Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses affecting an average of 40 million people in the United States, and nearly half of those diagnosed also have depression. There is an array of therapeutic options available, though they can come with unwanted side effects and only help about 60%-70% of patients suffering. Mental health disorders have a significant impact on the quality of life of patients and the need for a reliable therapeutic option is prominent. Through research, CBDA has shown great promise as a plant-derived therapeutic option to help those with mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Understanding Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression develop from a complex set of risk factors including brain chemistry, personality, genetics, and life events. These sources of distress can have lasting impacts on the patient, not only causing anxiety and depression, but also changing brain function overtime by altering the activity of neural circuits in the brain.
Mental illnesses can come with an array of symptoms that disrupt daily activities and impact the patient’s quality of life. Some of the symptoms include:
- Excessive worry or fear
- Lack of interest and hope
- Suicidal thoughts
Currently, there are many pharmaceutical options for patients to try to alleviate their symptoms. Unfortunately, if the medication helps, it most often only alleviates a few of the symptoms the patient experiences. Additionally, the medication can come with an array of unwanted side effects including slurred speech, difficulty concentrating and staying alert, memory loss, and can even increase the anxiety or depression. Through research CBDA has demonstrated itself as a promising plant derived therapeutic to help patients, without severe side effects.
What is CBDA?
CBDA is the acidic precursor to CBD and is most abundantly found in the glandular trichomes in the raw cannabis and hemp plant. When CBDA is exposed to heat it converts to CBD. On its own CBDA has demonstrated a host of therapeutic benefits and has even shown to be more beneficial in some instances than CBD.
CBDA interacts with a variety of receptors in the body, including the 5HT1-A or serotonin receptor. The 5HT1-A receptor is a subtype of serotonin receptor that is implicated in the control of mood, cognition, memory, and more. The receptor also modulates the response to stressful stimuli. Activation of the 5HT1-A receptor is a vital component in anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant medications. CBDA’s activation of the receptor makes it a viable option to help those suffering from an array of mental illnesses.
Research demonstrates CBDA as a therapeutic for those with various mental illnesses
In 2017, researcher Erin Rock and their team evaluated CBDA’s ability to reduce anxiety in rats when stress was induced using the foot shock method. CBDA demonstrated anti-anxiety effects in the presence of a specific stressor at doses as low as .01ug/kg. (Rock et al 2017) For comparison CBD has anti-anxiety effects in mice starting around 1mg/kg on average. (Blessing et al 2015) This means CBDA has demonstrated effects 10,000 times lower than that of CBD, allowing for lower of doses of CBDA.
Years prior, in a study examining CBDA’s ability to reduce nausea and vomiting, it was found CBDA’s enhancement of the 5HT1-A receptor could help those with gastrointestinal upset, and also aid those with anxiety and depression. When compared to CBD, CBDA displayed a 100-fold greater affinity to 5HT1-A. (D Bolognini et al 2013)
It is estimated 8 million deaths annually can be linked to a mental illness. Additionally, those with mental health disorders have a two-time greater risk of mortality than the general population. The current therapeutic options available do not help all who are suffering, and plant derived CBDA has shown promise in research as a therapeutic option patients can depend on without harmful side effects. With so many losing their lives annually, the need for more clinical trials is immediate.