What Is CBDa? Is Raw CBD Good?

Jun 16, 2021

It’s likely you’re familiar with CBD, but have you come across CBDa – or raw CBD? 

cbda molecule

CBD has become extremely popular in OK. A 2019 report estimated that up to 1.3m people take it regularly. This number will be even higher now. You can buy CBD based products everywhere, from Boots to Tesco and even now on Amazon.

However, there are actually multiple forms of CBD, including a version which is sometimes called raw CBD – or CBDa. So what exactly is the difference between CBDa and CBD? Should you be buying one over the other? 

Read on to find out more.

What is CBD?

CBD is the famous compound found in cannabis, which has been popularised right across the globe. Now, Cannabidiol (CBD) is widely available as a food supplement. 

CBD is non-psychotropic, which means that it does not cause a ‘high’ effect. The compound responsible for this effect is THC, the other abundant cannabinoid. 

So, a recent study by the World Health Organisation proved that CBD is well tolerated in humans and is safe for consumption. 

Furthermore, WHO highlighted that there has been no evidence of any public health-related issues with pure CBD.

In contrast to THC, CBD interacts with receptors throughout the body, rather than just the brain. This enables it to have a polypharmacological effect.

CBD is available  in a variety of offerings. Yet, the most popular product range is CBD Oil. CBD is formulated with a carrier oil to produce a tincture oil, which can be held for several minutes under the tongue. Recently, there has been a rise in cosmetics using CBD.

Read more about CBD.

What is CBDa?

Many people don’t realise that the humble CBDA compound is the starting point for every single CBD Oil. Cannabidiolic Acid, or CBDa, is the acidic version of CBD.

To convert CBDa into CBD, heat needs to be applied to the compound. During the extraction process, CBDa transforms to CBD. This is known as decarboxylation and the compound loses its acidic carboxyl group and becomes the compound we all know and love.

Why is CBDa known as raw CBD?

CBDa is also known by many people as Raw CBD. This is because it is the form of CBD that is naturally found in the plant.

Many people tout the benefits of raw CBD as it is a closer reflection of the plant. However, this is not necessarily true. In fact, when cannabis is smoked, CBDa also converts into CBD, as it is exposed to heat. This places it through the decarboxylation conversion process.

Therefore, people would only naturally consume CBDa if they were to eat the raw cannabis plant. Frankly, the cannabis plant is far from a delicacy!

Should I buy CBD or CBDa?

Chemically there is little difference between CBD and CBDa. However, the latter comes with some unwanted and unintentional side effects.

The only way to extract CBDa from the plant is through a cold press extraction method. This leaves an unrefined extract that contains lots of controlled cannabinoids like THC and CBN. 

Any products touting high CBDa levels are very likely to also contain THC and so they should be avoided.

When offered the choice between CBD and CBDa, there is little reason not to go for the former!

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