What Is CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid) & What Does This Cannabinoid Do?

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This post is part of a series on cannabis compounds. For more information and a listing of all other cannabinoids, see our Cannabis Compounds overview.

Though you may not have heard of it, cannabigerolic acid could be cited as the most important cannabinoid of all. CBGA is the precursor for all the most popular raw and activated cannabinoids - including THC and CBD.

Cannabigerolic Acid Molecule Diagram

Activity: Non-psychoactive
Formula: C21H32O2
Molecular Mass: 316.48708 g/mol
Boiling Point: N/A

CBGA is formed in the growing cannabis plant when geranyl pyrophosphate combines with olivetolic acid. The resulting molecule is then biosynthesized into THCA, CBDA, and CBCA as the plant matures. By harvesting time, the majority of the CBGA has converted to one of these acid-form molecules. CBGA is known to be fairly easy to synthesize in a laboratory.

What Are the Effects & Benefits of CBGA?

There is currently very little research available on CBGA. Most of the research has focused on the biosynthesis of the compound into the other primary cannabinoids. Despite this lack of research, there have been a handful of studies showing that CBGA may offer the following benefits:

  • Analgesic (Pain relief)
  • Antibacterial (Slows bacterial growth)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-Proliferative (Inhibits cancer cell growth, source)

Where Can You Find CBGA?

Because of CBGA's role as a precursor, the cannabinoid is only found in trace amounts in cannabis. Since CBGA's benefits are shared with many other, much more prominently produced cannabinoids, it is not often sought out as a primary ingredient. That being said, CBGA can be found in trace amounts in full-spectrum CBD products.

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