Cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, as well as several other complex organic chemicals, are responsible for the plant’s therapeutic effects.
THC and CBD are the two most common cannabinoids in cannabis. However, without cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), these compounds would not exist since the cannabis plant employs CBGa as a precursor to create numerous cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.
CBGa’s primary function in the creation of other cannabinoids presently dominates CBGa research, according to evidence.
What is CBGa?
CBGA is created when olivetolic acid and geranyl pyrophosphate, two natural components present in the cannabis plant, combine. CBG includes cannabinoids such as THCa, CBDa, and CBCa. This 180-degree change in perspective regarding cannabis is due to the wide range of medical applications that these cannabinoids currently have. Cannabis has long been a scapegoat, but it is now being recognized as a therapeutic option for people all around the world. However, creating cannabinoids is an inefficient and costly procedure. Scientists have been attempting to use CBGa’s synthetic function to build natural cannabinoids outside of growing and extracting cannabis plants for some time.
Carboxylic acids can be found in many natural environments, with the most prevalent carboxylic acids being formic acid and acetic acid. Each carboxylic acid contains a carboxyl group (COOH) made up of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. The end of the cannabinoid’s main structure is modified with these carboxyl groups in CBGA cannabinoid acids like CBGA.
CBGA decarboxylates into 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 classifies as an acid.
CBGA does not always convert into CBG, however. Because it is also the chemical precursor for CBD, THC, and cannabichromene (CBC), this cannabinoid acid is known as the “stem cell cannabinoid.” CBGA does not directly transform into any of these other cannabinoids, although it can be decarboxylated into intoxicating THC if non-intoxicating CBGA is heated.
CBGA does not become CBDA, THCA, or CBCA by itself. Instead, during the development of Cannabis sativa flower, CBGA is transformed into carboxylic acid precursors for other cannabinoids via a chemical process. CBGA can transform into either CBDA, THCA, or CBCA depending on the strain’s genetics. When decarboxylated, these cannabinoid acids become their stable cannabinoid forms. CBGA is of particular interest to cannabis researchers because it has the potential to convert into other cannabinoid acids. This carboxylic acid, on the other hand, appears to offer its own set of advantages that make it worthy of further study.
Cannabigerol helped to develop CBG, CBN, THCA, and other cannabinoids. Cannabigerol was the catalyst for THC production in a variety of organisms, which aided the development of CBG, CBN, THCA, and other cannabinoids. This study’s significance is that it provides scientists with a method for creating natural and synthetic cannabinoids to continue their research and therapeutic applications.
CBGA: The mother cannabinoid
Cannabigerolic acid (CBDGA) is a cannabinoid-producing component in the cannabis plant. Cannabis trichomes generate olivetolic acid (OA) and geranyl diphosphate (GPP), which are produced through a series of chemical reactions. CBGA is transformed by a particular enzyme, CBGA synthase, into CBGA. THCA, CBDA, and CBCA are formed via conversion of CBGA by THCA synthase, CBDA synthase, and CBCA synthase, respectively.
CBGA, on the other hand, can be transformed into CBG if subjected to specific circumstances before these reactions. When the molecule is heated, a carboxyl group separates from it. This procedure, known as decarboxylation, results in CBG. CBG is more often known as a minor cannabinoid; nevertheless, it is beginning to catch on in the world of marijuana. An increasing number of CBG-containing goods are being released onto the market every day, and breeders have developed strains with cannabinoid contents consisting entirely of CBG.
CBG is also incorporated into other cannabis components. It serves as a secondary metabolite, helping to direct resources toward the flowers for resin and seed production by functioning as a resource management agent. The molecule accomplishes this remarkable feat by promoting programmed cell death in the leaves, which conserves vital energy.
What is the endocannabinoid system and what is its role?
CBGA is a cannabinoid that protects cannabis and inhibits natural leaf pruning via targeted plant cell death, allowing the plant to focus energy towards the bloom. It’s derived from trichomes in cannabis leaves and initiates specific plant cell necrosis for natural leaf trimming in order for the plant to use all of its resources effectively.
CBGA is a key building block in cannabis flower. CBGA, you might think of as the “grandfather” of cannabinoids because it’s at the top of the cascade reaction that generates the three primary cannabinoid types: THCV, CBD, and CBG.
- THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
- CBDA (cannabidiolic acid)
- CBCA (cannabichromenic acid)
Cannabinoids are found in the flower and leaves of the plant, where they form as THC (delta-8), CBD (delta-9), or CBG (cannabigerol). Each chemical is derived from cannabigerolic acid by changing a couple hydrogen atoms. The cannabinoids eventually become THC, CBD, or CBC, respectively. CBGA may also convert to CBG, but it usually converts to THC or CBD in strains.
The Discovery of CBGA
For more than 50 years, researchers have known about CBG (cannabigerol). Israeli scientists were the first to isolate the cannabinoid, and 30 years later, Japanese researchers were the first to establish that CBGA was its precursor. Despite its long history, little research has been conducted on CBGA until now. The majority of that CBGA study has concentrated on producing THCA in a sustainable way for pharmaceutical and academic applications. This work has examined the mechanism by which CBGA is converted into THCA.
CBGA was not discovered during Cannabis sativa’s original taxonomization. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Israeli scientists were able to isolate CBGA from cannabis, and it wasn’t until 1996 that Japanese researchers recognized that CBGA is the chemical precursor of CBG.Because of this timetable, it’s easy to understand why CBGA research is so new. Together with the fact that worldwide prohibition efforts have made researching cannabis compounds difficult, CBGA research presently stands as a logical conclusion.
CBGA has recently gotten a lot more attention, however because to the discovery that this cannabinoid can also transform into THC and CBD’s chemical precursor. CBGA’s capacity to convert into THCA, according to some researchers, might make it an excellent source of recombinant THC.
Cannabis is one of the most widely utilized herbal medicines in the world today. Although mature Cannabis sativa flower accounts for nearly all of the world’s cannabis supply, cultivating and processing cannabis is extremely inefficient. While hemp and cannabis flower will continue to be significant components of the connoisseur or artisan cannabinoid economy indefinitely, researchers are searching for means to create cannabinoids from alternative resources for medicinal-grade cannabinoid goods in large quantities.
It’s easy to isolate CBGA from a variety of genetically modified yeast strains, according to research published last year. This recombinant CBGA can then be transformed into THCA. Then, the THCA is decarboxylated into THC, ending the process of producing THC from yeast without the issues surrounding large-scale outdoor cannabis agriculture farming.
Cannabinoids can also be produced from yeast in a laboratory setting, however scientists are still working on methods to do so on a commercial scale. For the near future, it seems probable that the relative simplicity with which CBGA is produced in yeast will continue to make this carboxylic acid an attractive recombinant cannabinoid target.
How to Consume CBGa
The most effective way to consume the greatest amount of CBGa is to eat raw hemp. Freshly harvested Cannabis sativa with little or no THC is referred to as raw hemp. The more recently harvested, the higher the chance of having a greater amount of CBGa.
Because heat and light, oxidation, and decarboxylation cause the acidic types of cannabinoids to convert to their activated forms, it’s no surprise that cannabis stored in a hot environment converts some CBG into CBN. Cannabis stored for a long time in those conditions will contain less CBGa and more CBG (and eventually CBN) as a result. Hemp has greater quantities of CBGa than marijuana strains high in THC.
There is a lack of research on the risks, benefits, and techniques of CBGa consumption. Before using cannabis/hemp in your diet or health plan, talk to your doctor.
The Benefits of CBGa
There have been some fascinating research on how CBGa affects a variety of diseases. It should be pointed out that the following studies are some of the first of their kind, and do not represent a scientific consensus. They’re fascinating, and they provide a solid basis for future study. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of consulting your doctor before using CBGa-rich products to treat yourself.
CBGA has yet to be thoroughly researched, but early research offers some hints about its possible applications in the future.
CBGA may assist diabetics fight some of the disease’s symptoms and comorbidities, such as heart disease. CBGA was investigated in vitro and found to strongly inhibit aldose reductase, an enzyme that causes oxidative stress and leads to heart and other illnesses. The effects of CBGA treatment were highly dose-dependent, as anticipated. Many patients dislike the side effects of synthetic inhibitor medications; thus, a CBGA plant-derived medication holds significant promise.
