How Does CBDA Become CBD?
What is CBDA?
All of the major cannabinoids present in cannabis and hemp first develop as “the mother of all cannabinoids,” cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).
From there, plant enzymes unique to each cannabis strain convert the CBGA into some varying combination of the three major cannabinoid precursor compounds: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).
Once CBDA has been formed, it’s then converted into CBD by thermal decarboxylation, whereby heat causes the molecule to lose its acidic carboxyl group. This decarboxylation process can either happen instantly, such as when the cannabis material is lit and smoked or vaporized, or by slow degradation over time if the plant material is left to sit at room temperature.
So, despite being abundant in raw cannabis, cannabis users are not actually exposed to much CBDA, as it’s converted from its “raw” form into CBD by most of the common consumption methods.