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CBDA vs CBD: Benefits and Differences

CBD has obviously been one of the hottest items in health supplements over the past few years, as we obviously are intimately aware of. But as much buzz as CBD itself has gotten recently, it seems that there is actually a new product to consider: CBDA.
Verlota Author
Published: December 8, 2021
Categories: Health & Wellness

Let’s try not to get lost in all these letters! With all of the research being done on CBD and why it’s becoming so popular amongst a large portion of the population, it’s important to understand what CBDA is and what it could potentially be. This article will be discussing what CBDA is, how it differs from CBD, and what it could potentially mean for you in the future.

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WHAT IS CBDA?

Another version of this question might be, “what is CBDA oil?” since that is the form it often takes. In order to understand what CBDA is, we need to understand the process of making CBD and really any compound out of the cannabis plant. Time to put on our chemist hats!

Believe it or not, some of the more popular and potent compounds within cannabis (known as cannabinols) are not found naturally in the plant itself or are found in very small amounts. Rather, they are precursors to these molecules that take the form of an acid.

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For example, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) Is barely found in marijuana as the precursor to it (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCA) is what’s the plant actually produces. There’s an important distinction here because while THC obviously has a long list of psychoactive and possibly medicinal effects, THCA really doesn’t.

In fact, as of this writing, there are no legal restrictions on THCA in the United States as the federal government doesn’t put it in the same class as THC. Whenever you see the letter “A” at the end of a cannabinol, it’s a rough equivalent of a grain with the husk still on. It needs to go through some sort of process to make it active.

HOW DOES CBD COME FROM CBDA?

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So, how do we go from a cannabiolic acid to an actual cannabidiol like THC or CBD? In a word: heat. The compounds must go through a process known as decarboxylation to rid themselves of that acid designation and go to being the compounds that we know and love.

Have you ever wondered by people typically smoke or bake cannabis and don’t just chew on the leaves? That’s the reason why! Once it is cooked or burned, the decarboxylation can take place and you get the desired effect. This is also why whenever CBD or THC is used in applications such as gummies, lotions or other products that aren’t generally heated, they need to be heated at some point in the manufacturing process.

By and large, the CBD you find in any product is going to be the processed type since that is considered the only pharmacologically active form. But that thinking has begun to change in recent years.

WHERE CAN YOU GET CBDA?

Of course, CBDA won’t even have a chance to help you if you don’t have any. So, where can you find CBDA?

It’s true that some companies are offering CBDA as a direct supplement, much like you’d find any other type of cannabis product. However, since the idea of using this form of CBD is so new and the market is relatively small for it, there aren’t a lot of producers manufacturing these products just yet. That’s not to say that you can’t buy it in oil form or other types of supplements, but they are much more difficult to find than your garden variety CBD.

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Then where can you find a reliable source of CBDA? Remember that CBD is just in the unprocessed form of CBD and what is found naturally in the cannabis plant. So… go ahead and consume cannabis! One of the most common ways for people to get CBDA is to consume fresh leaves of the plant. This may sound like something quite odd, but most people who believe in the effects of CBDA consume it this way.

If you are the type of person that grows any type of cannabis plant yourself, then you know you’ll have plenty of raw material to work with. Also, if you happen to have any friends that grow cannabis, then just ask them. Depending on why people are growing cannabis in the first place, they may not actually have much need for the leaves and may even be throwing them out or just using them for compost!

HOW TO PREPARE FRESH CANNABIS

So, you’ve got yourself some fresh cannabis. Now what? Depending on the types of foods that you normally eat and your preferences and flavors, this can either be the easy part or the hard part. The good news is that there is very little preparation actually needed to get the job done.

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One of the most surprising things that you may notice the first time you consume raw cannabis is the taste. For those who have consumed any type of edible cannabis product, you’re probably aware of the very distinct flavor that it had. A lot of that is caused by the cooking process that is involved in either processing the cannabis itself or in the process of producing the edible. Raw cannabis has a different flavor and is much more subtle and less smoky.

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Remember that you should never be cooking raw cannabis since that will convert the CBDA into the more traditional CBD and defeat the whole purpose of getting the raw cannabis in the first place. Lightly blanching the leaves might allow you to have a different texture than raw, but as to the amount of CBD versus CBD — you really would have no idea and would, again, defeat the purpose.

Below are two of the most common ways that people consume raw CBD leaves instead of just jumping on them in hand.  

