CBDA? Is that perhaps a new, improved form of CBD? No, listen, CBDA is the natural precursor of CBD as it occurs in the plant. Because we sell products which specifically contain CBDA, it’s important for you to know what the differences are between CBD and CBDA.
CBD is ‘Made’.
Did you know that CBD hardly occurs in hemp or weed? Don’t panic - we’re not suggesting that CBD is a synthetic product which is added to oil. CBD is actually a completely natural substance that is formed in the cannabis plant under the influence of several factors. One of these factors is heat. To get a good understanding of where CBD comes from we can take a look into the factory where CBD oil is made. Why not come with us?
How Is CBD Oil Made?
CBD oil is made from sun-ripened hemp fibre. That’s the short answer. But that’s similar to saying that an aircraft is made from aluminium - it’s just a small part of a complex story.
Keeping it simple, there are three important phases in the production of CBD oil:
- Decarboxylation (heating)
Extraction is nothing more than getting the required substances out of the plant material. CO2 extraction is by far the most common method and this uses no solvents.
Met geavanceerde apparatuur worden de cannabinoïden uit de hennep geëxtraheerd.
What’s interesting to realise is that there is very little CBD in extracted hemp fibre. That’s because the CBD is, so to speak, ‘locked in’. We can find all kinds of other cannabinoids. They are part of a family of natural substances which we find in hemp and weed, among others. CBD is also one of these.
Decarboxylation of CBDA
One of the relatively frequently occurring cannabinoids in cannabis is CBDA. That is the abbreviation for cannabidiolic acid. In this brief chemistry lesson we will strip the ‘A’ from the CBD. In the factory they do that by heating the hemp extract very accurately. The result is that virtually all the CBDA is converted into CBD!
The final step is to dilute with a plant-derived base oil, because the hemp extract is really thick, concentrated and, furthermore, difficult to dose. Hemp seed oil is commonly used for this purpose. This is made from cold-pressed hemp seeds.
What is CBDA?
You can therefore look upon CBD as the grown-up version of CBDA. But some studies suggest that CBDA is just a valuable for us as CBD. Only they work slightly differently. CBD and most other cannabinoids latch on to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies. These are tiny receptors onto which both our body’s own substances as well as external ones like CBD fit very precisely.
CBDA does not work in this way. Instead of that, CBDA initiates a reaction with our body by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. There is a connection between COX-2 enzymes and inflammation after an injury or infection. Thus CBDA is able to reduce the inflammation and the pain it causes by blocking this enzyme.
Furthermore, it seems that CBDA is much better able to attach to the 5-HT receptor, to which our hormone serotonin also attaches. There are therefore indications that CBDA has both an anti-convulsive (helps relieve nausea) and an antidepressant effect.
But we have to admit that further investigation is needed into the findings of these studies. For that reason, it is definitely not a good idea to stop taking your regular medication. Always consult your doctor or treating specialist therefore if you are interested in the medicinal application of CBDA.
The chemical formula of CBDA. The only difference from CBD is the ‘COOH’ bit. Remove that line and what’s left is CBD. And that’s done by very accurate heating.
The first results are in any case very interesting. For just that reason, there are almost as many CBDA products on the market as there are products with CBD. Take, for example, CBD Oil Raw from Medihemp. ‘Raw’ oil contains CBDA and other natural substances in addition to CBD. That’s the case because Raw CBD oil has never been heated. A stage in the production is ‘omitted’. As a result, a Raw extract preserves all constituents of the hemp plant. And that, in turn, does something to the taste. The aroma of a Raw CBD oil is often fuller. Strongly nutty and fairly bitter.
At Medihemp, the heated oil is referred to as ‘Pure’. The heating causes all CBDA to be converted into CBD and some volatile substances are evaporated. Consequently, the sharp edge to the taste of CBD oil is taken off, making products like CBD Oil Pure milder on the tongue.
CBD Oil Raw contains CBDA as well as CBD. CBD Oil Pure is milder in taste.
Special CBDA products are the CBDA boosters from Sana Hemp Juice. These capsules contain a Raw extract from hemp in which as much CBDA is preserved as possible. The unique orodispersible tablets from Sana Hemp Juice have a fresh, acidic taste. A bit like an acid drop. One tablet contains 5 milligrams of CBDA.
THCA and THC
Perhaps we might compare the importance of heating or applying decarboxlyation with the example of THC. THC, the psychoactive ingredient in weed, occurs in nature only in the acidic form of THCA. And THCA is not psychoactive. If weed is not heated, you don’t get high or stoned from it. For that reason, weed is often smoked or vaped - to convert the THCA into THC and get the effect.
Just to be clear: THC and THCA are not present in approved CBD oil. CBD oil is made from hemp which doesn’t contain either THC or THCA. You cannot therefore get high or stoned from CBD oil in our range.
No story about CBD production would be complete without mentioning CBG as well. CBG is naturally present in hemp and weed as the precursor or building block of both CBDA and THCA. Although it’s still early days in the development of CBG products, Medihemp has already brought out a wonderful organic CBG oil on the market.
A pure hemp extract.
Nuance and Nature
We wrote earlier that CBD hardly occurs in nature. The emphasis lies on ‘hardly’. If the hemp flowers are exposed all day to the burning sun, then some CBD will occur. And that applies to weed flowers also. If the temperature in August gets up towards 40 degrees, a small amount of conversion is inevitable.
The nature of hemp is fascinating. The plants themselves are tiny factories of all kinds of natural substances. We trust that this article has turned you into a bit more of an Expert when it comes to CBD.
- What is CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid) & what are the benefits of this cannabinoid? Havelka, Jacqueline, 16 Sep. 2019, Available: (https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-cbda-cannabidiolic-acid-marijuana-cannabinoid).
- Cannabidiolic acid as a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory component in cannabis, Takeda S, et al., Nov. 2008, Available: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18556441).
- Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology, Russo, Ethan, 18 Oct. 2018, Available: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6200872).
- Acute oral cannabidiolic acid methyl ester reduces depression-like behavior in two genetic animal models of depression, Hen-Shoval, D, Oct. 2018, Beschikbaar: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29860002).