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How to Get CBDA & What to Look For

Written By Ellese Symons Jul 20th 2022
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Researchers have been identifying, isolating, and investigating the possible benefits of plant-sourced cannabinoids for decades. Until a relatively short time ago, most of their collective efforts focused on the health and wellness potential of "active" cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and THC. Their acidic counterparts were considered "inactive," "inert," and unlikely to be of any particular value on their own (Takeda et al.,2008).


Today, it's increasingly clear that the "raw" form of CBD, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), has just as much to offer as its increasingly popular offspring. Over the past few years, researchers have detailed an impressive list of possible benefits explained by the cannabinoid's contributions to an enhanced "entourage" effect and its interaction with several molecular targets (Formato et al., 2020). When you're interested in getting more CBDA into your daily routine, it's important to know what to look for.


Where Is CBDA Found?

CBDA is found most abundantly in raw, unprocessed industrial hemp plants and marijuana strains with higher concentrations of CBD. But it's not the first cannabinoid produced in the plant. That distinction belongs to cannabigerolic acid, the "mother" or "stem cell" of all cannabinoids. As plants mature, an enzymatic reaction converts CBGA to CBCA (cannabichromenic acid), THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), and CBDA (cannabidiolic acid). CBDA concentrations are highest in mature hemp crops before the stalks, stems, and flowers are dried or their oil extracted. Exposure to heat and sunlight converts CBDA to CBD (Cai et al., 2020).


How to Get More CBDA

Researchers tend to credit CBD's impressive list of possible benefits to the way plant-sourced cannabinoids interact with the receptors of the largest regulatory system in the body (endocannabinoid system / ECS) in a way that helps support essential balance (homeostasis) (Sallaberry & Astern, 2018). Based on what the research shows so far, CBDA does not interact with ECS receptors. Instead, the cannabinoid helps refine and enhance the overall effects of CBD through its impact on the serotonin system receptors (5-HT1A). Your body needs serotonin for metabolic function, sleep cycle regulation, energy levels, moods and emotions, and more (Jonnakuty et al., 2008).


Raw hemp contains relatively high levels of CBDA. But product manufacturers typically maximize CBD concentrations by heating the plant extracts to precise temperatures to speed up cannabinoid conversion (decarboxylation). Although full spectrum (and broad spectrum) CBD oil contains a small amount of cannabidiolic acid, adults of all ages are now embracing the effects of hemp-derived products featuring enhanced concentrations. Preserving the CBDA content in hemp extract requires keeping temperatures below 230°F (Schmidt, 2020).


 What to Look for When Buying CBDA

Hemp-derived products made with more than trace amounts of CBDA were once nearly impossible to find. But with advances in extraction technology, consumer interest in the individual contributions of the plant's many "minor" cannabinoids, and a growing body of evidence suggesting an impressive list of possible benefits, a lot has changed in just a few short years. At CBDistillery®, you'll find a selection of CBD tinctures, capsules, gummies, and drink mixes featuring higher concentrations of CBG, CBN, THC, and CBDA. Once you know what to look for when shopping for CBDA, it's easy to see why so many people prefer CBDistillery® Raw Synergy CBDA + CBD Oil Tincture.  


The Amount of CBDA Per Serving

CBD companies don't always specify how much CBDA their products contain. Instead, you'll often see a number representing the total concentration of cannabidiol and cannabidiolic acid (CBD/CBDA). Since most full spectrum extracts contain small amounts of CBDA, it's important not to be swayed by assumptions of enhanced concentrations. Instead, stick with reputable sources willing to specify the CBDA to CBD ratio or the total amount of each cannabinoid in the products you select.


The Type of Product You Select

When shopping for CBD, you'll find a vast assortment of product options. Not so much with high-quality CBDA. Although some companies offer CBDA-infused vape products, gummies, and other consumables, you'll want to proceed with caution. The high temperatures involved in cooking, baking, and vaping are often counterproductive. CBDA-infused tinctures are the better option because there's less risk of compromising cannabinoid concentrations through decarboxylation.


