Updated: May 10, 2021
Since hemp legalization in 2018, CBD has rapidly grown in popularity. But what do you know about CBDA?
What is CBDA and why is it important?
When the hemp flowers are harvested, most of the cannabinoids are in their acidic form. For example, CBD in a freshly harvested plant is mostly in its acidic form known as CBDA or Cannabidiolic Acid. Over time, through chemical processes of light and heat, the acidic form CBDA is turned into CBD. This chemical process involves removing a carboxyl group and so is called decarboxylation or “decarbing.”
When it comes to the CBD industry, decarboxylation is performed in the laboratory by gently heating either the dried hemp flower or the CBD extract. Through this process, CBDA converts into CBD by releasing carbon dioxide.
The idea behind decarboxylation and converting CBDA into CBD comes from cannabis consumption. THCA is the acidic form of THC and is not psychoactive and does not get you high. But when it is smoked, THCA is heated and converted into THC which is “activated” and produces a psychoactive effect.
The same idea was applied to CBD when it started to become popular and CBD companies began to decarboxylate CBDA to convert it to CBD. It was thought that decarbing CBD was necessary to activate it, thus enabling a therapeutic benefit to the body. But is it really necessary? And is CBD actually more active or effective than CBDA? These are questions we hope to be able to answer soon.
Due to the assumption that CBD is "active" and thus more useful than CBDA, most scientists believed that cannabinoids in their acidic form were ineffective and thus neglected to study its benefits. As a result, CBDA has not been nearly as well researched as CBD, and there is limited information available about its benefits.
While there is no denying that CBD is very useful, recent studies show that the CBDA could provide powerful therapeutic value as well. What we have already learned about CBDA is very encouraging.
Back in 2008, scientists realized that CBDA was similar chemically to NSAIDs, which are anti-inflammatory drugs which include common over the counter drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. These scientists further discovered that CBDA performs a similar function in the body as NSAIDs by inhibiting COX-2. COX-2 is an enzyme that is considered the main catalyst for inflammation, tumor growth and narrowing of blood vessels. COX-2 has been linked to the spread of breast cancer cells by suppressing tumor immunity in the body, due to its inflammatory effect on the body. What’s impressive here about CBDA is that it not only effectively inhibits COX-2, it does not have the side effects that can result from use of NSAIDs.
GW Pharma is a pharmaceutical company that created Epidiolex to treat epilepsy, which is the only FDA approved CBD based drug. Researchers at GW have been studying the potential of CBDA and have found that CBDA is more bioavailable, requires lower doses than CBD and could be more effective in reducing seizures than CBD. Thus CBDA has the potential to pave the way for a new generation of epilepsy medication.
Nausea and Anxiety
CBDA has been shown to activate 5-HT receptors, which influence the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which modulates many functions in the body including nausea and anxiety. Research indicated that CBDA may be more effective than CBD when it comes to reducing nausea and anxiety. This potential benefit could be particularly useful to those undergoing chemotherapy as well as those suffering from anxiety. Research into the potential anti-emetic and anxiolytic benefits of CBDA is ongoing.
It is becoming increasingly clear that CBDA is more easily absorbed by the body than CBD. A recent study from Italy showed that CBDA is 18 times more bioavailable than CBD. They were able to prove this by giving equal amounts of CBD and CBDA to patients, then checking their blood over the next few hours to measure the concentration of cannabinoids. There have been other studies that show that CBDA actually helps increase the body’s intake and absorption of CBD.
On a more intuitive level, it makes sense that the most natural form (CBDA) is the one that is most easily used by the body and has the greatest benefit. That said, the research into potential medical benefits of CBDA have only just begun and more study and clinical trials are necessary. As more research becomes available, we look forward to learning more about the benefits of CBDA.
Welliva offers a high quality Rosin tincture that is rich in CBDA. Our unique raw formula is filled with natural terpenes which are usually lost during standard extraction processes. Our premium rosin is made by applying low heat and pressure to organic hemp flowers, and collecting the resulting concentrate. We then mix this potent concentrate with certified organic hemp seed oil to create a powerful tincture that contains a 6:1 ratio of CBDA to CBD.
If you are an experienced CBD user looking to step up your game, or are looking to experience the benefits of CBDA for the first time, give our Pure Rosin CBD tincture a try and find out why it has quickly become one of our favorites.
As always, we recommend starting with small doses when introducing a new product into your daily routine. If you are treating a serious health condition or are not sure if you should take CBDA, please first speak with your health care provider.