Can CBDA and CBD help with Anxiety relief?
- On 2022-06-26
Can CBDA and CBD help with Anxiety relief?
If anxiety is taking away your best life, what is your daily routine to handle it?
Everyone experiences anxiety, and with symptoms ranging from heart palpitations, shortness of breath, excess sweating, poor sleep and low energy, we can see why people are searching for relief. Often times we can see anxiety rise when work deadlines approach, public speaking is required, or when our finances and relationships become stressful. Anxiety disorders can lead to poor decision making, injured relationships and sleepless nights, which is why so many people are exploring hemp oil products to help reduce stress and treat anxiety.
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What is CBDA and CBD?
The cannabis plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids, but is mainly known for CBD oil. It is only recently that CBDA oil is gaining traction in the nutraceutical space for its enhanced benefits and absorption. Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the natural form of CBD, and is the most abundant cannabinoid in the hemp plant. When CBDA is exposed to heat, it decarboxylates to CBD, a process called thermal decarboxylation.
The cannabis plant has been used for thousands of years for it medicinal properties, and only recently has the pharmacological effects of CBD and CBDA oil been rigorously tested. Acidic cannabinoids are the major cannabinoid precursor compounds, and the other cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, and CBG that are commonly found in products from hemp extracts are all derived from these mother cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, an interconnected process of receptors that are in almost all cells of the body. The therapeutic properties of CBD and CBDA largely come from their ability to help regulate this system.
It is not just one cannabinoid, like cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), that can be beneficial, but other acidic cannabinoids that are in hemp oil. These can include cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) as well. Together, the therapeutic properties of a mixture of cannabinoids can be much greater than a single cannabinoid (isolate). This has been termed the “entourage effect”.
Traditional raw cannabis extracts that were not purified contained the highest amount of cannabidiolic acid CBDA. However, cannabidiolic acid purification has recently been developed at Natural Dos, and include isolation of all the acidic cannabinoids in the hemp extract.
How to get the best CBD and CBDA
There are a dizzying array of CBD products on the market since the passing of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill that legalized hemp extract. Unfortunately, this has led to a lot of unscrupulous companies coming to the market whose product is not what is advertised.
Identify high quality CBDA and CBD
The best CBDA oil and CBD oil products will have complete certificates of analysis (CoA) that is tested by a 3rd party lab. The therapeutic potential of a CBDA oil product will depend on how well the product has been tested for potency. Here are the 5 main criteria you should look for in a CoA:
- Potency – is the amount of cannabinoids advertised validated?
- Pesticides – check that there are no residual pesticides
- Heavy metals – there should be no heavy metals in the product
- Solvents – sometimes there can be trace amounts of ethanol, which is not harmful, but other solvent should not be present
- Microbial – product should pass microbial testing showing that there are no harmful amounts of bacteria
In addition to the CoA, make sure the sellers name is on the CoA if you are buying direct, and that the testing lab is reputable. Here is our complete guide on how to read and interpret the CoA.
Natural Dos CBDA products are tested by a trusted third party laboratory (SC Labs), who is ISO 17025 and state certified. All product testing results are reviewed by our scientists before release.
What CBD or CBDA product is best for me?
There are a couple ways that cannabidiol CBD and cannabidiolic acid CBDA can be taken, and the specific product may have some benefits over others:
- Tinctures – typically coconut oil with CBDA or CBD and a flavor
- Edibles – these are usually in the form of gummies, chocolate bars, or mints
- Beverages – new CBD beverages are becoming popular with sparkling water
- Vapes – using a vaporizer with CBDA or CBD oil is popular, but new regulations have been cracking down on distribution
- Capsule – pill form has become popular as many companies have started to combine CBD oil with other plant material, such as chamomile.
CBD or CBDA tinctures with coconut oil can have good uptake if they are absorbed under the tongue (sublingual). This route is a common method to improve absorption rates for compounds, and is enhanced by the presence of a carrier oil (MCT or coconut oil).
Edibles, whether CBDA gummies or chocolates, they provide a consistent release, and are absorbed within 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion. Depending on the edible, the absorption times may be higher or lower if it takes longer for the body to digest.
Beverages are less common since they are typically one dose per bottle, but when mixed with delta 8 or delta 9 THC can be a fun replacement of alcoholic drinks at a party. While not typically sold for potential health benefits, they can provide a nice calming relief in the short term.
