If you have a passion for plants and are specifically intrigued by the cannabis plant, then chances are that you have done some research on what makes the plant as magical and powerful as we know it today. The answer to this question is cannabinoids. The majority of marijuana smokers will be most familiar with THC as this is the compound responsible for getting consumers high and helping them free their mind or experience new sensations in the form of thoughts, visions, and maybe even sound.
Another powerful compound that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years thanks to its health benefits is CBD. Nowadays, consumers can purchase products such as CBD oil, CBD tinctures, edibles or vape oil that can help treat conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, depression, dementia, and more. Although it is interesting to see how these cannabinoids affect the body and how they can be used as a substitute to standard pharmaceuticals and medicaments, the bigger question would be how are they created? This is where the role of CBGA comes in.
If we examine the cannabis plant we would see a full range of factors included in the external and internal structures of the flower. The plant is equipped with chlorophyll for the collection of light, terpenes, which provide natural prevention of pesticides as well as the rich and distinctive aroma of every strain, as well as cannabinoids, which we will be focusing on. Cannabinoids are molecules capable of providing therapeutic effects for the consumer, making cannabis a natural remedy for a range of conditions.
CBGA or cannabigerolic acid is considered the ancestor of all the diverse cannabinoids found in cannabis. In other words, without the existence of CBGA, no cannabinoids would be able to exist in the plant. The acid is created through biosynthesis via the combination of olivetolic acid and geranyl pyrophosphate. CBGA can be compared to stem cells in the body, which are responsible for the transformation into different types of cells, essential for the body’s normal function. For example, stem cells can be turned into brain cells, heart cells, or skin cells.
In a similar way, CBGA can be turned into THCA, CBDA, CBCA, and CBG. All of the mentioned, apart from CBG, are the acidic versions of the compounds. In order to become activated and turn into THC, CBD, or CBC, these acids need to go through to process of decarboxylation through exposure to heath or the use of oxidation. This process is important as it results in compounds with different effects on the body. For instance, THCA is not psychoactive until it turns into THC. This capability of CBGA makes it the dominant and most important of the cannabinoids as without it, cannabis would not be what we know it to be today.
CBGA and the body
CBGA’s influence on the body is made possible thanks to its contact with the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are located in the central nervous system and are responsible for appetite, sleep, memory, or pain perception. There is still research being conducted to establish whether CBGA can also bind to the body’s CB2 receptors.
CBGA is classified as an antagonist and it is also a powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, antifungal, and antidepressant. In that sense, CBGA can be used for a wide range of conditions and can help the body prevent and fight off serious diseases, which may otherwise be difficult to treat. The cannabinoid is also successful in stimulating the growth of bones and can be used for the healing of fractures.
The true magic of CBGA can be seen after its activation of a range of different cannabinoids, which you might already be familiar with. THC, CBD, CBC, and CBG all exist in cannabis thanks to CBGA. When manipulated and controlled, CBGA can have an impact on the level of CBD, THC, CBN, or CBC in a strain. This is likely to become an essential quality for the future breeding of cannabis, especially with the rise in demand of the plant for medical purposes.
The world of cannabis is far more diverse than its basic association with getting consumers high. The vast amount of health benefits provided by its diverse set of cannabinoids make this plant an interesting and sought after natural remedy. Without CBGA, none of this would have been possible.