Product Packaging

The CBDA in "raw" hemp extract transforms to CBD when heat or sunlight converts the carboxylic acid to carbon dioxide and hydrogen. When shopping for tinctures made with enhanced concentrations of CBDA, look for products offered in colored glass bottles. Clear glass allows more of the sun's ultraviolet light to convert the CBDA in your tincture to CBD. Brown, green, and blue glass provide significantly more protection (Duarte et al., 2009).


A Certificate of Analysis

Pesticide-free farming is no guarantee of CBDA safety.Even seemingly minor mishaps during hemp cultivation, extraction, and product manufacturing can lead to harmful levels of mold, mildew, solvent residue, and other potentially harmful contaminants. That's why the best CBD brands rely on third-party testing by an independent lab to ensure the purity, potency, and consistent quality of every product. Before you commit to any CBDA purchase, look for a Certificate of Analysis to confirm your selection has been batch-tested by an accredited lab (Hazekamp. 2018).   


Could You Benefit From Getting More CBDA?  

According to the results of our internal survey, adults of all ages are using our hemp-derived CBD tinctures, topicals, softgels, and gummies for relaxation, better sleep, discomfort after physical activity, and more. Most of the evidence supporting the use of hemp-derived cannabinoids is based on decades of lab results, animal studies, and anecdotal evidence provided by adults of all ages claiming favorable results using hemp-derived CBD products. However, current investigations suggest that CBDA also has a lot to offer.


Although you'll get small amounts of CBDA in just about any high-quality full spectrum hemp-derived CBD product, our Raw Synergy CBDA + CBD Oil Tincture is enhanced with enough cannabidiolic acid to achieve a 1:1 CBDA to CBD ratio. Each 1ml (1 dropper) serving gives you 17mg of CBDA and 17 mg of CBD per serving. We think you'll also appreciate the robust terpene profile and raw hemp flavor. Like all CBDistillery® products, our CBDA-infused tincture is third-party tested, Leaping Bunny certified, and backed by a no-risk satisfaction guarantee.


To learn more about the many possible benefits of supporting ECS function with hemp-derived cannabinoids, visit CBDistillery® to download our Ultimate CBD User Guide. Then take a few minutes to browse the selection of products featured in our Synergy Collection. If you could benefit from the health and wellness potential of hemp-derived CBD but aren't quite sure where to start, consider taking our CBD Quiz or setting up a personal consultation with an expert.





Cai C, Wang Y, et al. (2020) Ionic Liquids Simultaneously Used as Accelerants, Stabilizers and Extractants for Improving the Cannabidiol Extraction from Industrial Hemp. 155(27) Industrial Crops and Products. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2020.112796


Duarte I, Rotter A, et al. (2009) The Role of Glass as a Barrier Against the Transmission of Ultraviolet Radiation: An Experimental Study. 25(4) Photodrmatol Photoimmunol Photomed 181-84. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0781.2009.00434.x


Formato M, Crescente G, et al. (2020) Cannabidiolic Acid, a Still Overlooked Bioactive Compound: An Introductory Review and Clinical Research. 25(11) Molecules 2638. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25112638


Hazekamp A. (2018) The Trouble with CBD Oil. 1, Med Cannabis Cannabinoid 64-72. https://doi.org/10.1159/000489287


Jonnakuty C, Gragnoli C. (2008) What Do We Know About Serotonin? 217(2) J Cell Physiol 301-06.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jcp.21533


Sallaberry C, Astern L. (2018) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. 34(6) JYI 48-55. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator


Schmidt E. (2020) A Guide to CBDA: Should You Sell CBDA Hemp and Cannabis? ACS Laboratory.


Takeda S, Misawa K, et al. (2008) Cannabidiolic Acid As a Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitory Component in Cannabis. 36(9) Drug Metab Dispos 1917-21. https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.108.020909