We recently dropped a quick read on some cannabinoids you might not be familiar with yet. For those of you that missed it, you can check it out here. Now comes Part 2! Unsure of what a "cannabinoid" is? These are the compounds that cannabis produces, which interact with a network of receptors in our body, known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Even for those of us who consider ourselves cannabis aficionado's, the speed of discovery and the complexity of cannabinoids continually being discovered can be tough to keep track of. So below we round out the list of the most common cannabinoids that you’ve probably never heard of!
CBGA, or cannabigerolic acid, is one of perhaps hundreds of cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant.
CBGA is widely regarded as a foundational compound of the cannabis flower. You might even think of CBGA as the "granddad" of cannabinoids. This is because CBGA is at the top of the cascade reaction that produces the three major cannabinoid branches:
- THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
- CBDA (cannabidiolic acid)
- CBCA (cannabichromenic acid)
These three eventually become THC, CBD, or CBC, respectively.
Performing a protective function for the cannabis plant, CBGA is produced in the plant's trichomes and acts as a trigger for targeted plant cell necrosis, for natural leaf pruning, to allow the plant to maximise its energy towards its flowers.
What is CBGa Good for?
There is not a lot of research conducted on the medical applications of CBGa; however, early work has provided some key insights into the possibilities.
CBGA has shown that it might help diabetic patients combat some of the disease's complications and comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease. CBGA was also studied in vitro and found to inhibit significantly the enzyme aldose reductase, a major contributor to the oxidative stress that leads to heart and other problems.
Finally, CBGA may one day prove crucial for patients with colorectal cancer, the third most common form of cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death. Researchers looked at cytotoxic effects of CBGA extracted from cannabis and they found that not only did the CBGA kill colon cancer cells, but it arrested the cancer cell cycle. While undoubtedly, more research is needed, the researchers were encouraged that CBGA may effectively target not just colon cancer cells but could also prevent the growth and proliferation of polyps. Left untreated, these polyps grow into carcinomas.
This cannabinoid is only found in the plant before its decarboxylated, meaning that you won’t receive its unique benefits if it is heated.
Also very important to note, THCA is not psychoactive — it does not activate CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. To make psychoactive THC from THCA, you would need to heat it. This can be done by smoking or vaporising raw cannabis flower, baking edibles, or heating cannabis in a process called decarboxylation. When smoking cannabis, it is estimated that more than 95% of the THCA is converted into THC.
What is THCa Good for?
- Anti-inflammatory properties for the treatment of arthritis and lupus.
- Neuroprotective properties for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Antiemetic properties for the treatment of nausea and appetite loss.
- Anti-proliferative properties noted in studies of treatment for prostate cancer.
Delta(8) – THC
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol is what we refer to as THC usually but, did you know there is a Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol as well?! Although similar to Delta-9-THC, its potency is nowhere near as strong. The primary value of this cannabinoid is in its low potency, which translates into lower psychoactivity. When taken in higher doses, delta-8-THC has shown to cause lower levels of anxiety than its relative delta-9-THC and prompted researchers to look deeper into its conversion, concluding that, generally speaking, delta-8-THC produces similar psychoactive effects to delta-9-THC but is 50 to 75 per cent less potent.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute conducted research to confirm the benefits Delta-8-THC.
Even though these were studies conducted by the NCI, which is funded by the government, we continue to see the demonisation of these plant chemicals by the very same government.
What is Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol Good for?
If you want to speak to someone about the pathways available to you to access CBD in Australia legally, feel free to reach out to us via our contact form or call 1300 402 420, and a member of the team can point you in the right direction!