The therapeutic effects of cannabis are due to the chemical compounds present in the plant, such as cannabinoids and hundreds of other complex organic molecules. THC and CBD are the most common cannabinoids. However, these chemicals would not exist without cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), which is required for the cannabis plant to create numerous compounds, including THC and CBD.
CBGa has been used in many applications, including radio-frequency identification tags and metal coatings for automobiles. Despite the fact that CBGa appears to have its own therapeutic potential, current research focuses on how it contributes to the formation of other cannabinoids.
What is CBGa?
The cannabis plant’s CBG is a non-psychoactive component that gives the drug its pleasant odor and flavor. When olivetolic acid and geranyl pyrophosphate, two organic compounds found in the plant, combine, CBGa is formed. THCa, CBDa, CBCa, and CBG are all cannabinoids produced from CB
The wide range of medical applications for these cannabinoids is largely to thank for the 180-degree turnaround in attitudes toward cannabis. A formerly loathed plant has now been proven to be a therapeutic cure for patients all around the world. However, the process of making cannabinoids is inefficient and costly. Scientists have been researching ways to create natural cannabinoids from CBGa other
Carboxylic acids occur in many areas in nature and the most common carboxylic acids are formic acid and acetic acid. Each carboxylic acid comprises a carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen-containing carboxyl group (COOH). These carboxyl groups are attached to the end of the cannabinoid’s main structure
CBGA decarboxylates to CBG when heated to 110° C. The carboxyl group at the end of the CBGA molecule is changed into a unique chemical structure, and it no longer qualifies as an acid.
CBGA does not always decarboxylate into CBG, though. Because CBGA is also the chemical precursor for CBD, THC, and cannabichromene (CBC), it’s often known as the “stem cell cannabinoid.” CBGA doesn’t directly convert into any of these other cannabinoids, but it is impossible to decarbox.
During the development of Cannabis sativa flower, a chemical procedure can take place that transforms CBGA into carboxylic acid precursors of other cannabinoids. CBGA may convert to either CBDA, THCA, or CBCA, depending on the strain’s genetics. When decarboxylated, these cannabinoid acids transform directly into their permanent
Tricyclic cannabinoids are a group of cannabinoid compounds that include CBGA. CBGA is of particular interest to cannabis chemists since it may undergo depentendization and change into other cannabinoid acids. This carboxylic acid, on the other hand, appears to have its own set of advantages that merit further study.
Cannabinoids are created in the body through a series of enzymes that act on the endocannabinoid system. CBG is an important precursor to THC. THCa was once again formed via the action of enzymes on CBGA. The significance of this research is that it establishes a method for scientists to create natural and man-made cannabinoids for future
CBGA: The mother cannabinoid
Cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, is a key ingredient in the production of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The cannabinoids found in marijuana are produced by cannabis trichomes through a series of chemical reactions. Olivetolic acid (OA) and geranyl diphosphate (GPP) are formed via similar processes. CBGA is converted into THCA, CBDA, and CBCA by enzymes known as THCA synthase, CBDA synthase, and CBCA synthase.
CBGA, on the other hand, could be transformed into the cannabinoid CBG if exposed to specific conditions before these conversions occur. When a carboxyl group is removed from the molecule as a result of heat exposure, it’s known as decarboxylation. CBG is created through this process, which is also known as decarboxylation. CBG , on the other hand, is typically regarded as a minor cannabinoid because of its status in cannabis research. An increasing number of CBG-containing products hit the market every day, and breeders have developed cultivars that include 100 percent CBG in their cannabinoid content.
CBGA serves numerous other important functions in the cannabis plant. It aids in directing resources to the flowers for resin and seed development as a secondary metabolite. The molecule accomplishes this amazing feat by supporting programmed cell death in the leaves, which saves energy.
What is the endocannabinoid system, and what role does it play?
CBGA is a naturally occurring chemical in cannabis that serves as a protective agent, causing targeted plant cell death for natural leaf pruning and allowing the plant to maximize its energy available to the flower.
