What is CBD and CBDa?
Cannabi-what? Before we dive into what CBD is and how it works, let's explain briefly what cannabinoids are. The hemp plant (and other members of the Cannabis family, like marijuana) produce over 400 organic compounds.
Of those 400+ compounds, two of the main groups that contain bioactive properties are called terpenes and cannabinoids. Fun fact - cannabinoids are produced within our bodies too (albeit not exactly the same types found within the Cannabis plant family members)!
For more info on cannabinoids checkout our blog post What are Cannabinoids?
What is CBD?
So what is CBD then? Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of over a hundred different types of Cannabinoids produced within the hemp and marijuana plants. A few other common cannabinoids you might have heard of before are CBN, CBG and THC (which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes you high).
These cannabinoids differ in molecular structure and effects. While marijuana is high in THC (no pun intended), it is low in CBD. The hemp plant, on the other hand, is the total opposite. Naturally low in THC and high in CBD! As a result of this, hemp is the perfect plant to extract CBD from.
By removing the trace amounts of THC, you can be assured Flora Farmacy CBD products will never get you high.
How does CBD Work?
So earlier we mentioned these cannabinoids are not just found in hemp and marijuana plants (phytocannabinoids) but are also naturally produced within our bodies (endocannabinoids). These endocannabinoids bind to a network of receptors within our bodies called the Endocannabinoid System or ECS for short.
The ECS is thought to regulate a host of vital biological functions. It achieves this by binding to the endocannabinoids we have within us to maintain homeostasis (a state of healthy balance within the body). That's all good and well; however, the ECS is also susceptible to imbalance, which may lead to a wide range of ailments or conditions. This is known as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD)
Further research is currently being conducted; however, the evidence from medical studies thus far is very positive. Research and clinical trials are showing that supplementing with exogenous cannabinoids like CBD found in our CBD Oils, Gummies, Capsules, Vape E-Liquids, Teas and Balms can potentially benefit significantly in restoring balance within the ECS.
What is CBDa?
OK here's where things get a little confusing, but it's good to understand the relationship between the CBD and CBDa cannabinoids so let's explain. CBDa is found in raw plant material, in this case, hemp, and is the acidic precursor to "active" CBD. As CBDa is the precursor to CBD, CBGa is the precursor to CBDa. Once an available enzyme is present, synthase converts CBGa to CBDa.
The next step required to convert CBDa to CBD requires a process called decarboxylation. Decarboxylation involved applying heat (like cooking or vaporising) to remove the carboxyl group, leaving just CBD. It's important to note both CBDa and CBD are non-psychoactive, so they will never get you high. Science! Despite CBDa being viewed as inactive, it is thought it could offer therapeutic benefits, including anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory traits but.
We hope this has cleared up some of your questions around CBD and where it comes from. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. Weed love to hear from your (pun intended this time round)!