CBGA: The Mother Cannabinoid

We all need to take a second (or many, many seconds) to appreciate our mothers. They gave us life. And they often give us the support we need to get through the day. Another “mother” we need to thank for getting us through the day? Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA). This cannabinoid is a precursor–or mother, if you will–of many other common cannabinoids, including THCA and CBDA. 

Mother May I?

Mother May I…get The Most High? Only if you start with cannabigerolic acid. While this cannabinoid isn’t psychoactive itself, it is a building block critical to the formation of THC (and CBD and CBC). Enzymes (synthases) within the cannabis plant actually convert CBGA into THCA, CBDA and CBCA. After decarboxylation, these acidic cannabinoids convert to the THC, CBD and CBC we know and love so well. 

CBGA is also a protective component of the cannabis plant. Found in the trichomes, CBGA helps trigger plant cell necrosis. I know what you’re thinking. Necrosis sounds like something that should only happen during spooky season. In this case, however, it’s a good thing. The targeted approach to killing off cells leads to natural pruning of plant leaves. This helps direct more energy into the flower, eventually leading to bigger, healthier buds. 

Will You Be My Lab Partner?

CBGA is obviously an important part of cannabis. So why haven’t you heard more about it? Like all things cannabis, more research is needed. Beyond that, it is such a minor component in the finished product that it hasn’t been a major focus on the research we do have. CBG, the non-acidic form of the compound, was discovered over 50 years ago by Israeli researchers. It took another 30 years to uncover that CBGA was its progenitor. 

Now, most research on the cannabinoid is done in relation to synthesizing it outside of the cannabis plant (which they have successfully done in yeast). This will help in the process of creating and replicating other cannabinoids, both natural and synthetic. Although this sounds like it goes against the stoner ethos of cannabis being a natural plant and all good things come from the ground, it’s important for the continued research on cannabinoids’ therapeutic benefits. It’s all for the good of the plant. 

CBGA Gets a Glow Up 

Although most of CBGA converts to other cannabinoids, little amounts do remain. Once decarboxylated, CBGA converts to cannabigerol (CBG), which has shown the potential for therapeutic benefits on its own. CBG has shown promise as anti-inflammatory (specifically neuroinflammation), anti-tumor (particularly in relation to colon cancer) and as an appetite stimulus. Researchers are also studying it in relation to metabolic diseases, particularly diabetes. 

Until more research is done, just know that CBGA is a big part of getting you The Most High because of its role in creating other cannabinoids and protecting the cannabis plant. Much respect for the mother. 


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