CBDa vs. CBD for Pain Relief: Which is Better?
Medical marijuana has gained popularity; now, more people rely on the cannabis plant to help with pain management. However, as companies continue to pop up with new recipes and strains that promise to ease various aches, it is tricky to determine what will work for you.
In particular, two cannabinoids, CBD and CBDa, are causing quite the confusion, even among weed connoisseurs. So here, we will try to pit these two together and determine which one is more effective for pain relief.
Before we dive into the comparison, we should define them and discuss how our brain reacts when we are under the effects. Afterward, we can weigh them against each other, differentiate them, and highlight the health benefits and risks associated with CBD and CBDa.
There are numerous naturally occurring compounds found in raw cannabis. The hemp plant typically causes numerous effects when consumed, and the substances responsible for these bodily changes are the cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBDa.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is an active ingredient in hemp plants.
The molecule is one of the main components of medical marijuana, which is famous for offering non-psychoactive but therapeutic effects. This happens as the CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system; more on that later.
We extract CBD from the hemp plant and package it in different forms. For example, you will find gummies, tinctures, creams, tablets among other products . Basically, examples that allow you to consume CBD products.
Nevertheless, since the source of cannabidiol is the hemp plant, you will often find traces of THC. Still, the THC content in these products, such as CBD oil, will often be about 0.3%.
Consequently, you can take advantage of the pain reliever without getting the high typical of marijuana.
What is CBDa?
Any non or animated psychoactive compound in marijuana comes from cannabigerolic acid or CBDa.
The cannabis plant contains enzymes that act on this cradle of cannabinoids to generate the major cannabinoid precursor compounds in ratios determined by the specific strain you are using.
Of these compounds, cannabidiolic acid, or CBDa, undergoes thermal decarboxylation and becomes CBD. So, we would take the raw form of CBDa, vape it, or smoke it to consume CBD.
After all, this reaction is similar to taking in THC from tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCa.
When rolling a joint from a CBD-heavy strain, heating the CBDa within allows you to access the benefits. Nevertheless, consuming CBDa is possible and pretty common, and cannabis users rave about the benefits as you will below.
You can apply it as a topical cream, drink raw cannabis juice or oil, and even use tinctures. After all, you need to avoid heating the compound before consumption.
After defining these crucial terms, we need to figure out how our brain reacts to them before we delve into which is a better pain reliever.
How Does Your Brain React to CBDa vs. CBD?
The endocannabinoid system is a pretty new concept in the halls of medical research, and scientists are still trying to understand its role in homeostasis regulation and mood changes, circadian rhythm, pain, and inflammation.
Typically, the endocannabinoid system comprises receptors and various chemical signals that combine to serve various functions. For instance, our neurotransmitters that foster thoughts and emotions utilize chemical signals to process different things like temperature and hunger.
Additionally, we produce endocannabinoids to regulate these functions since the compound can either increase or decrease our brains’ activities.
CBD1 and CBD2 are the primary receptors that govern our brain and nervous system interactions and immune systems. If the chemical compounds we naturally produce are not balanced, we tend to grapple with sleeplessness or drastic mood changes that may lead to disorders, stress, and anxiety.
Luckily, we can introduce cannabinoids from sources like the cannabis plant to heighten or quell different mental processes.
CBDa and other acidic cannabinoids do not bind directly to the brain receptors mentioned above. Instead, they produce their famous bodily changes by interacting with the endocannabinoid system differently.
CBDa inhibits the Cox-2 enzyme without influencing the central nervous system.
Moreover, there is evidence that CBDa acts on our 5-HT1A receptors that have a bearing on neuromodulation. As a result, we can experience effects like lowering the heart rate and a decrease in blood pressure through directing the vagus nerve and vasodilation in our extremities.
These bodily changes can alter our mood, anxiety, depression, nausea, and sleep patterns.
CBDa vs. CBD for Pain Relief
Both CBD and CBDa do not have psychoactive effects since they do not directly interact with our endocannabinoid receptors. Thus, consuming either will not result in you getting high.
So, if you are interested in feeling the therapeutic effects without needing to adjust your typical day, it is best to stick to these compounds.
How do these compounds compare to each other when offering inflammatory pain relief? Well, the research is still pouring in regarding the comparative effectiveness of both.
Nevertheless, the two have distinctive qualities that warrant mention. So, the next section discusses the differences between them.
What is the Difference Between CBD and CBDa?
The main difference between CBD and CBDa is that one is a derivative of the other. You get CBD from burning CBDa, so their effects are often confused.
Additionally, their method of consumption can vary since, in one, you need to take the raw form of a fresh cannabis plant while smoking a joint allows you to access CBD.
CBDa has more profound effects on our serotonin receptors compared to CBD. Since serotonin has numerous physiological duties, like regulating various aspects of our bodily functions, more could mean better.
But what are the unique benefits they offer to relieve pain?
What are the Advantages of Using CBD for Pain?
1. Inflammation and Pain Relief
Although the FDA has not approved the use of CBD to treat pain, the compound has seen plenty of success with people managing chronic pain.
As a CB2 receptor inhibitor, CBD can suppress the inflammatory response of immune cells and limit the production of molecules like cytokines and chemokines. Consequently, these pain signals do not reach the brain, and you experience pain relief.
