The Many Potential Benefits of Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
CBDA is like the raw, “before” version of CBD. Although they’re similar in structure, CBDA may actually offer stronger benefits than CBD.
Of the many phytocannabinoids found in cannabis plants, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are likely the most well-known.
That's why you may be surprised to learn that hemp plants don't synthesize these cannabinoids in large amounts.
Unprocessed industrial hemp contains more cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) than cannabidiol. With increasing focus on some of the many lesser-known cannabinoids found in industrial hemp, many people have been curious about the effects of CBDA and the potential natural benefits.
What Is Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)?
CBDA exists primarily in raw, unprocessed industrial hemp and cannabis strains with high CBD content. As a carboxylic acid, CBDA contains a carboxyl group with one carbon, one hydrogen, and two oxygen atoms.
Exposure to heat initiates a process called decarboxylation that converts the carboxylic acid into carbon dioxide and hydrogen, the chemical composition of CBD.
Simply put, CBDA is the acidic form, the precursor, of CBD just as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the precursor of THC.
What Are the Benefits of CBDA?
Like the research investigating the therapeutic potential of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids found naturally in hemp, most of the evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is based on preclinical, non-human trials.
However, at least two patents have been filed based on preliminary studies. Of the two patents filed by GW Pharmaceuticals, one relates to using CBDA for inflammatory skin diseases, the other to using CBDA and other cannabinoids to treat chronic illness.
While current research shows that CBDA is considerably less stable than CBD, preliminary investigations also show that CBDA is the more potent of the two cannabinoids.
Listed below are some of the many health issues current research suggests might benefit from the therapeutic potential of CBDA. Although far more study is needed, early indications are promising.
CBDA for Nausea and Vomiting
CBD is well known for its potential to relieve and suppress nausea and vomiting, an effect current research suggests is achieved through the cannabinoid's indirect activation of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptors.
CBDA is shown to activate the 5-HT1A receptors much in the same way, but the effects appear to be more pronounced.
That conclusion is based on the results of an animal study investigating the impact of CBD and CBDA. Published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers found cannabidiolic acid extremely effective at reducing motion and toxin-induced vomiting.
Investigators also found CBDA helpful for controlling the symptoms of treatment-resistant anticipatory nausea, a condition that often accompanies chemotherapy treatment.
In fact, CBDA was found to be better at controlling nausea and vomiting than CBD!
At the conclusion of the report, researchers noted that, “Compared with cannabidiol, CBDA displays significantly greater potency at inhibiting vomiting in shrews and nausea in rats, and at enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation.” For nausea and vomiting, the cannabinoid appears more potent before decarboxylation, aka before it is converted to CBD with heat.
CBDA for Inflammation
CBDA and CBD both work by interacting with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the largest regulatory system in the body. While both cannabinoids influence key cannabinoid receptors, CBDA and CBD do not appear to interact within this system in the same way. Researchers believe CBDA affects different enzymes and non-ECS receptors than its decarboxylated cousin cannabidiol.
CBDA is shown to interact with cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX enzymes). Among other capabilities, these enzymes are responsible for producing prostaglandins, lipid compounds that promote inflammation.
CBDA has selective inhibitory effects on the production of COX-2 enzymes, an effect similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen. The inhibitory effects of CBDA were shown to be considerably more potent than CBD and THC; cannabinoids also recognized for the potent anti-inflammatory properties.
CBDA for Anxiety
Current research shows that cannabidiol and cannabidiolic acid could also have a considerable impact on the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Although much of the research investigating the anxiolytic potential of plant-based cannabinoids has focused on cannabidiol, studies comparing the effects of CBD and CBDA are quite revealing.
To determine the effects of CBD, THC, and CBDA on anxiety responses, researchers conducted a light-dark emergence test on rats, an experiment designed to measure anxiety responses as the animals move from darkness to a brightly lit enclosure.
During the first phase of the study, THC produced anxiety-like symptoms in test subjects. CBDA and CBD did not increase or decrease anxiety symptoms during this phase of the investigation.
