What makes raw cannabis the ultimate superfood? Powerful cannabinoid acids like CBDA, also known as cannabidolic acid. Learn more about the incredible potential anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, pain-relieving properties of this nutrient that can be consumed through raw cannabis leaves, juice, and more.
WHAT IS CBDA – CANNABIDOLIC ACID + AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS
As we continue to learn more about the medicinal and nutritional value of the cannabis plant, as a dietitian I get more and more excited about the benefits of consuming raw, living cannabis plants.
Like kale, spinach, and celery, raw cannabis is as nutritious as a dark green leafy vegetable, but even better because it contains two powerful phytocannabinoid-derived acids known as CBDA and THCA.
Please join my Well With Cannabis Facebook Community if you have any questions about raw cannabis or any other cannabis relate question can think of!
What Are phytocannabinoid-derived acids?
Raw cannabis plant material contains select powerful disease-fighting compounds known as phytocannabinoid-derived acids that aren’t found in other nutritive vegetation. These acids include CBDA, THCA, CBGA, and CBCA.
The only other phytocannabinoid that’s been discovered to also exist in plants other than cannabis is β-caryophyllene (1).
Phytocannabinoids can come in neutral (also known as activated) forms of THC or CBD or as acid precursors, called THCA or CBDA. The acidic precursors THCA and CBDA are naturally abundant in raw cannabis.
While the cannabinoids CBD and THC have been the focus of evidence-based research in recent years, their phytocannabinoid acidic forms CBDA and THCA are beginning to gain attention for their biological activities and significant potential as a therapeutic health agent.
What is Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)?
Cannabidiolic acid, also known as CBDA, is a cannabinoid acid found in raw, living, cannabis plants, including the buds and leaves.
Most oftentimes, these plants will be considered ‘hemp’ plants as they are CBD dominant and fall below the 0.3% THC threshold to be considered ‘marijuana’.
That makes accessing CBDA easy if you grow your own hemp cannabis plants at home. As a licensed hemp farmer, I am able to grow these plants legally at my home in New York, but the law varies from state to state.
Please check your local laws for regulations and legalities surrounding growing your own hemp and cannabis plants at home.
THCA vs CBDA
This post will specifically focus on the health benefits of cannabidiolic acid and CBDA that can be extracted from CBD hemp flower and CBD dominant cannabis strains.
Visit this article for a full overview of the health benefits of THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (coming soon!).
CBDA vs CBD
CBDA is an inactive precursor for CBD and CBDA is what produces CBD.
Both CBDA and CBD are non-intoxicating, meaning they do not produce a ‘high’ feeling. Research suggests that CBDA has potential therapeutic applications that are also non-intoxicating.
CBDA is what exists before the decarboxylation process occurs.
For those who are new to cannabis, cannabis decarboxylation must occur before cooking, baking, or extracting oil from the dried flower buds of the cannabis plant in order to reap the benefits of activated CBD or THC.
Decarboxylation is the process that converts CBDA into CBD and THCA into THCA, respectively.
While most people are familiar with and want the activated versions of CBD and THC, both CBDA and THCA have promising health benefits in their own rights.
Preliminary evidence supports the idea that CBDA has many anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and pain relieving properties.
CBDA For Pain
In addition to these properties, studies suggest that CBDA contains a selective inhibitor for COX-2. Inhibiting COX-2 gives a similar response to using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS (2).
Therefore, this natural plant superfood, CBDA, could benefit in the use of treatment for acute and chronic inflammation and a suitable replacement for aspirin, ibuprofen, and more.
CBDA for Anti-Tumor Relief
Research shows that CBDA has also shown potential anti-tumor abilities by being able to fight against the mutation of tumoral cells in breast cancer patients (3).
While more research is needed, this therapeutic modality is a very promising option as a quarter of a million women are diagnosed with breast cancer in America each year (4).
CBDA for Nausea and Vomiting
In animal studies, CBDA shows promise as a natural treatment for nausea and vomiting because of the specific antiemetic properties.
Through further investigation, CBDA has shown even greater significance in the ability to inhibit vomiting (5).
This could be very beneficial in the role of aiding in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, cyclic vomiting syndrome, and even potentially cannabis hyperemesis syndrome.
CBDA can be consumed through raw cannabis leaves or juice, CBDA is non-intoxicating, meaning it will not cause a ‘high’ feeling.
In fact, it will not produce any type of feeling at all. Consuming cannabis leaves is similar to consuming kale, spinach, or any other dark green leafy vegetable.
Although this is a rare side effect, reports suggest that raw cannabis can be mildly irritating on the digestive tract.
How to Consume CBDA
There are a few precautions about safety and side effects that must be raised when discussing the consumption of raw cannabis. It is very important to only consume clean, raw cannabis.
Like any other lettuce or vegetable, raw cannabis has the potential to carry microbes such as salmonella and e. coli from their growing environment to the point of human consumption. This is especially important for those who are immunocompromised.
The best way to consume CBDA is to consume raw CBD dominant plant leaves and flowers. This can be done by adding raw leaves to salads, recipes like cannabis pesto, or by making cannabis juice or adding the leaves to a smoothie.
Get the recipe to make your own CBDA cannabis juice here.
Additionally, CBDA can be found in a wide variety of products on the marketplace today.
I am proud that all of my high-quality full-spectrum CBD products are 3rd party lab tested and verified to contain CBDA in addition to CBD and 6 other cannabinoids including CBG, CBN, CBC, and trace amounts of THC.
My best selling 500mg CBD oil contains 10mg of CBDA, resulting in 0.3mg of CBDA in every 1mL serving, along with 16.6mg of CBD.
500mg Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
How to Make A CBDA Tincture At Home
While I have not yet tried to make CBDA tincture at home, you can always try to experiment yourself with these different recipes to make a CBDA dominant product, just be sure to start with CBD dominant plants first and do not decarboxylate.
FURTHER YOUR CANNABIS EDUCATION
Are you looking for a more in-depth way to learn about cannabis and how to use it to maximize your healthy and wellness, I would love to invite you to learn more about my Cannabis Compass Online Course.
This online cannabis education course will show you how to use, apply, and dose cannabis in a safe and effective way so that you can begin to manage your anxiety, pain, and inflammation the natural way, from the comfort of your own home.
Cannabis Compass Online Course
1 – Gertsch J, Pertwee R, Di Marzo V. Phytocannabinoids Beyond the Cannabis Plant – Do They Exist?. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931553/. Published in 2010. Accessed January 24, 2020.
3 – Takeda S, Okajima S, Aramaki H. Toxicology letters Author Manuscript HHS Public Access Cannabidiolic acid, a major cannabinoid in fiber-type cannabis, is an inhibitor of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration. Toxicology Letters. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4009504/. Published in 2012. Accessed January 24, 2020.
4 – Breast Cancer – Statistics. Cancer.Net. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/breast-cancer/statistics. Published 2020. Accessed January 24, 2020.
5 – Bolognini D, Rock E, Cluny N et al. Cannabidiolic acid prevents vomiting in Suncus murinus and nausea-induced behaviour in rats by enhancing 5-HT1Areceptor activation. Br J Pharmacol. 2013;168(6):1456-1470. doi:10.1111/bph.12043