2. Depression and Anxiety
THC often gets mixed results regarding anxiety: for some, it decreases, while in others, it spikes. In addition, some studies have shown that CBD decreases the amount of blood that makes its way to certain areas of the brain associated with anxiety.
Moreover, the molecule has seen success as an anti-depressant by helping to balance dysfunctions in the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Additionally, it acts on serotonin receptors to help alleviate depressive symptoms.
What are the Advantages of Using CBDa for Pain?
Epidiolex is a CBD-based drug approved by the FDA that is specifically designed to combat epilepsy by reducing the number of times they occur and how severe they are.
The popularity of this drug sparked renewed interest in cannabis plants and how their extracts can have profound medical benefits.
Whether you are taking CBDa oil or fresh cannabis juice, consuming CBDa means feeling the effects faster and affecting your bodily functions more significantly.
However, it is essential to exercise moderation when taking these alternative medicines for conditions like epilepsy. After all, using small quantities of CBDa helps mitigate the health risks that come with side effects.
2. Inflammatory Pain Management
As we mentioned previously, CBDa is a Cox-2 enzyme inhibitor. The significance of this property allows it to assist in reducing inflammation. Let me explain.
There are two types of Cox enzymes or Cyclooxygenase. The first one helps to maintain the lining in the stomach and intestines, while the second is responsible for causing our bodies’ inflammatory response.
Remember the aspirin we mentioned earlier? The drug is not based on steroids and acts as an inhibitor for Cox-2. However, continuous reliance on such drugs, in cases where one is dealing with chronic long-term pain, can cause deterioration of the lining in your stomach and intestines.
Eventually, you will have to contend with gastrointestinal issues.
Consequently, there is a need to find Cox inhibitors that inhibit the first enzyme but do not affect the second. After all, such steps provide an avenue to reduce pain without damaging the gastrointestinal tract. Enter CBDa!
3. Cancer Prevention
In breast cancer, patients have a much higher concentration of Coz-2 than what we would consider normal. The Id-1 protein, often the culprit of the spread and growth of cancer cells, plays a critical role in understanding the cancer prevention properties of CBDa.
After all, the Cox-2 inhibitor also mitigates the effects of the protein.
Moreover, research shows that CBDa profoundly affects Sharp-1 expression in the body. Increasing these processes in the body serves to suppress breast cancer metastasis.
Consequently, CBDa benefits cancer patients by reducing the effectiveness of the Id-1 protein, inhibiting Cox-2, and helping to suppress cancer cell growth. This combination of factors serves to assist with cancer treatment.
4. Reducing Nausea
When it comes to vomiting and nausea caused by motion or toxins, cannabidiolic acid has numerous benefits.
Chemotherapy patients will often experience nausea right before a session. After all, the compound activates the 5-HT1A receptor and quells the issue.
Plus, there are no known treatments for anticipatory nausea, so CBDa shows promise on this front.
Are there Side Effects of CBDA vs. CBD for Pain?
Do you get a terrible case of cotton mouth whenever you smoke?
Well, oral consumption of CBD leads to a dry mouth, sleepiness, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure. Also, you may experience mild changes in your mood.
These CBD side effects are similar to what you can expect from CBDa. However, you need a heavy dose of the compound to go through the unpleasant experiences highlighted. Plus, frequent and sustained consumption can lead to side effects.
Moreover, since CBD and CBDa affect normal body functioning, they could interact with medications you may be taking. Hence, it is a safe bet to consult your physician if you are on any prescription drugs to find out if you are in the clear.
Frequently Asked Questions: CBD vs. CBDA for Pain Relief
1. Does CBDA help with pain?
CBDa is a Cox-2 inhibitor, which gives it pain reliever properties. Since the Cox-2 enzyme is responsible for triggering the inflammatory response in the body, reducing the effects of the molecules goes a long way to blocking the pain signals from reaching your brain.
Additionally, it is ideal for pain relief since it does not inhibit the other Cyclooxygenase molecule from performing its duties: maintaining the lining in the stomach and small intestines. Hence, you will not have gastrointestinal tract issues.
2. Is CBDA more potent than CBD?
When you heat CBDa, it undergoes thermal decarboxylation, which turns it into CBD. While the former has shown more promise in combatting pain than the latter, scientists are still trying to gather concrete evidence on the same.
3. Does CBDA make you feel high?
CBDa does not interact with the endocannabinoid system as THC does. Consequently, the molecule does not get you high. Therefore, even if you extract CBD by heating the compound, you will not get high.
Still, the benefits reach beyond the elation that comes from THC. Pain relief, reducing nausea and anxiety, and even helping with cancer prevention.
Will CBD Products from Innovative Extracts Help Alleviate Pain?
CBD products like gummies, CBD oils, tablets, CBD creams, and tinctures help relieve acute and chronic pain. As a result, you can go about your day without discomfort by experiencing CBD benefits like reduced pain, stress, and anxiety and improved sleep.
Additionally, Innovative Extracts ensures you get high-quality CBD gummies, tinctures, creams, and tablets from hemp plants grown on US farms. You will also find third-party lab results on our product pages showing the ingredients, quality, and level of THC in our CBD products for pain.