Most people have become quite familiar with medical marijuana, CBD oil and other hemp extracts. These products have become increasingly popular over the last decade due to their potential health benefits. But now there seems to be a new player in the arena. CBDA is the predecessor to CBD and if what research is finding is true, CBDA oil may very well be the next popular hemp product.
So what exactly is CBDA, how is it different from CBD, and do the potential health benefits compare?
What Is CBDA Oil?
CBDA, or cannabidiolic acid, is the basis from which CBD is formed. The process begins with CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) which provides the building blocks for all cannabinoids. CBGA is transformed into one of the 3 main groups of cannabinoid acids – THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBD (cannabidiolic) acid) and CBCA (cannabichromenic acid).
These acids are then converted into more popular cannabinoids – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabichromene (CBC). This conversion takes place through a process of thermal decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is the loss of the carboxylic acid group on the molecule of the compound due to heat.
Thermal decarboxylation can either take place immediately or over time. For example, vaping or smoking cannabis results in the immediate transformation of CBDA into CBD as a result of sudden exposure to high temperatures. This immediate transformation can also take place through the processes used to extract CBD from the cannabis plant or purify it such as drying.
However, CBDA is extremely unstable and will even begin decarboxylation from exposure to regular temperatures. The process can take a few hours or days depending on how high the temperature is and whether it is exposed to direct or indirect heat and light.
The Difference Between CBD And CBDA Oil
The primary difference between CBD and CBDA is the subtraction of the carboxylic acid group from CBDA when it transforms into CBD. There are however two other major differences:
– CBD is more stable than CBDA and is therefore more viable for clinical use.
– CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body whereas CBDA inhibits the production of COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) enzymes in the body which are associated with pain and inflammation.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the founder of the process to synthesize CBD and THC, has recently constructed a method to make CBDA more stable and therefore more viable for commercial clinical use. However, it is still easier to eat the raw leaves of the plant in order to prevent decarboxylation.
Keep in mind that research into the health benefits of cannabis and CBD has been slow to advance due to federal regulations. Because CBDA has not been confirmed as a viable clinical treatment, research is even further behind. Much more research is necessary to establish the benefits, side-effects, and interactions of CBD.
The Benefits Of CBD And CBDA
CBD and CBDA work on different systems in the human body and act differently. This does not however, mean that they do not have similar reported health benefits.
Pain And Inflammation
How does CBD work to reportedly relieve pain and inflammation?
CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that form part of the endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors exist primarily in the brain. CB2 receptors exist primarily within the immune system.
The interaction of CBD with CB1 receptors regulates the production of certain hormones in the body by either stimulating or inhibiting certain neurotransmitters in the brain. CBD can therefore increase the release of oxytocin and endorphins in the brain which are the body’s natural pain killers.
The interaction of CBD with CB2 receptors may help regulate the immune system. Immune response to diseases, wounds and pain often result in inflammation which causes pain. Inflammation increases pressure on nerves resulting in pain. CBD may inhibit the immune response in order to reduce inflammation and therefore pain.
How does CBDA work to relieve pain and inflammation?
CBDA is a COX-2 inhibitor. COX-2 is an enzyme that encourages the production of prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are responsible for causing inflammation as part of the body’s natural response to injury, disease and pain. However, chronic inflammation as a result of chronic health conditions results in chronic pain. The potential for CBDA to reduce the production of prostaglandins could be promising for those with chronic pain and inflammation.
Nausea And Vomiting
How does CBD work to relieve nausea and vomiting?
CBD may reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting by acting on the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are responsible for regulating neurotransmitters in the brain. Scientists believe that nausea is relieved by the release of serotonin. However, the latest research shows that there is much more to CBD’s role in relieving nausea and vomiting. CBD is actually an antiemetic for treatments such as chemotherapy.
How does CBDA work to relieve nausea and vomiting?
Animal studies have provided evidence that CBDA has antiemetic properties. There is even evidence to suggest that it may be more effective than CBD for people dealing with nausea and vomiting. However, there has been little research into how exactly CBDA works to reduce nausea and vomiting.
How does CBD work in people with cancer?
The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating cell growth and cell death (apoptosis). CBD interacts with the CB receptors in the endocannabinoid system to encourage apoptosis in abnormal cells. Cancer cells are especially virulent as they do not respond to the normal signals produced by the body to regulate cell regeneration, growth and death. However, CBD does appear to increase apoptosis, therefore potentially destroying cancer cells and delaying the ability of these cells to proliferate or metastasize. CBD has been found to effectively shrink tumors in some types of cancer. Once again, it is important to note that research is still ongoing as to the action of CBD on cancer and the effectiveness as a treatment. Just because it is showing potential does not mean you should substitute traditional treatment for hemp extracts.
How can CBDA work for people with cancer?
Studies on the effects of CBDA on breast cancer suggest that it may prevent the migration of cancer cells (metastasis). The inhibiting function on COX-2 is also of note. COX-2 encourages migration in breast cancer cells. Whether CBDA has the same type of benefit for other forms of cancer is yet to be established.
How does CBD work when you have anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders?
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to regulate or encourage the production of serotonin in the body. Serotonin functions to regulate mood and acts as the reward system in the body. Increased levels of serotonin may therefore improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression.
CBD also inhibits the production of cortisol. The body produces this hormone when stress activates the fight or flight instinctual response. This may reduce anxiety that is related to stress. Research continues on the effects of CBD on other mental health disorders such as psychosis.
How does CBDA oil work for people with anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders?
GW Pharmaceuticals has been conducting research into CBDA as a treatment for psychosis or as an antipsychotic. The results of this research are still unavailable but the pharmaceutical company has filed for a patent, which is promising. The drug includes other compounds and cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
Dr. Mechoulam and his colleagues believe that CBDA holds further potential health benefits. While it may eventually surpass the popularity of other cannabinoids, it still needs much more research.
Conclusion on CBDA Oil
International collaborators are currently lab testing CBDA oil. They are hoping to receive approval from the FDA for clinical trials to begin within the next 6 months. These trials will go a long way to shining a light on the health benefits of CBDA, how it works as well as establishing other important information such as dosage, side-effects, drug interactions and contra-indications. By funding $2.5 million of scientific research, Tanasi has determined that adding CBDA to our CBD hemp extracts improves the overall effectiveness of our products. We believe in the entourage effect and thus include many various cannabinoids in our formula so you can experience the full spectrum benefits of full spectrum hemp extracts.