Exploring the Benefits of CBDA in Hemp Products

Leaf411 member Myriam’s Hemp shares insights on CBDA and the importance of hemp consumer education

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN, and Eloise Theisen, NP
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

We recently talked with Myriam’s Hemp Co-Founder and CEO Diana Peña about the company’s wide range of hemp products. The brand offers hemp topicals as well as tinctures featuring CBD, CBG, CBN and CBDA, as well as an Enhanced CBD Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) packed with hemp plant compounds. Myriam’s Hemp also creates custom blends for customers with unique terpene profiles. 

Diana Peña, Co-Founder and CEO of Myriam’s Hemp

Diana Peña, Co-Founder and CEO of Myriam’s Hemp

When we asked Diana which of the cannabinoids she felt was most underrated, she was quick to respond.

“People are paying more attention to the different cannabinoids found in hemp and how they deliver different results. However, the product that we’ve always carried at Myriam’s Hemp and that I still think to this day that doesn’t get enough attention is CBDA,” said Myriam.

We’re guessing that many of you have never heard of CBDA (it’s different than CBD!) and thought it would make a great topic for today’s blog post after talking with Diana. We’ll also share tips for finding hemp products that truly deliver the CBDA and other cannabinoids they claim to contain.

Hemp is more than just CBD: Understanding hemp’s beneficial compounds

Usually when people discuss hemp, they’re talking about CBD (cannabidiol), but in fact, the hemp plant contains hundreds of plant compounds including other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and essential fatty acids (a good fat!).

Understanding different cannabinoids can make all the difference when it comes to finding the best hemp product for your needs, whether you’re seeking relief or boosting overall wellness. In fact, you might have even tried a few of the minor cannabinoids—for example, CBN (cannabinol) or CBG (cannabigerol), though chances are that you’ve not heard as much about CBDA.

Two people looking at product test results showing beneficial hemp compounds.

CBDA: The precursor to the more well-known CBD

CBD itself is no slouch, with many people finding that CBD is a powerful tool when it comes to health concerns.

But did you know that CBD doesn’t start out as CBD in hemp/cannabis plants? In fact, the compound starts out as CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) which is found in fresh raw hemp and cannabis.

When CBDA is exposed to heat over 110 degrees Celsius (230 degrees Fahrenheit), it converts to CBD. The scientific term for this process is “decarboxylation.” Typically, decarboxylation occurs either during the extraction process or when someone smokes, vapes or cooks with the hemp flower, heating it up to over 110 degrees Celsius.

However, some hemp extraction techniques don’t involve heat. When these extraction techniques are used, CBDA may remain in the hemp product.

Whiteboard drawing of CBDA’s molecular structure

Is CBDA better than CBD?

CBDA works differently in your body than CBD. How? CBDA has a different mechanism of action. Instead of binding directly to CB1 or CB2 receptors found in the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBDA acts on COX-2 receptors which play a role in inflammation as well as 5-HT receptors which produce serotonin.

CBDA’s different mechanisms of action means that it provides different and wide ranging results which are currently being researched to better understand its potential. CBDA may also be far more potent than CBD when it comes to managing nausea and vomiting based on research that Dr. Ethan Russo shared in a review published last year.

While most research shows that THC is best for nausea, someone could start with CBDA if they are adverse to THC, or if they live in an area where cannabis is not legal. Our Leaf411 nurses suggest CBDA is best for anticipatory nausea. 

CBDA may help in other ways as well. At Myriam’s Hemp, Diana hears from customers who say that CBDA works well to help with multiple concerns.

“Some people have various ailments—they’re not just dealing with anxiety, but have anxiety, inflammation, pain and mood swings all happening at the same time. Those are the customers we hear from who tell us that CBDA has been especially helpful for them.”

CBDA is thought to be more water-soluble than CBD and in turn is more bioavailable, meaning that CBDA can be more effective at lower doses compared to CBD. This might address how it may be “better” or more effective than CBD. The lower doses can help people avoid side effects that may come with higher doses of CBD and it can be more cost effective.

At Leaf411 we suggest there may be a potential to use CBDA as a first line treatment option due to the lower doses needed for possible symptom relief. There is less research on CBDA metabolism so we always suggest  approaching it with caution. If THC is a barrier to a new cannabis user, CBDA could be an option as well due to easier access and again lower doses which could mean less side effects and drug-to-drug interactions.

Three arrows on the ground pointing in different directions, indicating choices about which hemp product is best.

How to make sure you’re getting high quality CBDA

Hemp products containing beneficial amounts of CBDA can be challenging to find. Obviously, when you shop for a CBDA product, you’ll want to make sure that it contains the cannabinoids being advertised.

How do you do that?

Look for companies that regularly test their hemp products via an independent third party laboratory. Test results will be provided as a product Certificate of Analysis (COA) showing the different percentages and amounts (usually milligrams per gram or “mg/g”) of cannabinoids in the tincture, edible, topical or other product. For example, the first page of Myriam’s Hemp COA for their CBDA tincture batch #2138 is shown below listing cannabinoids found in their tincture.