Salads

This is probably the easiest way of including cannabis leaves into your diet and also one of the most versatile. You can literally just throw it into any type of salad that you might be making, adding more or less depending on how much CBDA you want as well as the overall flavor of this salad.

We recommend that you carefully consider the other ingredients in your salad before you add cannabis leaves so as to make it as enjoyable as possible. It might be best paired with salads that already include bitter greens such as arugula or even dandelion leaf so as to compliment the overall flavor profile. As time goes on, you may want to include more cannabis greens, but start out slow until you get accustomed to the flavor.

Smoothies

Smoothies are another great way to include cannabis leaves into your diet. This is an especially useful option for people who really don’t care for the flavor that much since it’s much easier to mix in other ingredients to mask the flavor of cannabis. Since these leaves are a green ingredient, it would make sense to combine them with other ingredients that you would typically find in green smoothies such as apples and grapes for sweetness, as well as other leafy vegetables, cucumber and celery.

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BENEFITS OF CBDA

Before we go too far in this section, we want to make something abundantly clear: if you thought research into CBD is in its infancy, then the research into CBDA is somewhere around between a zygote and embryo. 

As we mentioned previously, most scientists have always just assumed that CBDA was inactive and never bothered to look any further in the matter. However, recent small studies have shown great promise in the effects of CBDA.

Depression

As we have mentioned many times on this site, depression is a complex disease that can have many causes and while there is no cure, there are plenty of treatments out there with varying effects on each person. That being said, there are plenty of studies that have been published showing the possible connection between depression and CBD consumption.

A 2017 Israeli study went a step further and used a combination of CBD and CBDA in rodent studies. There was no explanation as to why they specifically chose to use CBDA instead of just regular CBD, though the results showed that CBDA performed as good if not better than activated CBD.

Nausea and Vomiting

While nearly all of us will experience feelings of nausea in the need to vomit from time to time, some people experience this much more often and it can affect their quality of life. This can be due to environmental factors, medical conditions or treatment for medical conditions , such as is the case with cancer patients receiving therapy.

A study done at the University of Aberdeen Showed that CBDA was able to greatly reduce nausea and vomiting in rodents. this was considered to be extremely analogous to humans, however, due to a similar type of serotonin receptor that was affected, known as 5-HT1A.

Arthritis and Other Types of Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the areas where CBD is a rock star according to various studies. So, it would make sense that CBDA would be able to help in this area as well. Unfortunately, there are no current studies that have been done in either humans or animals that in definitively prove the exact effects it would have on the body.

That being said, there are some promising preliminary studies that have been done which may lead to animal and then human studies in the future. One in particular showed how CBDA can actually have an effect on the body similar to that of NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

This came down to what sort of effect the compounds in CBDA had with COX-1 and COX-2 receptors in the body.  Both THCA and CBDA were tested and compared side to side , with CBDA showing a much higher effect on COX-2 receptors than the THCA. this could be going back to our original point earlier in this article about how THC is really much more effective at almost everything then it’s non-activated form.

TAKEAWAY

It’s never a good idea to throw out health claims without having a lot of research to back them up. After all, as the expression goes: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Something that we have to recognize is that not only do some of these possible benefits not have human studies done on them, but even ones that have studies done on humans or rodents still don’t have definitive answers to what CBDA can or cannot do.

With that being said, one thing that we do know is that there is very little risk to using it either in a supplement form or eating it from raw cannabis. If you have the opportunity to get your hands on either one, why not try it out? At the very least, you will end up adding some roughage to your diet but you may also find that you actually get some real results over time.

One thing that we tend to like about the idea of CBDA Is that it appears to be easier on the stomach for many people than that of traditional CBD. While CBD isn’t necessarily known as something difficult to digest, some who are especially sensitive to it have a hard time getting the effects that CBD can offer.

Something else you might want to consider is how it would affect our pets. Some pets, particularly cats, may have a difficult time stomaching any type of cannabis product. Instead of trying to dilute supplements for our furry friends and give them something that is easier on the stomach, to begin with, it will be easier for them to reap the benefits of CBD as well as making it easier for us to give it to them.

Are you new to the world of CBD or looking for a new way to consume it? Then check out our wide

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DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Verlota Inc. products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information contained in or made available through Verlota.com website is not intended to constitute or substitute legal advice or consultation from medical or veterinary professionals. See verlota.com/terms-and-conditions

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