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What Is CBGA

Reading Time 10 Minutes

The cannabis plant is full of life-enhancing compounds called cannabinoids, and no one knows precisely how many there are; the number may be as high as over 140! We are still discovering more about cannabinoids and their uses every day.

One of these cannabinoids is cannabigerol acid, or CBGA. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound has many valuable properties and is one of the few cannabinoids that has received substantial scientific investigation. Here, we cover what you need to know about CBGA and share what we know about this unique compound.

CBGA’s Botanical Function

When a hemp plant starts growing, it only produces one cannabinoid: CBGA. All of the others are derived from this cannabinoid. CBGA is a precursor compound produced in the hemp plant’s trichomes. In the plant, it triggers targeted cell necrosis in the leaves, essentially telling them when to die so that the plant can put more energy towards the flower.

As a precursor compound, CBGA is a foundational compound of the cannabis flower’s other major compounds as a precursor compound. This means that it is at the top of the chain reaction that produces the three major cannabinoid lines: THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), and CBCA (cannabichromenic acid). These, in turn, become THC, CBD, and CBC. CBGA can also convert to CBG, but in most strains of cannabis, CBGA converts into THC or CBD. This has made CBGA extremely important in hemp research!

Most of what we know about CBGA comes from research on the compounds it turns into. In the 1960s, Israeli researchers isolated CBG; in the 1990s, Japanese researchers discovered that it came from CBGA. Since then, most CBGA research has focused on how to convert it to other cannabinoid compounds. Primarily, this involves synthesizing THCA (and often subsequently THC) for research and pharmaceutical purposes.

The ability to synthesize CBGA is important because it is difficult to keep intact. While CBGA is found in large quantities in young plants, exposure to heat immediately starts the chain reaction that converts it to another molecule. Additionally, most of the CBGA a cannabis plant makes over its life becomes THC or another compound through the plant’s own biological processes.

This has led to advanced research in biosynthesis, and as recently as 2019, researchers discovered how to synthesize CBGA and other cannabinoids in yeast. This means that research on this compound and what it can do will be much easier going forward, as the researchers are not limited to harvesting the minute quantities that the hemp plant naturally produces.

How Does CBGA Work?

CBGA, like all cannabinoids, acts by binding to the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system of receptors is dispersed all throughout the body and only activates in the presence of cannabinoids. When CBGA is converted to CBG, it binds to CB1 receptors that act directly on the brain and nervous system without having a psychoactive effect. CBGA on its own, binds to CB2 receptors, which are involved in the immune system and gastrointestinal system.

What Can CBGA Do For You?

Most of the existing research on CBGA focuses on its transformation to THCA, CBDA, or other cannabinoids. This means that most research on the benefits of CBGA is connected to its use after that transformation. But as we learn more about CBGA, researchers are finding that it has many potential benefits of its own.

COVID-19 Prevention

One of the most recent findings is that CBGA, along with CBDA, may successfully prevent COVID-19 transmission and infection. The cannabinoids prevent infection by binding to the SARS-COV-2 spike protein. This prevents it from entering the cell and reduces the chance of infection. It also shows promise in preventing and treating new variants of COVID-19. While these are preliminary findings and substantial additional research and testing are necessary before truly being considered a treatment for COVID-19, this research is very promising.

Cardiovascular Disease

In vitro studies of CBGA have found that the compound significantly inhibits the enzyme aldose reductase. This enzyme is a major contributor to oxidative stress that leads to heart problems, as well as other negative effects on the body. This research is valuable because synthetic inhibitor drugs have severe negative side effects for many patients. A plant-derived inhibitor drug based on CBGA could help millions of people who suffer from cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular symptoms of metabolic diseases like diabetes.

Inflammation Relief

Rodent studies show that CBGA has a powerful positive effect on some of the metabolic receptors that trigger inflammation. Additionally, CBGA can also inhibit the action of cyclooxygenase enzymes, more commonly known as COX inhibitors. COX inhibitors reduce the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that the body produces to help reduce inflammation. By inhibiting the inhibitors, CBGA helps reduce inflammation and pain in the body.

