The common cannabinoid that people are aware of is CBD and THC. Most people know how beneficial it can be and how it significantly impacts our bodies. On the other hand, CBDA, also known as cannabidiol acid, is another compound that is found in cannabis, and it can be converted to CBD by decarbing it (exposing it to high temperatures).
CBD is a well-known compound that comes in various products, which has been gaining popularity these days. Although these are both derived from cannabis, they still have distinct differences. For instance, unlike THC, both CBDA and CBD are non-intoxicating and don’t cause a high when consumed.
CBD and CBDA interact with the receptors and the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which regulates the neurotransmitters in the brain to keep the functions of the body in balance. In case you’re wondering more about their differences and how it impacts our body, here are some of the scientific facts that you should know regarding CBDA and CBD:
CBD Won’t Exist Without CBDA
CBD starts as cannabidiol acid (CBDA) before it becomes CBD after decarboxylation. Decarboxylation, also known as the slang “decarbing,” converts phytocannabinoids into active molecular compounds, which are the ones that influence the neurotransmitters in our body. The process of decarboxylation occurs once you heat CBDA to 220 degrees Fahrenheit and carbon dioxide is released as a by-product. Without decarboxylation, cannabinoids won’t have their recreational and medicinal properties.
CBDA can be found in raw cannabis, and if consumed without decarboxylation, the effects will be minimal. The body will metabolize it by gradually breaking it down into CBD. Therefore, decarbing can be the best way to obtain the benefits of cannabinoids.
Potential Cancer Treatment
Research shows that CBDA can be an inhibitor of the migration of an aggressive human breast cancer cell line, known as MDA-MB-231. It also has the ability to suppress Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) that has been found to be the cause of the spreading of breast cancer cells.
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of mediators of the narrowing of blood vessels, anaphylactic reactions, and inflammation. COX-2 elevates tumor growth and suppresses tumor immunity; since this enzyme is associated with inflammatory diseases and carcinogenesis, otherwise known as the initiation of cancer formation.
Exposing cancer cells for 48 hours to CBDA decreases the quantity of COX-2 by 40%, which can be beneficial in cases of invasive cancer. CBDA increases a gene called SHARP1, also known as BHLHE42, which is key to preventing the metastasis of cancer cells. Studies proved significant findings in boosting the prognosis for patients who are diagnosed with cancer, which might make CBDA an effective way of treatment for cancer. However, another study conducted on a range of cancer cell lines showed that CBDA didn’t affect cancer cell growth. It seems that further research is needed to establish the potential of CBDA in treating cancers in general.
Several studies show substantial evidence that CBD can alleviate pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties, and this is one of the similarities of CBDA and CBD. However, CBDA tends to be more effective in easing inflammation since researchers have found that the molecular structure of CBDA resembles the structure of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).
NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen target COX-2 receptors to reduce inflammation. However, there are instances when NSAIDs have an adverse impact on one’s health due to their side effects. CBDA has fewer side effects and does a better job of blocking COX-2 when properly used.
Therapeutic Impacts of CBDA and CBD
CBDA and CBD are suited to treating certain ailments and for other healthcare use; since unlike THC, these two don’t make users feel high. CBDA and CBD have almost similar health benefits. However, CBDA and CBD aren’t the same when it comes to their therapeutic effects.
When combined with terpenes, CBD can give users a synergetic effect, which means users are getting all benefits from the active compounds. Terpenes are secreted in the same glands that create cannabinoids. These are also aromatic oils that give varieties of distinct cannabis flavors. Terpenes can play a role in determining the effects of various cannabis strains. For example, most terpenes stimulate relaxation and relieving stress while others enhance focus.
Research is still ongoing regarding the benefits of CBDA. However, the benefits of CBDA that were discovered to date are related to how CBDA affects the 5-HT receptors and the endocannabinoid system. CBDA can help to keep the serotonin levels healthy by influencing the 5-HT receptors, and it enables the endocannabinoid system to promote homeostasis, which will lead to overall better health and well-being.
Effectiveness with Nausea
The receptor (5-HT) responsible for anxiety is also in charge of nausea and vomiting. CBDA interacts with these receptors in a similar way that CBD relieves the feeling of being nauseous to prevent vomiting. Researchers concluded that CBDA is more beneficial in regulating nausea and vomiting due to its rapid onset when it interacted with the receptors
The receptors in the intestinal walls are activated by either physical damage, abnormal contractions, or distension, which is also known as enlargement or ballooning effect. The Dorsal Vagal Complex (DVC) is involved in reactions induced by these receptors, as it centrally acts to cause nausea and vomiting. According to the study, cannabinoids reduce the motility of the intestinal walls, which can alleviate the feeling of nausea.
Distinctive Effects of CBDA and CBD
It’s known that CBDA and CBD share the same benefits. CBDA and CBD can cause some notable effects in the body by stimulating the serotonin receptors (5-HT). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the brain which is involved in regulating nausea as mentioned earlier, as well as relieving anxiety, and improving sleep. However, there are certain differences in the effects of CBDA and CBD.
For example, people with social anxiety who took CBD before publicly speaking were able to deliver a speech more effectively. Also, a study for using CBDA as an antidepressant only reached its pre-clinal stage with rats, and it established that it could induce antidepressant effects by 10-100 times using doses lower than the usual dosage for CBD.
Possibility of Overdosing
Most people wonder about whether one can overdose using CBD even when there are researchers that deem it safe to be an alternative treatment for certain illnesses. There are a lot of cases where people experienced the benefits of CBD, and until now, there have been no known reports of lethal overdoses.
The ideal amount that the body can tolerate per day is 1,500 mg of CBD, and different amounts of CBD can induce different reactions from various people. Nevertheless, it’s best to follow the indicated serving size on the label of the CBD infused product.
However, there has been an increasing concern regarding mislabeled CBD infused products. A study by Bonn-Miller et al. (2017) presented alarming results about the accuracy of the labels of CBD infused products purchased in the United States. It analyzed 84 different products by 25 different companies that were purchased online.
It showed that 42.85% had more CBD than what was indicated on the label, 26.19% had less and 30.95% of the products we’re accurately labeled. Therefore, it means that almost 70% are inaccurately labeled. Inaccurate labeling of CBD infused products prompted the need for ensuring the proper regulation of the accuracy of what is indicated on the labels. Mislabeling products might have adverse consequences on the overall well-being of a person.
Products with good quality should have labels that include the recommended dosage and helpful information about the ingredients.
CBDA or CBD: Which is More Beneficial?
Both CBDA and CBD have a remarkable impact on the body. They also have many potential health benefits that you’ll surely enjoy. There are only a few studies on CBDA, as most studies have focused on CBD.
What you should use, whether be it CBDA or CBD will depend on your preferences. It may be best to use both as they can work exceptionally well together.