CBD and CBDA cream with blue exercise ball

What is CBDA? Introduction to Cannabidiolic Acid

Cannabidiol (commonly referred to as CBD) has been widely available in the United States since November of 2018 when the Farm Bill passed. As hemp-derived CBD products, such as CBD Oil, CBD Vapes, and CBD Gummies, became widely available so did our research and understanding of cannabinoids in general.

As we continue to analyze and research cannabidiol we discover new cannabinoids and other properties that can benefit the human body. First off, to understand what CBDA is, we need to understand what a cannabinoid is and what it does.

What is a cannabinoid?

To put it simply, a cannabinoid is a chemical that can only be found in cannabis plants. There are over 480 natural components found within the Cannabis sativa plant, of which 66 have been classified as "cannabinoids;" chemicals unique to the plant.

That’s incredible! With so many natural components we’re just brushing the surface on how this plant can help the human body. CBDA is a cannabinoid, meaning we’ve only found this chemical in cannabis plants.

What is CBDA?

We’ve established that CBDA (scientifically known as cannabidiol acid) is a cannabinoid, so let’s build on that idea. All of the major cannabinoids present in cannabis and hemp first develop as “the mother of all cannabinoids,” cannabigerol acid (CBGA).

Conversion of CBGA to CBDA to CBD

Conversion of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), to cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), to cannabidiol (CBD) courtesy of AnalyticalCannabis.com

While most cannabinoids bind directly with either the CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBDA doesn’t work in this way. Instead, CBDA interacts with the endocannabinoid system by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme.

In one rodent study, scientists found CBDA affected levels of serotonin, a chemical produced by nerve cells to aid in signaling between cells. Serotonin is vital to core human functions like motor skills, sleeping, eating, digestion, and emotions.

Once CBDA has been formed, it’s then converted into CBD by thermal decarboxylation, whereby heat causes the molecule to lose its acidic carboxyl group.

This decarboxylation process can either happen instantly, such as when the cannabis material is lit and smoked or vaporized or by slow degradation over time if the plant material is left to sit at room temperature.

So, despite being abundant in raw cannabis, cannabis users are not actually exposed to much CBDA, as it’s converted from its “raw” form into CBD by most of the common consumption methods.

Meaning, if you find yourself being marketed a “CBDA” product be wary! More times than not you’re not actually getting any CBDA.

If you’re interested in consuming CBDA, this means having to use more uncommon or conventional consumption methods, such as topical creams, tinctures, and joining in on the raw cannabis juice trend.

What’s the difference between CBD and CBDA?

To put it simply, CBDA is a more raw, unstable version of the much more popular CBD. However, more recently a few preliminary studies have shown that CBDA can potentially have significant health benefits.

It all began in 2008, when researchers noticed that the molecular structure of CBDA closely resembled that of other common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The team then investigated the potential of CBDA to act as an anti-inflammatory agent and found that CBDA demonstrated the same COX-2 inhibitor behavior that enables NSAIDs to tackle inflammation. CBDA is also thought to be a powerful treatment for nausea and anxiety.

A 2013 study from scientists in Guelph, Canada, found that CBDA was a thousand times more powerful than CBD. Specifically, it referred to how CBDA was more effective in binding to a specific serotonin receptor linked to anti-nausea and anti-anxiety effects when administered alongside low-doses of the traditional anti-nausea drug for chemotherapy patients, ondansetron (OND).

List of cannabinoids we know about.

There are a host of lesser-known cannabinoids that we breeze over when talking about the cannabis plant. However, let’s focus on the 8 primary cannabinoids that are most popular right now and found in most strains of cannabis.

  • CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid) precursor to cbd, cbda, and all other cannabinoids.
  • THCA (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
  • CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid)
  • CBCA (Cannabichromenenic acid)
  • CBGVA (Cannabigerovarinic acid)
  • THCVA (Tetrahydrocanabivarinic acid)
  • CBDVA (Cannabidivarinic acid)
  • CBCVA (Cannabichromevarinic acid)

THCA and CBDA are usually the most abundant cannabinoids in strains. The others shown in Figure 1 are normally present at much lower levels. The major cannabinoid acids include CBGA, THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. CBGA is the starting compound that enzymes in the plant used to make the other three.

An interesting fact, every cannabinoid listed above are in fact psychoactive cannabinoid. While many think tetrahydrocannabinol THC is the only psychoactive cannabinoid, all cannabinoids affect your psyche in one way or another. Think about it, if taking CBD helps you to focus, then that cannabinoid has impacted your psyche in a positive way.

However, tetrahydrocannabinol THC is the only cannabinoid that is intoxicating. Meaning it can invoke a feeling of overwhelming euphoria or sedation that is likened to alcohol when taken in excess.

How do I know which cannabinoid is best for me?

Whether you live in a state that has medical marijuana, recreational cannabis, or simply legalized hemp-derived cannabinoids, it can be difficult to know which cannabinoid to start with. Simply put, there is no easy way to know which cannabinoids are best for you as every person’s genetic makeup is different. Luckily, we’ve experienced an amazing breakthrough in cannabis medicine.

Relyf has developed a personalized, user-friendly, accurate, validated summary of results, including recommended dosages and ratios of CBD and THC for anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and other conditions. Using state-of-art DNA sequencing technologies with CLIA certified clinical geneticists, this is the most accurate test available for the analysis of genetic variations of the Endocannabinoid system.

Part of the benefits of this kit is that as more and more research emerges behind other cannabinoids, like cannabinol CBN, we’ll be able to update our results for your body.

Our Relyf DNA Kit is a patent-pending, comprehensive genetic test for approximately 20 genes and over 40 genetic variants that affect the Endocannabinoid System. We implement sequencing-based genotyping technology and provide the most reliable genetic data with DNA matches to support. Based on your body, we can suggest the exact starting dose of CBD and THC that your body needs to achieve ultimate relief with minimal side effects.

The human body is a complicated system, especially when it comes to cannabinoids. Cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD), are absorbed, assimilated, and eliminated differently with different body types, shapes, weight, and genetic makeup.

Relyf has simplified this into an easy to use at home DNA kit that will help you find the right starting dose for CBD without the headache of trial and error. Get straight to relief with Relyf DNA Kits.

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