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CBGA: The Mother of Active Cannabinoids

The average cannabis consumer is pretty much well aware of the existence, as well as the major characteristics, of some of the active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD.

However, the myriad of complex processes that take place within the cannabis plant does neither begin nor end with the most famous active cannabinoids. Instead, it actually begins with a single major player, namely CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid).

CBGA has earned the nickname “the mother of active cannabinoids,” and while CBGA is not an active cannabinoid itself but a raw, acidic form of active cannabinoid, CBGA is, indeed, to be acknowledged as the very source from which some of the most important active cannabinoids are brought to life.

And so, it is only fair to state that no matter if it is THC or CBD (or both) to excite you, Cannabigerolic acid is responsible for both of these active cannabinoids’ availability.

Quintessentially, CBGA is nothing less but a uniquely important, although still lesser-known cannabinoid, that is worth every single second of your attention, and that’s exactly why we fell so happy and so privileged to be able to invite you below on a beautiful journey where you can get to understand the nature, and nonetheless, the amazing benefits of CBGA, better.

What is Cannabigerolic Acid: Looking into CBGA Formation within the Cannabis Plant

The cannabis plant is known to produce many different chemical compounds, including active cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

It is chlorophyll that is in charge of cannabis plants’ ability to absorb light, or in other words, chlorophyll is a crucial component in a healthy cannabis plant’s diet.

On the other hand, terpenes are the aromatic molecules produced by various plants, cannabis plants included. Apart from giving the different cannabis strains their unique aroma and flavor profiles, terpenes serve a very practical job when it comes to the well-being of marijuana plants. Terpenes work as natural pests repellents and simultaneously work as mighty beneficial insects-attracting compounds.

However, while both chlorophyll and terpenes production are not unique to the cannabis plant, the active compounds known as cannabinoids, make up for the exact group of molecules that are responsible for cannabis’ highly regarded therapeutic benefits.

Video by: Michigan Medicine – The Health Effects of Marijuana – Expert Q&A

Now, what interconnects all of the active chemical compounds produced within the cannabis plant is that these are generated as a result of biosynthesis.

Biosynthesis refers to an organic process of creating complex structures out of a number of smaller structures (typically two or more smaller structures).

To illustrate biosynthesis better, let’s look into the process of photosynthesis as photosynthesis is a type of biosynthesis.

During the process of photosynthesis, chlorophyll captures energy from the light (whether natural sunlight or indoor grow light. Then the captured energy is used along with carbon dioxide which is being pulled from the air, as well as the water. As a result, the cannabis plant creates sugars that are used as plant food.

In quite a similar manner, CBGA is also formed by means of biosynthesis. Cannabigerolic acid is born once two naturally occurring chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, namely geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid, combine.

The chemistry and biology of plant alkaloid biosynthesis have been a subject of extensive research for several years, bringing promising ways to reap the healing power of whole plant-based medicinals of the 21st century.

Video by: New Phytologist Trust – Chemistry and biology of plant alkaloid biosynthesis – Sarah O’Connor

The Invaluable Significance of CBGA as the Mother of Active Cannabinoids

In order to fully apprehend the invaluable significance of CBGA, try to picture a pot of boiling water. If you merely look at the boiling water, all you see is (quite obviously) nothing less or more but boiling water, right But if you are to dig deeper into the science behind what makes water molecules reach the boiling point, you are sure to find out that watching the external structure of boiling water has little to do with the complex chain of reactions that happen at a molecular level.

In a similar manner, you might have already been able to complete several successful cannabis grow operations. Regardless of the strain you have chosen to grow from seed or clone, such as a 60% Indica-dominant hybrid like Blue Cookies, a 60% Sativa-dominant gemstone-like Durban Poison, or a high CBD strain like CB Diesel, watching a cannabis plant grow will reveal no signs of what is actually happening at a molecular level within the plant.

At its very core, CBGA is the building block that makes up for the formation of THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBDa (cannabidiolic acid), CBG (Cannabigerol), and CBCa (cannabichromenic acid). As you might have already noticed, each of these ends with an “A” (except for CBG), and that’s because “A” indicates the acidic variation of these cannabinoids.

In order for THCa to convert into THC, as well as for CBDa to convert into CBD, and respectively, for CBCa to convert into CBC, these acidic forms must first be activated, which happens through the use of heat and oxidation, a process that is known as decarboxylation.

Thanks to heat and UV light, these compounds found in acidic forms within the cannabis plants are caused to drop a molecule of carbon dioxide, and despite how innocent and insignificant a drop of a molecule might sound like, it is actually a game-changer when it comes to the properties of these active cannabinoids.

Let’s take, for example, THCA, and in particular, what is it that a drop of a molecule of carbon dioxide leads to. THCa is not psychoactive until. At least not before it is decarboxylated when it drops a carbon dioxide molecule (think of dropping the “a”), and thus, synthesized into THC.

As far as the formation of CBG is concerned, CBG cannot be created unless CBGA gets activated through oxidation or decarboxylation.

CBGA, the Entourage Effect, and the ECS

It is only fair to state that our collective understanding of the benefits and uses of CBGa is only at its very rise. If there is anything that experts understand much better about CBGa, it’s definitely thanks to being able to learn more about the endogenous cannabinoid system and the entourage effect.

