While investigating the health and wellness potential of CBD products, you likely discovered that cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of many non-intoxicating cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. While this observation is essentially correct, many people don’t realize that cannabis plants don’t directly synthesize CBD.

Cannabidiol is actually the byproduct of another plant-based cannabinoid, cannabidiolic acid, CBDA. Since CBD begins as CBDA, it is natural to wonder if one cannabinoid might be better than the other. Knowing the similarities and differences between these two cannabinoids could help you make an informed, confident purchasing decision.

What are Cannabinoids? 

Cannabinoids are lipids that transmit messages to the receptors of your Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the system that regulates nearly every function in your body.1

There are two types of cannabinoids your Endocannabinoid System responds to. The first type are the cannabinoids made in your body, your endocannabinoids. Your body makes two main endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG. These cannabinoids are made as needed and quickly broken down by enzymes.

The second type of cannabinoids your body responds to are the plant-based cannabinoids found naturally in cannabis plants. Although cannabis plants contain more than 100 different phytocannabinoids, the two main cannabinoids in hemp extract are CBD and CBDA. Plant-based cannabinoids have a stronger, longer-lasting effect on your body than endocannabinoids.

What is CBD? 

CBD is the commonly used abbreviation for the cannabinoid cannabidiol, a plant-based cannabinoid (phytocannabinoid). CBD is the most abundant of the phytocannabinoids in hemp extract but is not produced in the plant itself. CBD is the neutral counterpart of cannabidiolic acid.2 CBDA converts to CBD when raw cannabis is exposed to heat or sunlight, a process known as decarboxylation. The decarboxylation process converts acidic compounds and “activates” the cannabinoid.3  

How CBD Works 

Ideally, your body would create all the neurotransmitters needed to keep your Endocannabinoid System functioning at optimal levels. Under the strain of illness, stress, or injury, your body may not be able to generate enough endocannabinoids to relay vital information to essential systems. If your body is not producing enough messengers to interact with your ECS receptors, communication can falter, and essential processes may not function efficiently.

CBD mimics the effects of the cannabinoids produced in your body to keep critical processes functioning harmoniously. Through its interaction with key receptors, CBD is shown to have anxiolytic, analgesic, anti-emetic, anti-spasmodic, and anti-psychotic potential.4

What is CBDA? 

CBDA is the acidic precursor to CBD found in raw plant material, essentially CBD in its pre-evolved state. While CBDA was once considered an “inactive” cannabinoid, current research suggests CBD and CBDA have similar health and wellness potential.

Since CBDA is found abundantly in cannabis plants, some people consider CBDA to be the more natural of the two cannabinoids even though cannabinoids are not considered “active” unless they undergo decarboxylation. Juicing raw plants, medical marijuana in particular, is one of the most common methods of obtaining a product high in CBDA. Once dried, the plant is no longer suitable for juicing.5

How CBDA Works 

CBDA does not directly bind with endocannabinoid receptors but is believed to interact with the ECS by inhibiting the function of COX-2 enzymes and enhancing the function of serotonin-producing receptors. While CBDA is commonly found in raw cannabis, it can also be found in lesser amounts in full spectrum CBD tinctures, topicals, and CBD capsules.

How CBDA Differs from CBD

While CBD and CBDA are chemically similar, they are not interchangeable. CBDA converts to CBD during extraction and processing as temperatures rise, changing the molecular structure of the cannabinoid.  That makes CBD a byproduct of CBDA. CBD is easier for your body to utilize than CBDA.

While CBD is the predominant cannabinoid in full spectrum hemp products, the processes used to extract hemp oil do not convert all the available CBDA to CBD. CBDA is commonly found in small amounts in full spectrum products as a minor cannabinoid.

CBD and CBDA work together with the many other cannabinoids in full spectrum products and contribute to the Entourage Effect. The Entourage Effect explains how the inactive elements in cannabis combine to magnify and multiply the effects of individual plant components. It’s because of the Entourage Effect that many CBD users believe full spectrum products more potent than products made with pure CBD (CBD isolate).

Which Cannabinoid is Better?

When considering your cannabinoid options, it’s not quite fair to say that one cannabinoid is superior to the other, they each have unique potential. Each of the many plant elements in cannabis products works together synergistically to enhance the effects of the other. But if you were to find you had the option of selecting between a quality CBD tincture and a raw CBDA tincture, the CBD-dominant product would likely be the better option.

