You’ve heard of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that creates that mental “high” everyone’s always talking about, and that also offers a whole host of potential medicinal benefits like stimulating appetite, easing nausea and vomiting, calming asthma attacks, and relieving eye pressure in glaucoma patients. It’s likely you’ve also run across CBD – THC’s non-psychoactive counterpart – through one of its many features in recent years.
THC and CBD may be the two cannabinoids most prevalent in cannabis, but they aren’t the only ones. In fact, cannabis contains as many as 80 different cannabinoids. A number of these have been examined individually with the hope of isolating their medical uses, but scientists still have a long way to go to study them all and any current claims about marijuana medicinal benefits are purely anecdotal at this time.
One lesser-known cannabinoid that has gotten a bit of press in recent months is Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA). The best (possibly, only) way to reap the benefits of CBDA is to consume raw cannabis. Is “yuck” your first thought? You aren’t alone, but hear us out!
What the heck is CBDA?
CBDA is found in the trichomes, or resin glands, that develop on the tiny top leaves and buds of the cannabis plant during the flowering stage. When you heat (burn, vaporize, or bake) your cannabis flowers, the CBDA present in the cannabis plant transforms into CBD. A similar conversion happens when raw THCA becomes THC. The process is called decarboxylation.
Though in many cannabis plants only a small amount of CBDA/CBD exists – usually about 5% – the growing interest in and demand for CBD-rich cannabis strains means plants with high amounts of this handy compound are getting easier to come by. Take our own CBD Blueberry, CBD Moby Dick, and CBD Critical Mass for example!
More on cannabinoids:
“What is CBD?”
So, why should we risk our taste buds on raw cannabis?
Good question! Recent testing of this subtle little cannabinoid has found CBDA could potentially be useful as an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as an anti-nauseant, antioxidant, and painkiller. Studies show it is also antimicrobial, but as stated earlier, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
The cannabinoid also holds promise for anxious thinking disorders, and arthritis (ant-inflammation).
If you struggle with any of these symptoms or conditions and you’re willing to take a chance on raw cannabis, experts are recommending that CBDA be consumed blended in smoothies or juices.