CBDA for Depression: A Natural Solution for Mental Health? Unpacking the Science and Benefits
Mental wellness can mean a lot of different things, and often, when our mood swings we may not even realize it if we are busy or distracted. Unfortunately, this is also true for depression, and while some people may be diagnosed, many are also under-diagnosed or just need relief in their daily activities.
One such solution to provide relief that has been gaining attention in recent years is CBDA. CBDA is an acidic cannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa plant and has superior absorption and serotonin effects than all the other cannabinoids.
Lets take a closer look at CBDA and its potential as a natural solution for mental health, specifically for depression.
We will explore the science behind CBDA and the other health benefits of hemp derived CBD products. We will also dig deep in its safety and side effects. So if you are looking for a natural solution to managing your anxiety disorders and depression symptoms or are simply curious about CBDA, this blog post is for you.
- Depression is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It’s characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
- CBDA, also known as cannabinolic acid, is a precursor to CBD.
- CBDA works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
- CBDA may possibly help to modulate the activity of ECS, in turn, it can potentially help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
- What is CBDA and how does it work for depressive disorders?
- CBDA vs. Traditional antidepressant medications
- Adding CBDA into your treatment plan
- Risks and safety precautions with CBDA use
What Is CBDA and How Does It Work for Depressive Disorders?
CBDA, also known as cannabinolic acid, is a precursor to CBD, which is created when CBDA is exposed to high heat. Both CBDA and CBD cannabinoids are non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis. They are known for a wide variety of medicinal properties.
While CBD has been extensively studied, CBDA is relatively less known. However, recent pre clinical evidence revealed CBDA as a natural option for treating mental health conditions such as depression. CBDA has also shown to help reduce anxiety induced by social phobia.
CBDA, endocannabinoid system and depression
CBDA works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for regulating various physiological functions. These functions include mood, appetite, and sleep. It’s believed that CBDA can help to modulate the activity of this system. And in turn, it can possibly help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Additionally, CBDA has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These studies indicate that CBDA may help to reduce inflammation in the brain. Since inflammation in the brain is thought to contribute to the development of depression, it suggests that there may be multiple methods by which CBDA can have therapeutic potential.
CBDA and serotonin levels
Additionally, a systematic review regarding CBDA has shown that it can activate the serotonin receptor 5HT1A. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in regulating mood. By increasing serotonin levels in the brain, CBDA may be a potential treatment for depressive symptoms. This
CBDA particularly helps to improve mood and reduce anxiety levels. It may also be helpful for conditions potentially related to depression such as chronic pain. CBDA is also showing promise as a natural alternative for treating anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health conditions.
Depression and predisposition
Depression has many different components that can contribute to the mental health of a patient. Often, these can be a combination of environmental cues, like poor nutrition and exercise, drugs, but there also sees to be a genetic component.
These factors are often enhanced for those who have major depressive disorder or mixed social anxiety disorder. Therefore, it’s always best to speak with a healthcare professional before taking any supplement containing CBDA or any other cannabinoid as a treatment for depression.
CBDA and legal definition
In 2018, FDA approved that most of the hemp plant was removed from the Controlled Substances Act. This law makes the THC the only compound from the hemp plant that remains federally illegal if over a concentration of 0.3% by weight. The legality of CBDA is legal in all states, and is not considered a controlled substance.
The FDA has not approved nonprescription CBDA products, like CBDA oil. Therefore, it’s important to make sure any products you buy are labeled accurately.
CBDA vs. Traditional Antidepressant Medications
The cannabis sativa plant has long been used for its mental health properties, and with modern science, we are now able to capture those critical compounds that are known to provide those beneficial effects.
Serotonin and depression, the changing landscape
Serotonin is a critical neurotransmitter involved in many of the most basic brain activities. Because the nervous system is so complicated, it is often difficult to tease apart the effects of a single neurotransmitter vs its effect in combination with all the others.
