What is CBDA
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is among the numerous compounds that are produced by hemp and cannabis. Within CBD-variety plants, it is abundant and converts into the more well-known cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) when it is exposed to heat and over time.
Cannabinoids are a type of cannabis compound. They interact with the human body to produce recreational and medical effects, from euphoria to stress and pain relief. Most likely you have heard of THC and CBD before. They are the most well-known cannabinoids. Originally, they both come from the precursor cannabinoid called cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).
cannabidiolic acid – CBDA
cannabichromenic acid – CBCA
tetrahydrocannabinolic acid – THCA
Whenever decarboxylation takes place, exposes cannabis plants to sunlight or heat, CBDA is converted into CBD. That means that CBDA is the predecessor or raw form of CBD.
CBDA these days is commonly found in topicals, tinctures, and capsules. Many people even get their daily CBDA dose from raw cannabis juice.
Why is CBDA important and what does it do?
Potential Medical Benefits Provided by CBDA
Although most cannabinoids directly bind with either the CB2 or CB1 receptors, that is not how CBDA works. CBDA, instead, interacts with the endocannabinoid system. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). COX-2 is associated with inflammation following an infection or injury. So when COX-2 enzymes are blocked, CBDA is able to relieve inflammation along with the pain associated with it.
Scientists found in a rodent study that serotonin levels were affected by CBDA. This is a chemical that the nerve cells produce to help with signaling between cells. Serotonin is critical to important human functions such as emotions, digestion, eating, sleeping, and motor skills.
A number of different stressors, including chemotherapy and radiation, triggers the body into releasing excess serotonin which causes vomiting and nausea. Although typically vomiting can be controlled with medication, controlling nausea is more difficult. Nausea causes a lot more distress to cancer patients than vomiting since nausea is a type of continuous sensation. One out of every five cancer patients considers discontinuing their cancer treatment to avoid experiencing nausea.
Current CBDA Research
Over the past decade, scientists have studied CBDA.
A 2008 study examined the potential of using CBDA as a type of anti-inflammatory agent. It did this by specifically researching its COX-2 inhibitor characteristics. The researchers compared CBDA’s molecular structures against NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that are often used for treating inflammation. They found that the two have very similar chemical structures. Both are known for inhibiting COX-2 receptors. The initial study demonstrated that CBDA has promise as a possible anti-inflammatory agent.
To date, a majority of CBDA studies have been non-human preclinical studies. Although human trials need to be conducted, certain medical cannabis companies such as the British-based GW Pharmaceuticals are helping to pave the way. The company manufactures Epidiolex, which is a pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil. It is the first cannabis-derived prescription drug that has been approved by the FDA.