Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting an average of 40 million adults. Anxiety disorders can come in many forms including panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life, and though there are pharmaceutical options that can help, they only help 60% of patients. They can also come with an array of unwanted side effects, including loss of appetite, confusion, and slurred speech. CBDA is an acidic cannabinoid that is derived from hemp that has demonstrated great potential in helping patients with an array of anxiety disorders, without producing side effects. Let’s take a look at what research says on how CBDA could potentially help treat patients with anxiety disorders.
What is CBDA?
CBDA is an acidic cannabinoid that can be found in both the cannabis and hemp plant, though it is primarily sourced from hemp. It serves as the precursor to CBD. This means when CBDA is decarboxylated, a process where cannabinoids are exposed to heat, it converts to CBD. This poses a problem when extracting the acidic cannabinoid though, as most cannabinoid extraction methods must utilize heat for solvent remediation. Thus, causing a conversion of CBDA to CBD, leaving little CBDA in the final extract. At Essentia Scientific, we remedied this problem by using water as the solvent, rather than traditional solvents, such as butane or ethanol. By using water as the solvent, there is no heat needed in the process, allowing for the extraction of CBDA and other acidic cannabinoids at a mass scale. Due to the complications when extracting CBDA, it only recently became available in a stable form to infuse into cannabinoid applications, and popularity of CBDA is growing quickly due to the many benefits consumers can gain from CBDA. Through research CBDA has been shown to deliver a wide range of benefits, including reducing inflammation, anxiety, and nausea.
CBDA for Anxiety
When treating patients with anxiety, activation of the 5-HT1A or serotonin receptor is a crucial factor to help those suffering. Anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant medications all work to activate the receptor. The 5-HT1A receptor 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. It also helps to modulate the response to stressful stimuli. In numerous studies, CBDA has demonstrated its ability to activate the receptor. In a study conducted in 2017, CBDA had anti-anxiety effects on rats in doses 10,000 times lower than CBD in the presence of a specific stressor, accrediting its effects to its activation of 5-HT1A. (Rock et al 2017)
In 2013, CBDA was evaluated for its effects on nausea and vomiting. Within the study, CBDA enhanced the 5-HT1A receptor activation, demonstrating itself as a potential therapeutic for those with nausea, and also other instances where the 5-HT1A receptor can help, including anxiety and helping to modulate pain signals. Additionally, CBDA displayed a 100-fold greater affinity to the receptor. (D Bolognini et al 2013) These studies, along with CBDA’s astounding bioavailability compared to CBD, suggests CBDA has much a greater therapeutic value than CBD in this instance.
What products have CBDA?
CBDA can be added into a wide range of product applications for customers to gain the benefits of CBDA, as long as there is no high heat introduced to the product, to avoid any conversion of CBDA to CBD. CBDA can be found in capsules, tinctures, edibles, beverages, and much more. Mostly, they will be labeled as being made with a CBDA isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum. Let’s discuss what you should know about these three terms and the best choice for getting the benefits of CBDA.
Full-Spectrum CBDA products
Full-spectrum cannabinoid products contain all the naturally occurring cannabinoids within the hemp plant, including Delta 9 THC. For legal reasons the product only contains trace amounts though, at 0.3% or less of Delta 9 THC. Due to the vast number of cannabinoids present, most likely the product will have only trace amounts of CBDA as well. If you are looking to gain the benefits of CBDA, full-spectrum blends are not the best choice.
Broad-Spectrum CBDA products
Broad-spectrum cannabinoid products are similar to full-spectrum blends, as they contain all the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, except for THC. Broad spectrum products are great for gaining the benefits of cannabinoids, but not for gaining the benefits of a specific cannabinoid, such as CBDA.
CBDA isolate is the ideal choice for consumers to gain the benefits of CBDA, and also for manufacturers to add CBDA into existing cannabinoid-based formulations. CBDA isolate is a high purity extract of the acidic cannabinoid, typically with 95% or higher purity. This is the most concentrated and potent form of CBDA that exist. Most CBDA isolate extracts are odorless and tasteless and can be easily blended into capsules, tinctures, beverages, and more. When using a CBDA isolate, is it crucial to not expose the extract to high temperatures to avoid any conversion of CBDA to CBD.
When choosing a product with CBDA, it is best to always check the COA or Certificate of Analysis, to ensure you are getting high-quality CBDA.
CBDA is a minor cannabinoid that has the potential to be used in major ways, including for the treatment of anxiety. Its activation of the serotonin receptor is a crucial component in current pharmaceutical options and provides the same activation, without bringing unwanted side effects. As more research is conducted CBDA may be a plant-derived therapeutic for patients with anxiety disorders.