Cannabinoids are organic compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates various physiological processes, including pain, appetite, and mood. The most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD, but there are many others, including CBGA, which is considered the “mother of all cannabinoids.” In this article, we will explore what CBGA is, how it is the “mother of all cannabinoids,” and the potential benefits of CBGA
What Is CBGA?
CBGA, or cannabigerolic acid, is an acidic cannabinoid found in both the hemp and cannabis plants. Known as the “mother of all cannabinoids,” it is crucial to forming all other cannabinoids in the plant, including THCA and CBDA. CBGA also serves as the precursor for CBG. This means when decarboxylated, a process where cannabinoids are exposed to heat, it converts to CBG. This poses a problem when extracting CBGA, as most extraction companies must utilize high temperatures for sufficient extraction. Due to the vast benefits CBGA offers, global solution providers are finding ways to extract cannabinoids without heat. This allows for the extraction of all acidic cannabinoids at a mass scale, bringing more products with CBGA to the market for consumers to enjoy.
How Is CBGA Synthesized?
CBGA is synthesized in the trichomes of the hemp plant, which are tiny glandular structures found on the leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant. CBGA is formed when the plant enzymatically reacts geranyl pyrophosphate with olivetolic acid, two organic compounds in hemp plants. The enzymes CBDA, THCA, and CBCA synthase then convert CBGA to other cannabinoids.
Benefits Of CBGA
CBGA has many potential health benefits due to its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulate various physiological and psychological processes in the body, including pain, inflammation, appetite, and mood. CBGA interacts with the ECS to produce various therapeutic effects, including:
CBGA has been found to have analgesic properties, which means it can help reduce pain. A study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found that CBGA effectively reduced pain in mice by reducing inflammation. The researchers found that CBGA works by inhibiting the production of a neurotransmitter called PGE2, known to cause pain and inflammation.
CBGA has also been found to have anti-inflammatory capabilities. Research suggests that CBGA can inhibit the production of nitric oxide and prostaglandins, two inflammatory molecules in the body. The study suggests that CBGA has potential as an anti-inflammatory agent for treating inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Some preliminary research shows that CBGA inhibited the growth of colorectal cancer cells in mice. The researchers found that CBGA works by activating a receptor called TRPM8, which is known to inhibit cancer cell growth.
CBGA effectively inhibits the growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterium resistant to many antibiotics. A few studies suggest that CBGA has potential as an antibacterial agent for treating bacterial infections.
CBGA Vs. Other Cannabinoids
CBGA is different from other cannabinoids like THC and CBD in several ways. For example, while THC is psychoactive, CBGA is not. Additionally, CBGA is not as well-known as THC and CBD, and there is not as much research on its potential health benefit.
How CBGA Can Be Extracted & Used
CBGA is primarily extracted from hemp plants. To extract CBGA, the trichomes are separated from the plant material using various methods, including water extraction, solvent extraction, and steam distillation.
Water extraction technology uses water to leach cannabinoids from the plant without using heat, harsh chemicals, or hydrocarbons. Water extraction has many advantages, including being the only extraction method that does not cause a conversion of the acidic cannabinoids and allows for the extraction of CBGA, and all other acidic cannabinoids, at a mass scale.
Solvent extraction involves using a solvent, such as ethanol or butane, to dissolve the trichomes and separate them from the plant material. When using solvent extraction, it can be difficult to yield high concentration of CBGA, though, as the method uses high temperatures, causing a majority of CBGA to convert to CBG.
Steam distillation is another method of extracting CBGA, which involves passing steam through the plant material to release the essential oils and other compounds. This method is commonly used to extract essential oils from plants and is relatively safe and easy to perform, but it may not produce as high a yield of CBGA as other methods.
Uses Of CBGA
Once CBGA has been extracted, it can be used in various ways. CBGA can be used as a standalone supplement, either as a tincture, capsule, or topical cream.
Another potential use of CBGA is in the production of food and beverages. CBGA isolate is odorless and tasteless, which means it can be added to a wide range of products without altering their flavor or aroma.
In conclusion, CBGA is a fascinating cannabinoid with many potential health benefits. While research on CBGA is still in the early stages, there is growing interest in its potential as a treatment for various health conditions. As always, before considering CBGA, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional to determine if it’s the right choice for you.