cbda vs cbd

How Is CBDa Different From CBD?

And how is CBGa different from CBG?  The recent COVID study from the Oregon State University’s Global hemp Innovation Center has many asking this question.


CBDa is the acidic precursor to CBD. The same is true of CBGa vs CBG. Technically the difference is a few molecular bonds.

In practice, the acidic compounds tend to have more bioavailability. In other words, the mechanism to absorb CBDa and CBGa is more efficient than it is for the non-acidic versions. Anecdotally, CBDa seems to be better for inflammation. CBGa attributes include fighting inflammation. Most interesting is that people report that the presence of CBG and CBGa in a cannabinoid blend enhances the effects of all other cannabinoids. We like to add it to many of our blends for that very reason. We particularly notice a difference in our Dreamland sleep formula. Our Dreamland Tincture will be coming very soon.

Why is CBDa rare?

CBDa is not uncommon. It is the most prevalent cannabinoid in raw hemp flower. But heat converts CBDa to CBD. Most products use concentrates that have converted CBDa to CBD during the extraction process. We are lucky to have a CO2 extractor that is able to control heat and pressure to ensure preservation of 95% or more of the CBDa content. Many CBD formulators believe they must decarboxylate CBDa to CBD. They use heat and time. CBDa and CBGa will convert to their non-acidic counterparts when heated to 240 F for about an hour.

Can I smoke or Vape CBD flower to access CBDa?

No. The act of smoking or vaping heats CBD enough to immediately decarboxylate it. Smoking CBDa and CBGa flower will only result in absorption of CBD and CBG. Both compounds have important and sought-after effects, but they are not the same as those cited in the study that will block the COVID spike protein from absorption into human cells.

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2 thoughts on “How Is CBDa Different From CBD?”

  1. I’ve been using April’s method (She is of the Woods) of making a CBD tincture for my elderly dog and I (not quite elderly). We’ve been using your Lifter strain for this for almost a year and we have both benefited greatly from regular use. I can see the difference in him, and he never misses a dose. I’m not as kind to myself, but I do feel so much better when I’m remembering. My question is, given that the CBDa is beneficial for inflammation (both of our main complaints), but that I still want all of that decarboxylized CBD goodness, would popping some of that kief (of which you were so generous in sending me a sample last time) into the tincture, un-decarboxylized, allow me to extract the “raw” CBDa into the tincture as well? I just made a batch and did that very thing for no good reason, and then I saw this. Would love to know :)

    1. It absolutely would do that. Kief is a relatively simple way to add CBDa to anyt concoction. You can calculate the dosage by percent. If it is 30% CBDa, 1 gram contains 300mg. You can work out from there how much to use.

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