Seizure Treatment

CBGA is a potentially powerful anticonvulsant treatment for seizure disorders like epilepsy. Cannabis has been used to treat epilepsy for thousands of years, and today’s modern hemp-derived epilepsy treatments contain little to no THC. Instead, other cannabinoids are the primary focus. The best known and best understood is CBD, but minor cannabinoids like CBGA show a lot of promise in anticonvulsant research. CBGA has been found to react with numerous seizure-related receptors and is highly effective in certain induced seizure conditions in mice. This could translate into support for an increase in CBGA as a treatment for seizures in humans as well.

Metabolic Disease

CBGA may also help patients with metabolic disorders due to its reaction with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) that regulate metabolism. When PPARs do not function properly, people accumulate lipids excessively and develop metabolic diseases like diabetes and high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. One study shows that cannabinoid acids like CBGA are PPAR agonists, which means that they can help regulate PPAR expression. Another study found that cannabinoids positively regulate PPAR-associated genes that control lipid metabolism.

Neuroprotection

In addition to regulating PPAR activity, CBGA also has other regulatory properties. One of these is its ability to protect against the neurodegenerative effects of Huntington’s Disease. In this study, it was found that acidic precursors like CBGA are demonstrably more effective than their
subsequent cannabinoids. This was seen in both cell line studies and rodent studies and is a very promising line of research.

Additionally, CBGA may protect against the neurotoxicity that stems from the stress of oxidation particles, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and rotenone, which causes mitochondrial dysfunction. In this in vitro study, a high concentration of CBGA dramatically reduced the rotenone-induced neurotoxicity. CBGA is also shown to prevent the formation of superoxide radicals, which eventually reduces oxidative conditions that lead to neural degeneration. In other words, it’s a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your cognitive function as you age.

Colorectal Cancer Treatment

While it is important to note that the research is in very early stages, CBGA may one day be a vital treatment for patients with colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death, so additional therapies and treatments will save many lives. As we mentioned previously, CBGA has cytotoxic or cell-killing effects that tell the plant to redirect energy to the flower instead of the leaves. Its primary job is to tell cells when to die. The effect may not be limited to cells in the hemp plant.

Research shows that these cytotoxic effects also have an effect on colon cancer cells. In experiments on colon cancer cell lines, CBGA killed colon cancer cells, sped up early cancer cell death, and stopped the cancer cell cycle. Additionally, the research is encouraging in regards to preventing the growth and spread of cancerous polyps, which grow into potentially lethal carcinomas.

How To Get CBGA

CBGA is found in all varieties of the hemp plant, including hemp plants that produce low amounts of THC. This means that it’s legal in all 50 states! While CBGA is not mentioned specifically by name in the 2018 Farm Bill or other cannabis laws, it can be derived from hemp plants that contain virtually no THC. Additionally, CBGA is not psychoactive, so it is generally treated with the same considerations as other non-psychoactive cannabinoids. Since CBGA is completely legal, it can be found in a number of locations. Hemp shops and CBD retailers will likely carry CBGA products, as will shops that cater to specialty health concerns and wellness, such as Myriam’s Hemp. Be sure to specify that you are looking for CBGA and not the more commonly-known CBG, as the two have different effects!

How To Take CBGA

If you’re interested in trying CBGA, there are several different ways you can consume it. Remember, CBGA is very susceptible to heat, and as soon as it is exposed to heat, it begins the reaction that changes it into another cannabinoid, typically CBG. That means you probably won’t have much luck consuming it through any leaf-based method, as most of those involve heat.

Even if you keep the temperature low, the drying and curing process itself can also have an effect on the amount of CBGA available to consume. Smoking, vaping, or baking into food will transform your CBGA into CBG, so those routes just are not ideal if you want the full CBGA benefits. And while CBG is helpful in and of itself, it provides different benefits than CBGA!

Tinctures, on the other hand, are a much more reliable way to take CBGA. CBGA can be synthesized in a lab and distilled into a tincture that you can take just like any other cannabinoid tincture. When you choose a CBGA tincture, you should make sure to choose one from a company that is transparent about lab testing and one that uses all-natural ingredients for your safety.

