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Benefits of Cannabinoid Acids (CBDA/CBGA/THCA) and More

Most people don't know that phytocannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp come in two forms: acidic (like CBDA and THCA) and neutral (CBD, THC). While neutral cannabinoids have received a lot of attention, new studies show that cannabinoids in their original acidic form have incredible healing properties, working both in tandem and in contrast to their neutral counterparts.

In this article, I share what we know today about acidic cannabinoids and why you should incorporate them. Here's what I'd like you to know:

  • Patients report that adding THCA and CBDA significantly changed their chronic inflammation-based conditions, including pain and insomnia

  • Patients feel the effects quickly and the benefits continue to accumulate over 30 days

  • Low doses of acidic cannabinoids are effective and will save you money because they are absorbed 5 to 50 times better than their neutral counterparts when taken orally

  • The acids (THCA & CBDA) are non-psychoactive when taken alone; combined with THC, they are synergistic and increase their benefits

  • Acidic cannabinoids increase the therapeutic benefits of the entourage effect

What are Acidic Cannabinoids?

Many are surprised to learn that cannabis and hemp plants do not directly produce the well-known cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), or any of the hundreds of others identified by researchers.

The original, crude forms of cannabinoids that plants produce are called acidic cannabinoids like THCA and CBDA (the "A" stands for "acid"). Acidic cannabinoids have a limited presence over time, as they convert slowly to their more stable "neutral" counterparts at room temperature, or more quickly when exposed to elevated temperatures, in a process known as decarboxylation.


Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is not only the best-known cannabinoid, but also the most studied. THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, as well as many medicinal properties. THCA, based on animal studies and anecdotal human reports, is non-impairing. Unlike THC, THCA does not appear to stimulate CB1 or CB2 receptors, but some of its activities may depend indirectly on their function.


Unimpaired cannabidiol (CBD) has become a focal point of medical research, popular media, and cannabis-related legislation. In many ways, CBDA functions similarly to CBD, having activation at serotonin and capsaicin receptors. CBDA, unlike CBD, has not been found to affect cannabinoid receptors, but has been shown to target COX enzymes linked to inflammation.


To date, very little research has explored the effects of CBG and even less of CBGA. CBG has been shown to relieve pain, reduce skin redness, and inhibit lipoxygenases, enzymes that produce inflammatory molecules, more potently than THC.

The Value of Acidic Cannabinoids

Although we have not yet fully understood the full medical potential of acidic cannabinoids, preliminary research already shows that "acids" have better bioavailability, meaning they are absorbed significantly better than their neutral forms.

How to Get Acidic Cannabinoids Eating raw cannabis preparations is an excellent method of obtaining acidic cannabinoids and incredibly easy to do. Small amounts of fresh raw cannabis flower (e.g., 0.25 grams) can be consumed directly. Another way to obtain raw cannabinoids is by making cannabis tea.

Acidic cannabinoids are available, safe, and powerfully therapeutic – be sure to include them in your relationship with cannabis!

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