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Featured Cannabinoid: Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)

By Danyal Swan July 7, 2023

Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, is a naturally occurring compound found in raw cannabis plants. 

So what makes CBDA unique from the scores of other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant?

CBDA, or cannabidiolic acid, is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. CBDA is abundant in the flowers and leaves of the live or immature cannabis plant. CBDA is typically present in large quantities in hemp plants – cannabis sativa L. plants cultivated for industrial purposes due to their low THC content – as well as cannabis sativa L. plants cultivated for medicinal benefits.

As a non-psychoactive compound, CBDA does not influence the mind’s perception of its surroundings or influence the behavior of people who consume it. Still, it appears to exhibit other therapeutic benefits.CBDA can be extracted from the raw cannabis plant using a variety of methods. Most often, solvents such as ethanol or CO2 are used to isolate cannabinoids and terpenes  from the plant material. The resulting raw extract  is refined and the solvents evaporated away so that the CBDA can be further processed into various forms such as tinctures, capsules, or topicals for consumption.

CBDA vs. CBD

CBDA and CBD are both cannabinoids found in cannabis, but they have some key differences. CBDA is the chemical precursor to CBD, meaning that while CBDA is found in live cannabis plants, CBD is generally not present. CBDA is converted into CBD through a process called decarboxylation, which most often takes place after the cannabis has been harvested, dried, and cured.

Decarboxylation occurs when cannabis is heated, such as through smoking or vaporizing, causing it to lose carbon atoms and release carbon dioxide. This reaction changes the chemical structure of the compound and alters its effects.

As a result, the major difference between CBDA and CBD is the way they interact with the body. CBDA has a carboxylic acid group attached to its molecular structure, while CBD does not. This structural difference directly affects how cannabinoids interact with the body's endocannabinoid receptors. CBDA appears to interact even less than CBD, though this does not diminish its benefits - CBDA has been linked to post-recovery of injuries and inflammation from infections.

Potential Therapeutic Benefits of CBDA

Potential Therapeutic Benefits of CBDA

While there is still much to be learned about CBDA, early research suggests that it may have a range of potential benefits.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects – CBDA has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. A 2018 study found that CBDA reduced acute inflammation and pain.
  • Anti-Nausea Effects – CBDA may be effective at reducing nausea and vomiting. A 2013 study found that CBDA reduced vomiting and nausea, suggesting that it may be a useful treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea.
  • Anti-Anxiety Effects – Some research suggests that CBDA may have anti-anxiety effects. A 2020 study found that CBDA can reduce anxiety-related behavior.
  • Anti-Tumor Effects – CBDA has shown anti-tumor effects in some studies. A 2012 study found that CBDA inhibited the migration of highly invasive breast cancer cells.
  • Analgesic Effects – CBDA may also have analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. In a 2020 study, researchers found that CBDA reduced pain sensitivity and may be a potential treatment for chronic pain conditions.

While these studies are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of CBDA.

Consuming CBDA

Consuming CBDA

CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) can be consumed in several forms, including raw cannabis, CBDA tinctures, and CBDA capsules.

  • Raw Cannabis – Raw cannabis often contains high levels of CBDA because the compound is the precursor to CBD (cannabidiol). Though raw cannabis references freshly harvested, uncured flower, dried and cured flower does contain levels of CBDA. . While eating a whole nug isn’t recommended, flower can be ground and added to salads or added to smoothies.
  • CBDA Tinctures – CBDA tinctures are liquid extracts that are typically taken sublingually (under the tongue) or mixed into food or drinks. Tinctures are made by infusing CBDA-rich cannabis into a carrier oil, such as MCT oil or olive oil, and packaged in a dropper bottle for easy dosing.
  • CBDA Capsules – CBDA capsules are oral supplements that contain a measured dose of CBDA extract in a convenient capsule form, typically designed to be taken orally with water. CBDA capsules are a discreet and convenient way to consume CBDA, and they may be particularly useful for individuals who do not want to taste the plant material.
  • CBDA Topicals – Topical products like creams and gels are infused with CBDA and often other cannabinoids. They can be applied directly to the skin to address pain or inflammation.

It is worth noting that the effects of CBDA can vary depending on the form in which it is consumed. Raw cannabis and CBDA tinctures may have different effects than CBDA capsules, which are typically processed to prevent decarboxylation. Additionally, the effects of CBDA may vary depending on the dose and individual factors, such as metabolism and tolerance.

CBDA Consumption Methods: Pros And Cons

Each form of CBDA consumption has its own set of pros and cons - discover them for flower, tinctures, and more:

Raw Cannabis

Pros

  • Raw cannabis contains the highest amount of CBDA, as it has not undergone any processing or decarboxylation.
  • Raw cannabis can be consumed as-is or added to smoothies, salads, or other dishes.
  • Raw cannabis can provide additional health benefits beyond CBDA, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Cons

  • The taste and texture of raw cannabis can be unpleasant for some people.
  • Consuming large amounts of raw cannabis can cause digestive issues.

CBDA Tinctures

Pros

  • CBDA tinctures are easy to use and can be added to food or drink or taken sublingually.
  • The dropper bottle allows for precise dosing, making it easier to control the amount of CBDA consumed.
  • CBDA tinctures can provide a more consistent dose of CBDA compared to raw cannabis.

