CBDa Cannabinoid 101: The Importance of Carboxyl Groups
The CBD market is flourishing - this much is ceratin. With numerous brands trying to out-compete one another, the industry has kind of entered into that classic state of dog-eat-dog capitalism. Top brands on the market must create new, innovative products just to contend with their competitors. Some of these products are legit, but others are complete gimmicks.
Some brands have taken to including CBDa in their range of CBD products. Their claim is that this cannabinoid may provide extra health benefits. Could this really be the case?
In today’s article, we investigate the CBDa cannabinoid. We'll talk about what is it, and what some of its perceived benefits are. Hopefully, we can provide a more in-depth insight into what kind of product(s) you should be searching for. Is something like a 'CBDa oil' on the horizon in the years to come? Let's find out.
What is CBDa?
In some ways, the CBDa cannabinoid is much like the other hemp phytocompounds that we already know and love. CBDa stands for cannabidiolic acid - it’s essentially the 'precursor' to CBD. In fact, most users of CBD aren’t actually aware that cannabinoids start out their lives in acidic form.
Initially, there is a cannabinoid called cannabigerolic acid (CBGa). Some refer to this compound as the "mother of all cannabinoids." During the hemp plant’s lifespan, CBGa converts into other cannabinoid acids by way of subtle molecular changes. In fact, CBGa is the precursor to both THCa and – unsurprisingly – CBDa.
These acidic compounds them convert into THC and CBD, respectively, with the presence of heat during decarboxylation.
Some would suggested that more consideration needs to be give to the CBDa cannabinoid. Usually, people only care about CBD, and not its "raw" form. However, it's possible that the CBDa cannabinoid may provide a range of benefits that are unique to even those of CBD.
Quality research is of course still in its infancy, and it is indeed difficult to find products that explicitly include the CBDa cannabinoid in its list of ingredients. It would be very rare, for instance, to see something like a pure CBDa oil. There are, however, some manufacturers that combine CBD and CBDa into the same product.
But are there any real advantages in doing so? Let’s check out the potential benefits of CBDa below.
Researchers are only just beginning to suggest the potential benefits of CBDa. This cannabinoid is, like most others, severely understudied. One of the things we do know, however, is that it’s non-psychoactive. Just like CBD, the CBDa cannabinoid will notcause a high.
It appears that CBDa can interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), just like other cannabinoids. In case you’re unfamiliar, the ECS is a vital bodily system tasked with maintaining balance in the body and mind. It’s crucial to keep the ECS in good 'working order,' as it helps to keep us alive by managing things like internal temperature.
Some cannabinoids appear to bind directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS. Based on research, it looks like CBDa may work a little differently.
For example, CBDa appears to inhibit the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme, which is an enzyme responsible for breaking down the body's endocannabinoids. As a result, the total number of endocannabinoids in the body is increased, which could allow the ECS to function better and more efficiently.
Research suggests that the presence of the COX-2 enzyme may have in impact on things like inflammation response. This means that CBDa could potentially help with inflammation levels that lead to pain and soreness.
Additional Potential Benefits of the CBDa Cannabinoid
There are studies that suggest the CBDa cannabinoid may also affect levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that is, among other things, associated with joy, happiness, and pleasure.
Serotonin is also essential for motor skills and digestion, which few people realize. When the body has too much serotonin, it can cause nausea and vomiting. This often happens during chemotherapy treatments, wherein specific medication blocks the reuptake of serotonin.
Again, it’s vital to note at this point that CBDa research is still in its infancy. While scientists have begun to look into the cannabinoid, there is still a lot that they don’t know. Furthermore, the studies that are out there mostly focus on rodent models. This means that results may not directly translate to CBDa effects of humans.
Which is Better: CBD or CBDa?
It’s not surprising to see a debate arising about CBD vs CBDa. Consumers want to know which is better, and where they should spend their hard-earned cash. However, the answer is not clear-cut at all.
As it stands, even research on CBD is lacking. Much of the evidence, for example, stems from anecdotal reports from folks who use CBD for a variety of different uses. In other words, the science is still largely lagging behind some of the claims that people are making regarding the potential benefits of CBD.
The CBDa cannabinoid, meanwhile, has even less evidence to work with. It will likely be quite a while before we understand the ins and outs of CBDa. So once again, anecdotal evidence is more or less one of our only "access points" at this moment in time.
Of course, knowing that there is a transition from CBDa to CBD within the hemp plant galvanizes an obvious correlation between the two cannabinoids.
Does CBDa Turn into CBD?
CBDa (cannabidiolic acid) is the precursor to CBD. Many cannabinoids start their lives as acidic compounds, so this fact is not necessarily surprising. However, CBDa decarboxylation must be carried out in order for the compound to become cannabidiol.
Decarboxylation simply refers to a process whereby heat is applied to a cannabinoid to remove a carboxyl group. When it loses its carboxyl group, the CBDa cannabinoid breaks down into regular old CBD.
It may surprise you to learn that, after the "decarb" process, CBDa has slightly different properties -- and possibly different effects as a result. It appears that, for example (at least as far as the CBD vs CBDa debate), that each compound has its own specific properties. Whether or not this means that one compound is "better" than the other, well, this is a question that simply can't be answered at the moment.
Summary on CBDa (Cannabidiolic Acid)
Cannabidiolic acid, also called CBDa, is an acidic compound found in hemp plants. Some refer to it as the precursor to CBD. When hemp is harvested, the CBDa cannabinoid is abundant. Then, when heat is applied, a process called decarboxylation takes place. In this process CBDa converts into CBD - the compound that so many thousands of people are using.
Currently, CBDa has little research as far as its effects on humans. Early investigations, however, do suggest that it may have some health benefits – some similar to what folks derive from CBD. CBDa could also have some more unique effects, such as an ability to decrease levels of serotonin in the body.
Whatever its exact uses, some manufacturers are already marketing the inclusion of the CBDa cannabinoid into their products. A combination of raw CBDa and regular CBD could, after all, result in a "power-house" product.
Hopefully, more research on CBDa will emerge soon. As this compound becomes more commonplace on the market, we hope that scientists will be eager to research its potential uses.