CBG is one of the most common cannabinoids in cannabis. CBGA is a critical cannabinoid found in cannabis buds. CBGA is often compared to the “granddaddy” of cannabinoids, CBD. What’s its significance? Why? Because CBGA is at the top of the cascade reaction that generates the three major cannabinoid strains: THCV, CBCA, and CBLA.
- THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
- CBDA (cannabidiolic acid)
- CBCA (cannabichromenic acid)
When the cannabis plant is harvested, it may be subjected to a process called decarboxylation. This transforms THCA into THC or CBD through heating and pressure. CBGA can also convert to CBG, but in most strains, this happens very rarely.
The Discovery of CBGA
Cannabigerol (CBG) has been studied by scientists for more than 50 years. The cannabinoid was discovered by Israeli researchers in the 1960s, and Japanese researchers were the first to discover that CBGA was a precursor 30 years later. Despite its long history, little study has been done on CBGA until now.
Most of that CBGA research has been devoted to developing a method for sustainably creating THCA. This research focused on how CBGA is converted into THCA.
CBGA was not identified during the Cannabis sativa’s initial taxonomical classification. It was only in the 1970s that Israeli researchers were able to isolate CBGA from cannabis, and it took until 1996 for Japanese scientists to discover CBGA is a precursor of CBG.
The fact that CBGA remains in its early stages of research is understandable, based on the timeline alone. In addition to this, worldwide prohibition efforts have made it incredibly difficult for researchers to study cannabis chemicals, making the present state of CBGA research even easier to understand.
The CBGA variant has lately gained a lot of interest, however owing to the finding that this cannabinoid can also transform into THC and CBD chemical precursors. The study of CBGA’s potential to convert to THCA has primarily focused on this cannabinoid’s capacity to transform into THCA, which some researchers feel makes CBGA an excellent source for recombinant THC.
The majority of the world’s cannabis supply is now produced from mature Cannabis sativa flower, although the process of creating and processing cannabis is extremely inefficient. While hemp and cannabis flower will continue to be an important component of the connoisseur or artisan cannabinoid economy for some time, researchers are interested in finding cannabinoids in different ways so that pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid goods may be manufactured on a large scale.
CBGA can now be produced via genetic engineering with ease, according to research from 2017. This recombinant CBGA can then be transformed into THCA. Then, this THCA is decarboxylated into THC, completing the process of turning yeast-derived THC into cannabis without the land-use and resource-application worries that come with large-scale outdoor cannabis cultivation.
Cannabinoids can also be produced from yeast at commercial scales, according to researchers. Probably, the relative ease with which CBGA may be extracted from yeast will continue to make it a major target of recombinant cannabinoid research for the time being.
How to Consume CBGa
Another method to obtain the most CBGa is to eat raw hemp. Raw hemp is Cannabis sativa that has just been harvested and contains little to no THC. The more recently harvested, the more CBGa there will be.
The decarboxylation process, which involves exposure to heat and light, oxidation, and decarboxylation, transforms the acidic forms of cannabinoids into their activated versions. The proportion CBGa and CBG (and eventually CBN) decreases with time as cannabis is exposed to those influences. Hemp has more CBGa than cannabis varieties with higher THC content. There is a lack of research on the dangers, advantages, and ways to intake CBGa. Consult with your doctor before using cannabis/hemp in your diet or health program.
The Benefits of CBGa
CBGa has been the subject of a number of fascinating research. It should be stated that the following studies are some of the first of their kind and do not constitute a scientific consensus. They’re only intriguing, and they provide a solid foundation for further study.
We must stress that CBGA chemicals should only be used under the direction of your doctor. While there is little medical research on CBGA, early studies suggest that it might have future applications.
CBGA has been found in certain studies to help diabetic patients cope with some of the complications and comorbidities that diabetes can cause. CBGA was tested in vitro and shown to significantly inhibit aldose reductase, an enzyme that causes oxidative stress and leads to heart disease and other issues. The CBGA results were very dose-dependent, as they should be. Many people are allergic or sensitive to synthetic inhibitor medicines due on their nature, so a plant-derived CBGA drug is very exciting.
Unfortunately, CBGA is still fairly understudied. Because there are no human trials, we have a big gap in knowledge on the cannabinoid. There is no evidence that CBGA binds to CB1 receptors and produces psychotropic effects, as it does not bind to them. However, because there is no data about whether the cannabinoid interacts with medicines, we don’t know if it interacts with them. Hopefully further study will provide us with definitive answers soon.