Cons

  • The carrier oil used in the tincture may not be suitable for some individuals, such as those with allergies or sensitivities.
  • The carrier oil used in the tincture may not be suitable for some individuals, such as those with allergies or sensitivities.

CBDA Capsules

Pros

  • CBDA capsules are discreet and easy to use.
  • Capsules provide a consistent dose of CBDA, making it easier to control the amount consumed.
  • CBDA capsules do not have the taste or smell of raw cannabis or tinctures.

Cons

  • Capsules may take longer to take effect than other forms of CBDA consumption.
  • Capsules may not be suitable for individuals who have difficulty swallowing pills.

CBD Topicals

Pros

  • Topicals are extremely simple to use.
  • Topicals are a discreet way to use cannabis products.
  • Topicals can be placed directly on a painful area for targeted relief.
  • Topical products do not create a psychoactive high because the associated compounds do not cross into the blood. 

Cons

  • Since topicals do not cross into the bloodstream, they are not for whole-body pain relief.
  • Patients who enjoy the full-body effects of other cannabis products may not appreciate the limitations of topical products.

Overall, the best form of CBDA consumption depends on individual preferences and needs. Raw cannabis may be the best option for those who want the highest amount of CBDA, while tinctures and capsules may be more convenient and easier to use for others. 

CBDA Appropriate Dosage

When considering the best dosage of CBDA for your needs, it's important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time. This allows your body to adjust to the effects of the CBDA and can help to reduce the risk of any possible negative side effects.

Factors to consider when determining the appropriate dosage of CBDA for your needs include:

  • Weight – Individuals with a higher body weight may require a higher dosage of CBDA to achieve the desired benefits.
  • Age – Older individuals may require a lower dosage of CBDA, as the body may not be able to process the compound as efficiently.
  • Medical Condition – The severity of the medical condition being treated may impact the dosage of CBDA required. Individuals with more severe symptoms may require a higher dosage.

As always, it’s recommended you speak with your doctor to determine the appropriate dosage of CBDA or any other form of cannabis. They can provide guidance on dosage, potential side effects, and drug interactions based on your individual factors and medical history. It is also important to choose high-quality CBDA products from a reputable source and follow all instructions.

Discussion of the Current Legal Status of CBDA in Florida

Current Legal Status of CBDA in Florida

In Florida, the legal status of CBDA depends on its source. If CBDA is derived from industrial hemp, it is fully legal for any under both state and federal law as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. This is because the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production and sale of industrial hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBDA.

It is important to keep in mind that both the federal government and the state of Florida prohibit the sale of THC-containing cannabis products for recreational purposes. Florida does allow qualified medical patients to purchase products with above 0.3% THC content, so approved patients in the state can feel comfortable purchasing CBDA products regardless of their THC content.

In addition, while hemp-derived CBDA is legal in Florida, there are still some restrictions on its sale and distribution. For example, products containing CBDA cannot be marketed as dietary supplements. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products. As a result, the best source for CBDA products is a qualified medical dispensary like MÜV.

CBDA FAQs

Now that you know a bit more about our feature cannabinoid, CBDA, you may still have some unanswered questions regarding this important compound. Here are some of the most common CBDA questions.

Start Your CBDA Journey at MÜV

MUV Dispensary Tamarac

If you're interested in learning more about CBDA and exploring the range of CBDA products available, visit your local MÜV dispensary. We can provide you with valuable information about CBDA and other cannabis products, as well as help you find the right product for your needs. With a commitment to quality and safety, you can trust MÜV to provide you with the highest quality CBDA products available.


References:

  1. Bolognini, D., Rock, E. M., Cluny, N. L., Cascio, M. G., Limebeer, C. L., Duncan, M., Stott, C. G., Javid, F. A., Parker, L. A., & Pertwee, R. G. (2013). Cannabidiolic acid prevents vomiting in Suncus murinus and nausea-induced behaviour in rats by enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation. British journal of pharmacology, 168(6), 1456–1470. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.12043
  2. Lazarjani, M. P., Young, O., Kebede, L., & Seyfoddin, A. (2021). Processing and extraction methods of medicinal cannabis: a narrative review. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 32. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-021-00087-9
  3. Muller, C., Morales, P., & Reggio, P. H. (2019). Cannabinoid Ligands Targeting TRP Channels. Frontiers in molecular neuroscience, 11, 487. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00487
  4. Rock, E. M., Limebeer, C. L., & Parker, L. A. (2018). Effect of cannabidiolic acid and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol on carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia and edema in a rodent model of inflammatory pain. Psychopharmacology, 235(11), 3259–3271. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-018-5034-1
  5. Rock, E. M., Sticht, M. A., Limebeer, C. L., & Parker, L. A. (2016). Cannabinoid Regulation of Acute and Anticipatory Nausea. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 1(1), 113–121. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0006
  6. Takeda, S., Misawa, K., Yamamoto, I., & Watanabe, K. (2008). Cannabidiolic acid as a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory component in cannabis. Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals, 36(9), 1917–1921. https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.108.020909
  7. Takeda, S., Okajima, S., Miyoshi, H., Yoshida, K., Okamoto, Y., Okada, T., Amamoto, T., Watanabe, K., Omiecinski, C. J., & Aramaki, H. (2012). Cannabidiolic acid, a major cannabinoid in fiber-type cannabis, is an inhibitor of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration. Toxicology letters, 214(3), 314–319. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.08.029

Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.

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