You should also know that cannabinoid precursors, including CBGA, are not present in all types of tinctures. A CBG tincture is not going to contain CBGA. A broad or full spectrum tincture may contain CBGA, along with many other cannabinoids, to enhance the entourage effect.

If you’re looking for specific CBGA responses, however, your best bet is to choose a full spectrum CBGA tincture with a higher concentration of CBGA compared to the other cannabinoids to allow the cannabinoid to shine through. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing our own all-natural CBGA tincture for healthful relief.

Buy CBGA at Myriam’s Hemp

At Myriam’s Hemp, our goal is to share useful information that will help you make the most of your cannabinoid experience. We believe in our products and want to help you take control of your health by offering premium hemp products. We provide hope to those who are suffering from diseases that can have a significantly negative impact on everyday life.

Our cannabinoid products are created with quality at the forefront, and we are constantly striving to enhance our offerings. Our online store features a variety of CBD, CBG, CBN, CBDA, and soon, CBGA products that may provide you with the relief you’re looking for and help you to manage your health without total reliance on traditional pharmaceuticals. Shop Myriam’s Hemp online and order your cannabinoid products today.

References

Can CBDA Help Prevent COVID-19? A New Study Says YES!

Reading Time 4.5 Minutes

Science says yes

It’s common knowledge that CBD from hemp can help lower inflammation and strengthen your immune system overall. A new study done by Oregon State University researchers has found that CBDA, a parent molecule to CBD, may actually help in the prevention of the COVID-19 virus and its variants.

 

How Does Cannabis Help with COVID? What the Study Says

Researchers have already known for a while now what CBDA can do to alleviate inflammation, digestion, and much more (see the last section in this article for more information about that). What an exciting new study at Oregon State University found out recently, however, was what this CBD precursor may be able to do to protect against the virus that produces COVID-19 as well.

A team of scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, in partnership with investigators at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, recently discovered that both CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) and CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) have the ability bind to SARS-COV-2 spike protein. Both of these cannabinoids are found in hemp variations of cannabis.

This is a huge discovery because it means that CBDA and CBGA may have the ability to prevent the spike protein from entering cells and causing COVID-19. The Oregon State University report was published January 10th, 2022 in the Journal of Natural Products. (1)

 

Can CBDA Also Protect Against New COVID Variants?

According to the University of Oregon researchers, the answer could also be yes.

Dr. Richard Van Breeman, principal investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute and professor of chemistry at Oregon State, commented in a recent interview that CBDA and CBGA may be effective against emerging COVID variants as well. Two variants mentioned in the study include “B.1.17” (Alpha variant) and “B.1.351” (Beta variant).

Both Alpha and Beta are currently classified as “VBM” (Variants Being Monitored) by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. (2) According to Yale University, the Alpha variant was first discovered in the UK in November 2020. Until the emergence of Delta, it was the predominant variant amongst infected individuals in the US.

Also, according to Yale, the Beta variant was discovered in South Africa at the end of 2020. So far it has not been as widespread. Experts state, however, that it is about 50% more contagious than the original virus and potentially 20% more contagious than the Alpha variant. (3)

“Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids [CBDA and CBGA], isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” the report authors state.

 

More on CBDA

A lot goes into the creation of the cannabinoids most people are familiar with that are found in both medical marijuana and hemp. CBDA and CBGA, which are major players in the formation of CBD, CBG, and CBN are considered “parent molecules”. In other words, those cannabinoids are created first and then CBD and other cannabinoids eventually emerge from them.

 CBDA specifically is considered a powerful healing substance in its own right. That being said, CBDA actually works much differently than CBD and THC cannabinoids in the body. The main difference is that CBDA does not interact much with the endocannabinoid system. It does not bind with CB1 nor CB2 receptors. Instead, it interacts with receptor sites for certain brain and nervous-system precursors such as 5-HT. 5-HT is a chemical needed for the production of serotonin. CBDA also interacts and influences key enzymes to produce its healing effects.

