What is CBDA?

In the complex world of cannabis, a plethora of acronyms abound. You're probably familiar with THC, and since 2018, CBD has become a ubiquitous topic. Nevertheless, other lesser-known cannabinoids, such as CBN, CBC and CBG, are also looking to gain ground. Today, our focus is on CBDA, or to be more exact, cannabidiolic acid. What distinctions separate it from CBD, what impact can we attribute to it and what do we really know about it? We address these questions without further ado.

What is CBDA?

Let's take a closer look at CBDA. In its natural state, this compound is the acid precursor of cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD. If we want to be more precise, it's the initial version of CBD found in abundance in the plant's trichomes. These microspheres are the reservoirs of the resin and therefore of various substances such as cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, which contribute to the aromatic properties and certain effects of the plant.

As time passes, the plant degrades, dies or is harvested to be modified and then marketed. Synchronously, a process called decarboxylation takes place. It is this biochemical sequence that facilitates the metamorphosis of CBDA into CBD. To put it in simple terms:

CBDA + thermal rise = CBD + carbon dioxide (CO2)

This spontaneous transmutation takes place when the plant dries out, is exposed to sunlight or undergoes combustion. Consequently, smoking, vaporizing or cooking CBDA inevitably results in its conversion to CBD.

Legality of CBDA?

As far as the legality of CBDA is concerned, French and European legislation, while sometimes ambivalent, converge on at least one notion: THC, the psychoactive molecule in cannabis, is the only one explicitly prohibited. By extrapolation, CBDA is therefore considered in the same way as CBD, making it fully legal. Given the growing interest in this molecule and its potential effects, it's a safe bet that legislative adjustments will eventually provide a more precise framework for the exploitation and marketing of CBDA.

Differences between CBD and CBDA: Exploring their Acidic Nature

Transmutation of CBDA into CBD via combustion remains a prohibited method of consumption in France

Far from being a mystery to most, CBD embodies a vigorously active substance within cannabis. Coexisting naturally in both legal and illegal marijuana plants, CBDA serves as an acid precursor to CBD, and undergoes decarboxylation to access its neutral form.

This chemical process is not unique to CBD. Indeed, it also applies to other cannabinoids, such as THCA, which converts to THC, or CBGA, which mutates to CBG. This is one of the reasons why the general public is more familiar with the neutral forms of these molecules than with their original acidic states. Apart from the fresh, direct extraction of cannabis juice, the opportunities for acquiring these acidic variants remain minimal.

Nevertheless, this acidic configuration has significant advantages over its neutral version. At present, it is appreciated that :

  • CBDA seems to affect the body more quickly than CBD, which operates mainly over a longer period.
  • At comparable doses, the effects induced by CBDA outstrip those generated by CBD.
  • CBDA appears to target exclusively the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), responsible for the nervous system, while CBD activates a wider range of receptors, including CB1 and CB2.

CBDA Cannabidiolic acid

CBDA's therapeutic potential

Although CBDA remains relatively understudied, like the majority of cannabis components, its role in CBD production has been historically recognized. Specific properties have also been identified, mainly through studies on animal species, pending validation in humans.

CBDA shares a striking structural similarity with endogenous molecules, enabling it to interact easily with our biology. More specifically, CBDA, along with CBD and CBG, synergizes with a neurotransmitter called anandamide, nicknamed the "happy hormone". The presence of anandamide as a neurotransmitter is therefore not accidental.

The first virtues noted suggest that CBDA may have properties :

  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antiemetics
  • Anticarcinogenic?

On this last point, extreme caution is called for. The subject is of such gravity that the extent and quality of scientific data remain too insufficient to draw any irrefutable conclusions. However, preliminary research seems to corroborate this hypothesis.

This overview sheds light on the complexities and potential applications of CBDA, highlighting its distinctiveness and comparative advantages over CBD. Constantly evolving legislation and emerging scientific research will continue to shape our understanding and use of these intriguing cannabinoids.

What Science Reveals about Cannabidiolic Acid: A Still Mysterious Horizon

Scientific advances in CBDA: Measured but significant progress

CBDA research is in full swing. Each new study unveils its own collection of discoveries, outlining a better understanding of this still little-known compound. However, we must remain vigilant with regard to these advances. On the one hand, their validation requires further studies to confirm the initial results. On the other hand, we need to be aware that such research is often sponsored by pharmaceutical companies with their own commercial interests.

CBDA for Nausea and Vomiting: An encouraging approach

Among the studies conducted on CBDA, a 2013 study stands out for its focus on nausea and vomiting. Carried out on shrew and rat populations, this study highlighted the superior efficacy of CBDA over CBD in reducing nausea symptoms. The results are indeed promising: in shrews, vomiting was significantly reduced, and in rats, nausea was virtually eliminated. These data suggest that CBDA could be a serious alternative in the preventive treatment of nausea, where conventional solutions are showing their limitations.

CBDA and Cancer Control: Results to be Taken With Caution

A study published in 2014 drew attention to the potential efficacy of CBDA in the context of breast cancer. This laboratory research demonstrated that CBDA could reduce the spread of breast cancer cells under in vitro conditions. Even more surprisingly, it appears that CBDA can inhibit the genes responsible for metastasis. However, these findings have yet to be validated by human clinical studies, and it is important to keep a certain reserve about these results.

Effects on Convulsions and Neurological Conditions: A Versatile Perspective

The third study examined the effects of cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, CBDA and THCA on convulsions caused by various neurological pathologies. Diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, still without a cure to date, were particularly targeted. Once again, cannabinoids, including CBDA, have demonstrated a positive impact, while being less invasive than currently available therapies.

In summary: CBDA and its multifaceted potential

All these studies, although preliminary, underline the remarkable properties of CBDA. They invite the scientific community to continue its research for a more complete understanding. This is not to say that CBDA is superior to CBD, but rather that these two cannabinoids have distinct, and undoubtedly complementary, properties. The current challenge is how to combine them to maximize their respective therapeutic benefits.

CBDA, like its more famous counterpart CBD, represents an unexplored frontier with potentially rich medical applications. The current challenge is to navigate between promising results and methodological limitations, while taking into account the ethical and commercial issues surrounding this effervescent field of research.

  Hello everyone! I'm Daniel from Lord Of CBD, a cannabis enthusiast from an early age, I write articles on the world of cannabinoids in France and abroad. With a degree in digital marketing and finance, I bring a fresh eye to the world of CBD. I joined the lordofcbd.fr team in 2021, as an expert and regular contributor. Thanks to my scientific expertise and clear writing, I help demystify the various complex aspects of the CBD world, while highlighting its benefits and potential applications through articles and participation in conferences such as the UPCBD. Find out more about my work and interviews on our dedicated articles, with international references such as Challenges.fr, LePoint.fr and Actu78.fr.