea and breast cancer migration, but the length of time was unspecified. 

How Long Do the Effects of CBDA Last?

Again, since there aren’t any immediate effects of CBDA, there’s very little research to indicate how long the effects of CBDA last. 

Are There Any Drug Interactions with Cannabidiolic Acid?

According to the Journal Clinic of Psychopharmacology, “Medications that are prominent substrates for CYP2C19, CYP2C9, and CYP1A2 may be particularly at risk of altered disposition by concomitant use of cannabis or one or more of its constituents.

Caution should also be given when coadministered drugs are metabolized by UGT or CES1, on which subject the information remains limited and further investigation is warranted. Conversely, conventional drugs with strong inhibitory or inductive effects on CYP3A4 are expected to affect CBD disposition.”

Where Can You Buy CBDA?

You can buy CBDA in a brick-and-mortar store or online. Due to its nature, you may have more luck searching online for CBDA products. Even more importantly, some states do not carry or allow the sale of CBDA products, so you’ll need to check with your state before attempting to buy CBDA.

How Do You Know Your CBDA Is High Quality and Reputable?

Since CBDA is not regulated by the FDA, anyone can say a product contains CBDA and other cannabinoids. Be sure to check that the site you’re purchasing the CBDA products from has third-party independent lab testing so you can confirm the content and quality of the cannabinoid. You can also read reviews and check out forums and blog posts that have information on the product you’re considering buying. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy CBDA?

Just like CBD, you must be at least 18 years old to buy CBDA. Some states have an age requirement of 21, so be sure to check your state laws before you attempt your purchase.

Online sites have detailed age verification methods in the process, such as entering your birthday or uploading a picture of your ID before allowing you to purchase their products. Brick-and-mortar stores will usually require you to show your ID before being allowed to view or buy CBDA products. 

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