CBDA is the acid precursor of CBD and has many therapeutic effects: I find a CBDA smoothie treats many of my symptoms, such as nausea, depression, heart murmur, fatigue, and brain fog. I will be discussing this here and giving my smoothie recipe below.
Studies confirm these effects; there have been many studies on CBDA as an anti-emetic , and the powerful anti-nausea effects first drew me to it in 2016 when I started extracting CBDA. It works extremely well on daily nausea that I’ve had for many years due to severe Crohn’s disease, along with herbal medicines such as slippery elm powder, which also has anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-acid and anti-ulcerative effects.
In 2016 I was so impressed with CBDA’s anti-nausea effects that I spent some time testing it on my other symptoms, as I do with any cannabinoid that I have grown and taken for the first time, and was pleased to find it also treated my depression, my heart murmur, my brain fog and my fatigue. However, I did observe that it didn’t treat my anxiety, and I found that combining CBDA with CBD in certain ratios worked best for that. I get anxiety and depression together because first, I get anxious, and then a second or so later, I feel depressed that I’m anxious yet again!
Therefore I make extracts that have approximately 16% CBDA and 20% CBD, and I find this is the ratio that treats my anxiety and depression.
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Tailoring Ratios and Percentages in Extracts and Infusions
The effects of CBDA and CBD are increased when taken with THC. I personally find an extract with a ratio of approximately 3:4:1 of CBDA:CBD: THC works best on the symptoms listed here. This can be done by taking a 20% CBD strain such as Dr Seedsman and, using the flower and smaller leaves, soaking it in alcohol or olive oil, then evaporating or infusing it at 60 degrees C, which will give approx.16% CBD, 20% CBD.
You can then add 9% THC by taking a 20% THC extract and mixing it in a ratio of approx 4:1 CBD: THC. For example, you could use 40 grams of CBD flower infused in an olive oil carrier for 2 hours at 60 degrees C. Then strain, and you have your starting oil of approx 16% CBDA and 20% CBD. Now you can take 10 grams of 20% THC and flower and infuse it into olive oil for 2 hours at approx. 85 degrees C, which will give a 20% THC-infused oil. Then you strain the oil and have 10 grams of THC-infused oil to blend with the 40 grams of 16% CBDA, 20% CBD-infused oil. Now you have your 3:4:1 ratio infused oil, which can be put into a dropper bottle or capsules.
You can use the same amounts of flowers and the same temperatures with ethanol extraction if your symptoms need a more concentrated medicine, just make sure you do it in a well-ventilated place and use a closed-loop system such as a water distiller for safety.
Simplifying the Process
You could make life a little easier by using a 4:1 or even a 2:1 CBD: THC strain. However, most 4:1 or 2:1 strains have lower percentages of cannabinoids, e.g.12% CBD, and 6% THC, and I prefer to work with 20% strains of both CBD and THC as I find 20% more effective on my symptoms. But I have severe symptoms, and mild to moderate symptoms will be treated with a lower percentage.
I spent several years experimenting with different levels of THC, such as 1% and 5% THC. I stick with 9% THC as it’s the minimum I can take for it to be effective, but that may be too much for people who are sensitive to the effects of THC, so I recommend experimenting with different THC levels yourself if you don’t know what will suit you. It is always best to start low, around 1-5% and see how you feel. Then you can add more THC if needed.
Full Extract Oils Vs Raw Flower in the CBDA Smoothie
I should point out here that fully extracted CBDA in the form of a paste is very powerful, and if too much of a high percentage of CBDA extract is taken, it may cause some racing thoughts or mild anxiety. By ‘high percentage’ CBDA, I mean a full extract oil or paste which is around 12-14% or above. That is one of the reasons why CBDA is more therapeutic when combined with CBD and also THC when taken in its extracted form: the entourage effect means that cannabinoids are more effective when used together.
But the dried flower is much less concentrated and is a safer way to experiment with the therapeutic effects of CBDA. Using the recommended dose in this recipe is extremely unlikely to cause anything but beneficial effects.
Terpenes have a calming effect which is why using the flower and leaf fresh from the plant has the most uplifting, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects because the raw plant has a more complete terpene and cannabinoid profile. The raw plant also contains many beneficial nutrients. However, this is only possible if you can access the plant whilst growing. Therefore, I recommend buying some seeds of Dr Seedsman, one of my favourite CBD strains. It is approx 20-% CBD, 0.2% THC.
Tailoring Your Dosage
Everyone is different, so I would advise trying different doses to see what works best for you. If you ingest too much CBDA dried flower, you are likely to feel extra-energised and happy rather than anxious, and you may find you are more physically active than usual after taking it. For patients such as myself, this means you may over-exert yourself unintentionally due to the incredibly energising and uplifting effects of CBDA. Fortunately, rest and healthy food will treat any over-exertion. This is a beneficial side-effect for people like myself who suffer from severe fatigue, providing you rest and recovery adequately afterwards.
The therapeutic effects of cannabinoids are further increased by using them alongside herbal medicines such as slippery elm and herbal teas, and also functional foods such as the smoothie recipe I will give here. Combining herbal medicines and functional foods with cannabinoids always works best for acute, severe or complex symptoms.
The bioavailability of cannabinoids is increased by ingesting them with oils such as olive oil and coconut oil, along with foods that increase bile salt production, such as kale and beetroot, because bile sats are needed to absorb lipids (fats) and cannabinoids are lipids.
It is easy to make a CBDA smoothie because even dried; cured CBD flower contains mostly CBDA.
I use organic local ingredients wherever possible, as this is better for both your immune system and the environment.
CBDA Smoothie: A Word of Warning
If you take heart medication such as beta blockers and anticoagulants, then the ingredients in the smoothie, such as CBDA, ginger, turmeric, lemon and cayenne pepper, could interfere with your medication. This is because these ingredients have anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant effects and will lower your blood pressure slightly. If you are taking blood-thinning tablets, then kale could interfere with their effects, and I would advise missing out on kale and just using broccoli. This is because kale is high in vitamin K, which aids in anti-coagulant effects.
I would advise taking your heart medication four hours apart from the smoothie and halving the ingredient amounts until you know how it affects you. Then you can increase the dosage to suit your personal endocannabinoid system and symptoms.
If you are taking SSRIs such as Prozac, I would also recommend leaving a 4-hour gap between taking your medication and drinking the smoothie.
CBDA Smoothie Recipe: Serving for 1 Person. Take Morning & Evening for Optimum Effects
- 1-inch piece of ginger root;
- 1-inch piece of turmeric root;
- 1-inch thick slice of lemon with the peel on;
- 2 raw broccoli florets;
- 1 large or 2 small raw kale leaves;
- 1 handful of blueberries (I use frozen fruit when not in season);
- 2 kiwi fruit or an equivalent amount of other fruits, such as pomegranate;
- 1/2 a large banana or 1 small one;
- 2 tablespoons of mixed Omega 3 seeds;
- 1 tablespoon of CoYo or Coconut Collaborative coconut yoghurt (optional);
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or powder (optional)
- 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon powder;
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
- Aloe vera: I use fresh aloe gel or you can buy the juice and use the recommended dose instead;
- 3-5ml olive oil or coconut oil;
- Coconut water and/or spring water;
- 40-50 mg of dried CBD flower (or 20 leaves or approx 1.5-2g of fresh CBD flower if you can access fresh)
Blend on high speed for 20-30 seconds, then eat. Enjoy!