What is CBDa (Cannabidiolic Acid): Facts and Uses
What is CBDa? More formally known as "cannabidiolic acid", CBDa is another cannabis compound found naturally alongside all of hemp's terpenes and cannabinoids. But beyond that, there's a lot more to know.
Although CBDa doesn't get the same spotlight as CBD or THC, it's a vitally important part of the hemp industry. It may even have a few therapeutic uses of its own that could make CBDa the cannabinoid superstar of tomorrow!
As always, knowledge is power. Knowing about hemp compounds like CBDa is the best way to determine which cannabinoids are right for you. So let's dive in deep to all things CBDa!
So What IS CBDa? What is the Difference Between CBD and CBDa?
Any CBD user owes a debt of gratitude to CBDa. That's because every CBD molecule starts out as a CBDa one!That's right, CBDa is the "precursor" to CBD, meaning that CBDa becomes CBD under certain conditions.
If you're a CBD Choice regular reader, that might not be all that surprising. After all, all cannabinoids are descended from CBG, the mother cannabinoid, so a bit of transformation is only to be expected in the wide world of cannabinoids.
Just like CBD is a descendent of CBG, CBDa is technically a descendant of CBGa. The transformation gradually occurs over time as the CBGa is exposed to UV light and other environmental factors.
But converting CBDa into CBD is a little different, and it doesn't occur as readily in nature.
How Does CBDa Become CBD?
Put simply, CBDa becomes CBD because of exposure to heat.
This transformation is a process known as decarboxylation, which is one of the final steps in manufacturing CBD. When it's done to produce CBD products, decarboxylation is achieved with the help of specialized equipment.
But it's not the only way that decarboxylation occurs.
You may recall that raw cannabis is often smoked. The act of burning cannabis also rapidly converts CBDa into CBD in much the same way as professional decarboxylation.
In fact, that's precisely why cannabis is smoked as opposed to eaten or otherwise consumed.
Heat is the crucial factor for turning CBDa into CBD, as well as THCa into THC and other similar transformations. This process activates the cannabinoids, slightly changing their chemical composition and allowing the body to more effectively utilize them.
Does CBDa Have Therapeutic Use?
If CBDa is the precursor to CBD, does that mean that it has the same applications? Uses all its own? Just what is CBDa good for?
The answer is somewhat complex and, at this time, still pretty poorly understood.
Most cannabinoids are more effective after they've been decarboxylated (that is, once they're converted from the CBXa form to the CBX one). THCa, for instance, doesn't cause inebriation, but THC does.
CBDa may be something of a special case, as available research suggests that it could have some powerful applications all its own.
- CBDa, like CBD, may have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, potentially even more powerful than CBD's!
- CBDa has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects in animal studies.
- CBDa helped fight the growth of aggressive breast cancer cells in one human study.
However, studies on CBDa are few and far between. Is CBDa the next big thing in hemp-based wellness treatments? Maybe, but it's just too early to be sure.
Is CBDa Psychoactive? Can CBDa Get You High?
These two questions are often used interchangeably, but they're actually asking quite different things.
Technically speaking, "psychoactive" simply means that a substance affects the mind. It doesn't necessarily mean that the substance will get you high or otherwise cause intoxication.
So is CBDa psychoactive? Yes. According to the above-cited studies, CBDa can reduce anxiety — a psychological phenomenon. Thus, CBDa affects the mind and is therefore psychoactive under a technical definition.
But CBDa is not intoxicating. It won't cause a high like its cousin THC, and CBDa won't cause you to fail a drug test.
Psychoactive, yes. Intoxicating, no.
How to Use CBDa: Are There CBDa Products Available?
Although CBD is widely available in an incredible number of quality products, CBDa products are few and far between.
Given the limited research into CBDa and the poorly-understood applications, that's not terribly surprising.
Still, some users might be interested in trying CBDa for themselves.
Unfortunately, it's still quite difficult to find quality CBDa products on the market. But as more research emerges and the compound is better understood, we'll likely start to see more CBDa tinctures, gummies, and more emerge.
Until then, we'll be keeping an eye on the research and trends. When CBDa's efficacy is proven, we'll be sure to bring you all the very best that this naturally occurring compound has to offer.