CBDA – the precursor to CBD – is often dismissed as an inactive compound, but its benefits may be under-appreciated, writes Laurence Brown of BROWN’s CBD.
Out of the hundreds of biologically active compounds produced by the hemp plant, CBD is certainly the star of the show for health and wellbeing. But CBDA, the precursor to CBD, is often dismissed under the false assumption that it is an inactive cannabinoid.
At BROWN’s CBD, we found that oils retaining at least some CBDA seemed to outperform 100 percent decarboxylated oils. Anecdotal feedback from customers and consensus in certain Facebook groups also seemed to suggest this, which peaked our curiosity to dig a little deeper.
What is decarboxylation?
For those of you who don’t know, decarboxylation is a heat treatment that converts natural acidic cannabinoids (CBDA,THCA) into their neutral forms (CBD,THC). The temperature generally needs to be higher than 110 C, but decarboxylation will also happen naturally over long periods of time.
Decarboxylation is deemed to be necessary in order to increase a cannabinoid’s ability to interact with our cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are present throughout the body and are usually activated by endogenous cannabinoids (cannabinoids produced naturally by the body).
Is CBD really better?
But studies have demonstrated that CBDA can interact with certain receptors up to 100x more effectively than CBD. Furthermore, CBDA has been found to be four times more bioavailable than CBD, meaning that four times more CBD can be used by the body.
One could theorise that the people getting the best results with CBDA are the people whose issues are associated with these specific receptors. However, due to the lack of research around CBDA, it’s difficult to know for sure.
Another possibility is that as products containing CBDA have undergone less processing than heated oils, they may contain higher levels of certain cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that may contribute to the entourage effect. Which relates to greater efficacy thanks to a synergistic effect of multiple plant compounds combined.
Given that a recent study found CBDA blood levels to be 14 times higher when administered in a full spectrum extract when compared to an isolated form, this is certainly within the realm of possibility.
It’s worth noting that results can vary from person to person, so while some people have good results with CBDA, for others it may do nothing at all.
Perhaps one of the key pitfalls that has made CBDA a castaway cannabinoid is its instability. As mentioned earlier, CBDA will naturally convert to CBD over time.
This makes it a less attractive option for those looking to profit from the compound, and without a view of profit, it’s more complicated to get funding for clinical research. This instability also reduces its chances of it being approved by certain regulations, such as the Novel Foods act.
If you are interested in seeing if CBDA could be a valuable addition to your cannabinoid regime, we recommend giving our full spectrum hemp capsules a try.
As these are made with 100 percent raw hemp, they naturally contain high levels of CBDA and every other compound produced by the hemp plant.
Don’t forget to consume them with a meal to boost their bioavailability.
Study shows potential benefits of CBG for skincare
CBG serum revealed improvements on irritated skin
In what is thought to be a first of its kind clinical study, cannabigerol (CBG) demonstrated potential anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
Biotechnology company, Willow Biosciences has announced the results of its peer-reviewed study on the benefits of CBG for skincare
The study involved 20 healthy male and female participants who had sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)-induced irritation (a substance used in studies to imitate the symptoms of contact dermatitis).
The groups were given either a 0.1 per cent CBG serum or a placebo to apply topically over two weeks.
The CBG serum revealed statistically significant improvements compared to the placebo group, especially for transepidermal water loss or redness.
Transepidermal water loss refers to water that passively evaporates through the skin and can be triggered by skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis or rosacea. Although sometimes dry weather, over-washing and exfoliating with harsh or perfumed soaps may cause it.
The study noted that bio-synthetically produced CBG may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and skin-repairing properties that would make it perfect for anti-ageing, slowing inflammation and boosting skin barrier functions.
Gene analysis of both CBG and CBD, when applied to a 3D human skin model, demonstrated that cannabigerol outperformed CBD by targeting collagen, elastin and hydration genes.
The researchers wrote: “CBG’s broad range of in vitro and clinical skin health-promoting activities demonstrates its strong potential as a safe, effective ingredient for topical use and suggests there are areas where it may be more effective than CBD.”
In a statement, Willow’s CEO Trevor Peters said: “Willow’s FutureGrown CBG continues to exhibit great promise as an exciting new skincare ingredient. We are excited to share the results of our in vitro and clinical work with our stakeholders and proud to have it published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the first of its kind for CBG.”
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol is one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis. It is sometimes referred to as ‘the mother of all cannabinoids’ because it is the precursor to CBD. Other cannabinoids are derived from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), an acidic form of CBG.
There is very little CBG in plants, often as low as one per cent so it makes CBG more expensive than CBD products. CBD is much more available in plants at 20 to 25 per cent. CBG tends to be made from younger plants which contain a higher percentage. THC and CBD both begin life as CBGA before maturing and THC goes on to become CBN in older plants.