Using a vaporizer for CBDA will convert it to CBD during the heating process. However, vapes are one of the fastest routes to get CBD into the blood stream since the uptake in the lungs is rapid. This form comes with a caveat, inhalation of hot smoke is not healthy for lung epithelial cells, even if the cannabinoid compounds are beneficial.
Capsules are a great way to get CBDA benefits. They are easy to consume, and with the enhanced absorption of CBDA, will be rapidly absorbed by the body in a similar timeframe as edibles (30 to 60 minutes).
Natural Dos specializes in Natural Spectrum CBDA oil products that contain all the original cannabinoids found in the hemp flower. Not only is cannabidiolic acid CBDA absorbed over 400% better than CBD, but it also appears to increase CBD blood levels greater than taking CBD alone, making the combination of the two a superior product!
What does the research say?
Stress and anxiety are natural responses from our fight or flight systems that were designed to help us manage dangers from our early environments. However, we do not have to worry about the proverbial tiger in the bushes anymore, which leaves us with chronic stress that is endemic in modern societies.
Not all cannabinoids are the same. THC in some people can cause anxiety and paranoia, while CBDA and CBD can reduce it.
If you do not have a daily routine to handle stress and anxiety, it becomes a chronic illness affect every aspect you your daily life.
There are a number of studies assessing cannabidiol CBD and cannabidiolic acid CBDA and its potential benefits for anxiety relief. A 2018 study out of New Zealand enrolled over 250 patients with a mental health diagnosis for anxiety or pain, and were prescribed 100mg of CBD per day in tincture form for a year (2017-2018). CBD was found to significantly improve anxiety/depression over a 1-year timeframe. Adverse reported side effects were drowsiness and vivid dreams in 10% of the patients, with less than 1% reporting worse overall after treatment. Positive reported side effects were improved sleep and appetite in 15% of the patients (1).
This retrospective study in Colorado assessed 41 patients in a psychiatric clinic for improvement in anxiety after using CBD as an adjunct treatment. CBD was administered in capsule form, and doses ranged from 25mg to 175mg per day. At the 3 month follow up, about 80% of patients had improved anxiety scores (2).
CBD oil is being tested in many areas where anxiety can have significant effects on a patient’s social life. For example, this study looked at the effects of CBD on patients with generalized social anxiety disorder under conditions of simulated stress from public speaking. Administration of CBD (600mg) prior to simulated public speaking decreased anxiety and improved cognitive impairment in those individuals with social anxiety disorder (3).
CBDA oil to treat anxiety has seen fewer studies than CBD to date since the technical abilities to purify it from the hemp plant has only recently been developed at scale. However, the number of preclinical studies in animal models that show substantial benefit in reducing anxiety scores is growing (4,5). Anti anxiety effects of CBDA oil may stem from its action on serotonin receptors, specifically 5HT1A. This serotonin receptor is a common target for SSRI antidepressants (serotonin receptor reuptake inhibitor), and is well studied in clinical pharmacology.
Recent in vitro and in vivo animal studies indicate that CBDA activates the 5HT1A receptor, which may be responsible for some of its analgesic properties. How CBDA works on the nervous system to affect anxiety disorders is still under investigation by the scientific community.
What is the right CBDA dose?
Dosing is critical to determining if CBDA oil or CBD oil is right for you. Everyones biochemistry is a bit different, and therefore different people will need different doses to determine what may work for their anxiety symptoms.
Most people typically start their daily routine with 30mg to 50mg of CBDA oil per day. Because CBDA has a much higher absorption than CBD, we can compare the CBD doses that work in studies, which have a large range from 25mg to 600mg per day. For example, a 250mg dose of CBD oil will yield a similar blood concentration of a 50mg dose of CBDA oil.
Try one dose for a week and see how you feel, and you can increase or decrease as needed.
A daily routine to treat anxiety symptoms is critical to reaching balance.
Routines for a healthy mind
There is no one size fits all when it comes to mental wellbeing and anxiety. Finding the daily routine that helps you treat anxiety and get the best out of the day is a process.
Good sleep hygiene
We all know good sleep is important for physical and mental health, but stress and anxiety often lead to an inability to calm the mind at night. Here are some tested methods to help fall asleep and stay asleep:
- No screen time an hour before bed: blue light emitted from screens prevent the release of the sleep molecule melatonin in the brain. You can also try using blue light blocking glasses.
