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What Is CBGa? What Are Its Benefits?

What is CBGA

Cannabigerolic acid, otherwise known as CBGA is the acidic form of CBG. Cannabigerol is a minor cannabinoid found inside hemp and cannabis plants.

CBGA is produced in the plant’s trichomes and is a precursor to all the other cannabinoids, including CBG.

It’s a foundational compound that eventually converts into other major cannabinoids like THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid), CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid), and CBCA (Cannabichromenic Acid), which then become THC, CBD, or CBC respectively. CBGA may also convert to CBG.

Scientists have known about CBG (cannabigerol) for over 50 years. Israeli researchers were the first to isolate the cannabinoid, and 30 years later, 

Japanese researchers were the first to reveal that CBGA was its precursor. Despite the long history, minimal research has been conducted on CBGA to date.

Most of that CBGA research has focused on sustainable production of THCA for pharmaceutical and research uses. This research specifically has looked at the mechanism of converting CBGA into THCA.

How Is CBGA Made?

CBGA is produced in every plant. The difference is how each plant processes CBGA and what enzymes are available.

Hemp plants convert CBGA to CBD and marijuana plants convert most of the CBGA to THCA and later to THC. That’s one of the major reasons why hemp-derived CBD and other cannabinoid products are mostly used for health support while marijuana is used mainly for recreational purposes.

CBGA and other cannabinoids with the “a” suffix are the compound’s original form which maintain the carboxylic acid group.

How Is CBG Made From CBGA?

What is CBG

CBG is made from CBGA through a process known as decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is usually achieved through the application of heat.

This is why when cannabis is heated or smoked, the cannabinoids in its acid form (like THCA) are converted into their neutral forms (like THC).

In the case of CBGA, the decarboxylation process removes a carboxylic acid group from the CBGA molecule, transforming it into CBG. 

The earlier assumption was that heat was essential to ‘activate’ these cannabinoids for improved bioavailability. 

Presently, researchers are examining the possible advantages of the acidic forms of the cannabinoids..

How Do I Take CBGA?

A man opening a CBGA tincture bottle

As for products, both CBGA and CBG products are available in the market. CBGA products come in various forms including tinctures and capsules since the research is still in early stages.

Similarly, CBG products are available in forms like oils, hemp flowers, tinctures, gummies, capsules and topical creams and lotions.

When it comes to the benefits of CBG and CBGA, both have their unique benefits.

What Is CBGA Good For?

CBG is known for its potential in supporting healthy inflammatory function, mood, and stress relief, and it’s being heavily examined in research for its potential benefits.

On the other hand, CBGA appears to be more potent in drastically reducing oxidative stress and has shown potential in aiding with stress relief.

CBGA converts into CBG via decarboxylation i.e. exposure to heat and light, and they also share similar properties and benefits. Some of which:

  • Cardiovascular Health: CBGA and CBG may help combat inflammation and balance your ECS, which also plays an important role in cardiovascular health. Endocannabinoids appear to be altered in most cardiovascular disorders.
  • Better Metabolism: Another team of researchers discovered that they may also help people with their metabolic health and even digestion. Early research suggests that CBG might have the potential to combat bad bacteria in the gut.
  • Anti-inflammation: CBG is known to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, and this property is shared by its precursor as well.
  • Antioxidant Effects: While both have antioxidant properties, CBGA has demonstrated greater antioxidant activity than CBG and Vitamin E.
  • Stress Management: Alleviating anxiety and stress, better sleep, enhanced neuroprotection: These are also noted as potential benefits based on preliminary research.

However, it’s important to note that research on both CBG and CBGA is still ongoing and more studies are needed to fully understand their effects and benefits.

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