Keeping Your Eye on the Ball
Putting CBD-A, Step-One in the Mix
Step-one remember Step-one! This happens all the time! We jump past Step-one in our quest to find step-two in pursuit to find the answer about the effects of CBD on our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Well, in the case of CBD, we might have stepped past one of the most important steps in the medical arena, bypassing another important human biological system. In our attempt to go from Step-one to our CBD destination, an important Enzyme Cox2 System is missed. The Godfather of Cannabis, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, has recently warned the medical community not to go to sleep on this step-one after it took 30 years for the medical community to embrace the pathology of CBD on the ECS which is the
Reverse engines! The first step that we are talking about is CBD-A. CBD-A is the first step, which is the acid form and precursor for the second most frequent Cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa L plant, CBD. This CBD-A is normally found in the raw cannabis plant in low concentrations. This CBD-A is considered unstable and with time and heat will convert to CBD. The CBD rage can stand on its own two feet with research now unleashed after the 2018 Farm Bill was enacted. But, before we go there, let’s look back at step-one, CBD-A.
“It’s an interesting molecule that potentially doesn’t have side effects,” said Dan Peer, Managing Director of the Center for Translational Medicine and head of the Cancer Biology Research Center at Tel Aviv University. Just like CBD, CBD-A is a non-psychoactive compound, so it does not cause one to get high if present in CBD products. This compound is currently being investigated for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD-A or CBD-acid is the main form in which CBD exists in the raw cannabis plant, along with THC-A (THC-acid) another blog for another point in time. CBD is obtained through a non-enzymatic decarboxylation from the acidic form CBD-A of the cannabinoid to the decarboxylated form known as CBD. This decarboxylated reaction takes place when the raw cannabis compound is heated and/or over time because it’s an unstable form, unlike CBD. The decarboxylation procedure is also called “activation”, and requires about 90 minutes of time when the cannabis infusions are heated at 212° F.
The most interesting factor about CBD-A is when it is in its acid form and nonactivated for the ECS, it’s working via another bodily pathway that we have skipped over making our way to CBD. What is that other pathway and what role does CBD-A play in our human pathology? The naturally occurring but unstable CBD acid (CBD-A) is believed to be a thousand times more potent than CBD in binding to a particular serotonin receptor thought to be responsible for alleviating nausea and anxiety and inflammation. Reducing Inflammation are the key words in disease management! “It works like a steroid. If it doesn’t have adverse effects, then you have a replacement, which is great,” Peer said, discussing testing he did with cannabis acids and inflammatory bowel disease.
Heating the plant at a lower temperature or for a shorter time may lead to partial instead of full activation; until recently, it’s been considered that this is not desirable or convenient, as it reduces the final amount of CBD obtained from a plant which has been considered the treasure trove of the cannabis plant. However, new research suggests that CBD-A may also be of great value for humans in controlling inflammation via another centralized human biological system. When this compound, CBD-A was first discovered, it was thought to be a minor cannabinoid, and most producers preferred to decarboxylate CBD-A so as to obtain higher amounts of CBD. Yet, the new emerging studies are promising, as the acidic form of cannabidiol seems to have anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties.
Anti-inflammatory properties—The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD-acid seem to be the result of the inhibitory action of this compound on Cox-2 (cyclooxygenase-2), a compound involved in inflammatory processes. This mechanism is another biological pathway outside of the ECS. The Cox-2 Enzyme System is well known to the medical and pharmaceutical communities because it is a principal mechanism for our nonsteroidal medication from Motrin to Celebrex which are commonly used pharmaceutical medicines as an anti-inflammatory.
Getting two for one is the deal that usually makes us stop in our tracks and we give consideration to the value proposition that is being offered. This two for one deal CBD-A and Vitamin CBD™ in one bottle is a winner whereby we have dual biological systems working toward one collective end in fighting inflammation which is a major cause for a plethora of maladies from PTSD to IBS.
Eric I. Mitchell, MD MA FACPE CPE