CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid) is one of the many phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. What makes CBDA special is that it is the raw acidic precursor to the neutral compound CBD, and as such, it is much more bioavailable, & absorbed more readily by your body than CBD or any of the other cannabinoid compounds that become neutralized after being introduced to light and heat, a process called, decarboxylation. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the doctor credited for discovering and naming the cannabinoid compounds in the 1960’s, has been quoted in recent months, when discussing his latest revolutionary findings related to CBD, that CBDA is a “superior cannabinoid for achieving mental & physical homeostasis.” Homeostasis is balance.
Your body has an internal endocannabinoid system (ECS), with receptors all throughout its many systems – limbic system (dealing with emotions and memories), nervous system (nerves, brain & muscle function), endocrine system (hormones), digestive system (absorb nutrients and remove waste), circulatory & cardiovascular system (blood, heart, oxygen), skeletal system (bones & organs), immune system & lymphatic system (defends against pathogens), reproductive system (producing offspring), renal system (filtering blood through the kidneys), exocrine system (skin, hair, nails, etc…).
There are 2 types of receptors present throughout all of these systems – CB1 & CB2 receptors. These receptors are vital to regulating your brain’s neurotransmitters for each of these systems; neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and cannabinoids. Your body produces its own cannabinoids (anandamide & 2AG) for the purpose of this regulation. Additionally, cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant appear to interact & produce the same activity & function when met with these receptors.
Your body’s natural cannabinoids are made in your body when & where needed. However, there are many researchers in the scientific community who are being so bold as to suggest that many people have deficiencies of these natural cannabinoids, further, two scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said in a recent review that “modulating the endocannabinoid activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans.” In response to this notion, Dr. Mechoulam replied, “maybe not all diseases, but no doubt, quite a lot of diseases are affected.”
Scientists have been studying CBDA for about a decade. Surprisingly, the acidic Phytocannabinoids such as CBGA, CBDA, &THCA have been largely ignored by the scientific community until recently. Acids are not stable compounds, and therefore, scientists have not been too keen to study something that is unstable. It wasn’t until Dr. Mechoulam’s team was able to stabilize CBDA that much research had begun.
What has been discovered is that CBDA appears to have an integral role as effective therapy for pain, skin health & repair, neurological function, and in fighting certain cancers.
CBDA for Pain:
CBDA interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme (COX-2 enzyme), associated with inflammation after an injury or infection. By blocking COX-2 enzymes, CBDA relieves inflammation & associated pain. “In comparison to CBDA, an equivalent low dose of CBD did not reduce hyperalgesia [abnormally heightened sensitivity to pain], suggesting that CBDA is more potent than CBD for this indication.”
CBDA for the Mind:
- The neurotransmitter, Seratonin, is vital to core human functions like motor skills, sleeping, eating, digestion, & emotion. CBDA demonstrates 100 fold greater affinity for 5-HT Seratonin receptors than its neutral form, CBD. CBDA helps to relieve chemotherapy induced nausea/vomiting (CINV). These cancer therapies trigger the body to release excess serotonin as a stress response. This excess serotonin is what causes the severe nausea & vomiting. While vomiting can usually be controlled by medication, nausea is much harder to control and causes much more distress for patients. “CBDA shows promise as a treatment for nausea and vomiting, including anticipatory nausea for which no specific therapy is currently available.”
- Research has shown CBDA to be a powerful anticonvulsive, due to it having 100 times the affinity for the 5-HT receptors, and because it has a greater bioavailability, the body can metabolize CBDA more thoroughly, with less effort, in less time, and with less dosage. A patent was granted to British based, GW Pharmaceuticals, for their anti-seizure drug, Epidiolex, in which their research is largely based on CBDA’s role in the effectiveness of the drug.
- For that same reason, it’s presumed that CBDA may be effective in fighting depression. CBDA works on the 5-HT receptors in a similar way as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medication.
- As well, CBDA appears to be successful in suppressing anxiety.
GW Pharmaceuticals filed for a medical use patent, in which their research demonstrates effectiveness of CBDA in relieving inflammatory skin diseases. These are just some of their findings:
CBDA for Skin:
- Anti-acne effects – CBDA resulted in normalizing pro-acne agents & induced seborrhea-mimicking lipogenesis
- Overall test scores suggest that the cannabinoids CBDA and CBG might be most effective at the reduction of inflammation in microbial infection-induced dermatitis.
- CBDA for psoriasis & exzema – The cannabinoids that were most effective were CBDA, CBDV and CBG in the reduction of inflammation caused by atopic dermatitis. All phytocannabinoids exerted remarkable, dose-dependent anti-inflammatory actions.
- CBDA for sunburn – CBDA & CBG were most effective of all cannabinoids in reduction of inflammation caused by UV light exposure.
The same GW Pharmaceuticals filed for a medical use patent in which their research studied & demonstrated remarkable effectiveness for cannabinoids in fighting certain cancers.
CBDA for Cancer:
- Although CBDA cancer research has only been performed on isolated cells in labs, these experiments have demonstrated remarkable promise in halting the migration of a highly aggressive form of breast cancer, MDA-MB-231. This breast cancer has been very difficult to treat in the past, so this could truly be a breakthrough in cancer treatments.
- Lung and melanoma cancers – every CBD and phytocannabinoid combination scored in the synergistic range, demonstrating a clear cytotoxic effect on many different cancer cells.
Although much more research is desperately needed with clinical trials on human subjects. These initial findings hold quite a lot of promise as to the potentially important supplementation and future therapies directly related to supporting your body’s own endocannabinoid system and its regulatory function throughout all of the major systems in your body, for optimal health and well-being. Education & awareness of the various cannabinoids and their therapeutic effects is vital to everyone considering incorporating CBD and the various cannabinoid compounds in their health regiment. Phytocannabinoids, like CBDA, in their natural, raw, acidic form (pre-decarboxylation), appear to have several superior benefits to their active neutral compounds (ie, CBD).
It is important for consumers to be aware that the extraction method for cannabinoids is directly related to the effectiveness of the CBD products, and of the leading professional extraction methods, the only way to maintain the highest levels of the acidic phytocannabinoids like CBDA, is through an extraction method called, sub-critical CO2 extraction.
Heat is the enemy of any botanical oil. Sub-critical CO2 is a cold extraction method, therefore it does not introduce heat and inhibits decarboxylation of the cannabinoids, preserving the raw acidic precursors in the highest amounts possible. This is the only reliable extraction method that does this, through a slower process, keeping the temperatures & pressure low during extraction, protecting sensitive terpenes, and preventing thermal degradation of the oils.
Extractions that involve higher temperatures, like super-critical CO2, and extractions that utilize other solvents, like ethanol, cause decarboxylation, leave residual traces of harmful solvents, and in the case of higher temperatures, can have the undesired effect of extracting chlorophyll. The result is an extraction with degraded bioavailability and effectiveness of the raw, acidic cannabinoid compounds.
Sub-critical CO2 extracted CBD is the optimal choice to ensure the pinnacle of wellness standards in both topical and ingestible CBD products.