Research based articles

CBDA demonstrates therapeutic potential for patients with anxiety and depression

Understanding Anxiety and Depression 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States affecting an average of 40 million adults. Nearly one half of those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are also diagnosed with depression.

Anxiety disorders can come in many forms including panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They are characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.

Depression is characterized by a patient having a persistent depressed mood or loss of interest in daily activities, having a significant impairment on the patient’s quality of life.

Causes of Anxiety and Depression 

Anxiety and depression can develop from a complex set of risk factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. These biological, psychological, and social sources of distress can have lasting impacts on the patient, not only causing anxiety or depression, but also changing brain function over time including altering the activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression 

Anxiety can come with many symptoms that impact a patient’s quality of life. Some of the symptoms one may experience are irritability, restlessness, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, and excessive worry or fear.

Depression has a significant impairment on a patient’s quality of life. Depression is when one feels persistent feelings of sadness and loss of hope. Patients can experience behavioral and physical symptoms including changes in sleep and energy levels, loss of appetite, lack of concentration, and some may have suicidal thoughts.

Cannabinoids have been researched as a therapeutic option for an array of diseases, including anxiety and depression. CBDA is an acidic cannabinoid that has demonstrated itself as a potential therapeutic option for patients with anxiety and depression.

What is CBDA? 

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the acidic precursor to cannabidiol (CBD) and is most abundantly found in the glandular trichomes in the raw cannabis and hemp plant. Through the process of decarboxylation CBDA converts to CBD. On its own CBDA has demonstrated a host of potential therapeutic benefits such as anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant effects. Let’s take a deeper dive into what research has to say about CBDA as a potential therapeutic for those with anxiety and depression.


Activation of the 5-HT1A receptor has been an important component in anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant medications to help those suffering. 5-HT1A is a subtype of serotonin receptors located in the presynaptic and postsynaptic regions that are implicated in the control of mood, cognition, memory, and more. 5-HT1A modulates the response to stressful stimuli and mediates the effects of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs. For anxiety and depression activating the 5-HT1A receptor is a crucial component to help those suffering from these illnesses.

In a 2013 study CBDA enhanced 5-HT1A receptor activation, showing promise for reducing anxiety and depression, while also demonstrating CBDA as a therapeutic for those with nausea. When compared to CBD, CBDA displayed a 100-fold greater affinity for 5-HT1A. (1)

In 2017 CBDA was evaluated to reduce anxiety response to a foot shock stress in rats. CBDA showed anxiolytic effects in the presence of a specific stressor at a dose of .01ug/kg. (2) For comparison CBD has an anxiolytic effect in mice starting around 1mg/kg on average. (3) CBDA has demonstrated effects on doses 10,000 times lower than those with CBD, allowing for lower doses of CBDA.

Though there are many medications on the market to relieve the debilitating symptoms patients with anxiety and depression experience, they are only successful at reducing symptoms in 60-70% of patients. Additionally, anxiety and depression medications can come with many unwanted side effects including low heart rate, slurred speech, memory loss, confusion, dizziness, and more including making the patients anxiety or depression worst. Through research CBDA has demonstrated its potential as a possible therapeutic option for those with anxiety and depression. As more research is conducted, will CBDA show itself as a therapeutic option patients can depend on for relief from the symptoms that accompany anxiety and depression?

About Essentia Scientific 

Essentia Scientific is a global solutions provider of hemp derived extracts leading the industry to a safer and more sustainable extraction method with their patented water-as-solvent technology. Rather than utilizing butane or ethanol that needs to be remediated, the proprietary process uses water to leach cannabinoids from the plant without the use of heat, harsh chemicals, or hydrocarbons. The process also removes contaminants such as pesticides, microbial, heavy metals, and mycotoxins. Essentia Scientific offers an array of pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids including the rare acidic cannabinoids such as CBDA and CBGA. By utilizing water as the solvent, Essentia Scientific can produce a 99% high purity microcrystalline cannabinoid powder that is consistent and user friendly, ready to be easily infused into products for any cannabinoid-based application.


D Bolognini et al 2013 (1)

Rock et al 2017 (2)

Blessing et al 2015 (3)


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