The processes used to extract hemp oil from the plant matter helps purify the extracted oil and ensure the final product is safe for consumption. Raw cannabis, whether sourced from hemp or marijuana, could contain any number of potential contaminants. For that reason alone, you may be more comfortable selecting a decarboxylated product, a product that is predominantly CBD.

Select Full-spectrum Hemp-Derived Products from a Reputable Source

While there has not been enough research to identify the function of every cannabinoid in hemp extract, there is an increasing interest in the similarities and differences between CBD and CBDA.

Decarboxylation converts cannabidiolic acid to its active form. Hemp-derived CBD products contain CBD and CBDA alongside trace amounts of numerous other cannabinoids, including CBDV, CBG, and CBC. While full spectrum hemp-derived products also contain trace amounts of THC and its precursor THCA, there is not enough THC to cause intoxication, even if you were to consume large quantities.

For a quality assortment of hemp-derived CBD products, visit CBDistillery™. CBDistillery™ relies on CO2 extraction, a food-safe extraction method that preserves the cannabinoid content of our naturally cultivated crops. All CBDistillery™ products are tested at an independent third-party facility to ensure the purity and potency of every item we offer.

  1. Biological Psychiatric Journal. H Lu and K Mackie. (2016 April 01) An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System.
  2. Molecules. R Pavlovic et al. (2018 May 23) Quality Traits of “Cannabidiol Oils”: Cannabinoids Content, Terpene Fingerprint and Oxidation Stability of European Commercially Available Preparations.
  3. Project CBD. (2019) Decarboxylation.
  4. Physiology.org. A Lingresti et al. (2016 September 14) From Phytocannabinoids to Cannabinoid Receptors and Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological and Pathological Roles Throughout Complex Pharmacology.
  5. Medical Jane. (2019) Introduction to Cannabis Juicing.


Imagine you have an important message to convey to another person, a message with crucial details. The person waiting for your message is responsible for relaying this vital information so each member of their team can make appropriate adjustments to their assigned task. Now imagine what could happen if your message never made it to your intended recipient.

This same type of communication breakdown can happen in your body. Nearly every essential function necessary for your survival is regulated by an elaborate system of messengers and receptors, your Endocannabinoid System (ECS). To understand the health and wellness potential of CBD, it’s helpful to understand the role of your ECS receptors and how they function within this system.

What Are CBD Receptors?

The receptors often referred to as CBD receptors, are technically known as cannabinoid receptors. These essential G-protein receptors are located on the surface of cells throughout your body, from your brain to your nerve endings. Your cannabinoid receptors receive information from your Endocannabinoid System messengers and use this information to initiate an appropriate response. Since cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, a lipid that functions as a neurotransmitter, it interacts with the receptors of your Endocannabinoid System.

What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)? 

Your Endocannabinoid System is the largest system of neurotransmitters and receptors in your body. It’s your ECS that modulates your brain function, organ function, and keeps essential endocrine processes functioning efficiently. Your ECS is instrumental to so many important functions that many researchers today believe it is responsible for homeostasis, the processes that restore balance when functions in your body are disrupted by internal or external forces.1 

Regulating Bodily Functions

The response initiated by your endocannabinoid receptors is dependent on the chemical composition of the message it receives. The interaction between the messenger and receptor will determine the appropriate response, and excitatory response, inhibitory response, or secondary message to other regulatory systems. Just a few of the many processes regulated by the functions of your Endocannabinoid System include:

The Two CBD Receptors

It’s the interaction between messengers and receptors that keeps your Endocannabinoid System working efficiently and effectively. There are two different types of endocannabinoid receptors in your body. They are easy to remember, CB1 and CB2. While both receptors are found throughout your body, they are found in different concentrations within specific areas. For example: 

How CBD Receptors Respond to CBD Intake

Soon after the discovery of your endocannabinoid receptors, researchers discovered that our bodies manufacture cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids made in your body (anandamide and 2-AG) are called endocannabinoids. In a perfect world, your body would make all the endocannabinoids needed to interact with the endocannabinoid receptors. But it does not always work that way. When there are not enough messengers to interact with the cannabinoid receptors, the message is lost.

