What is CBGA? Definition, effects and opportunities

Acid form of CBG and the origin of the main cannabinoids,cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is still relatively unknown. Discovered late, difficult to isolate and therefore to study, it nevertheless has interesting characteristics and potential health benefits. Weedy.fr dissects for you what is CBGA, what we know about him and the gray areas to explore to better understand his effects on the body.

CBGA (cannabigerolic acid): simple definition

trichomes produce cbga min

CBGA is a cannabinoid produced in the trichomes of hemp flowers

The CBGA is a cannabinoid, along with the very popular CBD and the most criticized THC. However, it is much less present in the cannabis plant, in particular becauseit transforms more or less quickly into other cannabinoids.

Two aspects related to CBGA are particularly interesting:

  • CBGA is often referred to as the “ parent cannabinoid". Understand, it is the origin of other cannabinoids and plays a direct role in their biosynthesis. In other words, without CBGA, CBD, THC, CBC and obviously the CBG would not exist.
  • The CBGA has interesting properties in the raw state. In addition to its active role in the appearance of other cannabinoids, it has its own effects that we will detail in a moment.

Where does CBGA come from and what is its role?

CBGA, like other cannabinoids, is produced by trichomes hemp. These are small sticky and almost transparent vesicles localized at the flower level and from which the CBD resin. The role of the CBGA is above all to protect the plant. Thus, it is able to cause necrosis of certain cells in order to control the pruning of leaves and thus concentrate available energy at the flower level. CBGA is therefore a natural regulator contributing directly to the proper development of a plant and the survival of its variety.

To go into a little more detail, it is useful to explain that cannabis, through a succession of chemical reactions, is capable of producing all kinds of molecules that will be useful for its development at different times in its evolution.

  1. First, the trichomes produceolivic acid and the geranyl-pyrophosphate.
  2. These molecules are gradually transformed into cannabigerolic acid (the CBGA that interests us here).
  3. In contact with the various enzymes present in the plant, the CBGA is transformed in turn into THCA. as CBDA and in CBCA, the acid forms which will respectively give THC, CBD and CBC once the decarboxylation operated (naturally or as a result of human action).
  4. More rarely, a natural decarboxylation takes place a little earlier and the CBGA then becomes CBG directly. This phenomenon partly explains the lower presence of CBG in the different varieties of cannabis than CBD or THC.

Alright, but what is the difference between CBG and its acid form, CBGA?

CBGA Vs. CBG: differences and similarities

cbga is just one step in the evolution of cannabis min

CBGA is just one step in the evolution of cannabis

Chemical formula C22H32O4 C21H32O2
Or ? In raw plant material In decarboxylated plant matter (by UV rays or by being artificially heated)
Discovery In 1996 by Japanese researchers In 1964 by Israeli researchers
Effects on humans Yes, through the endocannabinoid system (SEC) Yes, through the SEC
Psychotropic effects (“gets you high”) No No

CBGA is the precursor to CBG. The latter is therefore a advanced form of CBGA, a later stage. Apart from this chronological difference, there is above all a molecular difference. Those who remember a few chemistry lessons may have noticed that the difference between the two molecules is one carbon atom (C) and two oxygen atoms (O), i.e. CO2 (carbon dioxide). This is enough to understand a little better the somewhat barbaric term of decarboxylation.

This molecular difference has repercussions on the role of CBGA in the cannabis plant, but also, and this is what is of particular interest to us, on the level of its ability to interact with receptors in our body. To put it simply, although close, CBGA and CBG do not have not necessarily the same effects.

Effects of CBGA

cbga may affect min metabolism

CBGA would have an action on the metabolism

The scientific literature relating to the effects of CBGA is still very thin. Already because cannabigerolic acid was discovered relatively late compared to the main cannabinoids, then because it is extremely difficult to isolate. Indeed, it quickly transforms, and in order to study it, it is not only impossible to heat the plant, but also it must be at a relatively early stage (before flowering).

Some interesting avenues are nevertheless studied, each of which must be considered carefully and thoroughly before drawing definitive conclusions.

An action on the metabolism

A 2019 study demonstrated that CBGA, like CBG and CBDA, can interact with PPAR sensors with the ability to modulate lipid metabolism. When these sensors do not work properly, the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes or too high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol increases.

Colon Cancer

According to one other study, CBGA may play a role in the fight against colon cancer. Not only does it seem slow the multiplication of cancer cells, but it could also hasten their death.

Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases

Direct consequence of the action of CBGA on the metabolism, it could be useful against diabetes, in particular by preventing the production of the enzyme that causes oxidative stress and thus preventing the occurrence of certain complications. Limiting oxidative stress also makes it possible to avoid certain cardiovascular problems, which also represent a search path.

These first studies have not yet been made only on models and/or during in vitro (laboratory) manipulation. It therefore remains to extend them, deepen them and, if justified, carry out studies on humans.