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What is CBDa & What Does it Do?

cbda south africa

What is cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)?

Have you ever tried raw cannabis juice? While the thought may seem disgusting to some, early research suggests that compounds in raw cannabis have some serious health benefits. One of those compounds is cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), a common constituent in fresh cannabis plants. More and more South Africans are discovering the medicinal uses of incorporating raw/fresh Cannabis into their diet.

When we discuss non-psychoactive cannabinoids that contain a wide range of health benefits, CBD tends to steal the spotlight. As time passes and investigations into the cannabis plant continue, the acid-form chemical precursor to CBD has begun to show extreme promise. Cannabidiolic Acid also known as CBDA is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid abundant to high-CBD hemp and marijuana strains.

If you’re familiar with cannabinoids, the compounds found in cannabis like THC and CBD, you will also probably be aware of the endocannabinoid system – the body’s complex network of receptor sites and cannabis-like chemicals called endocannabinoids. It acts like a kind of dimmer switch, ensuring that there is homeostasis, or balance, in the body. While it is thought that CBD indirectly stimulates the endocannabinoid system by increasing the levels of the feel-good endocannabinoid anandamide in the body, so far studies suggest that CBDa doesn’t interact with the endocannabinoid system. Instead, CBDa affects other non-endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes.

Humans have a long history with the dagga plant. Some experts suggest that it is one of the oldest cultivated agricultural crops. Both hemp seeds and flowers were reportedly once eaten by ancestral communities. Cannabis flowers were also included with other crude herbal preparations, such as beer and saffron, as early forms of medicine.

While there is substantial evidence that cannabis was used in ancient cultures for its medicinal and psychoactive properties, the plant also provided a valuable source of nutrition.

In fact, theorists suggest that foods and medicines may have been considered the same thing by many ancient cultures.

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is a chemical compound found in the resin glands (trichomes) of raw cannabis plants. In this case, raw means unheated and uncured. Basically, raw cannabis is fresh flower and leaves trimmed directly from the plant. CBDA is the precursor to the more widely known molecule,

CBDA is the precursor to the more widely known molecule, cannabidiol (CBD). In fresh cannabis, it is estimated that 95 percent of the cannabinoid exists as THCA and only 5 percent as CBD.

When CBDA is aged and heated, it breaks down from its acid form and into CBD. The process of converting CBDA to CBD is called decarboxylation or decarbing. With heat and time, the acid group of the molecule degrades and what is left is what many refer to as “activated” CBD.

CBDA is thought to be:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-nausea
  • Antioxidant
  • Painkiller
  • Anti-proliferative
  • Antibacterial/antimicrobial

How do you use CBDA?

High levels of CBDA can be found in raw materials taken from high-CBD cultivars. This includes hemp cultivars as well as CBD-dominant plants sold in medical and legal cannabis dispensaries.

There are several ways to incorporate CBDA into your diet, including:

  • Tinctures
  • Juices
  • Smoothies
  • Salads
  • Salad dressings
  • Cold sauces
  • Garnishes
  • Lightly steamed leaves

Raw cannabis flowers and leaves can be refrigerated like any other herb or leafy vegetable. For best results, keep them in a crisper and consider wrapping them in kitchen cloth.

Cannabis leaves can be chopped up and used like any other herb, such as parsley or oregano, to add flavour and increase the nutrient profile of a dish.

The legal status of CBD – Cannabidiol in South Africa is still a very contentious issue. Take a look at the short article below by Schindlers Attorneys to get a better understanding of the legal status of CBD in South Africa.

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