If you are just getting into the world of natural and plant-based remedies, then you’ve most probably heard of cannabidiol or CBD and many of its supposed benefits. However, what you might not have known is that CBD has an antecedent compound commonly known as CBDA or Cannabidiolic acid. While scientific research on this compound is still in its infancy, initial findings indicate that same as CBD, CBDA has a wealth of potential health benefits. But what about CBDA and weight loss? Let’s take a deeper look into the many potential benefits of CBDA, including that on weight loss.
What Is Cannabidiolic Acid?
CBDA is one of the over 100 known compounds in the cannabinoid spectrum. While it was first isolated in 1996, scientific interest into its potential as a viable natural treatment for a wide range of conditions first began in 2008 when scientists discovered that its molecular structure resembled that of other commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Cannabidiolic acid is considered the parent molecule of CBD. This is because it is usually converted to CBD through a process known as decarboxylation. First, it is worth mentioning that CBDA is a carboxylic acid. This means that it contains a carboxyl group that is made up of one carbon atom, two oxygen atoms, and one hydrogen atom. When you expose CBDA to heat, the carboxyl group is broken up, releasing carbon dioxide and vapor. The result of this process is the formation of CBD.
CBDA is a non-psychoactive compound, and it has been found to have similar anti-inflammatory benefits to CBD. After years of research, CBDA has been found to be one of the vital molecules that give the cannabis plant its potential therapeutic benefits. CBDA acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. What’s more, it may also be able to help with symptoms of anxiety and nausea. In addition, due to its similarities to CBD, it is believed to help with weight loss, though research on this scarce.
How Is CBDA Formed?
Interestingly, cannabidiolic acid is formed from another acid known as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). In fact, all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are formed from this acid. CBGa is often referred to as “the mother of all cannabinoids.”
Plant enzymes specific to each cannabis strain then synthesize the cannabigerolic acid into different combinations of the three primary cannabinoid antecedent compounds: Cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA), and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).
In order to better understand what exactly is CBDA, it is important to first understand how it relates to CBD, the better-known compound.
CBDA vs CBD
As mentioned earlier, CBDA is converted into CBD through thermal decarboxylation. As such, there is a close link between these two substances. CBD and CBDA have very similar chemical structures. However, since CBD is usually formed through the decarboxylation of CBDA, it doesn’t contain the extra COOH group found in CBDA.
CBDA can be naturally transformed into CBD; however, the process takes an incredibly long time. You will be surprised to learn that, while the hemp plant is popular due to its CBD content, it actually contains very little CBD. As the plant grows, it produces CBDA instead of CBD. A raw hemp plant contains 95% CBDA and not more than 5% CBD.
However, considering that most hemp product consumption methods involve the transformation of CBDA into CBD, people rarely get to consume CBDA. This explains why more focus and attention has been directed towards CBD instead of its acid precursor.
Compared to CBD, CBDA has a much greater affinity for the 5-HT serotonin receptors in our brains; in fact, one hundred times more the affinity. What this basically means is that CBDA has greater bioavailability than CBD since it is less processed. The body is able to metabolize the CBDA molecule faster and using much less energy. This explains why CBDA has been attracting a lot of interest in the recent past.
In its raw precursor form, CBDA is cleaner, much pure doesn’t contain any solvents, and produces zero toxic residues.
How Does CBDA Affect the Body?
CBD affects the body by interacting with CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system. They influence pain, memory, movement, coordination, mood, appetite, and so on. CB2 receptors are primarily found in the peripheral nervous system; they are responsible for regulating pain and inflammation. While CBD doesn’t bind directly to these receptors, it alters the receptors’ ability to bind to our body’s own cannabinoids; anandamide and 2-AG, which play a key role in the regulation of various bodily functions.
However, CBDA doesn’t work in the same way as CBD. CBDA interacts with the endocannabinoid system by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down the endocannabinoid anandamide and 2-AG. Thus, by inhibiting the functions of these enzymes, CBDA helps to ensure that those cannabinoids work for much longer, and this helps to produce much better results. This is how the potential health benefits of CBDA come about.
