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CBD has gained a large following of health-conscious people who enjoy the compound’s calming benefits. A new product has emerged on the market that is touted as the next big thing in therapeutic cannabinoid compounds: CBDA. Although both cannabinoid compounds look similar, there are several structural and functional differences between CBD and CBDA.
What Is CBD?
When it comes to discussing non-psychoactive cannabinoid compounds, CBD steals the spotlight. CBD has seen a considerable increase in popularity due to its reported health benefits and recent legislation. CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids that have been identified in cannabis plants.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most predominant cannabinoid found in cannabis plants behind THC. CBD is primarily found in the hemp plant, part of the cannabis species. It can be taken as a tincture or edible, applied topically as a salve, or inhaled via vaping. CBD is enjoyed as a way to manage everyday stress and restore balance to your body.
What Is CBDA?
Although CBD does come from hemp plants if you analyzed a raw hemp plant, you wouldn’t find any CBD. Instead, what you would find is cannabidiolic acid or CBDA. CBDA is a phytocannabinoid which naturally occurs in hemp plants. CBDA is the chemical antecedent to CBD which is produced by heating and treating CBDA in a process called decarboxylation.
What Is Decarboxylation?
CBDA is considered as an “inactive” cannabinoid. Decarboxylation activates CBDA by transforming it into active CBD, which allows the compound to interact with the body’s regulatory systems.
CBDA contains an additional carboxyl group on the CBD molecule. A carboxyl group is composed of an oxygen atom double-bonded to a carbon atom which is bonded to a hydroxyl group.
The presence of a carboxyl molecule gives compounds specific properties such as deionization, adding stability to a molecule and acting as an acid. However, this carboxyl group also changes how the compound affects your endocannabinoid system.
Decarboxylation is the process of removing the carboxyl group through high temperatures or curing. The removal of the acid group usually occurs when the raw harvested hemp material is dried before extraction. It can also occur during the extraction process when the ethanol is evaporated from the raw hemp oil. For consumers who smoke raw hemp or vape oil, the CBDA is decarboxylated when heat is applied.
The Difference Between CBD and CBDA
Although the two cannabinoids are closely related, each interacts in a different way with the endocannabinoid system to offer their own unique therapeutic benefits.
What Are the Benefits of CBD?
Of all the cannabinoids found in hemp, CBD has received the majority of the attention and research due to its popularity with consumers and its potential for use medically.
Researchers understand that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. It does this by mimicking the natural endocannabinoids found in the body and activating or inhibiting certain receptors and enzymes.
Depending on which receptor CBD binds to, you may feel an increased sense of calm, which can help you manage stressful situations. You may also notice improved cognition and focus and experience better quality sleep.
Athletes can also benefit from using CBD. When applied topically as a salve, CBD can help to relieve tired muscles and boost your post-workout recovery.
For people suffering from itchy skin conditions, CBD oil can be used to promote relief of dry skin. Even pets can benefit from using CBD oil for relaxation during stressful situations such as thunderstorms or fireworks.
What Are the Benefits of CBDA?
Very little is known about the effect that CBDA has on the body due to the limited scientific research available. What we do currently know is that unlike CBD, the carboxyl group on CBDA prevents the compound from binding to the cannabinoid receptors.
What the research does show us is that the compound inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, which causes inflammation. These results suggest that CBDA has the potential to work as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Studies have also shown that CBDA interacts with the 5HT receptors, which are responsible for serotonin production. Serotonin is necessary for regulating mood, appetite, memory, and sleep, among other bodily functions. Research has also found a positive correlation between consuming CBDA and the reduction of nausea and vomiting.
Should I Use CBD or CBDA?
While the research into CBDA is still new, there have been many positive outcomes from initial CBDA studies. In fact, the results from current research have led many companies to start manufacturing raw hemp CBDA products or combining CBDA with their current line up of CBD products to benefit from the “Entourage Effect.”
There is growing scientific support for the Entourage Effect, which suggests that CBD and other cannabinoids work more effectively when combined than when taken separately. This has promising implications for the addition of CBDA to CBD products to enhance the benefits for your well-being.
If you are still unsure, contact Kats Botanicals, and we can help you decide if CBD, CBDA, or a mixture of the two will best benefit your wellness journey.
How Can I Take CBDA?
You can consume CBDA in the same way that you take CBD. The raw extract can be consumed sublingually as a tincture or as syrup, capsules, or pills. Raw hemp can be infused into salves or balm for topical use. It can also be consumed raw in juices, smoothies, and iced tea. Many users report that it has a bitter taste, so it is advisable to add sugar or other sweeteners to mask the flavor.
It is not recommended for use in vape pens, in edibles, or cooking as the heat will decarboxylate the CBDA, changing it to CBD.
The research on the effects of CBDA is still in the early stages and very limited. While we don’t know the full potential of this compound, initial results are positive and promising. For now, CBD can offer a number of therapeutic benefits, which include supporting your overall wellness, relieving post-workout muscle aches, and helping you manage day-to-day stress.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Disclosure