Another research team discovered that CBGA may also help people with other metabolic disorders. To investigate CBGA’s impact on peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs), an in silico study was done to evaluate its influence. People who do not have PPARs working properly develop diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol or triglyceride levels (dyslipidemia). CBGA activated the PPAR receptors, increasing lip metabolism and lowering lipid accumulation. The research needs to be repeated in animal and human studies.
Finally, CBGA may one day be utilized in the treatment of colorectal cancer, which is the third most prevalent cancer and fourth deadliest cause of cancer-related mortality. CBGA has been found to be cytotoxic against colon cancer cells in laboratory studies, suggesting that it may not only kill them but also speed up their early death and prevent the cancer cell cycle from continuing. CBGA has been discovered to be highly successful in the treatment of human skin cancer. Its ability to target both tumor cells and polyps while simultaneously inhibiting their growth and development gives it a great deal of promise. If left untreated, these polyps can eventually turn into carcinomas.
CBGa and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Researchers induced colitis in mice and then examined the impact of CBG on removed intestinal cells from the ill rodents in a 2013 study. The results revealed that CBG decreased nitric oxide production, reduced the severity of the inflammation, and prevented the formation of oxidizing substances in the small intestine. These overall advantages prompted researchers to propose CBG for human clinical trials with IBD patients.
CBGa and Diabetes
According to recent study, CBGa has the potential to be used as a diabetes treatment. The enzyme aldose reductase (ALR2) has been recognized as a key player in diabetic complications and diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease, the most common cause of death among those with diabetes. In 2018, Italian scientists released a research proposing that Cannabis plant extracts high in non-psychoactive cannabinoids might be used as therapeutic alternatives for diabetic problems.
CBGa and Metabolic Disorders
There is a lot of speculation that the addition of CBG to infant formula may improve breastfed infants’ growth and development. CBG has also been shown to increase cell longevity, which aids in the healing process after an injury or surgery. PPARs are nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors that regulate metabolism. CBGA’s ability to disturb normal PPAR function may lead to the development of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and dyslipidemia. In 2019, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-General Subjects published research showing that CBGA activates PPARs in a way that promotes lipid metabolism and reduces lipotoxicity.
CBGa and Colon Cancer Cells
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. According to Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, CBGa has a potential therapeutic function in targeting colon cancer cells, according to research published in 2018. The researchers found that CBGA-rich cannabis extracts caused apoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon cancer cells, suggesting that they were involved in the cytotoxic activity against these cells.
Cannabis extracts were found to be beneficial in treating these adenomatous polyps, which can develop into carcinomas if not treated. Cannabis extracts containing CBGa are being looked at as chemopreventive agents that might prevent or stop the growth of neoplastic polyps.
CBGa is a Neuroprotectant
Neuroinflammation has been linked to a variety of diseases, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Oxidative stress and inflammation are major contributors to neuroinflammation. CBG lowered inflammation, oxidative stress, and the expression of harmful proteins linked to neuroinflammatory disease in a 2018 International Journal of Molecular Sciences study.
CBG appears to be neuroprotective in both cell culture and animal studies. “The neuroprotective effects of CBG may be a potential treatment against neuroinflammation and oxidative stress,” according to the study. Another 2018 research published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation found that CBGa’s anti-oxidative qualities protected against Parkinson disease neurodegeneration.
CBGA on the horizon
CBGA is already a big player in the hemp economy, and CBG has shown to be essential to the fledgling recombinant cannabinoid business. CBGA will continue to advance within the cannabis world via both of these routes, and it may become known as the most significant Cannabis sativa component in the not-too-distant future.
While you wait for that to happen, check out the benefits of CBGA for yourself by smoking CBG flower or going all purist and figuring out how to consume this cannabinoid in its original carboxylic acid form. We’re only just getting started learning about CBGA, and it’s up to hemp enthusiasts all around the world to ask for further study on this fascinating cannabinoid acid. Visit the Secret Nature blog for more similar articles, as well as any queries.