It is no secret that pain management is the number one reason people utilize Medical Cannabis. And for the record, it’s generally chronic pain that patients are dealing with. Both THC and CBD are believed to help manage pain, even if they don’t eliminate it completely. But now it appears as though there might be another option: CBDA.
Known formally as cannabidiolic acid, CBDA is basically the precursor to CBD. We will explain what that means in just a minute. But first, animal research seems to suggest that CBDA could be a more effective pain reliever than either THC or CBD. In terms of the latter, CBDA could be many more times effective.
Seasoned Medical Cannabis users know that CBD is one of the two most commonly known cannabinoids found in the humble cannabis plant. CBD brings quite a few health benefits to bear without the side effect of getting high. But all CBD starts out as CBDA. Before you can have the former, you need to have the latter.
As an acid, CBDA has a carboxyl group. That carboxyl group has to be separated in order to turn CBDA into CBD. This process is known as decarboxylation, and the easiest way to accomplish it is to apply heat.
What holds true for CBD is also true for the rest of the cannabinoids. Until you remove the carboxyl group, cannabinoids do not offer the most desired benefits. And yet, all the cannabinoids in acid form may have a ton of benefits we simply don’t know about yet. That is where research into CBDA as a pain-fighting cannabinoid come in.
THC and CBD do what they do by binding to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. They can only do that because they have been decarboxylated. This implies that CBDA does not bind to those two receptors. Science has proven as much. Instead, CBDA seems to bind to more than half-a-dozen other receptors, particularly those related to the serotonin system.
Animal studies show a lot of promise for CBDA as a pain medication. But that’s not all. Early data indicates it might also be an immensely powerful drug for treating:
We will not know for sure how effective CBDA is without further human studies. But such is the case with nearly all of the cannabinoids and their precursor acids. Fifty years of prohibition has seen to that by limiting the amount of research that has gone into the cannabis plant.
If human studies eventually prove that CBDA does work as a pain treatment, it will give Medical Cannabis patients yet another choice. It would be a choice of better pain management without the side effect of feeling high.
At the current time, a limited amount of data we have on CBDA tells us that it is not psychoactive. Like its decarboxylated counterpart, CBDA will not make you high. But it could help reduce stress and anxiety while also offering some measure of pain relief. Let’s hope studies bear out the current assumptions.
In the meantime, you do have options. If you live in Utah and suffer from chronic or acute pain that hasn’t been successfully managed with other types of medication, don’t be afraid to ask your medical provider about Medical Cannabis. Getting your Medical Cannabis card would give you access to all sorts of products that could help you manage your pain better.