When it comes to depression, most of the early research suggests that there is a role for serotonin. A lot of the conventional therapies, such as elective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), that have come out of this observation are based on the serotonin model of depression.
However, this is being called into question as multiple large studies on serotonin metabolites have been inconclusive.
However, there is good clinical evidence that SSRIs have an effect on some people with depression, despite new evidence that the serotonin levels may not be that different between healthy controls and those with depression.
For those taking SSRIs, there can be significant difference in side effects, but some of the most commonly reported ones are:
- Dry mouth
- Sexual dysfunction
Important: while SSRIs are not thought to be addictive, many people report withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking their medications.
As referenced above, CBDA can also interact with 5HT1A, a serotonin target for SSRIs. However, it does not have the withdrawal effects that SSRIs are known to have. This may be due to the other cannabinoid receptors that it also interacts with.
CBDA and mood
There are many surveys that show the majority of respondents reported they felt better after CBDA and CBD treatment.
Another important difference is the potential anti-anxiety effects of CBDA. While cannabinoid users typically report improved relaxation, this also includes better sleep, and the potential for lower inflammation in many cases.
CBDA is generally considered to be well-tolerated and has fewer reported side effects. However, more research is needed to fully understand the safety and efficacy of CBDA compared to traditional antidepressant medications.
Adding CBDA Into Your Daily Routine
If you plan on taking CBDA, start with a lower dose of 25mg to 50mg per day. Since everyone is a little different in how their body handles cannabinoids, you want to make sure it works for you before increasing a dose.
The effects of CBDA can last a while depending on your individual makeup. There are number of factors that play into this:
- Body weight
- Liver metabolism
- How often you take it and the dose
- The state of your endocannabinoid system
- Other medications that you are on
If you are on other medications, we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider before trying CBDA or other hemp derived CBD products.
How often should I take CBDA?
While this may vary for the individual, many customers who take CBDA for its relaxing benefits, report taking CBDA two to three times a day. This is usually in the morning and then again later in the afternoon.
How do I know if CBDA is working?
Keeping a journal of your day, and how you feel is one of the best ways to track changes in your mood and mental wellbeing over time.
This method is best done by keeping a small journal next to your bed to make it as easy as possible to be consistent.
Minimal risk associated with CBDA
Most research shows finds that CBDA is well-tolerated, does not have psychoactive effects, and is not considered a risk for substance abuse.
There are a few risks and safety precautions that should be considered before using it.
People with depression who use CBDA has not been well studied. However, clinical evidence from many studies using CBD have shown very little side effects in patients with depressive symptoms.
Additionally, no cannabinoid is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a supplement.
When purchasing CBDA products, always be sure to check for third party testing that will be reported as a certificate of analysis (CoA). This should show the potency of the product (the amount of cannabinoids), and if there is any contamination in the product.
Many compounds are metabolized by the liver, and this includes CBDA, CBD and many medications like SSRIs. When too many compounds are being metabolized in the liver by the same enzymes, sometimes you can get liver toxicity.
While clinical trials on CBDA side effects have not been performed, CBD at high doses was found to be associated with an increase in liver enzymes for epileptic patients. These patients were taking CBD in doses over 1000mg per day and were on multiple medications.
If you are on multiple medications, please speak with your healthcare provider before trying CBDA.
How do you know what you feel is depression? What you feel vs what I feel by the same event will be different. Is it a combination of feelings, or just a consistent one of sadness, or hopelessness, or worthlessness?
While there are many treatment options available, depending on what some individuals are looking for, a natural alternative may provide some relief.
Much of the research on CBDA is in the preclinical stage, but many users report improvement in mood.
It’s still important to note that the safety and efficacy of CBDA for treating depression have not been fully established. Additionally, CBDA is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And just like any other supplement, it may cause side effects if not taken with precaution.
It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if CBDA is appropriate for you. They will also discuss with you the potential risks and benefits.