Unfortunately, CBGA is under-explored. Because of a lack of human trials, there is a significant hole in knowledge on cannabinoids. There is no definitive evidence on the possible side effects of CBGA. We do know that CBGA does not bind to CB1 receptors and thus has no psychoactive effects comparable to CBD. However, because there are no data available, we don’t know whether the cannabinoid interacts with medicines. Hopefully more research will answer these questions soon.
CBGA has also been shown to benefit people with other metabolic diseases, according to another study. CBGA’s action on PPARs that control metabolism was studied in the 2019 in silico study (computer simulation). If PPARs aren’t able to operate efficiently, diabetes and high cholesterol or triglycerides (dyslipidemia) can develop. CBGA increased the activity of the PPAR receptors in this research, which led to improved fat metabolism and less fat accumulation. This study must be repeated in animal and human tests.
Finally, CBGA may be useful in cancer therapy down the road. Researchers examined the cytotoxic effects of CBGA extracted from cannabis and discovered that it not only killed colon cancer cells, but it also hastened early cancer cell death and halted the cancer cell cycle. The scientists were optimistic about CBGA’s ability to target not only colon cancer cells, but also the growth and division of polyps. If left unaddressed, these polyps become carcinomas.
CBGa and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
In a 2013 study, researchers induced colitis in mice and then examined the impact of CBG on extracted intestinal cells from the afflicted rodents. The data revealed that CBG reduced nitric oxide production, reduced severity of the disease, and decreased the formation of oxidizing chemicals in the small intestine, suggesting that it has therapeutic effects against colitis.
Because of these benefits, researchers urged CBG use in clinical research with human IBD patients.
CBGa and Diabetes
Recent research suggests that CBGa has the potential to be used as a diabetes medication. Aldose reductase (ALR2) is an enzyme that causes oxidative stress and contributes to diabetic complications and diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease, the most common cause of death in diabetics.
In 2018, Italian scientists published a research that revealed Cannabis extracts with high amounts of non-psychoactive cannabinoids might be used as potential therapies for diabetic problems.
CBGa and Metabolic Disorders
Cadexulubin, a metabolite of CABG surgery, has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. It is also thought to aid in the treatment of metabolic diseases. Nuclear peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) are regulators of metabolism that experts believe play a role in the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders.
PPAR disruption may lead to the advancement of metabolic illnesses such as diabetes and dyslipidemia. In 2019, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – General Subjects published research indicating that CBGA activates PPARs in a way that promotes lipid metabolism and reduces excessive lipids.
CBGa and Colon Cancer Cells
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. According to a study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2018, CBGa may have a therapeutic role in attacking colon cancer cells. By causing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon cancer cells, CBGa-rich cannabis extracts were found to be involved in cytocidal action on colon cancer cells.
These extracts were found to be effective against these adenomatous polyps, which if left unchecked might develop into cancer. Cannabis extracts containing CBGa are being looked at as chemopreventive agents that may either prevent or slow the development of neoplastic polyps.
CBGa is a Neuroprotectant
Neuroinflammation is linked to a variety of diseases, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
A variety of factors can cause neuroinflammation, including infection, injury, and autoimmune diseases. Inflammation and oxidative stress are important contributors to neuroinflammation. In a 2018 International Journal of Molecular Sciences study, CBG was shown to decrease inflammation as well as oxidative stress and the expression of inflammatory proteins linked with neuroinflammation.
According to the research, CBG has “neuroprotective properties that may be useful in the treatment of neuroinflammation and oxidative stress.” Another study published in 2018 in The Journal of Neuroinflammation backs this up, showing that CBGa’s anti-oxidative qualities protected mice from Parkinson’s disease neurodegeneration.
CBGA on the horizon
CBG and CBGA are already significant components of the global hemp economy, and CBGA is proving to be essential in the early phases of the recombinant cannabinoid business. CBGA will continue to gain prominence in the world of cannabis, and it may even end up being regarded as the most significant Cannabis sativa component through both these methods.
Meanwhile, learn about the possible advantages of CBGA for yourself by smoking CBG flower or going the purist route and obtaining a method to consume this cannabinoid in its original carboxylic acid form. We’re just getting started understanding about CBGA, and it’s up to hemp enthusiasts all around the world to push for more study on this intriguing cannabinoid acid. Visit the Secret Nature blog for additional tips like this, and please contact us with any inquiries.