CBGA is a unique cannabinoid that has moved from the minor leagues to the main stage as growers have begun to breed this interesting cannabinoid in larger quantities among select special strains. If you missed our first breakdown about CBGA and it’s potential to support health in a variety of ways, you can find it in our article titled “What is CBGa?”
After you get a better idea of CBGA’s potential, you’re likely interested in how to use it! Similar to CBD and THC strains, CBG can be used in any number of ways, depending on preference. And there are benefits to both the naturally-occurring acidic form – CBGA – and the decarboxylated, activated CBG , which is created when the strain is decarboxlyated.
We wanted to show the process and effectiveness of activating and extracting CBG flower into Everclear. Everclear, a high-proof grain alcohol (60% alcohol by volume), can be used directly after a no-heat infusion as a tincture or topical, or can be evaporated off to make the end product more concentrated and potent.
We took the CBGA flower and decarboxylated it for one cycle in the NOVA. You can see the results below. The starting flower had the potential for over 12% CBG, and the decarboxylated flower had over 12% CBG = 120 mg CBG per gram of decarbed flower.
***The starting flower had 13.86% CBGa – to determine the total potential CBG after activation multiply by 0.87. Here, 13.86% x 0.87 = 12.05% total potential CBG.
We tested two different room-temp Everclear infusion times.
1 Hour No-Heat Infusion
We placed 1 gram of decarbed CBG into 1 ounce of Everclear and left it on the counter for one hour. No heat was used, and the jar was not disturbed. After an hour, we shook the jar for 20 seconds and then strained the raffinate from the Everclear. You can see the testing results – E00211. After 1 hour in room-temp Everclear, 76 mg of CBG out of the 120 mg CBG in the flower was extracted into the Everclear solution. That’s over 62% extraction rate from the 1 hour room temp infusion.
3 Hour No-Heat Infusion
Next, we placed 1 gram of decarbed CBG into 1 ounce of Everclear and left it on the counter for three hours. No heat was used, and the jar was not disturbed. After three hours, we shook the jar for 20 seconds and then strained the raffinate from the Everclear. You can see the testing results – E00210. After 3 hours in room-temp Everclear, about 100 mg of CBG out of the 120 mg CBG in the flower was extracted into the Everclear solution. That’s over 80% extraction rate from the 3 hour room temp infusion.
Tips on getting more
There is evidence that colder is better; many suggest that placing it in the freezer will stiffen the trichomes and make them fall off easier, similar to ice water hash practice. We will be following up soon with more testing results related to frozen extraction.
The reason heat works so well and that warm oil infusions infuse at rates of over 90% in less than an hour is because heat increases the kinetic energy of the solution, hastening the infusion. Although you should not use heat with alcohol, you can replicate the increased motion with a little physical intervention. Shaking the jar more often during the infusion period is a popular method, and we will be back with more testing results to show the science behind that.
CBG can also be infused into a wide range of oils by mixing the decarbed flower with the oil and placing the mixture back in the NOVA for an infusion cycle. Manually stop the cycle by holding down the power button or unplug the machine after your desired infusion time. Our testing shows that 45 min, 1 hour and 2 hour infusions all have almost identical infusion outcomes, so the choice is yours!
Heat is tempting but just don’t.
The dangers of heating alcohol, both the explosion hazard and the danger of inhaling alcohol fumes it presents, make it a very dangerous option. There are many other ways to get fast and effective extractions without putting yourself at risk.
And remember, what’s not in the infusion remains in the raffinate, so make good use of these less potent but still useful leftovers.
Let us know in the comments below your experiences with CBGa and CBG, alone, or as an adjunct to your traditional cannabis products.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All products contain less than 0.3% Δ9THC.