Cannabis was one of the first plants cultivated by humankind. In fact, archeological research shows that the plant was cultivated in China as early as 4,000 B.C. The plant’s stems were used for making string, ropes, textiles and even paper was made from cannabis stems around the time of Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty. The Chinese also used the cannabis fruits as food. The fruit was smaller than an avocado, with a hard shell, and contained a single seed. The first evidence of these seeds being used was around 206 – 220 A.D.
Use of cannabis as medicine was found in one of the world’s oldest pharmacopeia, the pen-ts’ao ching (edited and compiled around 100 A.D.) This text indicated that cannabis was used to treat a variety of symptoms such as rheumatic pain, intestinal constipation, menstrual disorders, and even malaria. Around 207 A.D, the founder of Chinese surgery, Hua Tuo used a compound of cannabis mixed with wine to anesthetize patients during surgical procedures.
While used primarily for its medicinal properties, the pen-ts’ao ching also references the first use of cannabis as a psychoactive drug, stating that if the fruit of cannabis is taken in excess it may “produce visions of devils” and if consumed over a long time, “makes one communicate with spirits and lightens one’s body.” Aside from these references, there seems to be little other found regarding cannabis used as a hallucinogen, most likely because this use was restricted to the shamanistic rituals of Central Asia and during the Han Dynasty, religious practices were on the decline in China.
In India, medicinal use of cannabis likely began around 1,000 B.C. The Atharva Veda (a collection of ancient Indian sacred texts) mentions cannabis as one of five sacred plants and refers to it as “a source of happiness, donator of joy and bringer of freedom,” making cannabis use a part of numerous religious rituals in the region. Medical cannabis was used, both internally and externally, for a variety of conditions, including pain management, anticonvulsant, bacterial infection, appetite stimulant, diuretic, and even as an expectorant. (1)
Everything Old is New Again
From its early Asian beginnings, medical cannabis has grown into one of the most promising holistic medicines of the new millennium. According to statista.com, CBD product sales in 2018 totaled more than $535 million and are projected to reach around $1.8 billion by 2022. (2) Gallup.com states that 1 in 7 Americans have used CBD-based products. The top five symptoms they are seeking relief from are:
- Pain (nonspecific) 40%
- Anxiety 20%
- Sleep/Insomnia 11%
- Arthritis 8%
- Migraines/Headaches 5%
- Stress 5%
Other symptoms noted in this survey include muscle spasms, general health (nonspecific), mental health support, mood balance, and gastrointestinal/digestive issues. Breaking this down further, 20% of adults under age thirty say they use CBD, with many of these people (again 20%) living on the West coast. (3)
What is most interesting about these statistics, is that these are the same symptoms that were treated effectively with cannabis thousands of years ago. This difference is that advances in science and research have created a valid source of evidence to support CBD’s effectiveness. In addition, these things have improved how CBD is prepared and administered.
What’s “A” Got To Do With It?
Given the potential growth of the CBD industry, it is worth considering one of the most overlooked relatives of CBD – Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa).
CBDa is found in natural, raw hemp and cannabis. In fact, CBDa is actually the precursor of CBD. This particular acid is removed when making CBD through a process called decarboxylation – a chemical reaction that removes carboxyl compounds and releases carbon dioxide. For a long time, CBDa was considered an unimportant by-product of CBD production. But recent studies have shown that CBDa may have a more potent effect on specific serotonin receptors, suggesting that it has a better therapeutic effect on conditions such as anxiety, epilepsy, stress-related health issues, and even treatment-resistant nausea and vomiting.
Thanks to the research conducted at the Guelph University in Toronto, we now know that CBDa’s activation of the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A is what makes it so effective. In comparing CBD with CBDa, researchers found that CBDa was more effective at suppressing anticipatory nausea (a stress response cancer patients often experience before treatment). (4)
There are several studies out now, that analyze CBDa and the stress response in mice that show promising results. One, in particular, showed a reduction in pain sensitivity and anxiety. (5) Certainly, this suggests that similar results are possible for humans, though more research is needed.
Stress and CBDa
As stated earlier, there is still much research that has to be done in the area of stress and CBDa, but as the data present here shows, there is great promise for those who experience high stress in their daily lives. Thanks to its proprietary extraction process, NESAs Beyond Organic Hemp Extract is a uniquely potent source of CBDa – and can be ten times more effective in treating stress symptoms.
Decrease Stress with CBDa
- Say good-bye to stress and anxiety, which often go hand in hand and can lead to irritability, constant low-level frustration, and interpersonal conflict.
Improved Sleep with CBDa
- Stop the over-thinking that can show up at bedtime and fall asleep – and stay asleep – waking refreshed and ready for the day.
Better Focus with CBDa
- Experience better focus and quality of work
Optimal Mental Health with CBDa
- The challenges and responsibilities of daily life and work can slide away like water off a duck’s back, leaving a sense of ease and optimism for whatever comes your way.
- Zuardi, A.W. History of cannabis as a medicine: a review. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry. Vol. 28 No. 2, June 2006. https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1516-44462006000200015&script=sci_arttext
- From the website www.statista.com, accessed February 5, 2021: https://www.statista.com/statistics/760498/total-us-cbd-sales/
- From the website www.gallup.com, accessed February 5, 2021: https://news.gallup.com/poll/263147/americans-say-cbd-products.aspx
- Biles, M. CBDa – the raw story. Project CBD. August 11, 2020. https://www.projectcbd.org/science/cbda-raw-story
- Citti, C., et. al. Analysis of cannabinoids in commercial hemp seed oil and decarboxylation kinetics studies of cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. Volume 149, 5 February 2018. 532-540. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0731708517322367
- Pellati, F., et.al. Cannabis sativa and Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids: their chemistry and role against... BioMed Research International. Volume 2018. Article ID 1691428. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2018/1691428/