It was in 1998 when Dr. Raphael (Ralph) Mechoulam, a cannabis science pioneer born in Bulgaria but living and teaching in Israel, along with his team became the first to introduce the very idea of the entourage effect on the endocannabinoid system. Their extensive, restless, passionate research did validate the hypothesis, according to which the different cannabinoids, alongside terpenes, work in a synergistic way on our bodies’ endocannabinoid system, thus, enhancing each other’s activity, effects, and benefits. Ever since the term “entourage effect” has been massively thrown around, and some experts have reached as far as to argue whether it could be possibly more appropriate to refer to this effect as “the ensemble effect.”

While many questions regarding the entourage effect and our bodies’ endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) remain unclear up-to-date, one thing is for sure: cannabis is challenging us to bring up the outdated ways we used to understand human health and diseases from a strictly physical to a much wider perspective that includes taking into account the mental, as well as the spiritual merits of health.

You see, much like the symphony of active compounds formed within the cannabis plant, followed up by the synergistic effects of these compounds on an individual basis, so is health a unique, strictly personal sum up from many different factors that work in close, although often invisible collaboration, such as being able to manage stress effectively (or not), taking enough time to rest and relax (or not), finding joy and experiencing heart-warming feelings of shared love and laughter (or opposite feelings of hatred and anger), choosing to consume more healthy foods and improve training habits (or exactly the opposite), genetic predisposal to disease, and so much more!

CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid): Benefits and Uses

Unfortunately, most of the available research on CBGa has been entirely focused on CBGA’s role in the biosynthesis of other active cannabinoids. And while this role is extremely valuable, it is rather sad and even a bit frustrating that not enough money and efforts are being spent on studying in-depth the potential therapeutic properties of Cannabigerolic acid in terms of its antibacterial, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects.

However, as of now, even when dealing with an annoyingly scarce number of CBGa-related research, cannabis experts are certain that the mother of active cannabinoids does hold huge promises when it comes to pain relief and pain management, cancer cells’ growth inhibition, systematical reduction of inflammation, and nonetheless, slowing down bacterial growth.

CBGA is scientifically referred to with the chemical formula C22H32O4. It is known to possess a molecular mass of 360.48708 g/mol. In animal studies conducted with mice, the lethal dose of CBGA has been discovered to be 300 mg/kg, and as a comparison, the lethal dose of nicotine is discovered to be 50 mg/kg for rats vs. 0.5 – 1mg/kg for humans.

It is the anti-cancer potential health benefits of CBGa that have been most extensively studied so far. Please, mind, that being “most extensively studied” is more of a comparison to the far less extensively studied antibacterial, anti-inflammation, and analgesic properties of CBGa, and not, by any chance, an indication that groundbreaking studies of CBGa’s anti-cancer properties have been conducted as of 2019.

Anyway, despite being still limited in number and scope, studies have found that CBGa does encourage apoptosis. Apoptosis is a programmed cell death that is usually occurring as a bodily response naturally. However, in the presence of particular factors, our bodies fail to complete apoptosis properly, often leading to defective apoptosis.

Defective apoptosis is believed to be the major reason for both the formation, as well as the progression of cancer.

The ways active cannabinoids, including but not limited to CBGa, have been discovered to stimulate apoptosis, keeps mesmerizing scientists, as these ways continue to be embraced in mystery and complexity, remaining only partially understood yet still unknown. It is in this enchanting mystery where the key to understanding cannabis-based green medicine of the future is most probably hidden, granting mankind the unparalleled and unprecedented opportunity to find novel ways to mitigate and cure cancer, among other torturous diseases.

CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid): Final Notes

For as long as cannabis remains a federally illegal substance listed as a Schedule 1 Drug, which is a category of substances that are considered to provide no medical value and to be dangerous for humans health, researching the numerous medicinal properties of the herb, including but not limited to the medicinal properties of CBGa, will remain much more difficult than it should be. It is a quite bitter paradox to keep the ancient cannabis plant, which is known to be among the first domesticated agricultural plants, away from being extensively studied, as well as easily available to all the people who need it the most, such as cancer sufferers, epilepsy sufferers, neurodegenerative disease sufferers, and their families, among many others. It is simply a total disservice to patients who can potentially benefit from the multiple, highly promising uses of CBGa, to keep the potential of this all-natural, plant-based substance, ignored.

Early research on CBGa is crystal clear: this active compound, whether in its raw acidic form or whether converted into other cannabinoids after decarboxylation/oxidation, makes a very powerful case on the future use of cannabinoids in modern medicine, as it does play a key, vital role in the production of the most famous active cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, CBG, and CBC, as well as a crucial part in the chemistry of the cannabis plant.
Ultimately, without CBGA, there would be no CBD, just like there would be no THC, CBG, or CBC. This point definitely makes CBGA one of the most important of all of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Nonetheless, this point only becomes more relevant when thinking about the centrality that both THC and CBD have taken in nowadays’ discussion of the place of cannabis in medicine and recreation.

So, at depart, we want to wish you to keep your horizons, minds, and souls always open. We sincerely believe that getting to know more about the mother of active cannabinoids is a wonderful refresher on the many cannabinoids CBGA is responsible for synthesizing, thus, helping us realize that cannabis, similarly to the most significant aspects in life, holds its most valuable pieces of beauty, wisdom, wealth, and health, somewhere quite far away from what meets the eye at the very first sight. For just like the Little Prince managed to learn from his journey through the world of humans, what is essential is invisible to the eye, and one can only see clearly with the heart. The knowledge about CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid), or “the mother of active cannabinoids,” deserves a puff, puff & pass attitude, as for the medical and recreational cannabis users out there alike, it is no secret that cannabis heals, with or without tons of scientific evidence to prove how one could feel, experience, or benefit from when medicating with cannabis.