- Caffeine is known to prevent sleep, thats why we take it! However, the average time it takes for the body to remove half the caffeine from the system is 6 hours, which means for a lot of people it can take longer. A cup of coffee at 2pm, would be similar to drinking half a cup at 8pm.
- Cold temperatures have been found to improve sleep. Try turning the temperature down, or finding a chilling pad for the bed.
- Work at night keeps the brain going, spending an hour or two before bed relaxing is important to setting your body up for sleep.
It is not much of an exaggeration to say that robust exercise is the most potent “drug” known to researchers. Exercise, even short walks, have been shown to improve mental wellness and treat anxiety better than most other interventions.
Deep breathing routines for as short as 5 minutes a day are gaining popularity as a way to help manage stress and anxiety. Using controlled breathing routines to handle stress has been studied for a long time, and is common practice in many religions around the world. Whether it is yoga, meditation or breathing specific routines, the results have been well documented. This article from Harvard on breathing routines has a basic outline you can start with:
- “First steps. Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. First, take a normal breath. Then try a deep breath: Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out slowly through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural).”
- “Breath focus in practice. Once you’ve taken the steps above, you can move on to regular practice of controlled breathing. As you sit comfortably with your eyes closed, blend deep breathing with helpful imagery and perhaps a focus word or phrase that helps you relax.”
There are many supplements on the market for anxiety, and since everyone is a bit different
- Cannabinoid therapeutics, such as CBDA oil or CBD oil, can help calm the mind , provide relaxation benefits, and reported to have anti anxiety properties. Many people are using combination of cannabinoids with CBN for help with calming the mind and falling asleep at night. As CBDA oils gain popularity for their endocannabinoid system benefits, and much lower doses that are needed, we anticipate that CBDA products will start to get more research from the community.
- Magnesium supplementation, specifically magnesium glycinate and magnesium chloride which have the best absorption, has been found to have calming properties that help with sleep. Clinical studies show have found that magnesium chloride supplementation was able to help with depression in patients who were diagnosed with mild to moderate levels of depression.
- L-theanine is an amino acid that is well studied for its benefit in improving sleep and anxiety. Animal models show that L-theanine supplementation may increase brain serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels which could contribute to some of its protective effects.
Are there side effects for CBDA and CBD?
CBD products, along with CBDA, have very low toxicity on their own. Some CBD side effects at high doses were found in clinical trials using the CBD isolate prescription Epidiolex :
- Sleep disturbance
- Deight loss
Clinical trials with CBD oil in epilepsy patients typically show there is limited adverse reactions, although there can be drug-drug interactions with liver toxicity that may limit their use in patients who are on medications that are metabolized through the CYP pathway. Talk with your doctor about cannabinoid therapeutics if you are on medications.
Anxiety and stress are best addressed with daily routines since it is a natural part of life, and if left uncontrolled, can become drain your energy and often is debilitating.
Start your anti stress routine today before its too late.
1 Graham Gulbransen, William Xu, Bruce Arroll, “Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit of the first 400 patients in New Zealand”, BJGP Open, May, 2020, 1;4(1).
2. Scott Shannon, Nicole Lewis, Heather Lee, Shannon Hughes, “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series,” The Permanente Journal, 2019, 23:18-041.
3. Mateus M Bergamaschi, Regina Helena Costa Queiroz, Marcos Hortes Nisihara Chagas, Danielle Chaves Gomes de Oliveira, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis, Flavio Kapczinski, Joao Quevedo, Rafael Roesler, Nadja Schroder, Antonio E Nardi,Rocio Martin-Santos, Jaime Eduardo Cecilio Hallak, Antonio Waldo Zuardi, and Jose Alexandre S Crippa, “Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients,” Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011, 36:1219-1226
4. Neda Assareh, Anand Gururajan, Cilla Zhou, Jia Lin Luo, Richard C Kevin, Jonathon C Arnold, “Cannabidiol disrupts conditioned fear expression and cannabidiolic acid reduces trauma-induced anciety-related behavior in mice,” Behavioral Pharmacology, 2020, 31:591-596
5. Erin M Rock, Cheryl L Limebeer, Gavin N Petrie, Lauren A Williams, Raphael Mechoulam, Linda A Parker, “Effect of prior foot shock stress and d9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiolic acid, and cannabidiol on anxiety-like responding in the light-dark emergence test in rats,” Psychopharmacology, 2017, 234:2207-2217