How the Structure of CBDa Could Offer So Many Benefits

structure of cbda

Posted on December 1st, 2020

Even if you have heard of CBD, there’s a good chance you have not heard of CBDa. Their names are similar because it is the acidic parent compound of CBD. There’s a growing amount of information about CBDa on the internet, but today we will mostly be talking about the structure of CBDa. It would be wise not to stop your interest at CBD and THC, because there are many more cannabinoids of importance in the cannabis plant. Since CBD was discovered, its potential benefits have become essential to many people. However, just like medicines, you should only consume this compound once you’ve discussed it with your doctor. Do not go beyond the instructions given to you. In order to understand why it is important, we will begin by defining and discussing the structure of CBDa. The following points provide detailed information.

Definition Of CBDa

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) is an acidic precursor to CBD that comes from the raw hemp plant, which is an abundant source of cannabinoids. After a process called carboxylation it converts to CBD. The process is caused by the exposure of air, heat, and UV light. It occurs when the plant is growing and takes a lot of time. Besides that, it can be recreated in the laboratory. When in the flowering cycle, the plant makes CBGA, the acronym for cannabigerolic acid. CBGA is a significant precursor of several compounds including CBDa. Any contact that CBDa has with UV light, heat, and air enhances carboxylation and therefore, the birth of cannabidiol. Note that THCA also undergoes the same process and becomes THC.

The Structure of CBDa

As you may have guessed, CBD and CBDa have chemical structures that are very similar. The only difference being an additional COOH group in CBDa, which is usually removed in the process of decarboxylation. Cannabidiolic acid is a 22-carbon terpenophenolic compound that undergoes biosynthesis through the CBDAS. Otherwise known as cannabidiolic acid synthase, this is a catalyst of cannabigerolic acid. CBDa is a cannabinoid and chemical compound stored in the glandular trichomes found in the buds, stems, and leaves of the marijuana and hemp plants.

The purest form of THCa and CBDa concentrates have a crystalline structure. These crystals have become renowned over time and are isolated by using propane and butane solvents. CBDa is referred to as carboxylic acid because its structure has a carboxyl group. The carboxyl group entails one carbon, hydrogen, and two oxygen atoms- COOH. Therefore when you leave this molecule in the presence of heat, it will gradually turn into CBD, as discussed earlier. Biologically, CBD seems to be more active as compared to its precursor acid.

How Does CBDa Function?

CBDa is unique since it does not interact with the endocannabinoid system like most phytocannabinoids. Its potential therapeutic effects will be felt after it has interacted with the serotonin system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the digestive system, blood platelets, and central nervous system used to signal other cells. Besides that, it regulates things such as moods, sleep, and memory alongside many others. It is made from the amino acid tryptophan. Scientists are still studying the cannabidiolic acid mechanism; hence, there is a lot more to discover.

Consuming CBDa

If you have been using CBD, the ways of consuming CBDa are pretty much the same. There are some oral products like drops, syrups, and capsules. You can also blend hemp leaves into juice or smoothies, or include it in salad dressings. If you don’t like the flavor, you can add sugar in smoothies and juices. However you choose to consume it is up to you. When you purchase it, ascertain that the levels of CBDa are on the higher side compared to the amount of CBD.

If you’re worried about legality, double check the product. Most marijuana products are made to deliver CBD as well as the intoxicating THC. Anyone with access to the hemp plant can collect the leaves, stems, and flowers and treat them no different from the typical herbs. However, you should know that if you are not careful when heating CBDa, it may turn into CBD quite easily.

Cannabis Strains With CBDa

Keep in mind that marijuana strains with high levels of CBDa will always have similar CBD levels. However, when you heat it, no matter the form, the levels will decrease. The following include some of the renowned CBD-rich strains: ACDC, Ringo’s gift, sour tsunami, charlotte’s web, and harlequin.

Is CBDa Legal?

CBDa is legal in numerous places since it is gaining scientific approval. Legality does vary slightly around the US, so you must make sure it is legal in your state. Otherwise, your doctor will find an alternative for you or an option if it is yet to be legalized.

In the United States, the amount of THC in a product determines its legality. Hemp plants are generally legal throughout the US if they contain less than 0.3% THC. Such a small amount of THC is not likely to be intoxicating at a perceptible level. Lack of extensive research has classified CBDa as a supplement rather than medicine for now. It is not currently regulated by the FDA, so ensure that you buy it from a reputable website or store.

The Benefits of the Structure of CBDa

Studies suggest that CBDa can be of significant use to patients with breast cancer to aid in their treatment. Note that these findings came from testing the cancer cells themselves, not an actual human. In 2012 a study reported that cannabidiolic acid hinders the spread of breast cancer-causing cells in the body. Two years later, a study showed that CBDa decreased the expression of genes linked with breast cancer metastasis. With time, CBDa might end up being an answer to numerous breast cancer patients around the world. For now, we can only hope that these initial findings lead to concrete evidence.


CBDa acts on enzymes such as the cyclooxygenase enzyme and receptors like the CB1 and CB2. As much as it affects the endocannabinoid system, it does it differently than CBD. The cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX enzymes) enhance the production of prostaglandins. These are lipid compounds which lead to inflammation. Drugs that help stop inflammation include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin. CBDa can actually block these pain receptors in a similar way, resulting in pain relief comparable to NSAIDs. 


Another repeatedly conducted study is about nausea and vomiting in shrews and rats. The scientists doing the research suggested that it could decrease nausea and vomiting better than CBD ever would. This may be due to the activation of the 5-HT1A receptors that are enhanced by CBDa. The 5-HT1A receptors are widespread in the digestive system and bond with the neurotransmitter serotonin. Chemotherapy patients will be pleased after these speculations are confirmed because nausea is a common side effect. If studying the benefits and structure of CBDa leads to hard facts about nausea relief, chemo patients will rejoice.


If you suffer from depression or have anxiety, you should know that the research done on CBDa shows that CBDa may help. Dr. Raphael Mecholulam and his team have come up with a cannabidiolic acid methyl ester, a form of CBDa that is not heating sensitive. They used an animal to test whether it helped relieve anxiety, and it proved to have such benefits. By now, you know that CBD may offer antidepressant benefits, but CBDa may be even more potent. As much as its role in dealing with depression is at the first stage, give it time. CBDa has a great affinity for serotonin receptors. Most believe this is the reason it helps with depression.

Conclusion on the Structure of CBDa

The above points detail the benefits and structure of CBDa. Perhaps it is time for this cannabinoid to start getting the attention it deserves. It is still in the shadow of CBD even though it’s a precursor and has many benefits and a promising future. The structure of CBDa is very similar to CBD. However, the only real difference is the extra COOH.

If you come across the benefits of CBDa and feel like it will suit your condition, it would be advisable to first reach out to medical practitioners. Getting ahead of yourself may lead you to experience harmful interactions with medicines. However, if you wish to explore CBDa on your own, remember that you can always get it from the leaves of raw cannabis plants. Once you introduce heat, it becomes CBD. Tanasi has taken the guesswork out of how to best consume cannabinoids. Tanasi GOLD is the latest formula that includes CBD and CBDa, along with many other cannabinoids. The blend is designed to be the perfect balance of hemp extracts to give you the best results the hemp plant can offer. 


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