In the realm of cannabis products, there’s been a lot of focus and research on THC and CBD. While these two compounds may be the most well-known, there are actually over 100 different types of cannabinoids. CBDA, or cannabidiolic acid, is a powerful cannabinoid you may not have heard of.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring substances in the cannabis plant. These compounds are extracted from the plant for their therapeutic benefits. When consumed, cannabinoids interact with your body’s complex system of receptors – known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates many functions, including metabolism, pain, sleep, motor control, learning, memory, and more! Because of their interaction with the ECS, cannabis products can provide wide-ranging benefits!
Different types of cannabinoids interact with the ECS in different ways. Not all cannabinoids will get you “high” like THC or THC-derivatives, such as the popularized delta-8. Both CBD and CBDA provide therapeutic benefits without any psychoactive effects.
CBDA vs. CBD
CBDA and CBD are two closely related cannabinoids, but they have key differences. CBDA is actually the precursor to CBD – you can think of it as “raw” or untreated CBD. When CBDA goes through a heating process, known as decarboxylation, the end product is CBD.
Until recently, CBDA has been difficult to research because it’s an unstable compound. When heated, CBDA may naturally convert into CBD. Because CBDA has been so difficult to research, product development has focused on CBD.
This changed in 2019 when Dr. Raphael Mechoulam was able to stabilize the CBDA compound. This allowed for more research on the effects of CBDA. Dr. Mechoulam, known as the father of cannabis research, made the discovery that CBDA has many of the same benefits of CBD at a much stronger potency.
The Benefits of CBDA
While research is still in its early stages, recent findings have supported Dr. Mechoulam’s claim. CBDA is proving to be a powerful substance, with many of the same benefits as CBD – and more! Not only that it is proving to have a stronger potency in several areas. As more research comes out, we’ll be able to better understand the unique ways that CBDA impacts the endocannabinoid system.
Anti-inflammatory and Pain Relief
Inflammation is a normal immune response to injury or illness. However, uncontrolled inflammation can cause immune cells to attack healthy tissues. This problematic immune response can contribute to autoimmune conditions or inflammation-related pain.
CBDA is able to inhibit receptors of COX-2, an enzyme that plays an important role in inflammatory pathways. This COX-2 inhibition is the same mechanism as NSAIDS. Like Ibuprofen and Tylenol, CBDA can help control inflammation and inflammation-related pain. CBDA can also treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Treatment for Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are rampant in our society. While antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are effective for some people, they don’t work for everyone. Also, these medications often come with unpleasant side effects or the risk of dependency in the case of benzodiazepines. CBDA offers a safer alternative to mental health treatment, without any negative side effects.
CBDA acts on 5-HT1 receptors in the brain, which helps to regulate serotonin levels in the brain. Research is showing that CBDA has the same mental health benefits as CBD, but at a much higher potency. It’s estimated that you need 10 to 100 times lower of a dose of CBDA to achieve the same feelings of mental well-being.
When there’s a disruption in nerve cell activity in the brain, seizures can occur. Seizures often come with a loss of awareness or control of the body. There are several different types of seizure disorders, and their underlying causes vary. Often, these conditions are debilitating to a person’s quality of life. Seizures can have dangerous, or even fatal consequences. Treatment efforts are often focused on reducing the frequency of seizures as much as possible.
In 2018, the FDA approved a seizure medication called Epidiolex. CBD is the main ingredient in Epidiolex, and it’s proven effective in reducing seizures for several different disorders. The manufacturer of Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals, is now investigating the use of CBDA for the treatment of seizures. These early studies are showing huge promise in CBDA’s anti-seizure effects!
Treatment and Support for Cancer Patients
CBDA is showing incredible promise for supporting cancer treatment. Research has shown that CBDA prevents the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells. It’s likely that CBDA can improve outcomes and reduce the toxicity of conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy.
For those going through chemotherapy, CBDA can also help with the uncomfortable side effects of nausea and vomiting. While CBDA won’t give you the same “munchies” associated with THC, it affects 5-HT1 receptors to prevent symptoms of nausea and vomiting. CBDA has potent anti-nausea effects, even at very low doses. As a result, this may be a powerful therapy for boosting appetite and supporting weight gain for cancer patients.
COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment
CBDA entered the public eye with the groundbreaking 2022 study proving its ability to treat COVID-19. Results showed that certain cannabinoids are able to bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, blocking the virus’s entry into cells. In this study, CBDA proved to be one of the most effective cannabinoids in protecting against the virus.
Richard van Breeman, lead researcher, stated, “We identified several cannabinoid ligands and ranked them by affinity to the spike protein. The two cannabinoids with the highest affinities for the spike protein were CBDA and CBGA, and they were confirmed to block infection.”
If you’re looking for a boost in protection against COVID-19, CBDA may be a great option. Researchers are hopeful that CBDA will be able to protect against the developing variants.
How to Consume CBDA
CBDA is proving to be a potent substance with many health-promoting benefits. By supplementing with CBDA, you can optimize your wellness and boost your mental health.
The best way to take CBDA is in conjunction with CBD. This way, you can get the benefits of both! Due to CBDA’s unstable nature, it’s difficult to find products that truly preserve and sustain this compound. In fact, most oils and tinctures you’ll find on the shelf don’t contain any CBDA. CTFO 10xPURE Gold Full Spectrum CBD Oil contains both CBD and CBDA, packing a powerful therapeutic punch!