CBDa - Cannabidiolic acid Explained
Cannabis contains dozens of cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds in the plant that affects our bodies in different ways. Some cannabinoids get us high, some have health benefits, and most are poorly understood compounds that need to be researched further.
In this series, we will take a look at a few of the most well-researched cannabinoids that are found in cannabis.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most well-known cannabinoids. It comes from a compound called cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, which is found in cannabis plants.
Cannabis plants don’t exactly make CBD immediately; they make CBDA, which then turns into CBD. To use an analogy, a cow doesn’t make cheese - it makes milk which is turned into cheese. Similarly, you could say that CBDA is the ‘raw form’ of CBD.
CBDA turns into CBD through a process of decarboxylation, which occurs when the plant is exposed to sunlight or heat (through smoking, vaping, cooking, and so on). When most people consume cannabis or cannabis products, the CBDA has already been turned into CBD. However, you can find CBDA products nowadays, in the form of capsules, tinctures, and more.
But what does the research say about CBDA? Does CBDA have health benefits? Here’s what you need to know.
Potential health benefits of CBDA
Research on CBDA is still in its infancy, meaning that there’s still a lot we haven’t researched when it comes to the cannabinoid. However, some research has suggested there are many potential health benefits of CBDA.
This is because CBDA seems to affect the cyclooxygenase enzymes. These enzymes work with your body’s own internal systems. Our bodies make our own cannabinoids to regulate our body functions, and these enzymes break those cannabinoids down after a while. CBDA stops those enzymes from breaking cannabinoids down. In doing so, your body’s cannabinoids get to work a little longer.
The potential health benefits of CBDA may include:
- Improving one’s mood. One study, which was based on animal models, showed that CBDA could reduce depression in rat subjects.
- Reducing inflammation and pain. Research suggests that CBDA may have a similar effect to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), in that it could reduce inflammation and pain.
- Reducing nausea. A study showed that CBDA reduced nausea and vomiting in mice.
- Treating cancer. While the research on this is very limited, a few promising studies suggest that CBDA could stop the spread of a certain breast cancer cell. GW Pharma Limited, a British pharmaceutical company, has filed a patent for using CBDA to treat cancer.
- Soothing inflammatory skin conditions. GW Pharma Limited has also filed a patent on using CBDA to treat inflammatory skin diseases, including allergic rashes and bacterial infections.
The research is way too limited to confirm whether these reported benefits of CBDA are real. In most cases, it has been tested on animal subjects but not on humans. We’d have to have large clinical studies on humans before we’re sure of the health benefits of CBDA.
But for now, many people believe CBDA is an excellent treatment and supplement for general health. Since CBDA won’t get you high, and since it’s thought to be a safe treatment, many people buy and use CBDA.
Depending on your location, you might be able to buy CBDA from your local dispensary, or you can buy it online. Either way, be sure to buy CBDA from a reputable company - their products should be tested by an independent lab. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor if you’re taking a supplement of any kind, whether it’s an iron supplement or a cannabinoid like CBDA.
- Bolognini, D. et al. 2013. Cannabidiolic acid prevents vomiting in Suncus murinus and nausea-induced behaviour in rats by enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation. DOI: 10.1111/bph.12043
- Fitzpatrick, FA. 2004. Cyclooxygenase enzymes: regulation and function. DOI: 10.2174/1381612043453144
- GW Pharma Limited. 2016. Use Of Cannabinoids In The Treatment Of Inflammatory Skin Diseases. https://patents.justia.com/patent/20180263952
- GW Pharma Limited. 2015. Active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) comprising cannabinoids for use in the treatment of cancer. https://patents.justia.com/patent/9962341
- Hen-Shoval, D., et al. 2018. Acute oral cannabidiolic acid methyl ester reduces depression-like behavior in two genetic animal models of depression. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2018.05.027
- Takeda, S. et al. 2008. Cannabidiolic acid as a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory component in cannabis. DOI: 10.1124/dmd.108.020909
- Takeda, S. et al. 2017. Cannabidiolic acid-mediated selective down-regulation of c-fos in highly aggressive breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells: possible involvement of its down-regulation in the abrogation of aggressiveness. DOI: 10.1007/s11418-016-1030-0