CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) is one of a variety of compounds formed by cannabis and hemp. Abundant in live plants with CBD species, it transforms into the well-established cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) over time and when exposed to the sun.
Cannabinoids are cannabinoid molecules that bind with our bodies to create medicinal and therapeutic benefits, including pain, to stress control to euphoria. You’ve already heard of CBD and THC — these are the two frequently recognized cannabinoids, all of which derive from the parent “motherhood” cannabinoid known as CBGA (cannabigerolic acid).
CBGA transforms into three main cannabinoid precursor compounds, based on which plant enzymes are enabled for synthesis:
· THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
· CBCA (cannabichromenic acid)
· CBDA (cannabidiolic acid).
CBDA is usually present in tablets, tinctures, and topicals these days. Some individuals still take fresh hemp concentrate and receive a regular dose of CBDA.
So what is the CBDA doing, and why is it important?
Potential Medical Benefits of CBDA
Although most cannabinoids bind directly to either the CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBDA does not function this way. Instead, CBDA mixes with the endocannabinoid system by hindering the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). COX-2 enzymes are associated with inflammation following injury or infection, so by blocking COX-2 enzymes, CBDA can relieve inflammation and associated pain.
In one rat test, scientists observed that CBDA impaired serotonin rates, a chemical released by nerve cells to help in cell signalling. Serotonin is vital to the core of human functions such as motor skills, sleep, eating, digestion, and emotions.
Several stressors, including radiation and chemotherapy, cause the body to release excess serotonin, causing nausea and vomiting. While vomiting may typically be managed by medicine, nausea is more challenging to manage. Many cancer patients say that nausea causes a lot more distress than vomiting because nausea is a continuous sensation. One in five patients is considering discontinuing cancer treatment so as not to experience nausea.
Scientists have shown that CBDA can affect 5-HT serotonin-producing receptors in the body, suggesting the potential use of CBDA is chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting drug (CINV) and other conditions that induce these symptoms. More research is needed, however.
The Current Research on CBDA
Researchers have been researching CBDA for over ten years.
The early 2008 research looked at the ability of CBDA as an anti-inflammatory agent by directly researching its inhibitory properties of COX-2. The study team contrasted CBDA molecular structures with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) widely used to combat inflammation and considered their chemical compositions strikingly similar; all are believed to activate COX-2 receptors. This initial study shows that CBDA is promising as a possible anti-inflammatory agent.
CBDA can also be a potent anticonvulsant in the same manner as it prevents nausea. Also, scientists have found that CBDA has 100 times the potency of 5-HT receptors relative to CBD; one explanation is because CBDA is more bioavailable, meaning that the body will metabolize the drug with less energy and less time.
The same receptor sensitivity might also indicate that CBDA would be able to combat depression effectively. Overall, CBDA acts on 5-HT receptors in almost the same manner that a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) can do for antidepressant medications.
To date, the bulk of CBDA trials are preclinical non-human experiments. Although human studies are required, several medicinal cannabis firms, such as British-based GW Pharmaceuticals, are paving the way. GW Pharmaceuticals produces a pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil called Epidiolex, the first prescribed cannabis-derived product approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Interestingly, the FDA needed the organization not only to perform CBD testing, but also to conduct CBDA precursor study, and GW’s work reveals that CBDA is an even more successful seizure therapy. The firm has applied two other CBDA medical-use patents: one for infectious skin disorders and the other for cancer care.
While CBDA cancer work has only been performed to date on isolated cells, initial studies imply that CBDA may stop the migration of a highly aggressive type of breast cancer cells known as MDA-MB-231.