With the consistent drive by researchers to know more about CBD and the other numerous cannabinoids that exist within the cannabis plant, new compounds are being discovered – each with its unique properties and potential medicinal use. One of the discovered cannabinoids is Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). CBDA is one of the numerous compounds produced by cannabis plants and discovered by scientists. CBDA is overtime converted to the cannabinoid, popularly known as CBD when exposed to heat.

CBDA was first recognized in the year 2008 in a study that was done by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Journal (ASPET). It was discovered by ASPET that CBDA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, unlike its other counterpart THC. It was also discovered that CBDA has the same anti-inflammatory benefits as CBD.

While the first compound that is formed in the plant is CBDA, when heated, it loses its acidic carboxyl group and then converts to CBD – the process whereby the acidic carboxyl group is lost is known as decarboxylation. This process can occur naturally when the plant is left to slowly degrade over time, or with the intervention of human when the cannabis plant is smoked or lit on fire. This means CBDA is the antecedent of CBD.

Since 2008 that CBDA has been discovered, a series of research is ongoing to create a concrete foundation of studies for the plant. But some of the studies report that the compound shows huge potential in treating inflammation, anxiety, aches, and also in improving mood.


We have receptors in our brain that are made to bind directly with psychoactive cannabinoids that are present in cannabis plants like CBD, THC, etc. CBDA does not work this way. Rather it interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that contains the receptors. ECS has three major parts; cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid, and metabolic enzymes. All of these play an important role in regulating our biological systems.


Even though CBDA has shown numerous therapeutic potential in studies, it is yet to be an acceptable clinical means of treatment. Being an unstable compound, research is still going on to see how it can be stable, and how it can become a viable option for clinical use. Here are some of the therapeutic benefit of CBDA;

  1. For Nausea and vomiting

In a study that was done on mice and rats, it was reported that CBDA was able to reduce anticipatory nausea and vomiting. It was said to be more potent at controlling nausea than CBD.  

  1. For Depression and anxiety

There is a serious discussion surrounding the ability of CBD to reduce anxiety. Likewise, studies were done using rats to determine the effectiveness of CBDA against anxiety and depression. It was recorded that rats pre-treated with CBDA did not exhibit any form of anxiety in response to the test carried out on them. 

  1. For Breast Cancer

A 2012 study showed that CBDA was able to stop the migration and invasion of deadly human breast cancer cells. Another study also showed that CBDA was able to suppress genes that are in association with breast cancer.


  • CBDA acid becomes CBD. It is then heated in a process called decarboxylation to give CBD.
  • It has been shown by scientists that CBDA has 100 times the affinity for the receptors compared to CBD.


  • Bolognini, D., Rock, E., Cluny, N., Cascio, M., Limebeer, C., Duncan, M., … Pertwee, R. (2013). Cannabidiolic acid prevents vomiting inSuncus murinusand nausea-induced behaviour in rats by enhancing 5-HT1Areceptor activation. British Journal of Pharmacology, 168(6), 1456–1470.
  • Rock EM, Limebeer CL, Petrie GN, Williams LA, Mechoulam R, Parker LA. Effect of prior foot shock stress and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiolic acid, and cannabidiol on anxiety-like responding in the light-dark emergence test in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2017;234(14):2207-2217. doi:10.1007/s00213-017-4626-5
  • Takeda, S., Okajima, S., Miyoshi, H., Yoshida, K., Okamoto, Y., Okada, T., … Aramaki, H. (2012). Cannabidiolic acid, a major cannabinoid in fiber-type cannabis, is an inhibitor of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration. Toxicology Letters, 214(3), 314–319.

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