Five stars lined up on a tabletop, indicating high quality.
Screenshot of the top portion of Myriam’s Hemp CBDA Certificate of Analysis. The COA also shows results for terpenes and potential contaminants, and is available on the product page.

Screenshot of the top portion of Myriam’s Hemp CBDA Certificate of Analysis. The COA also shows results for terpenes and potential contaminants, and is available on the product page.

Some manufacturers like Myriam’s Hemp go beyond the basic tests to also include lab results for potential contaminants like solvents, heavy metals and molds. This voluntary extra level of testing helps ensure product purity for consumers.

When it comes to Myriam’s Hemp full spectrum CBD tincture, the brand even includes lab results showing the amount of beneficial terpenes in the oil.

Beyond independently lab-testing every lot, Myriam’s Hemp has built a long-term relationship with an Oregon organic hemp grower to ensure consistency and reliability in the plants that are grown for the brand. This attention to detail really sets Myriam’s Hemp apart from other hemp brands that may get their raw materials from the cheapest source, with little regard for product consistency.

Exploring Myriam’s Hemp’s full range of products, including the new Sunshine Orange flavor

 In addition to CBDA, Myriam’s Hemp also offers tinctures featuring CBG, CBN or CBD and Enhanced CBD Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO), along with CBD balms and pet CBD. 

Tinctures are available in unflavored olive oil, natural vanilla flavor or the new natural Sunrise Orange flavor. When ordering a tincture, you also have an option to add a terpene boost designed to promote specific effects, including calm, focus, energy or immunity.

The company can also formulate custom blends with unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles personalized to individual needs. For more information about how to customize your product, click on this link.

Freshly picked oranges in a fruit crate, mirroring Myriam’s Hemp’s newest Sunshine Orange flavor.

A personal connection to the healing power of hemp and cannabis

Talking about CBDA, COAs and product quality can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. At Leaf411, we understand! All of our Leaf411 staff have been there before, not sure where to start with investigating the therapeutic potential of hemp.  

In fact, Diana shares a similar story as our own co-founder, Katherine Golden, RN, when it comes to a family member’s health concern that brought Diana to the hemp space. 

In 2013, Diana’s mother Myriam was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor which launched the family on an exhaustive search for alternatives to manage Myriam’s pain and improve her quality of life while facing a terminal condition. The family’s journey ultimately led to the creation of Myriam’s Hemp with a focus on providing consistent product quality and transparency to other patients and consumers who were also seeking plant-based alternatives. 

From their own experience seeking out plant-based alternatives for an ill family member, the Myriam’s Hemp team knows that education is incredibly important when it comes to targeting specific cannabinoids to health goals.

Two hands holding a paper doll family, reflecting caring and connection.
Example of CBD journaling taken from Myriam Hemp’s Facebook page.

Example of CBD journaling taken from Myriam Hemp’s Facebook page.

How much CBDA, CBG, CBN, or CBD should you take?

While Diana is comfortable talking about the unique features of each of their hemp products, when it comes to dosing, she is thankful to have Leaf411 as a resource to share with consumers. 

“We provide a lot of education on our website and provide general information about starting low and going slow with hemp products,” said Diana. “However when it comes to individual questions about dosing, we refer consumers to the Leaf411 nurses who have the education and research to lead the consumer in the right direction.”

Some consumers reach out to Myriam’s Hemp wanting a thorough medical consultation, but Diana notes the cost may be prohibitive to many people.

“We have some really great doctors we can send people to, but to be honest with you, some of them are very expensive, up to between $600 and hour and $750 an hour. A lot of people can’t afford that,” Diana says. “Leaf411 helps fill the gap by providing free clinical guidance to patients who might otherwise be left to try and figure out everything on their own.”

Myriam’s Hemp supports Leaf411 as a business member to ensure the public has access to clinically-sound guidance at no cost, as one of many ways the company supports consumers. 

In fact, Diana points to the brand’s customer support as another element that really makes Myriam’s Hemp stand apart from the competition. 

“We get feedback from customers saying that other companies do not provide the same level of help and information that we provide,” Diana says. “I’m always happy to hear that type of feedback, because we have worked hard to make sure our own staff is really knowledgeable and able to help.”

Myriam’s Hemp also offers a Compassion Program for veterans, seniors, and people who may struggle with the cost of plant medicine, based on the belief that “good health should never be out of reach.”

Let our expert Leaf411 nurses help with your hemp questions

Our Leaf411 hotline nurses are knowledgeable about the wide range of hemp products available today, and are ready to answer your questions about the best options for your health and wellness needs, whether that’s CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBN or other cannabinoids. Our nurses also help with dosing, identifying potential medicine interactions and troubleshooting when a hemp product isn’t providing the anticipated effects. Best of all, our service is FREE to callers, built on the belief that cannabis education should be accessible to all. Call 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. MDT.

Also, if you share our belief that knowledge is power when it comes to plant-based medicine and want to support our mission, we encourage you to visit our fundraising campaign at: https://www.classy.org/campaign/leaf411/c350217  

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.

Smartphone with “Q & A'' displayed on screen. Leaf411 hotline RNs are ready to answer all your hemp and cannabis questions.