CBD & CBDa both have distinct and similar therapeutic benefits but they vary from person to person depending on each person’s endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates a wide array of bodily functions and signaling that control bodily functions and responses including; pain, inflammation, mood, anxiety, sleep and much more.

Studies done on single cannabinoids like CBD have been found to encourage positive effects on our bodies but research has shown that combining more than one cannabinoids has been found to provide stronger therapeutic effects than one single cannabinoid alone. This is due to the “entourage effect.”

The Entourage Effect occurs when more than one cannabinoid is taken together with other cannabinoids and/or compounds from the cannabis plant, rather than taken alone. These compounds work in harmony with each other to magnify each other’s therapeutic benefits. The combination of compounds produces a stronger influence than any individual compound alone.

What is the difference between CBDa and CBD?

CBDa (Cannabidiolic Acid) is the precursor to CBD and one of many compounds produced by hemp. It is abundant in live plants of the CBD variety. It converts to CBD (Cannabidiol) with time or through a process called decarboxylation.

CBD (Cannabidiol), is a compound found primarily in the flowers and leaves of cannabis sativa and hemp. It’s more prevalent in dried and cured flowers which have converted CBDa into CBD over time or through a process called decarboxylation.

In its raw state, hemp flower contains CBD, CBDa, terpenes, flavonoids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and even some low traces of THC and THCa.

Although industrial hemp contains some THCa (the non-psychoactive precursor of THC) and THC, it is such a minimal amount that it would not be enough to produce the “high” normally associated with the psychoactive compound.

What is decarboxylation?

“Decarboxylation is the process of removing a carboxyl group (a carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom) from a molecule.”

In the cannabis world, this process uses heat to remove carbon atoms from cannabinoids in their raw forms, namely THCa and CBDa, converting them into the well known cannabinoidsTHC and CBD.



One issue with decarboxylation is that it destroys the plants terpenes and other natural substances that also have therapeutic benefits. In most cases, about 50% of the flowers terpenes are destroyed within the first 5 minutes of decarboxylation.


Choosing between CBDa and CBD

There is much more research needed when it comes to CBDa and CBD, but the little research that has been conducted tells us that both have the potential to help many in need.

Most of us have heard success stories from CBD users that have benefited from a natural, well balanced, whole plant mix of both CBD and CBDa. Many report positive effects that are described as calming, balanced, and feelings that brings a sense of relief and emotional peace.

Pharmaceutical research companies have shown much interest in CBD, and recently there has been a lot of excitement around raw cannabinoid acids like CBDa, which some researchers believe to be one thousand times more potent than CBD in binding to certain receptors within our endocannabinoid system making it more bio-available for the body than CBD alone.

Dr. Raphael Mechulum, the scientist that discovered THC and CBD, has developed synthetic versions of cannabinoid acids like CBDa, and THCa to create pharmaceutical medications that simulate the powerful effects of raw cannabis.

In conclusion, while the decarboxylation process is required to create CBD. Using products that only contain CBD provides for a less potent product that doesn’t utilize  the entourage effect to its full potential.

Well-balanced, whole plant products that maintain the plants natural, raw elements, and are rich in CBD, and CBDa, like those produced by AVA Wellness fully utilize the whole plant and can be the key to a body, mind, and spirit in perfect balance.