CBGa: The Genesis of Cannabinoids
Research of medical cannabis has uncovered more than a hundred different types of cannabinoids, which can be responsible for a tremendous variety of health benefits. Today, we want to give a little more insight into one of the subtle, yet incredibly solid players in the cannabinoid orchestra, Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa).
CBGa is the predecessor of the familiar cannabinoid CBG (cannabigerol), which forms when heat is applied to CBGa, releasing carbon dioxide from the molecule. However, CBGa is not only responsible for supplying the fuel to produce CBG. CBGa has been found to be the structural ancestor to many other types of cannabinoids…including THC and CBD!
That’s right, CBGa is the marble from which the cannabinoid masterpieces we all know and love are sculpted. CBGa is broken down by synthases, which are enzymes native to an organic body that serve as catalysts in chemical reactions. For example, when Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase, a synthase native to the cannabis plant reacts with CBGa, and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) is formed. As we’ve mentioned before, THC is the product of decarboxylation of THCa. CBD is also related to CBGa in a similar pattern to that of THC.
Cannabigerol, another cannabinoid whose effects are significant enough to warrant recognition on cannabinoid profile testing, is the direct product of decarboxylating CBGa. Cannabigerol is known to mitigate the “high” of THC, decrease anxiety, provide glaucoma relief, and serve as an antioxidant.
While each of the major cannabinoids have their own special properties and effects, knowing their common ancestor, as well as the chemical reactions that produce each specific cannabinoid, fosters innovation that can lead to more detailed, cannabinoid-specific breeding in the future, for the purpose of meeting patients’ unique medical needs in the most targeted way possible.