However, the second phase of the investigation involved adding a shock to the foot as the animals underwent the same light emergence test. While the foot shock intensified the anxiety in rats pretreated with THC, the animals receiving CBD or CBDA did not exhibit evidence of increased anxiety in response to the additional stressor.
Researchers concluded that the anxiolytic effects of CBD and CBDA might require the presence of a stressor, suggesting both cannabinoids show potential for managing anxiety linked to a specific trigger, like public speaking or PTSD.
CBDA for Depression
CBD and CBDA also showed similarly favorable results for the symptoms of depression in animal studies. Although the effects of CBD for the symptoms of depression have been more extensively researched than the effects of CBDA, preliminary investigations show that both cannabinoids have a strong affinity for a certain receptor responsible for regulating moods and emotions, the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor.
Research shows that CBD and CBDA work much like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a type of medication often prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
But what many believe makes cannabidiolic acid far more compelling as an antidepressant is its exceptionally strong affinity for the 5-HT1A receptors, with one review stating, “CBDA demonstrates 100-fold greater affinity for the 5-HT1A receptor…as compared to CBD.”
Evidence is equally compelling for a synthetic compound with a similar structure. During a 2018 study, researchers examined CBDA’s antidepressant properties in animal studies investigating two models of depression. In place of plant-derived CBDA, investigators used cannabidiolic acid methyl ester, a synthetic version of the cannabinoid.
By the end of the study, this synthetic form of CBDA reduced depression-like behaviors in test subjects. While more research is needed to confirm preliminary results, current evidence suggests CBDA shows considerable promise as a natural antidepressant.
CBDA for Epilepsy
Researchers have long been investigating the antiseizure potential of cannabis plants. That research eventually led to the first FDA-approved medication utilizing CBD as its active ingredient, Epidiolex. To achieve FDA approval for the cannabinoid-based medication for the treatment of epilepsy, GW Pharmaceuticals was required to conduct a considerable amount of research using CBDA and CBD as potential treatment options.
Their patented research concluded that CBD and CBDA should be considered serious candidates for seizure treatment. While CBD was the cannabinoid that received approval as an active ingredient in the antiseizure medication, you may find it interesting to know that CBDA was shown to be better at reducing and preventing seizures than CBD, with researchers concluding that:
“CBDA has anticonvulsant effects in a mammalian model of epilepsy and is effective in treating generalised seizures, more particularly, tonic-clonic seizures. Indeed, this compound appears more effective than CBD in many of the parameters tested.”
Because CBDA has greater bioavailability, it takes less time and effort for the body to metabolize it. The idea is this: CBDA could produce a rapid onset, while CBD will produce a sustained result. It will be interesting to see where additional research leads.
How Do You Use CBDA?
CBDA is most abundant in raw, unprocessed hemp. Because decarboxylation— the process that breaks down CBDA— begins at relatively low temperatures, finding and storing your own CBDA from raw cannabis or hemp can be tricky if you're not a grower, or don't have those sorts of connections.
If you do have access to raw hemp oil, you'll want to collect the leaves, stems, and flowers before they've dried. Raw, chopped hemp can be added to any number of sauces, smoothies, baked goods, and salads, so don't be afraid to get creative!
But as you experiment, keep in mind that CBDA starts to decarboxylate and break down into CBD at temperatures around 110℃, or 230℉, so be mindful of how much heat you apply.
First, make sure it's legal to use medicinal or recreational cannabis and/or agricultural hemp in your state. For your reference, here's a breakdown of the different cannabis laws by state.
Finding the Right CBDA Product for Your Needs
Once you've determined which cannabinoid products are legal in your area, you may be pleased to know that full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp oil products also contain trace amounts of CBDA.
Plus, CBDA products with 0.3% THC or less are legal in all 50 states!
Research shows that even in small quantities, the CBDA in hemp-derived products contributes to the therapeutic potential of the extracted oil through an intriguing mechanism known as the entourage effect, a phenomenon unique to cannabis that explains how the additional cannabinoids and plant terpenes interact to magnify and multiply the effect of each plant element.
