There over 100 known cannabinoids, the two most well known being THC and CBD, of course. The cannabis plant has a lot more to offer, though, and research is just starting to explore the effects of other cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids on the human body. In fact, it’s been demonstrated that cannabinoids work better in conjunction with one another, producing a synergistic experience called the entourage effect.
In the past, CBGA has been viewed as a minor player in the cannabis plant due to the fact that it rarely appears in significant amounts (usually, if present at all, it is in quantities of less than 1%). There is great excitement, however, as expert growers are beginning to breed strains with high levels of this unique cannabinoid. We’ve been increasingly receiving questions about CBGA and decarboxylating CBGA to create CBG.
We are happy to announce that NOVA and FX activate CBG in addition to THC and CBD! Keep scrolling to see more information below on this unique cannabinoid along with testing results showing decarb of CBGA to CBG in NOVA and FX.
What is CBGA?
CBGA – cannabigerolic acid – is produced to maintain the cannabis plant’s good health, triggering the necrosis and death of unhealthy leaves on the plant. CBGA is a precursor to tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA,) cannabidiolic acid (CBDA,) cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), as well as cannabigerol (CBG). Due to being a recessive trait, CBGa is found in larger quantities in hemp strains.
CBG was discovered over 50 years ago in Israel, and 30 years later the precursor, CBGa, was discovered by Japanese scientists.
Benefits of CBGA
CBGA is exciting due to its status as a natural inhibitor and it’s potential to expedite early cell death. The promising research includes that related to CBG’s impact on colon cancer cells and prevention in the lab of further cancer cell growth. CBGA also has many antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and pain support properties. CBGA also works with the endocannabinoid system to positively impact mood and appetite.
In studies like this one, CBGA was found in vitro to inhibit an enzyme contributing to oxidative stress, which is a factor in cardiovascular disease and other heart health issues.
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
A 2013 study showed that mice, when given colitis, experienced positive effects with the introduction of CBG. CBG was shown to reduce the mice’s symptoms, eliminate the production of many new oxidizing agents in their small intestines, and control the production of nitric oxide. Researchers hope to soon see clinical trials in humans for the treatment of IBD.
Metabolic disorders such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides may also be impacted by CBGA. Using computer simulations, researches have theorized that this special cannabinoid could potentially activate receptors responsible for the stimulation of lipid metabolism and then control the accumulation of these lipids.
CBG is revealing itself to have interesting potential as a cancer treatment. In this study, CBG was shown to block receptors that caused cancer cell growth in mice, thereby slowing the rodents’ colon cancer progression. In that research, CBG inhibited the mice tumors and chemically-induced colon carcinogenesis, and, in doing so demonstrated potential as a therapy for colorectal cancer.
When the researchers looked at cytotoxic effects of CBG extracted from cannabis, they found that not only did CBG kill the mice colon cancer cells, but it also hastened early cancer cell deaths and arrested the cancer cell cycles in the mice. While more research is definitely needed, the researchers were encouraged that the CBG appeared to effectively target the mice colon cancer cells and prevent the growth and proliferation of their polyps.
Huntington’s Disease, a progressive brain disorder that causes loss in cognition, movement and emotional thinking, is one of many neurodegenerative diseases researchers are eyeing for CBG treatment potential. In a recent 2015 study, CBG was shown to protect neurons in mice with Huntington’s disease. CBG, used alone or in combination with other phytocannabinoids or therapies, is an exciting avenue of study for the mitigation of nerve cell degeneration in the brain.
Effects of CBGA Decarb
CBGA and CBG can no longer be ignored. Currently, CBGA and CBG deserve further investigation in both human and animal studies. Both CBGA and CBG are non-psychoactive cannabinoids with lots of promise and now— it’s even more exciting to know CBG can be activated at home!
In our research, we have seen many publications and articles suggest that CBGA primarily turns to THCA or CBDA. Although this is possible, it’s most often the result of the pharmaceutical industry’s synthesization and manipulation of CBGa into other cannabinoids. In fact, CBGA can be reliably converted to the CBG given the right decarb conditions.
We took a CBGA strain and decarboxylated it for one cycle in the Nova –check out the results below. You can see this starting flower had over 12% potential CBG* and, after decarbing, there was full activation of the cannabinoids, with the decarbed flower containing over 12% CBG (120 mg CBG per gram). Very exciting!
We also took the opportunity to decarboxylate CBG in the new FX all-in-one portable cannabis kitchen. To decarboxylate CBGA in the FX, use the A1 setting. We used starting flower from the same CBGA harvest above. After decarbing on A1 in the FX, you can see in the test below a full decarboxylation from CBGAto CBG, with over 13% CBG in the activated flower after decarboxylation – over 130 mg per gram!
You’ll notice that this is a slight bit more than the result we saw above in Nova, which showed over 120 mg CBG per gram after decarboxylation. Important note: It’s not that the FX did a better job than the Nova — both gave a full activation of over 98%. There are, however, natural variations in the plant that can lead to a slightly more or less potency even on different parts of the same bud.
Stay tuned for a blog on the topic coming soon. But a good rule of thumb is to expect slight variations that they are typically only around 1%; or approx 10 mg per gram.
Let us know in the comments below your experiences with CBGa and CBG, alone or as an adjunct to your traditional cannabis products and let us know what testing you’d like to see more of!
*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.
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.