Let's Talk About CBDA
With hundreds of grown compounds, the Cannabis family of plants is a constant stream of potential. Lately, everyone is talking about CBDA and what this particular compound can do. While still very under-studied, the initial results are exciting.
What is CBDA?
CBDA is Cannabidiolic Acid, the “carboxylated precursor” to CBD (1).
Over time, and when exposed to heat (decarboxylation), CBDA converts to CBD.
Most CBD consumers enjoy the compound for the way it can help with things like joint pain or inflammation. A natural analgesic, CBD also can help “weaken the effects of THC’s adverse results” while also being a “neuroprotective antioxidant” holding more power than Vitamins C & E (1).
These are all great reasons to want to have CBD in your life; but, what about CBDA?
Here are some recent findings by scientists and researchers:
Considered to be “anti-inflammatory, antiemetic (anti-nausea), anticonvulsant and anti-cancer”, CBDA has been seen to expand the reach of the plant compounds and their potential.
Some early positives to CBDA include that it is found to have a greater bioavailability than CBD, meaning that “the body can metabolize the compound with less effort and time” (2).
It also interacts with the body differently than both CBD and THC do.
Whereas those major cannabinoids we know interact with the Endocannabinoid System by bonding with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBDA blocks the COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) enzyme. That enzyme is associated with inflammation after an injury and, by blocking it, it helps keep inflammation under control. Recently, researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine echoed this anti-inflammatory result in cattle they have been studying stating “by consuming CBDA-rich hemp, the cows experienced a reduction in cortisol (the stress hormone) and other inflammation biomarkers” (3).
Because of the unique way that it binds and works with blocking enzymes, it is this reason that researchers see the anti-cancer properties of it, especially with oft-aggressive triple-negative breast cancers. Stating they have found early evidence in the ability to “inhibit breast cancer cell migration”, the possibilities of use against these particularly difficult forms of breast cancer is surely worth looking into more (1).
When everyone was reporting on Cannabis and COVID, researchers at Oregon State University got together and found that it is actually CBDA and CBGA that “can bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein”, essentially blocking the virus from replication and infection (5).
Most recently, news hit Benzinga that an Australian biopharmaceutical company (Neurotech International Limited) executed a clinical study to research the effects of CBDA on those who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In their clinical study, Neurotech used a particularly high CBDA strain known as NTI164 with 20 patients between the ages of 8 and 17 years of age. The patients all were diagnosed as having Autism Spectrum Disorder levels II and III.
In the 28 days of daily treatments, 93% of the patients reported an “improvement in symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, participation, mood and self-stimulation” with “no important adverse events” to report (4).
Some have even found that CBDA works on 5-HT receptors in “much the same way as SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressant meds do” (2).
With all of these early findings, we cannot help but wonder what will come from this knowledge in our near future.
They All Work Together
It’s important to remember that one cannabinoid compound isn’t necessarily “better” or “worse” than another. In the plant family, part of the magic of learning the compounds is witnessing how well they all play together in what is referred to as “The Entourage Effect”. Different compounds can interplay and provide more pronounced or balanced results than some do on their own. As people continue to study and learn more about this amazing plant family, more amazing breakthroughs are sure to follow.
Formato M, Crescente G, Scognamiglio M, Fiorentino A, Pecoraro MT, Piccolella S, Catauro M, Pacifico S. (‒)-Cannabidiolic Acid, a Still Overlooked Bioactive Compound: An Introductory Review and Preliminary Research. Molecules. 2020 Jun 5;25(11):2638. doi: 10.3390/molecules25112638. PMID: 32517131; PMCID: PMC7321064.
Havelka, Jacqueline. What is CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) & what are the benefits of this cannabinoid? 2021 Jan 25. https://www.leafly.com/news/cbd/what-is-cbda-cannabidiolic-acid-marijuana-cannabinoid
Branfalt, TG. Study: Cattle Fed CBDA-Rich Hemp Have Reduced Stress. 2022 Apr 7. https://www.ganjapreneur.com/study-cattle-fed-cbda-rich-hemp-have-reduced-stress/
Zdinjak, Nina. Cannabis & Children Autism: New Study Claims CBDA Can Help With Behavioral Issues In Kids With ASD. 2022 Jul 13. https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cannabis/22/07/28051590/cannabis-children-autism-new-study-claims-cbda-can-help-with-behavioral-issues-in-kids-with-asd
Wheeler, Brianna. CBDA and CBGA Have the Potential to Block COVID. We Asked an Expert About Their Usefulness for Treating Other Conditions. 2022 Mar 2. https://www.wweek.com/potlander/2022/03/02/cbda-and-cbga-have-the-potential-to-block-covid-we-asked-an-expert-about-their-usefulness-for-treating-other-conditions/