Because the CBDA and CBD in your product work together to amplify each other's effects, you are likely to be able to use less product than if you were using a single cannabinoid on its own (CBD isolate).
Where to Buy CBDA
Any product made from raw cannabis should contain CBDA. If you're looking for CBDA sourced from industrial hemp, you'll want to find a company offering extracts that have not been subjected to extreme heat.
Since Endoca produces a line of hemp-derived products made from raw hemp oil, their full spectrum CBD oil is likely to contain considerably more CBDA than equivalent products from most other companies.
But while considering your options, it's important to know that full spectrum CBD oil also contains a wide range of potentially beneficial cannabinoids, including CBG, CBN, and THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects cannabis is known for.
Although hemp does not synthesize enough THC to cause intoxication, there are trace amounts (0.3% or less). That means if you want absolutely 0% THC in your CBD products, you'll likely appreciate the option of using broad spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum CBD oil products contain all the cannabinoids found in full spectrum extracts, except the THC.
Finally, as you're shopping for hemp-derived CBD products, keep in mind that purity and potency have a significant impact on your results. That's why you should purchase hemp oil products from a reputable brand that posts the Certificate of Analysis for each of their products aka their third-party test results.
This level of transparency will enable you to know what cannabinoids are present in your product and at what concentration. Until the cannabinoid industry is more regulated, Certificates of Analysis remain the most reliable indicator of product quality.
If you found this article useful, you may also be interested in:
Learn More About CBD
Athletes who participate in impact sports put a great deal of stress on their minds and bodies. Unfortunately, current methods ...Learn More
If you spend a lot of time with horses, then you know that they are incredibly intelligent and sensitive animals ...Learn More
With the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD became effectively legal in the United States. This ground-breaking legislation ...Learn More
All professional sports require a certain amount of athleticism and endurance, but there is perhaps no sport as physically and ...Learn More
Elevated cholesterol is something many people will have to contend with during the course of their life. So what is ...Learn More
If you’re a regular CBD oil shopper, you may have come across the US Hemp Authority certification seal on CBD ...Learn More
CBD oil is increasingly popular these days; there is a large market of CBD oil products, along with a growing ...Learn More
Whether your menstrual cycle brings abdominal heaviness, mild cramping, or several days of intense, throbbing pain, you're likely not looking ...Learn More
Anyone investigating the therapeutic potential of CBD has likely encountered more than a few sources claiming CBD products are legal ...Learn More
CBD and yoga can – and should – go hand-in-hand. These two vitality boosters are the perfect complement to one ...Learn More
The hemp plant harbors many potential benefits when cultivated and processed cleanly. While the euphoria cannabis is known for comes ...Learn More
CBD oil products are everywhere now, but ambiguity surrounding the use of CBD oil still abounds, especially in the world ...Learn More
Imagine this: you're curled up on your comfortable couch, surrounded by soft throw pillows, sipping a cup of hot chocolate ...Learn More
Though many people are still learning about cannabidiol (CBD) and its many natural benefits, the naturally occurring chemical compound has ...Learn More
A lot of people ask this question - is CBD oil legal in Florida? It appears that there has been ...Learn More
If you're just starting to learn about CBD and its potential benefits, you likely have many questions. There is so ...Learn More
Every plant on the planet has a purpose. Every piece of the ecosystem serves a purpose, and some lucky plants ...Learn More
For decades, people have been raving about the endless benefits of the hemp plant. Surprisingly though, some people may still ...Learn More
I’ve been poking around the interweb a bit for travelling with CBD tips and was a little surprised… I think ...Learn More
Delta 8 THC is the hot new cannabinoid on the wellness scene. As was the case with CBG a couple ...Learn More
The term ‘seed to sale’ is thrown around a lot in CBD marketing. CBD companies that claim to be seed ...Learn More
Delta 8 THC is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Like cannabidiol aka CBD oil, delta ...Learn More
We don’t have to tell you. You already know that CBD oil is one of the most important wellness discoveries ...Learn More
Hemp CBD has a confusing history of legalization that it shares with its intoxicating cousin, marijuana. Both the federal and ...Learn More