CBD mimics the effects of the cannabinoids created in your body and interacts with the endocannabinoid and several non-endocannabinoid receptors. When you take hemp-derived CBD, the cannabinoids circulate through your body until they find a receptor they can connect with, attaching to neurons. Since so many essential functions are dependent on the messengers and receptors of your ECS, the effects are dependent on the system influenced.

Influencing Endocannabinoid Receptors with CBD from CBDistillery™

Today, researchers understand that there are two types of cannabinoids that influence the receptors of your Endocannabinoid System. The first type of cannabinoids that act as ECS messengers are your endocannabinoids, the cannabinoids produced in your body. The second type are the plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) found in cannabis plants.

For a quality assortment of non-intoxicating, hemp-derived CBD products visit CBDistillery™. All CBDistillery™ products are crafted from non-GMO, naturally cultivated domestic hemp. You can verify the purity and potency of our reasonably priced products by viewing the third-party test results on our site or scanning the QR code on your product label.

  1. Journal of Young Investigators. C Sallaberry and L Astern. (2018 June 01) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator.
  2. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. J Hirayama and P Sassone-Corsi. (2009) Transcription Control and the Circadian Clock.
  3. Current Psychiatry Reports. K Mabson et al. (2017 March 27) Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: A Review of the Literature.
  4. Frontiers in Psychology. B Watkins and J Kim. (2015 January 06) The Endocannabinoid System: Directing Eating Behaviour and Macronutrient Metabolism.
  5. Fundación CANNA. T Bagar. (2019) The Pursuit of Happiness and What Cannabinoids Have to Do with It.
  6. Frontiers in Immunology. A Olah et al. (2017 November 10) Targeting Cannabinoid Signaling in the Immune System: “High”-ly Exciting Questions, Possibilities, and Challenges.
  7. British Journal of Pharmacology. M Solinas et al. (2008 April 14) The endocannabinoid System in Brain Reward Processes.
  8. Current Neuropharmacology. J Manzanares et al. (2006 July 04) Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes.
  9. Journal of Ovarian Research. O Walker et al. (2019 January 15) The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Female Reproductive Tissues.
  10. Frontiers in Endocrinology. P Grimaldi et al. (2013 December 16) The Endocannabinoid System and Spermatogenesis.
  11. Molecular Neurobiology. M Kruk-Slomka et al. (2016 December 06) Endocannabinoid System: The Direct and Indirect Involvement in Memory and Learning Processes – A Short Review.
  12. The University of Qeensland. (2018 April 17) What is Synaptic Plasticity?
  13. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology. S Nass et al. (2015 February 27) Endocannabinoid Catabolic Enzymes Play Differential Roles In Thermal Homeostasis In Response to Environmental or Immune Challenge.

You may have noticed that the dosing instructions on most CBD tinctures recommend taking a full dropper of CBD once per day. While this amount of CBD is a good place to start for many people, there is no benefit to taking more CBD than your body needs.

While taking more CBD than you need is not harmful, it can significantly increase the cost of CBD use.  Your best option is to determine the smallest amount of CBD needed to achieve the results you are looking for, an amount you can easily determine with a method called microdosing.

What is Microdosing CBD?

Microdosing is a technique borrowed from the other side of the hemp family tree to avoid overindulging in THC, but the goal is the same.1 Microdosing starts with a very small amount of CBD, gradually increasing the dosage throughout the day until you find your minimum effective dosage. The end result is the optimal amount of CBD for your unique needs.

Finding Your Optimal Dosage

Everyone responds to CBD differently. Your ideal dosage will depend on your reason for using CBD, the product type, and the way your system responds to CBD. To find your optimal dosage with a CBD tincture, start with a single drop of CBD the first hour. If you don’t notice effects after 45 minutes, take two drops the second hour, three drops the third hour and so on, assessing your progress before the next dose. Keep track of how you feel, how much you take, and stay alert to any indications of the following:2

How to Find an Optimal Dose

The key to microdosing is to start with a very small amount of CBD, one drop of a tincture or a single puff of a vape pen, paying close attention to how you feel. If you notice your desired effect 45 minutes after your last dose, stop. Then total the number of drops you have ingested during the previous four hours to calculate the amount of CBD in your system. Try sticking with that dose two to three times per day (every 4-6 hours) adjusting the frequency of your CBD use to your needs.

