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Cannabinoids are being discovered daily, providing benefits and a better smoking experience. Whether you want a more mellow high with Delta 8 or to intensify your high with Delta 9, there is a cannabinoid for everyone, both recreational and medical marijuana users.
One new cannabinoid, CBDA, is taking the cannabis world by storm for several reasons. Is CBDA the new hot cannabinoid out there? We will discuss that today, so stay tuned and keep reading!
CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) is a cannabinoid. It is one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Cannabidiolic acid is abundant in newly harvested hemp plants. However, it changes to the more popular CBD (cannabidiol) after a process known as “decarboxylation.” This means that CBDA is the chemical precursor of CBD.
All the compounds in cannabis have chemical structures containing a "carboxyl group." This carboxyl group consists of one carbon atom, one hydrogen atom, and two oxygen atoms (COOH).
During decarboxylation, the cannabis plant is exposed to temperatures between 230 and 250 ˚F (110 - 120 ˚C). The heat removes the carboxyl group from the chemical structures of the compounds. Therefore, CBDA is converted to CBD.
Like other cannabinoids, CBDA is developed in the raw cannabis plant. They all start as acidic cannabinoids CBGA (cannabigerol acid). This is known as the "mother of all cannabinoids."
As the cannabis plant grows, an enzymatic reaction converts CBGA into several cannabinoids. By the time the plant is ready for harvest, almost all the CBGA is converted to the three major cannabinoid precursor compounds: THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBCA (cannabichromenic acid), CBDA (cannabidiolic acid).
CBDA works best together with other cannabinoids and terpenes. This is known as the "entourage effect," which means that CBDA can improve the medical properties of CBD and vice versa. It can make terpenes such as pinene and limonene more powerful.
Most cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, bind to the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors. However, CBDA works differently. Instead, CBDA interacts with the endocannabinoid system by blocking the COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) enzymes. This does not affect the central nervous system directly. But these enzymes are associated with inflammation after an infection or injury. By inhibiting the COX-2 enzymes, CBDA helps to relieve inflammation and pain.
CBDA also interacts with the 5-HT1A serotonin-producing receptors in the body. Serotonin is a chemical produced by nerve cells that helps communication between cells. This chemical helps to control several essential human functions, such as nausea, emotions, motor skills, eating, digesting, and sleeping.
CBDA has several potential health benefits. However, most of the studies so far have come from animal models. Until human trials are carried out, there is no way to know all the medical uses of CBDA. But, scientific research suggests that it could have similar effects to CBD. Some CBDa benefits include:
CBDA has anti-inflammatory properties. It can relieve inflammation because of its ability to selectively block cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). While COX-1 helps to maintain the intestinal and stomach lining, COX-2 causes inflammation.
NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin and ibuprofen work by blocking the effects of both enzymes. Therefore, extensive use of these drugs can damage the gastrointestinal tract.
CBDA works like NSAIDs, but it is a selective COX-2 blocker and does not block COX-2 enzymes. This means there is no risk of long-term damage to the intestinal and stomach lining.
CBD and THC have anti-nausea properties and initial research hints that CBDA could be more potent. The effects of CBDA on different types of nausea and vomiting have been examined. Researchers found that CBDA was effective against toxins and motion-induced nausea and vomiting.
During the studies, CBDA was used to enhance the activation of the 5-HT1A receptors. These receptors produce serotonin, which controls several human functions, including nausea. When CBDA binds to the 5-HT1A receptors, it helps to reduce vomiting and reduce nausea-related behaviors.
Another study discovered that CBDA was highly effective in reducing anticipatory nausea. This is when people feel nauseous before their chemotherapy treatments. This type of nausea has no treatment yet so CBDA could be a potential route.
A 2012 study from Hokuriku University, Japan, showed that CBDA helped to inhibit the growth of highly aggressive breast cancer cells. While the potential results are promising, researchers are yet to understand how cannabidiolic acid works.
Besides inhibiting growth, CBDA can also prevent the spread of breast cancer cells to other body parts. These highly aggressive breast cancer cells have a higher COX-2 concentration than usual.
So, using CBDA on these cancer cells can inhibit COX-2. It can reduce the potency of the Id-1 protein, which helps the growth and survival of cancer cells. In addition, CBDA also increases Sharp-1 expression, which suppresses the migration of breast cancer cells.
There are a few possible side effects associated with cannabidiolic acid. These side effects are usually mild and likely due to heavy doses or frequent use.
Some side effects include mild mood changes, dry mouth, lightheadedness, and drowsiness.
Several medications interact with CBDA. Therefore, consult your pharmacist or doctor before using CBDA with a prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
The best way to take CBDA is by using the leaves and flowers of fresh cannabis plants. You can eat the raw leaves in salads, add them to your smoothies, or use them to make cannabis juice. You can also use the flower buds to make tea. Add them to a cup and steep them to infuse the CBDA into your drink.
CBDA is also available as a cannabis product. Ensure you look for products labeled "raw CBD oil." This label shows that the product contains CBDA instead of CBD. Other sources of CBDA are tinctures, capsules, creams, and gels.
If you feel nauseous, a dab of CBDA tincture directly under your tongue can help. To treat inflammation from a minor injury or muscle sprain, you can apply one or two drops of CBDA oil to the area.
As mentioned before, CBDA helps CBD reach its full potential and vice versa, but what are some differences between them? They both come from the hemp plant, except CBD comes from grown and cured cannabis plants, and CBDA occurs in plants that are still growing.
CBDA is what’s known as an acid precursor of CBD and only comes about when raw cannabis juice containing CBDA is heated, causing what’s known as decarboxylation.
Most cannabis products, like cannabis Sativa or CBD products, are protected by the Farm Bill proposed in 2018. In states where cannabis is legal, CBDA is legal, and you can purchase CBDA products in raw form or any form through your local dispensary or online smoke shop.
Growing cannabis plants and extracting the CBDA for yourself might be illegal but purchasing the product is not illegal.
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CBDA is present in the cannabis plant, but very little research has been conducted. Initial studies have shown several health benefits, including treatment of inflammation, nausea, and certain types of cancer.
With more research, we could learn more about the health benefits of CBDA and what it could do for human health.