Like many people, it is likely that you have seen an increase in the popularity of CBD in the last ...Learn More
These days, it seems like everyone is talking about CBD oil and the benefits it can provide. Yet, if you ...Learn More
If you are interested in using CBD oil, but you live in Tennessee, you may have a lot of questions ...Learn More
Although the CBD industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds, many people interested in the cannabinoid's therapeutic potential are ...Learn More
If you live in Virginia, and you are interested in buying CBD oil, you may be wondering several things. For ...Learn More
CBD oil products have come to the forefront of discussions about non-traditional solutions to anxiety, pain, and other ailments that ...Learn More
CBD oil products have gained popularity in Michigan and across the nation because of the potential benefits they offer consumers ...Learn More
For fans of soccer (or football as most of the world calls it), there is likely a lot of speculation ...Learn More
A hemp flower is the most basic form of CBD and serves as the foundation for all other CBD products ...Learn More
The safety, legality, and absence of mind-altering properties make cannabidiol (CBD) a popular choice for those who want to reap ...Learn More
Between 2021 and 2027, the weight loss industry will benefit from a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6%. As ...Learn More
If you live in Ohio and you are curious about using CBD, you may have a lot of questions. For ...Learn More
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 active compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil manufacturers extract cannabidiol ...Learn More
If you were to ask a group of CBD enthusiasts for product recommendations, you'd soon discover that CBD users seem ...Learn More
In 2014, when the industry was still quite new, CBD generated nearly 50 million dollars in sales. That's pretty impressive ...Learn More
Industrial hemp was one of the very first domesticated crops, a plant harvested throughout history for its protein-rich seeds and ...Learn More
As you have likely heard by now, CBD has quickly become one of the biggest trends in the world of ...Learn More
Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around when it comes to cannabidiol. Cannabidiol, more commonly known as ...Learn More
CBD products are becoming increasingly popular in 2021, and CBD concentrates are no exception. If you've thought about trying CBD ...Learn More
Let's talk self care. Though you might think of self care as simply "pampering" yourself, it goes way deeper than ...Learn More
Texas Governor Abbott signed legislation clarifying which hemp products are legal and which are not. Looking for CBD in Texas? ...Learn More
CBD oil has many helpful-- not to mention, natural-- benefits physically and mentally. CBD has been heavily studied to relieve ...Learn More
If you are an avid runner, you are always looking for safe and healthy ways to improve your performance and ...Learn More
Can you use CBD if you are sober? Recovery from drug or alcohol addiction isn't just about abstinence. For many, ...Learn More
If there's anything we've learned from the last few years of incredible development, it's that the cannabis plant can take ...Learn More
By now, you are probably aware that there are a lot of CBD products on the market that can help ...Learn More
If you have never tried CBD oil and you live in Indiana, you probably have a lot of questions. You ...Learn More
CBD (short for cannabidiol) has become an alternative consideration for many parents around the world. Countless families swear by CBD ...Learn More
Birth control remains one of the greatest biomedical advances in the last century, giving women and couples the opportunity to ...Learn More
When shopping for CBD, it's essential to find the best product for your needs and your lifestyle. While CBD tinctures ...Learn More
For people who are considering CBD or have already started trying what is available, one of the most common questions ...Learn More
CBD oil is well known for its ability to regulate pain and inflammation, making it a valuable tool in the ...Learn More
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a true mystery. It can pop up out of nowhere for chronic cannabis users, and ...Learn More
When you first begin researching CBD oil, it can be hard to understand what you are reading. What exactly is ...Learn More
Death by overdose has become the largest killer of Americans under the age of 50, and with opioids responsible for ...Learn More
The most famous cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is most widely known for its mind-altering, high-inducing properties, ...Learn More
Because harvested and dried cannabis or hemp material only contains trace amounts of cannabigerol (CBG), it is often considered to ...Learn More
With cannabidiol (CBD) oil becoming more widely available, it is being sought out by an ever-growing number of people due ...Learn More