If you don’t notice results the first day continue where you left off the next. If your last dose on day one is 10 drops, your second day will resume with 11 drops. Before you begin, consider the following suggestions:3

Three Tips for Microdosing with CBD

If you have been using a fairly large amount of CBD during the time before your microdosing experiment, consider waiting 48 hours since your last dose of CBD so you can start fresh. If you are new to CBD, it may take a few days before your system responds to hemp-derived products. The following suggestions could be helpful:

Microdosing with Pure, Potent CBDistillery™ Products

Experimenting with microdosing is one of the easiest ways to ensure you are not taking too little or too much CBD. Your patience will be rewarded. Microdosing will lead you to your optimal dosage.

Hemp-derived CBD tinctures and vape pens are an easy way to microdose with CBD. A CBDistillery™ Vape Pen averages 2 mg of hemp-derived CBD per puff. The amount of CBD in a drop of CBDistillery™ CBD Tinctures will depend on the total cannabinoid content in the bottle. If you divide the number of mg per serving by 40, you will know how much CBD is in each drop. Holding your tincture under your tongue 30-90 seconds before swallowing will allow the CBD to enter your bloodstream faster than if you swallow immediately or add your CBD to foods or beverages.

Visit CBDistillery™ to view our assortment of CBD tinctures, vape pens, CBD Softgels, and topical products. CBDistillery™ has more than 31,000 verified reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers and proudly displays the U.S. Hemp Authority™ certification seal.

  1. Rolling Stone. S Davidson. (2017 April 20) Why Microdosing Is Taking Over Medical Marijuana.
  2. Green Entrepreneur. (2019 July 04) Microdosing Is How You Learn How Much CBD You Should Be Taking.
  3. CBDOilUsers.com. B Peterson (2019 August 21) CBD Microdosing to Find Your “Sweet Spot” Dose.

There are many companies that focus solely on total CBD content and label their products accordingly. As a result, many CBD users believe they are getting more CBD than they actually are. Other companies are misleading customers who don’t understand the significance of CBD concentration by selling large bottles of tincture that contain little CBD. You can protect yourself from making an unfortunate purchasing decision when you know how to spot questionable sales practices and misleading product labels.

The Different Tiers of CBD Concentration 

When selecting a CBD oil tincture, there are a significant number of variables to consider. It’s important to pay attention to how many milligrams of CBD are in the product and the amount of CBD oil in the bottle. Most CBD oil tinctures contain anywhere from 250 mg to 5000 mg of CBD per bottle. The concentration levels generally fall into one of the following tiers:

How CBD Labels May Prove Misleading

Before purchasing a CBD oil tincture, it’s important to be aware of some of the common product labeling practices used to take advantage of inexperienced customers. Some companies will place a low concentration of CBD in a large bottle to prey on those looking to get more for their money, while others will leave out important product information like product content. To protect yourself from purchasing a disappointing product, pay attention to the following:

The Effects of Not Knowing the Correct Concentration

If you don’t know the concentration of CBD in your product, you have no way of knowing how much CBD you are taking. Even if the CBD concentration is specified, you will want to look at the third-party test results to confirm your tincture is as potent as the manufacturer claims. Not knowing the CBD concentration could have significant consequences, including:

Choosing Properly Labeled Products

To protect yourself from purchasing an inferior product, it’s essential to stay away from CBD tinctures labeled in vague terms like “high concentration,” or “extra strength.” If the amount of CBD in the bottle (either per dose or per bottle) is not specified, the CBD oil tincture is not likely to have enough CBD to be of any value.

When you select a hemp-derived CBD oil tincture from CBDistillery™, you will see the concentration of CBD per serving clearly indicated on each product label. You can also find the total CBD content per bottle on our site. In general, each serving of CBD tincture is one full dropper (1 mL), and each bottle contains 30 mL of product, which equates to 30 servings. Multiplying the number of mg of CBD per serving by 30 will also tell you the total CBD content.

Verifying CBD Concentration with CBDistillery™

At CBDistillery™, we clearly state the CBD content per serving on all of our CBD oil tincture product labels, and the total cannabinoid content per product on our site. When you know what to look for on the label of a CBD oil tincture, it’s much easier to find the right product for your needs. It’s also much easier to determine the best value for your money. The higher the CBD concentration, the less CBD oil you will need per dose.

