What is CBGA?

Cannabis plant with CBGA

CBGA, also known as Cannabigerolic Acid, is one of the most mysterious cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. This tiny compound is the foundation for cannabinoids like THCA, CBDA, or CBG, as all cannabinoids, including CBGV, have a certain amount of CBG present in them. For that reason, cannabis lovers have named it the Mother Cannabinoid or ‘mother of all phytocannabinoids.’ Without CBGA cannabinoids, no other cannabinoids would exist. 

What’s the science behind CBGA, and why is it important? Sit back, roll your joint and join us as we explore everything there is to know about CBGA.

 

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What is a CBGA Cannabinoid?

CBGA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in a cannabis plant or CBG flower as we know it. It is rare to find high levels of CBGA in harvested plants as it is a precursor of Delta 9 THC, but it is believed by some to play a vital role in the treatment of conditions such as Schizophrenia and cancer. 

Discovery of CBGA

Israeli researchers brought to light this mysterious cannabinoid around 1960. However, due to the time’s cannabis legal status, it was virtually impossible to study its properties. 

Only 30 years after the Israeli discovery, a Japanese researcher discovered CBG as a successor of CBGA. To date, CBGA cannabinoids have been mostly studied and researched for converting CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid) into THCA (tetrahydrocannabinol acid) to increase the sustainability of THCA cannabinoids. 

As said earlier, CBGA is a precursor of THCA, CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid), and CBCA, which means that it eventually transforms into these other cannabinoids through a natural process. This activation is responsible for creating the cannabinoids we love and consume. For this reason, CBGA is a rare cannabinoid, as most of it transforms into THC and CBD as the cannabis plant matures.

CBGA Benefits

As many of the existing studies focus on the transformation of CBGA to THCA, most research of the benefits of CBGA is connected to its use after that transformation. However, CBGA has also shown some promising effects. In early 2022, Oregon State University found that CBDA and CBGA may successfully prevent transmission of COVID-19 from one person to another. Still, far more research needs to be conducted before truly being considered a treatment. 

Other potential medical benefits of CBGA are as follows:

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders related to the heart or blood vessels. CBGA is believed to help diabetic patients fight complications like cardiovascular diseases. Research has shown that CBGA effectively slows down the enzyme aldose reductase, which acts as the major oxidative stress component that leads to heart problems. 

For now, the current treatment for such diseases is a synthetic inhibitor medication, which has shown massive side effects on many people. Hopefully, CBGA oriented treatments could be a promising alternative.

Metabolic Disorder

The term metabolism refers to the process our body uses to convert food into energy. Stomach acid present in the human digestive system helps break down food into sugar and respective acids. 

Metabolic disorders occur when an abnormal chemical reaction in the human body triggers this process, resulting in an imbalance of required substances and chemicals to stay healthy. CBGA was claimed and proved in a 2019 Silico study to activate PPARs (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors), which eventually regulated metabolism in the human body.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that initially forms in the large intestine (colon), which is the final part of the digestive tract in the human body. The cytotoxic effects of CBGA showed to be deadly for colon cancer cells, and CBGA even accelerated early cancer cell death and seized the colon cancer cell cycle. This makes researchers believe that CBGA may be effective in treating cancer.

Likewise, an experiment done on rats in early 2013 showed that CBGA extracted from the cannabis plant successfully reduced the production of nitric oxide and oxidizing agents in the small intestine, which appear in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease is a rare, inherited progressive brain disorder that causes a progressive breakdown of nerve cells in our brain. CBGA cannabinoid has been used repeatedly in research over the years and has recorded positive results.

Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects 

Inflammatory response plays an important role in the activation and progress of many diseases. While CBGA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, it has several beneficial pharmacological effects, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. CBGA cannabinoids affect redox balance by regulating the levels and the activity of both oxidants and antioxidants.

Current research results state that the possibility of using CBGA to treat diabetes, epilepsy, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, neurodegenerative disease, and skin disease is being considered. CBGA cannabinoid prevents the formation of superoxide radicals which eventually reduces oxidative conditions.

Overproduction of ROS leads to oxidative stress in our immune system’s response to combat pathogens and initiates tissue repair. CBGA seems to be more preferred than other compounds from the phytocannabinoid group.

Neuroprotectant 

CBGA cannabinoids may attenuate the neurotoxicity induced by two oxidative stress particles: hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and mitochondrial dysfunction (rotenone), which were evaluated in neural cell cultures. A high concentration of CBGA effectively reduced the rotenone-induced neurotoxicity. 

CBGA Effects

Before widespread banning, civilizations had used cannabis and cannabis products to treat epilepsy, cancer and seizures, and many other medical conditions over the years. It is safe to say that CBGA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with relaxing characteristics when it comes to effects. For that reason, many manufacturers are trying to cultivate plants with high CBGA levels to explore the amazing potential it has for cannabis users.

High CBGA Strains

  • Alien OG, a.k.a Alien OG Kush: Alien OG kush is a hybrid cross of Tahoe OG and Alien Kush. Alien OG Kush contains 18% THC, and Myrcene acts as the dominant terpene, giving it the lime, pine, aroma, and flavor, and surely a laid-back experience.
  • Allen Wrench: Allen Wrench is well known and widely popular among cannabis and Sativa lovers. This CBGA-rich bud inherits the best qualities from both of its parents, Trainwreck and NYC Diesel. With a sour and flowery aroma, Allen Wrench will give you a long-lasting cerebral high full of energy and activeness.
  • Animal Cookies: Animal Cookies, also known as Animal Crackers, are a hybrid strain that contains 19% THC and 1% CBG with Caryophyllene as the dominant terpene. Animal Cookies are a relaxing strain with a sweet and sour aroma and flavor. This bud is very effective in the treatment of pain and insomnia, providing a full-body high and effect. 
  • Jack Herer: Jack Herer contains 18% THC and 1% CBG, and is a Sativa dominant strain. This super energetic strain gets its characteristics from its parents, ‘Northern Light #5’ and ‘Shiva Skunk.’ Jack Herer has a pine and woody aroma supporting the Terpinolene terpene. 
  • Dynamite OG: Dynamite OG is an Indica dominant hybrid strain. Mild, groovy, and sleepy is what it feels like. Dynamite OG is ideal for people suffering from chronic pain due to illness or injury, lack of appetite, insomnia, migraine, stress relief, etc.

Does CBGA Become CBDA

CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid) is known as Mother Cannabinoid or’ mother of all phytocannabinoids’, CBGA acts as the parent cannabinoid to THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. Hence CBGA becomes CBDA but under certain measures and procedures.