CBDA also affects the production of serotonin itself and the way this hormone interacts in the body. Serotonin is mostly known as a neurologically influential hormone that produces feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

Serotonin does a lot more than this in the body overall, however. It is a key hormonal substance for emotional regulation and the proper functioning of motor skills. It also influences digestion, sleep cycles, and cardiovascular health. According to a 2017 study conducted at the University of Freiburg in Germany, serotonin also plays a part in cytokine and T cell production in the immune system, amongst other things. (4)

Besides being a potential preventative against various strains of COVID, research into CBDA has found that it can also be beneficial for depression symptoms, digestive issues such as nausea and vomiting, brain and nervous system conditions, such as seizures, and for lowering inflammation overall. (5) (6)

 

How Can I Obtain CBDA?

Oregon State University researchers present hopeful research for the possible natural prevention of this dreadful virus that has changed the way the whole world functions. Recent research has found that CBDA in particular is more readily absorbed into the bloodstream and body than regular CBD. What’s more, both CBDA and CBGA are found in hemp. This means that they are legally available in most regions of the US.

You should know, however, that these cannabinoid precursors will not be found in regular CBD products. CBDA, however, can be purchased as super high-quality full-spectrum CBDA oil or as a CBD/CBDA blend right here at Myriam’s Premium Hemp Products!

References:

CBD Dosing and the Bell Curve Effect

Many customers often wonder about CBD dosing and what amount of CBD they should be taking in an effort to alleviate an assortment of common ailments. As each person is different, it can be confusing to find the right information that will provide you with the most effective benefits. It’s common for many to start off with a small amount of CBD to be safe and get a feel for it, and then increase their CBD dosage in small increments until they reach their desired outcome. But it’s important to understand that CBD isn’t like other substances such as alcohol where the more you consume, the more prevalent the effects will be. In fact, too much CBD won’t do much of anything at all, and that’s why it’s important to reference the Bell Curve Effect for best results.

CBD Dosing and the Bell Curve Effect

What is the Bell Curve Effect?

The Bell Curve Effect indicates the optimal CBD dosage and illustrates a fairly simple formula: a low dose of CBD will provide a low benefit and a high dose will…also provide a low benefit. Cannabinoids don’t provide the standard dose-to-effect result that alcohol or other substances do, but instead are non-linear. This means that if the goal of your CBD intake is to provide the maximum effect (which it most likely is), too much or too little won’t help you succeed.

Your body utilizes CBD differently depending on dosage, and there are various interactions that can take place as a result of the amount that you take. CBD interacts with multiple receptors in your brain as opposed to one singular receptor where a simple dose-to-effect would be more likely, so there’s no use in cautiously underdosing. In order to achieve the maximum benefit indicated by the Bell Curve Effect, your CBD dosage needs to be just right.

How to Determine the Right Amount for You

This all leads back to the original question, “how much CBD should I take?” and the answer is not as simple as guessing based on your ability to handle other substances. Depending on your level of pain and discomfort or your particular lifestyle, your CBD dosage requirements will vary compared to that of others. Starting with either a high or low dose isn’t necessarily going to help you, and can easily lead some people to the early (and false) conclusion that CBD isn’t going to work for them.

Instead, research the CBD dosage amount that others are taking who share the same ailments as you and start from there. With a tasteless, isolated CBD oil you can easily alter your dose up or down until you find the right fit that works for you. If you’re experiencing a high level of pain, a higher dose of full-spectrum extract may be the best option as it contains multiple cannabinoids that can interact with your brain to produce the desired effects.

Myriam’s Hemp Can Help

At Myriam’s Hemp we have the knowledge and experience to help guide you through your CBD experience. Our CBD products are all lab-tested and contain less than 0.3% THC – just enough to activate the CBD – and contain only natural ingredients grown right here in the United States. Our goal is to provide you with information and assistance so that you can make educated decisions about your health and choose a CBD dosage that will offer you the maximum advantage. If you need further assistance with dosing, our team is happy to refer you to a medical professional that will be able to give you in depth advice the right product and dose for your needs. Contact us to learn more about CBD and what health benefits you may experience or browse through our store and purchase all-natural CBD products today.

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