However, at Tanasi, our academic research has found that combining CBDA with CBD actually enhances the potential benefits of CBD. That’s why all of our full-spectrum products contact a 1:1 ratio of CBD and CBDA.
Potential Health Benefits of CBDA
While substantial research on CBDA is hard to come by, findings from initial studies have indicated that CBDA can benefit the body in a number of ways:
Pain and Inflammation
A 2008 study found that consuming CBDA produced similar effects to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs work by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme, which stimulates the growth of pro-inflammatory substances known as prostaglandins. While inflammation is a natural and necessary body response to stress, illnesses, and injury, prolonged inflammation is not only painful, but it can also have a significant impact on one’s health.
CBDA selectively inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, thereby lowering its ability to synthesize pro-inflammatory substances. In this way, CBDA is able to reduce pain and inflammation in the body.
CBDA may be very powerful in calming upset stomachs. It may actually be far more effective in reducing nausea than CBD. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBDA helped to prevent vomiting in shrews and nausea-induced behavior in rats.
While further research is still required, results from initial studies are showing that CBDA has the potential to suppress breast cancer cells. Meanwhile, CBD seemed to prevent the spread of malignant breast tumors to other parts of the body.
In theory, administering therapy that prevents the migration of cells helps to prevent the spread of cancer.
Stress and Anxiety
While there isn’t sufficient scientific evidence that supports the use of CBDA to treat stress and anxiety, there are claims that it may be a viable supplement. There is so much hope in this compound that one biopharmaceutical company has sought out a patent on CBDA as therapy when used together with antipsychotic medications.
These are just but some of the most notable potential benefits of CBDA. And while, as earlier mentioned, further research into most of these claims is still required, this compound is showing great promise as a viable natural resource for a wide range of conditions.
However, many people still want to find out if CBDA can be used for weight loss; so here is what we know so far:
CBDA for Weight Loss
As more and more research is being conducted on CBDA, it is becoming more evident that a lesser amount of CBDA is required to gain its potential therapeutic benefits. While there isn’t much research on the use of CBDA for weight loss, considering its anti-inflammatory benefits, it can be safe to say that CBDA may be indirectly useful for weight reduction amongst people suffering from chronic inflammation.
How Inflammation Causes Weight Gain
Inflammation can cause weight gain in a number of ways. As earlier mentioned, inflammation is the body’s natural response to stress, injury, or illness. When your immune system detects a threat, the body releases pro-inflammatory substances known as cytokines. However, cytokines tend to interfere with the body’s insulin response. Gradually, the body becomes more resistant to insulin.
As a result, the pancreas is forced to release more insulin. With increased insulin levels in the system, the body is triggered to store more fat. Individuals whose bodies have developed insulin resistance will often store more fat in their abdominal areas. Not only does this lead to weight gain, but excess abdominal fat has been found to increases the risks of cancer.
Another way that inflammation causes weight gain is by interfering with the body’s response to a hormone known as leptin. Leptin is the hormone responsible for signaling your brain when you have had your fill. However, when your brain fails to get this signal as a result of inflammation, then you will end up eating more than necessary. Leptin resistance is one of the greatest causes of weight gain in humans.
As an anti-inflammatory agent, cannabidiolic acid may help to combat weight gain linked to inflammation. CBDA inhibits the functions of the cyclooxygenase enzyme (COX-2). COX-2 enzymes are associated with inflammation of the body’s immune response. Therefore, by blocking the COX-2 enzyme, CBDA may help in relieving the symptoms of inflammation. In turn, it could help to fight off weight gain caused by inflammation.
Considering its similarity to CBD, CBDA is also thought to promote weight loss in the same way as CBD but in lower doses. CBD is believed to induce weight loss in a number of ways, including:
- Reducing appetite
- Boosting metabolism
- Promoting the ‘browning’ of white fat