Understanding the significance of CBD concentration and the importance of detailed product labels makes it easier to find the best product for your needs. For full spectrum CBD tinctures, 0% THC tinctures, CBD topicals, capsules, and vape products, visit CBDistillery™. All CBDistillery™ hemp-derived CBD products are tested by an independent lab to ensure the consistency, purity, and potency of the products we offer.

Throughout the ages, herbalists have supported the notion that whole plants provide more benefits to our bodies than individual plant components. Since CBD is just one of the many components found in industrial hemp, it makes sense that many CBD users want to use full spectrum products, the products that contain all the health and wellness potential hemp has to offer.

Full spectrum hemp oil contains more than 400 potentially beneficial plant elements. Knowing the significance of full spectrum oil, and how we make CBD products from full spectrum extract, could lead you to the hemp-derived product that’s right for you.

What Is Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is extracted from the stalks, stems, and flowers of industrial hemp. It’s the plant extract that contains the cannabinoid CBD. While CBD is found abundantly in hemp oil, the plant extract also contains small amounts of other potentially beneficial plant elements including vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and additional cannabinoids. 

The Cannabinoids in Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

A cannabinoid is a lipid that functions similarly to a neurotransmitter.1 Full spectrum hemp oil contains numerous plant-sourced cannabinoids shown to interact with key receptors throughout your body. Just a few of the many cannabinoids you will find in full spectrum hemp oil include2:

The Entourage Effect of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

While many people are aware of the concept of synergy, far fewer are familiar with the theory of the Entourage Effect. Synergy explains how the active elements in a compound combine to create a greater effect than each element has on its own. In mathematical terms, synergy explains how 1+1=3.

The Entourage Effect explains how the inactive components in cannabis combine to create an effect from elements that are individually inactive, enhancing the effects of synergy. It’s because of the Entourage Effect that full spectrum hemp oil is believed more potent than 0% THC (CBD isolate) products.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Essential Fatty Acids

In addition to the combined potential of numerous cannabinoids, many people prefer full spectrum CBD products for their nutritional value. Hemp-derived CBD contains all the plant terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals found in the original plant, including:

How to Extract Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

Before the cannabinoid-rich oils from the hemp plant can be used to make full-spectrum tinctures, capsules, edibles, and topical products, the oil must be separated from the plant matter. Since many products made with hemp extract are ingested, it’s crucial that the oil is extracted using a food-safe extraction method.  The two methods most-often used include:

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Products from CBDistillery™

Full spectrum hemp-derived CBD products contain all the additional cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids found naturally in hemp. While CBD is the most abundant of the cannabinoids in full spectrum extract, the trace amounts of additional cannabinoids, plant terpenes, and flavonoids contribute to the Entourage Effect. It’s the Entourage Effect that explains how the additional elements combine to magnify and multiply the effects of the others.

When selecting a full spectrum product, it’s important to know how the cannabinoid-rich oil was extracted. It’s essential that the extraction method produces a safe, potent, quality product. That’s why we rely on CO2 extraction for our full spectrum CBD products.

For full spectrum CBD tinctures, capsules, softgels, vape pens, and topicals, visit CBDistillery™. Our quality products start with non-GMO hemp seeds grown using natural farming methods. To verify the purity, potency, and cannabinoid content of CBDistillery™ products, click on the third-party test results located within our product images or scan the QR code on your product label. 

  1. Science Direct. DM Lovinger (2008) Molecular Mechanisms of Memory
  2. Marijuana Break. (2019) Top 10 Cannabinoids and What Do They Do? [Guide].
  3. The Apothecarium. (2019) Cannabinoids 101: CBDA
  4. Science Direct. Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies. (2017) Chapter 99 – Potential Medical Uses of Cannabigerol: A Brief Overview.
  5. Medline Plus (2019) Vitamins.
  6. Food Pyramid.com. (2019) Dietary Minerals
  7. Healthline. R Robertson. (2017 January 15) Omega-3-6-9 Fatty Acids: A Complete Overview
  8. ChemicalSafetyFacts.org. (2019) Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol).
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