The cannabidiol (CBD) market has been booming for a few years now and its steady growth has led to research into other cannabinoids and their effects on humans. For many brands to stay at the top of their game, they have to evaluate, innovate and create new products that give them a competitive advantage.
Forward-thinking CBD brands have been researching alternative cannabinoids and started to include CBDa in their range of products. Why CBDa ask you? Well, scientists and researchers claim that CBDa can supplement health and wellness by providing additional benefits to users.
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of CBDa or don’t know what the benefits are; we’re going to break all of that down for you. In this guide, we explore what CBDa is, how it works and the benefits that it provides to users that consume it.
What is CBDa?
The millionaire dollar question — what is CBDa? This cannabinoid is similar to other phytocompounds that derive directly from hemp. The acronym “CBDa” is short for cannabidiolic acid, it’s essentially the compound prior to the formation of CBD.
Imagine CBD in its rawest form, that’s exactly what CBDa is.
This process starts with the alpha-compound, the “one compound to rule them all” if you will. This phytocompound is called cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), also known as the mother of all cannabinoids, CBGa is the precursor to all other cannabinoids and over the course of a plant’s lifespan is converted into CBDa and THCa.
All cannabinoids start in acidic form, as the hemp plant matures, these acid compounds are then converted into popular cannabinoids that we know and love like THC and CBD.
Research into CBDa is still in its early stages, however, despite the limited data available; there may be more than meets the eye with CBDa. Scientists suggest that CBDa may provide support to health in ways that CBD doesn’t and even though it’s unlikely that we’ll see CBDa products on the market, certain brands are combining CBD and CBDa together in product ranges.
Benefits of CBDa
We’re only scratching the surface when it comes to exploring cannabinoids, especially their acidic precursors. Studies have shown that there are potential benefits of CBDa without causing the user a “high”; CBDa is a nonpsychoactive compound similar to CBD.
Studies suggest that the CBDa cannabinoid supports the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a system in the body that allows cannabinoids to be assimilated. This vital bodily system aids in balancing the mind and body; making it absolutely essential that we keep it as healthy as possible.
Certain cannabinoids have shown to directly bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS, however, researches have shown that CBDa works differently.
Through the wonders of modern science, CBDa has shown to inhibit the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. This enzyme’s purpose is to help break down the body’s endocannabinoids, resulting in helping the ECS to function more efficiently.
Studies into COX-2 show that inhibition of the enzyme may impact and provide relief for inflammatory maladies. This could mean that the introduction of CBDa into the human body could potentially provide relief for inflammation that causes pain and soreness.
CBD vs CBDa
So, you’re probably wondering which one you should be spending your cash on, the best CBD products or CBDa? There isn’t a clear answer as to the better of the two since they both interact with the ECS differently and research isn’t quite clear enough to give a definitive answer.
With CBD, a lot of the evidence comes from anecdotal reports and concrete evidence hasn’t been provided for the benefits that many CBD producers or reputable seed banks claim.
The direct correlation between CBDa and CBD as hemp plants mature does provide us with data that supports the idea that both are beneficial to the human body.
Does CBDa Become CBD
Cannabinoids always start out as acidic compounds; for example, CBDa is the precursor compound to CBD. For cannabidiolic acid to become cannabidiol, decarboxylation has to occur and this usually happens as the hemp plant matures.
The process of decarboxylation occurs when applied heat removes a carboxyl group from a cannabinoid. By removing the carboxyl group, the cannabinoid breaks down and transitions into another cannabinoid.
As a result of decarboxylation, the remaining cannabinoid has different properties to its predecessor. As far as the debate between CBDa and CBD is concerned, evidence suggests that each cannabinoid has its own properties. This doesn’t answer the question of which one is better but instead suggests that each cannabinoid has its own specific attributes and effects on users.
A Brief Summary of CBDa
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) is a phytocompound that’s found in hemp plants. As the compound that CBD is derived from, researchers consider this as the precursor compound to CBD. During the process of harvesting, hemp plants are abundant in CBDa. After heat is applied through the process of decarboxylation, the CBDa transitions into CBD by removing the carboxyl group.
The full benefits of CBDa are currently unknown and as testing continues, we’ll be able to distinguish all benefits and side effects. Studies suggest that CBDa may have very similar benefits to CBD by increasing health and wellness within the body through Endocannabinoid system support.
Studies have shown the additional benefits that CBDa provides; one of them being the ability to balance serotonin levels within the user’s body.
As the future of CBD products progress, we may see more products that combine CBDa and CBD together. With further testing, we may see manufacturers create products that provide greater benefits.