The hemp plant contains over 500 phytochemicals, including more than 100 cannabinoids. Both CBDa and CBD are phytocannabinoids, but they develop at different stages. All cannabinoids begin in the acidic form as living compounds. After harvesting the plants, the compounds start to age, which changes the compound to CBD. CBDa isn’t the only acidic cannabinoid. The most common are CBDa, THCa, CBCa, and CBGa. Additionally, there are over two dozen minor cannabinoid acids. This natural process is extremely slow. CBD manufacturers speed up the transformation through various extraction methods.
The only difference between the two compounds is decarboxylation. CBDa is the same cannabinoid as CBD, but one is fresh, and the other has gone through a heating process to alter the composition.
Analytical Cannabis explains it best,
“Once CBDA has been formed, it’s then converted into CBD by thermal decarboxylation, whereby heat causes the molecule to lose its acidic carboxyl group. This decarboxylation process can either happen instantly, such as when the cannabis material is lit and smoked or vaporized or by slow degradation over time if the plant material is left to sit at room temperature.”
However, another difference is in the amount. After harvesting hemp, the CBDa levels deplete quickly, leaving much less CBDa than CBD.
“HEMP.—The term ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Relieve Vomiting and Nausea
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of many conditions. Unfortunately, treatment for these ailments can be invasive. As a result, practitioners are continually searching for safer alternatives. One study in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBDa reduced vomiting and nausea in rats during motion-induced incidents. The research suggests the compound might help people with motion sickness.
I don’t know about you, but the idea of going on a cruise or a simple boat ride without getting “seasick” sounds pretty impressive. Additionally, as more research is available, it could help people who experience car sickness.
Reduce Signs of Depression
CBDa might help with feelings of sadness and other signs of depression. A 2018 study using generic animal models found the compound has anxiolytic properties, which can reduce anxiousness. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the father of modern cannabis research, and his team announced they’ve found a way to stabilize CBDa, improving its potential therapeutic properties.
“We have taken the unstable acid molecules of the cannabis plant and synthesized them to provide a stable, consistent basis for researching new therapies across a wide range of medical needs – from central nervous system disorders to inflammation and many more.”
However, this is only the beginning of the research and studies, more data is necessary to further the science involving CBDa as a future natural wellness supplement.
Inhibit Inflammatory Pain
A 2008 study found the compound might provide more help than other cannabinoids preventing inflammatory pain. This research also notes that the molecular structure of CBDa is close to NSAIDs. Further studies may prove the cannabinoid is a safe alternative to over-the-counter medications with serious side effects. Additionally, a second report in 2018 found similar effects with rodent models. It also notes anti-hyperalgesia properties, which may reduce pain sensitivity.
Extensive reports by the former GW Pharmaceuticals, the company responsible for developing and manufacturing Epidiolex, found the compound might provide better seizure relief than CBD. It’s important to point out the cannabinoid research giant also holds patents to use CBDa for inflammatory skin diseases and cancer. The potential cancer treatment is still in early studies and only involves a single cell. The data also includes other cannabinoids, such as CBGa and THCv.
Ways to Consume CBDa
Consuming CBDa isn’t the same as other compounds. As soon as you heat the phytocannabinoid, it changes to CBD. So the best way to use CBDa is raw. Many consumers add a few flowers to a healthy smoothie to get the benefits of the compound. Also referred to as raw juicing, the practice is growing in popularity.
However, there are other ways brands are working on for a CBDa delivery system. As mentioned before, infusing CBD oil with a cold-pressed CBDa extract is one way. Another is developing CBDa capsules. It’s essential to find methods that don’t cause the compound to degrade to CBD.