CBD-rich wellness products are dominating the hemp market. Having said that, if there’s one lesson to be learned from 2019, it’s that the demand for CBD is not as high as some people predicted.
At the same time, interest in minor cannabinoids — cannabinoids that are present in smaller concentrations than CBD — has been increasing. One such promising cannabinoid is CBDA. Here’s why farmers need to pay attention to it.
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the raw form of CBD produced by hemp plants. In fact, all cannabinoids naturally start out as cannabinoid acids such as CBDA, THCA, CBCA, and so on. It’s only when these compounds are exposed to heat (decarboxylated) that they turn into the cannabinoids we’re familiar with.
As a result, any hemp cultivated for its CBD content naturally has high CBDA levels. However, most of this CBDA is broken down into good old CBD when that hemp is processed and used to make CBD-rich hemp extracts.
Much like the growing interest in CBG, people are becoming more aware of CBDA. For starters, early research suggests that it has numerous health benefits.
One 2008 study found that like other cannabinoids, CBDA seems to have anti-inflammatory effects. Another 2013 study reported that CBDA was more effective than CBD at reducing nausea and vomiting in animals.
This study also noted that CBDA was 100 times more potent at binding to the serotonin receptor than CBD, which suggests that it could help with many other brain-related issues, such as seizures and depression. In fact, a 2018 animal study found that a compound similar to CBDA improved depression in rats.
Meanwhile, GW Pharmaceuticals, the first company to release an FDA-approved anti-epileptic drug based on CBD, found that CBDA was even more effective at relieving seizures.
These early findings demonstrate that CBDA is just as beneficial as CBD, and could be even more effective for specific health issues.
Another reason people are interested in CBDA is because of the growing popularity of “raw” CBD products. Such products do not undergo any heating or additional processing to keep them as close to natural as possible. As a result, they maintain high CBDA levels — in some cases even higher than CBD.
Many CBD companies already offer such products. We can expect this trend to only grow bigger in the coming years as interest in natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs increases and the public becomes more aware of other cannabinoids besides CBD.
If you’re a farmer cultivating hemp for CBD, the great news about CBDA is that you don’t need to change anything to produce it. Your regular CBD-rich hemp plants can already be used to create CBDA products.
In that sense, the most difficult part is finding buyers for your biomass. However, if the current trends in the hemp market are of any indication, more consumers will be interested in CBDA-rich oils and other products in the near future.