In 2018, the United States saw exponential growth in CBD oil product development and sales. Halfway through the year, the ...Learn More
The cannabis sativa plant contains hundreds of cannabinoids, each one presenting its own unique qualities and potential benefits. You may ...Learn More
Cannabinoids have taken over the natural health discussion, and with good reason. Research is continuously finding new ways in which ...Learn More
One of the lesser-known cannabinoids, cannabichromene (CBC) may be able to do some pretty incredible things. Recent scientific study has ...Learn More
Learning about the phytocannabinoids that exist in the cannabis plant family can feel a little bit like sifting through alphabet ...Learn More
Cannabidiol (CBD), is becoming widely used for its reported therapeutic benefits, which include pain reduction, nausea relief, and mood elevation ...Learn More
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is probably the best-known cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive, intoxicating, and mind-altering compound ...Learn More
The role of “Big Pharma” in healthcare is a contentious subject and one that’s working its way into discussions around ...Learn More
With more and more research coming out that shines a light on the reported health benefits of CBD and essential ...Learn More
Researchers are finding that CBD oil may be able to treat the symptoms of a whole host of diseases and ...Learn More
When you first decide to use CBD oil, it can be hard to know where to start. With so many ...Learn More
Health supplements are becoming increasingly commonplace as average Americans struggle to meet their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals ...Learn More
If you've spent any time reading about CBD oil and cannabis lately, it is likely you've seen terpenes mentioned more ...Learn More
If you’re interested in purchasing CBD oil but aren’t sure if it’s legal in your state, you’ve come to the ...Learn More
The CBD oil industry is one of the fastest-growing in North America and as such, it should come as no ...Learn More
Not long after the first cannabinoid was isolated from the cannabis plant, scientists discovered the human body produces similar substances ...Learn More
Those friendly neighbors on the northern U.S. border have a reputation for being fairly liberal minded. In fact, as of ...Learn More
As people continue to abandon cigarettes, vaping is becoming increasingly popular. And, as the range of vape oils, vape juices, ...Learn More
Ready to make your first CBD oil purchase but aren’t sure where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right ...Learn More
With so many CBD oil products and delivery formats available for purchase, knowing which one is right for you can ...Learn More
The hemp plant produces flowers just like its THC-toting cousin marijuana. Typically, this flower is processed and cannabidiol (CBD) is ...Learn More
CBD oil drops are one of the most popular ways to take cannabidiol (CBD). They are a cost-effective and convenient ...Learn More
If you’re new to the world of CBD oil, there’s a lot of new terminology to take in; one term ...Learn More
Is there nothing cannabidiol can’t do? The wonder compound—more commonly known as CBD—has been hailed as everything from a digestive ...Learn More
As an athlete, the less time you can spend doing online research, the more time you can devote to your ...Learn More
CBD oil microdosing is a concept that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean? ...Learn More
Because CBD oil has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling while promoting cell reparation, CBD topicals (e.g. balms, ...Learn More
When investigating cannabis products, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the varieties available. Cannabis oil, hemp seed oil, CBD ...Learn More
People are quickly becoming aware of the potential benefits of CBD oil, but this awareness has lead to one very ...Learn More
Today, it’s hard to go a day without hearing something about CBD oil, and for good reason. Cannabidiol (CBD) is ...Learn More
There are tens of millions of Americans who smoke cigarettes and millions of others who are suffering from smoking-related diseases ...Learn More
There are two main types of cannabidiol (CBD) extract utilized by vendors - purified, crystalline isolate, often labeled as ‘CBD ...Learn More
With frequent news reports about newly discovered uses for cannabidiol (CBD) in healthcare, a number of parents are investigating its ...Learn More
There is an increasing amount of coverage in the media about CBD oil and its potential uses and benefits. Everywhere ...Learn More
CBD oil interacts with the brain and central nervous system to produce a number of beneficial outcomes from reducing inflammation ...Learn More
The short answer: Yes...and no. If you’ve been following the national conversation about cannabis, you may have felt confused at ...Learn More
If you’re an athlete or fitness enthusiast who has heard about the many health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), you may ...Learn More