What is DHA?
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is an Omega-3 fatty acid that is used in our tinctures as a carrier oil. This oil is found in fish and plant based algae, from microscopic single-celled algae to large-scale kelp colonies. In humans, it is most abundant in the brain and in the retina. This oil has been clinically recognized as an essential nutrient for humans, and has also been identified as one of the chemical precursors of the natural endocannabinoids that are necessary for the human body to function. (https://www.pnas.org/content/114/30/E6034.full)
Clinical research shows that polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, and similar fats like ALA and EPA, are beneficial for having overall anti-inflammatory effects. DHA is especially necessary for brain function; DHA is the primary structural component of the brain and is used by the cells for metabolic purposes.(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661899904954)
Recently, there has been a discovery of a pathway inside the body where omega-3 fatty acids directly convert to the body’s natural endocannabinoids. The metabolites of omega-3 fatty acids, called resolvins and protectins, have additional benefits. They return the body to homeostasis after inflammation. We believe that combining hemp-derived cannabinoids with the precursors to natural precursors of human endocannabinoids will enhance the effects of both; firstly, to treat the symptoms of inflammation, namely pain, redness, and swelling, and secondly, to aid the endocannabinoid system in repairing the root causes of the inflammation.
Omega 3 Bioavailability
The cannabinoids in hemp have been found to be nearly three times as bioavailable when consumed with fats. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5009397/) Healthy fats like DHA are readily absorbed into the body when consumed. When omega-3 oils such as DHA are held under the tongue (sublingually), they enter our body’s cardiovascular system even more quickly. The longer omega-3 based oils are held under the tongue, the faster the effects are felt. Mixing hemp extracts with omega-3 carrier oils is the best way to increase their bioavailability. Taking it one step further, it’s possible to increase the bioavailability of both omega-3 fatty acids and the cannabinoids in hemp by ingesting them after a meal with a high fat content.
How They Work
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are highly bioavailable. They are quickly absorbed in the intestines and used throughout the body for a plethora of functions. Compared to many oils, such as caprylic and capric triglycerides found in MCT oil, omega-3 fatty acids are molecularly very long. A study has shown that when lab animals consume cannabinoid molecules paired with longer, heavier fats, such as DHA and ALA, more of the cannabinoids are found in the intestinal lymphatic system.
Scientists are hypothesizing that the fats help pull the cannabinoids into the lymphatic system because the cells inside it have systems that absorb the fats. Furthermore, because the lymph in the lymphatic system flows much more slowly than blood in our cardiovascular system, cannabinoids that make their way into that area will likely stay there for a longer period of time. (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15026-z) Since there are high concentrations of CB2 receptors in the lymphatic system, this will likely increase any cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, nephroprotective, gastroprotective, chemopreventive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulator benefits. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332221004248)
Scientists have discovered that Omega 3 fatty acids like DHA are especially helpful when used as a prophylactic in general, but especially during acute spinal cord injury. The most profound observation was when scientists conducted an experiment on rats; the rats’ spinal cords were surgically damaged. DHA was administered intravenously for the week prior to the injury, and after the injury, those rats that had the intravenous injections of DHA were the most likely to exhibit significant progress in terms of healing.(https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/neu.2011.2141) We believe this means that DHA needs to be consumed frequently in order to obtain its benefits and prevent the long-term secondary damages that cause complications like motor impairment after traumatic injury, especially to the nervous system.
Furthermore, DHA reduces the activity of NF-KappaB, which is a signaling protein found in the animal cell nucleus and in mitochondria of cells. This very important protein regulates important activity like transcription, that is, the molecular generation of proteins, inside the cells, and is subject to many different signals. Scientists have discovered that nicotine may interfere with the work of the protein and cause damage to the body by causing cells to undergo apoptosis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2758082/). On the other hand, DHA inhibits that signaling pathway that sends NF-KappaB into the cell nucleus to make the cell undergo apoptosis. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22901690/) This is one of the ways scientists theorize that DHA reduces inflammation, by preventing needless cell death and halting the spill of chemical signals that trigger further issues in the local area.
Why the Name Acid Drops?
We chose the name Acid Drops for two reasons. Our tincture line contains large amounts of organic, omega-3 fatty acids that make up the product, namely ALA derived from chia seed oil and flaxseed oil, as well as DHA derived from algae oil. Secondly, our tinctures contain cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), which is a cannabinoid that contains a carboxylic acid group. CBDA is fat soluble, readily mixing with omega-3’s which quickly transport it throughout the body, allowing it to accumulate in fatty tissues found everywhere in the body. CBDA also has a very high bioavailability compared to its more commonly-known derivative, cannabidiol (CBD). (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7498943/)
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the FDA. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.