Hemp compounds have been making waves in the wellness community over the past few years. While everyone knows about CBD or cannabidiol, another cannabinoid, CBDA, is lesser-known but just as beneficial. So, what is CBDA, and where does it come from?
CBDA: The Underrated Compound
CBDA, or cannabidiolic acid, is a cannabinoid found in the hemp and cannabis plant. Unlike CBD, CBDA has not been extensively studied. However, the research available shows that it has potential therapeutic benefits.
CBDA is an acid or precursor to CBD. This means that when CBDA is exposed to heat, it converts into CBD. The heating process is called decarboxylation. All cannabinoids have a carboxylic acid group attached to their structure. When this group is removed, the compound becomes active. For example, when THCA, another phytocannabinoid, is heated, it becomes THC.
How Does CBDA Convert to CBD?
The CBDA to CBD conversion happens when the acidic precursor is exposed to heat or UV light. The decarboxylation process removes a carboxyl group from CBDA, releasing carbon dioxide and leaving CBD. This is why CBD products must be heated to work correctly—the heat activates the compound.
The difference between the two states is significant. CBDA is present in raw and live hemp flowers, while CBD is the compound found in most CBD products on the market. But it’s a bit more complex—CBDA is only available in small amounts of hemp because CBDA degrades and becomes CBD as the plant grows. Luckily, cultivation specialists have improved cultivation techniques to increase the amount of CBDA in hemp plants.
Also, CBDA is available as an extract. Many hemp brands blend it with CBD oil to create unique products that offer a more well-rounded effect.
CBDA Has Various Potential Health Benefits
CBDA has a lot of potential. Here are a few of the advantages the compound offers:
CBDA for Anxiety
CBDA may help to ease anxiety. Studies show it may offer a stronger anti-anxiety effect than CBD.
CBDA for Depression
CBDA may also help with depression. In a study on rats, CBDA worked as an antidepressant by raising levels of serotonin in the brain.
CBDA for Inflammation
CBDA has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce swelling.
CBDA for Sleep
CBDA may help to improve the quality of sleep. The compound interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, regulating many functions, including sleep. Also known as the ECS, it’s a collection of cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters that play a role in maintaining homeostasis.
CBDa: The Future of CBD?
Although CBD is all the rage right now, CBDA could be the cannabinoid that steals the show in the near future. It has all the makings of a powerful wellness compound: it’s non-psychoactive, has minimal side effects, and is derived from a plant. Compared to CBD, research also shows it absorbs into the body better.
Only time will tell if CBDA will live up to the hype, but it’s undoubtedly a cannabinoid worth watching for now.