Is CBD-A The New Hype In Hemp?
For your search on things CBD-related, you may have come across a cannabinoid referred to as CBD-A. This abbreviation stands for Cannabidiolic-Acid.
Like CBD, this is also a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid. It does have unique differences and effects in comparison to both CBD.
There aren’t many sellers of CBD-A products, but here in Colorado Springs, there is a local who has mastered the art. It’s still more common to find CBD oil containing CBD-A.
To the best of my knowledge there is very little specific research on CBD-A.
However, there is some information on CBD-A available. Today, we will take a look at cannabidiolic acid and go over what we know it does. We will also refer to research relating too CBD-A, so keep reading to find out what you want to know. First, though, if you want to talk a little about cannabinoids in general, please click this link to a previous blog posted here
The Taboo Subject and Effects of THC?
Cannabinoids have an unprecedented ability to interact with the body of most mammals. This is because mammals have an endocannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS is full of receptors that respond to the phytocannabinoids in cannabis.
Surprisingly, the human body makes its own cannabinoids (called endocannabinoids). “Endo” means internal, meaning your body actually produces them itself.
Plant-based phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD bind with receptors in the ECS to produce a wide range of benefits. THC binds with CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system, this process causes psychoactive effects that make you high.
Other common and less common cannabinoids (like CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBDA) do not produce these psychoactive effects. Each cannabinoid actually interacts with the ECS in their own way. Hundreds of cannabinoids exist within this plant, but there is very little research on any of them. Hopefully, this will begin to change as we witness an increase in cannabis legalization.
Let’s take a look at CBDA and the properties it has relative to the ECS.
What is CBD-A?
CBD-A is a precursor to CBD. The plant produces all its cannabinoids in acid form. In fact, some science suggests that all cannabinoids in Hemp and Marijuana start out as CBGA (cannabigerolic acid). When a particular enzyme becomes available, CBGA converts into CBD-A or THCA.
Raw cannabis plant material must be heated, or what is referred to in science as decarboxylation, for acids to convert into active cannabinoids. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group with heat. This is the specific process that turns CBDA into CBD. It is also why this process is hard to pause because most extraction methods utilize heat to make their products.
Decarboxylation is often said to activate cannabinoids, that’s misleading. It stems from THC-A not having a psychoactive effect until heated and becoming THC. Though cannabinoid acids like CBDA and THCA do influence the body by themselves, they do not necessarily need to be activated to work. Even THC-A, another non-psychoactive cannabinoid has shown promise as being an anti-inflammatory. However, upon decarboxylation, the acids alter their chemical structure and change the effects they have on the ECS.
So what does CBD-A do to the body as a supplement? Believe it, there are studies that show CBD-A has its own specific properties.
Another promising note on CBD-A from the distributor we receive ours from is the lack of any by-product. The process they use to isolate it also doubles as a purification process. The COA’s from this product amazed me.
The Latest Research into CBDA
In 2008, a study was published in Drug Metabolism and Disposition: The Biological Fate of Chemicals. Researchers had found that CBD-A has an almost identical structure to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. In other words, CBD-A may have partially the same potential to act as an anti-inflammatory drug.
It doesn’t work directly with cannabinoid receptors like CBD or THC, CBD-A seems to work by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. These enzymes associates with inflammation. Research shows that when CBD-A blocks COX-2 enzymes, inflammation can lessen.
Another important part of the research involves CBD-A and the 5-HT serotonin system. This system links with mood and perception (serotonin regulates mood amongst other things).
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most common antidepressants. These cause serotonin receptors to decrease the amount of serotonin your body is able to retake into the neurons thus increasing its quantity in the body. A study on animals from 2018 shows that CBD-A also inhibits the reabsorption of serotonin. Double whammy!
The serotonin system influences many chemical processes in the brain. Excess serotonin can cause nausea and vomiting. IE boosts in the hormone can also result from a variety of stressors.
Aside from these specific places of research, there is also the burning question of how effective CBDA is. In comparison with CBD, the academic journal Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience claims that CBD-A has 100 times greater affinity for 5-HT receptors. CBD-A also has a higher bioavailability than CBD, which refers to the percentage of a substance that can be absorbed by the body.
Should We Be Hopeful About CBDA Research?
Right now, there is only a limited amount of research on CBD-A. Simply put, there are not enough studies to back that CBD-A has specific uses.
It is also critical to remember that the above studies were conducted on animal models. Studies like this are widely used in the beginning stages of research, human studies are necessary to determine the exact effect of CBD-A on users.
Though, this is not to say that one should disregard all existing research on CBD-A. The results so far are very promising, and will hopefully lead to more reliable information in the future. Until then, we can focus on peer reviews of people that have been using it. Take this chance to find it and try it for yourself. We all remain optimistic in terms of what CBD-A can do.
Should You Be on the Lookout for a CBDA Supplement?
Most hemp oil supplements around contain CBD-A in small amounts, usually around 5mg per 100 ML. While there aren’t many that we’re aware of that contain pure CBD-A, though we do carry 5mg and 10mg tablets of pure CBD-A.
It’s up to you whether you invest in a CBD-A product. I’ve personally been testing it lately and the results are impressive. Out of the 5 samples I’ve given to people about half have come back to buy their own supply.
Research up to now is minimal, so we can’t say for sure what the specific benefits are. Though, some early research suggests that it could be even more effective than CBD and actually enhance the effects of CBD itself!
At this point, we’ll just have to watch this space. There’s no telling where CBD-A might take us, but the future looks very promising. Be on the lookout for new products coming soon!