It is thought to work the same as CBD in that it interacts with our endocannabinoid system via receptors that are found all over the body. In particular, it may bind to the CB1 receptors in our nervous system or CB2 receptors in our immune system.
It is thought to potentially strengthen the function of anandamide which is a neurotransmitter that affects our pleasure and motivation. It also regulates appetite, sleep and pain relief.
Does the endocannabinoid system have an effect on exercise euphoria?
What causes a runner’s high? Is it CBD, endorphins or our endocannabinoid systems?
The euphoric feeling after exercise, often referred to as a ‘runner’s high’, is associated with a reduction in pain, stress and anxiety.
Research now links the runner’s high to our endocannabinoid system, suggesting that the exercise-induced endorphin release it was always attributed to, is not solely responsible.
But what is our endocannabinoid system? And how does it work?
We examine endocannabinoids, endorphins and how CBD plays a part in balancing the body and exercise
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system is thought to regulate different functions in the body such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory and fertility. It is made up of receptors, enzymes and endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoid receptors are found naturally all over the body. There are two major receptors called CB1 and CB2.
CB1 is usually found in the central nervous system, while CB2 is found in the peripheral nervous system. Endocannabinoids bind to the receptors to help with different problems such as pain. It is not fully understood how cannabinoids bind with receptors.
Endocannabinoids are actually naturally produced molecules that are similar to cannabinoids. So far, researchers have identified two key endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG).
Enzymes break down the endocannabinoids once they are no longer needed. The two major enzymes are fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA and monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which typically breaks down 2-AG.
What is the difference between endocannabinoids and endorphins?
Endorphins are chemicals released by the body in response to pain or exercise. They were traditionally associated with the euphoria felt after a run. However, endorphins cannot cross into the brain through the blood-brain barrier which exists to protect the brain from toxins and pathogens.
How does CBD feature in all of this?
CBD interferes with the receptors found in the endocannabinoid system to help them balance the body. However, it is not fully understood how this happens.
CBD, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid found in the plant, does not bind the receptors. CBD may supplement the endocannabinoid system helping to regulate your system. The cannabinoids travel the receptor that has been stimulated and needs extra help to achieve a balance. Depending on the dose and which receptor it is, CBD is thought to help anxiety, sleep problems, inflammation and pain.
This is why a lot of runners or athletes depend on CBD as part of their recovery routine after a strenuous workout. It may help to alleviate some of the muscle pain they endure during a run.
Skin conditions and cannabis – survey finds support for use in acne, psoriasis and rosacea
Almost 89 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to try a cannabis-based product.
A new survey of over 500 adult patients in the US, has found widespread support for the use of cannabis products in skin disorders – although few have actually tried them.
Almost 89 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to try a cannabis-based product, if recommended by a dermatologist, according to the survey, which was carried out by researchers at George Washington University and the University of Maryland.
A further 73 percent of participants said they would be comfortable seeing a dermatologist who recommended cannabis-based products.
But only 18 per cent had used an over the counter cannabis product without a dermatologist’s recommendation. Of those who had seen a dermatologist, 15 per cent used an over the counter product and eight per cent used a medical cannabis product which required a Department of Health-approved card, per their dermatologist’s recommendations.
The most common indications which cannabis-based products were used for were acne, psoriasis and rosacea.
The global CBD skincare market is expected to increase to USD$1.7 billion by 2025 according to market. research company, Million Insights.
Lead author, Samuel Yeroushalmi, a fourth-year MD student at George Washington University. School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GW SMHS), wanted to examine consumer attitudes to medical cannabis products in light of limited scientific data.
He commented: “MCPs [medical cannabis products], which are cannabis or cannabis-derived products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and/or cannabidiol, known as CBD, are more available now than they ever have been. However, data supporting use and information regarding product quality assurance is limited, particularly when it comes to dermatologic conditions.
“We wanted to take a closer look at how patients both feel about and use MCPs as part of their treatment plans.”
The researchers concluded that consumers were in and are already using medical cannabis products, mostly for inflammatory skin conditions, and recommended more education for dermatologists.
Adam Friedman, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at GW SMHS, said: “This study spotlights and provides supporting evidence that the skin care consumer is open to and interested in MCPs. Consumers and patients are already using MCPs to treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis, even without guidance from a dermatologist.
“While acceptance was high, there were clear barriers reported limiting use and uptake, such as patient skepticism and a lack of understanding. This mirrors data our group published regarding the dermatology health care practitioner’s perspective and fund of knowledge, underscoring the need for more research and education for both dermatologists and the public. The future should be bright for MCPs; we just need to show and disseminate the science.”
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