What is CBDa?
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa) has recently taken the spotlight in the cannabis research community for its therapeutic potential, being considered as a treatment for inflammation, anxiety, seizures, and a number of other health conditions.
Given that cannabis has only recently become legal in certain states, there hasn’t been enough time to produce long term studies that can officially confirm these hopes. Still, the fact that researchers are showing so much interest and enthusiasm is enough to warrant taking a closer look. So, what really is CBDa?
What are cannabinoids?
Before diving into the gritty details about CBDa, it’s important to first have a basic understanding of what cannabinoids are.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant, most famously Delta-9 THC, CBD, CBG, and Delta-8 THC.
Each of these compounds interacts with our endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in regulating our stress response, brain function, hormones, and more.
The effect that each cannabinoid has is primarily dependent on which endocannabinoid receptors they interact with. Some are psychoactive, meaning they interact with receptors that produce a “high,” while others are non-psychoactive and do not alter one’s state of mind.
High dose CBN
What is CBDa?
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa) is the chemical precursor to cannabidiol (CBD). This means that CBDa is the first form of cannabidiol that appears when growing cannabis. It isn’t until the plant is processed, heated, or dried that CBDa is converted into CBD. For this reason, many people refer to it as the “raw form of CBD.”
Much like CBD, it’s acidic sister is non-psychoactive and does not induce intoxication. The two compounds differ in some small ways, but share much of the same potential therapeutic benefits.
One way the two differ is that researchers have discovered that CBDa has a similar molecular structure to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation. This has led to the proposition that CBDa may be more potent than CBD in certain circumstances.
What are the benefits of CBD vs CBDa?
Anecdotal evidence suggests both CBDa and CBD may help with:
- Seizure disorders
While there are many studies that point to these benefits, there has not been enough to declare them medical truths. Here are some of the studies that are particular to CBDa.
A 2013 rodent study from Canada showed that CBDa was a thousand times more effective at controlling nausea and anxiety than CBD1. It was also found to act as an anticonvulsant which was attributed to its link to the serotonin receptor that helps reduce nausea.
CBDa has also been studied for its anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperalgesia (pain) effects. One 2018 rodent study from Canada found that low doses of CBDa can help alleviate acute inflammation and pain in rats2.
Some other areas of interest for researchers include exploring its antibacterial effects, its impact on the migration of breast cancer cells, and the mitigation of epileptic seizures3.
What does CBDa feel like?
CBDa feels different depending on what dose you take, your weight, and genetic makeup, but most users report a mild, calming effect. Some may experience relief from specific ailments that are unique to them, but this can’t be accurately predicted. CBDa is non-psychoactive so it doesn’t get you high.
How is CBDa extracted?
CBDa is most often made by a process called supercritical C02 extraction. Essentially, pressure and temperature are controlled within a vessel to break down plant matter and leave behind only what is desired.
In the case of CBDa, the plant matter is hemp flower that has not been dried, cured, or processed. What is left behind after the extraction process is CBDa isolate powder. This can then be infused into a number of products like drinks, oils, and gummies.
This is the same method of extraction often used by manufacturers to produce distillate for vape cartridges like our Blue Dream CBD cartridge. It is preferred to other methods because C02 acts as a cleaning agent, killing any potential microbes and bacteria.
C02 extraction is also a solventless process, meaning no residual solvents can be left over which is a big plus for safety reasons.
Is CBDa legal?
Yes, CBDa is legal under the federal farm bill of 2018 so long as it is not mixed into a product that tests above 0.3% THC. It holds the same legal status as CBD.
If you’re looking to purchase CBDa, it’s important you purchase from a vendor that has third-party lab tests available and legally compliant packaging. On our website, you can find lab test results that confirm a THC content of less than 0.3% for reference.
What’s the best way to take CBDa?
CBDa can’t be smoked because when it is, the heat converts it to CBD before you inhale. As a hemp flower company, this puts us in a tough position because that’s undoubtedly our preferred form of consumption.
One of our favorite things about inhaling CBD is that it kicks in almost instantly, whereas edibles generally take 45 minutes to an hour and a half to kick in. WIth this in mind, we created a product that’s both fast acting and contains CBDa.
Our nano infused gummies are water soluble, which means they can be much more quickly absorbed and only take around 10 to 20 minutes to be felt. They’re made with all natural fruit juices, are pomegranate flavored, and contain 10 mg of CBDa in each.
How much CBDa should I take?
We recommend starting with 10 mg and waiting around 10-20 minutes if you’re using our nano CBDa gummies and 45 minutes to an hour and a half if you’re using a different CBDa consumption method. After this, you can gauge how you feel and redose as needed. Dosing affects people differently depending on their weight, genetic make-up, and tolerance, so it’s important to go through the process of finding out what dose works for you. Starting small is always the safest way.
1. Nausea and anxiety
2. Inflammation and pain
3. Epileptic seizures