What is the difference between CBD & CBDa?

The strange thing about the CBD industry is that ‘CBD’ has become the poster-thing of Cannabinoids. Reading this, you may be surprised to know that CBD is actually one of 113 (as far as we know) that can be found in the Cannabis plant. Each of these cannabinoids also support your Endocannabinoid System and they have their own well-being benefits. To add to that, there is evidence to suggest that consuming a range of Cannabinoids together is significantly more beneficial than taking CBD alone- this is what is often referred to as the Entourage effect.

You will see that in our range of CBD oils CBD tincture is called a ‘Raw CBD Oil‘. So, what makes a CBD oil raw and why are they becoming so popular?

What is CBDa?

Raw CBD products are identified by their high concentration of CBDa, also known as Cannabidiolic Acid, which is the acid precursor of CBD that can be found in the stems, leaves and flowers of Cannabis plants while it is alive. It is not until after a process called decarboxylation (when the carbon dioxide and hydrogen are removed from the compounds) does CBDa turn into CBD and therefore, changes the purpose and effects of the Cannabinoids.

In nature, this process happens as the plant ages, when it is subjected to high levels of sunshine or when it is combusted (burned). This process also doesn’t just happen to CBD, it happens to every single cannabinoid that can be found in the plant- the most interesting of which is when THCa becomes THC. Did you know that THCa does not share the psychoactive characteristics of its prohibited sibling THC. So to get high from THCa, you need to decarboxylate it or burn it!

The change between CBD & CBDa is not so dramatic and they do have similar benefits, but they do have some slight differences.


Underneath the current CBD industry, there is a bubbling of popularity for raw CBD products as many are finding that they are uniquely effective. Unfortunately, right now though it seems like the only difference between the two cannabinoids is that there has been much more research into CBD; therefore, we don’t really know that much about CBDa. So the experiences that CBDa consumers are having cannot yet be fully explained in science (or at least the science that is acceptable).

What we do know about CBDa is that it interacts with the Endocannabinoid System as an inhibitor of the COX-2 Enzyme and a stimulator of the 5-HT receptor. There is also evidence to suggest that while CBD bounces between the two CB receptors, CBDa tends to stick with the CB1 receptors- which may provide more effective than CBD on its own.

There is a downside to raw CBD products and that is down to the taste. Yes, some CBD products do not taste like jelly beans and rainbows- raw products are generally thicker, darker and more pungent than the alternative. Raw hemp extracts, like CBD paste, are well known for being potent and effective products, however, many people are put off at their taste can be very powerful. It is a trade of you may have to make for a product naturally full of CBDa. If you are one of those who cannot stand the taste, you can still get full and broad-spectrum CBD oils that are produced with an MCT oil base- this gives them a much lighter and more enjoyable flavour.

Where can you find Raw CBD Oil?

Raw CBD oils are very popular and are increasingly becoming the chosen products for many of our customers. They are very effective for their content of CBD and therefore, very cost-effective for what you are getting. Our social enterprise can help you find the very best raw CBD oils, pastes and balms.

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