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CBGA (cannabigerolic acid)

Cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, is the raw form of CBG (cannabigerol). CGBA is a unique compound that forms the building block for major cannabinoids THC, CBD, and CBC. Research indicates that CBGA also holds significant therapeutic potential, with studies thus far suggesting antioxidative and anticancer properties. Cannabis cultivars high in CBG include Animal Cookies, Dynamite OG, and Jack Herer.

“CBGA is the mother molecule of some major cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.”

What is cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)?

Cannabigerolic acid is the raw or acidic form of the cannabinoid CBG (cannabigerol). Cannabinoids exist in a raw form prior to decarboxylation, a process where cannabinoids are exposed to heat and converted into an activated form.

CBGA can be understood as a foundational molecule critical to the formation of the major cannabinoids. CBGA starts out in high concentrations in the cannabis plant before converting into other raw cannabinoid forms such as THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. After this conversion, CBGA levels in the plant tend to be very low.

To obtain high yields of CBGA, cannabis must be harvested in its earlier vegetative stage, before the compound converts into THC and CBD. Maximizing CBGA production means sacrificing THC and CBD levels. However, researchers have also recently uncovered a way to synthesize CBGA from yeast.

What is cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) used for?

CBGA has diverse uses, both for the cannabis plant itself, and for therapeutic purposes too.

CBGA holds a protective, pruning function for cannabis plants. Produced in the trichomes of the plant, CBGA helps to trigger cell death in leaves. The shedding of unnecessary leaves allows the cannabis plant to direct more energy into its buds and the resinous trichomes which hold high concentrations of cannabinoids.

Up until recently, most CBGA research has focused on converting CBGA into THCA. However, studies on CBGA are coming into their own and attracting interest from scientists who are unpacking its medicinal applications. 
Early evidence from in vitro studies and computer simulations suggests potential applications in inhibiting oxidative stress, supporting the treatment of metabolic disorders, and killing colon cancer cells. CBGA also shows promise as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, mood regulator, and appetite stimulant.