Skip to content

What is CBDa, and how is it different than CBD?

So there’s this stuff out there called CBDa, and a lot of products seem pretty excited about it. But what is it, and how is it different that plain ol’ CBD?

In this article, we’re going to take a high-level look at the difference between the two, and why you should (or shouldn’t) care about whether or not it’s in the hemp-derived products you buy.

How is CBDa different than CBD?

CBDa (the friendly term for Cannabidiolic acid ) is found in cannabis plants of all varieties, but especially in hemp.

A funny thing happens when you expose CBDa to light, heat, or air. It turns into CBD through a process known as decarboxlation. The resultant CBD is sometimes also called “activated CBD.”

This process occurs within the live hemp plant itself through exposure to sunlight. However, most CBD oils and tinctures use decarboxlation via various methods to extract cannabidiol, and any residual CBDa is converted to CBD in the process.

This means generally only find CBDa in the raw (unprocessed) resin, leaves, and flowers of hemp plants.

Is CBDa good (or bad) for you?

You can do an awful lot of searching online for answers, but what you’re most likely to find is that not a lot is known about CBDa because it hasn’t been studied nearly as much.

There are a number of studies that indicate that CBDa may potentially have positive effects, especially in the area of anti-nausea and anti-inflamation. However, the science is far from definitive or complete.

Is it good for you? Maybe, but too early to tell.

Is it bad for you? Probably not, but too early to tell.

This is one of the reasons we have decided not to carry products advertising high CBDa content at We sell things that we’re willing to use ourselves, and we just don’t know enough about it yet.

How do I know if a product has CBDa in it?

Outside of the obvious recommendation of reading the label, there are a few pretty good indicators of whether or not something contains CBD.

  1. “Raw Hemp Extract” is usually defined as such because it hasn’t gone through the decarboxylation process. That means that it probably has some level of CBDa in it. Also look for the term “non-activated,” which likely means “raw.”
  2. Related to the above, if you have a product that says it has been decarboxylated, it shouldn’t contain CBDa since that’s the process that converts the cannabidiolic acid into CBD.

Should I use products containing CBDa?

That’s a great question, and only one that you can answer. For our part, we are excited about all of the promising research around decarboxylated CBD and the benefits it can provide. We’re focused there for now (although we reserve the right to change our minds.)

As with any supplement, we recommend a chat with your doctor. And just remember not to believe everything you read on the internet. Do your own research before you put anything into your body.

We’d love to show you all of the great hemp products we do offer. Click below to browse our selection.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

As with any dietary or nutritional supplement, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or a trained medical professional. It’s also important to keep in mind that the information in this article should not be considered medical advice.

Want some real good deals & updates? Sign up below.

(Don't worry. We shan't spam you. Just Real Good stuff, and only every now and then.)

Scroll To Top