Cancer has a major impact on society globally. The national cancer institute estimated in 2020 alone that over 1.8 million people will receive a new cancer diagnosis and over 606,000 people will die from cancer. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, accounting for 1 out of 6 deaths globally in 2020, according to the World Health Organization.
Cancer is a large group of diseases that occur when abnormal cells divide rapidly and can spread to other tissues and organs in the body overtime. These rapidly growing cells may cause cancerous tumors and can also disrupt the bodies regular functions.
Cancer is a serious disease that has a significant impact on the patient, and the people in the patients’ lives. Experts are constantly testing new cancer treatments and therapeutics to help those suffering.
Causes of Cancer
The primary cause of cancer is mutations or changes to the DNA in the body’s cells. Genetic mutations can be inherited, though they can also occur after birth as a result of environmental factors.
External factors we are exposed to that are carcinogens can include radiation, ultraviolet light, viruses, bacteria, parasites, cigarette smoke, asbestos, alcohol, air pollution, and contaminated food and water. According to the World Health Organization, about 33% of cancer deaths may be caused by tobacco, alcohol, obesity (high body mass index), poor diet, and not enough physical activity. Additionally, overtime some underlying conditions that cause inflammation in the body can lead to cancer by damaging DNA. For example, individuals with ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease have an increased risk of colon cancer.
Symptoms of Cancer
There are over 100 types of cancers with a wide range of symptoms that can manifest in different ways. Cancer can often be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms are often non-specific and can vary for each individual.
Some common symptoms those with cancer may experience include:
- The presence of an unusual lump on the body
- Changes to a mole on the skin
- Persistent cough
- Changes in bowel habits
Early detection is key to attempt to treat cancers and it is important to keep up with any necessary screening and always bring up any concerns to your physician immediately.
What is CBGA?
Cannabinoids have been researched as a therapeutic option for an array of diseases, including cancers. CBGA is known as the “mother of all cannabinoids” as it is the foundational acidic cannabinoid crucial to the formation of other cannabinoids, including THCA and CBDA. Through decarboxylation, a process where cannabinoids are exposed to heat, CBGA is converted to CBG.
CBGA has shown great therapeutic potential on its own. This is leading some cultivators to use selective breeding to produce higher concentrations of CBGA. While there is less research on CBGA compared to other cannabinoids, research has shown CBGA may have therapeutic benefit for those with various cancers.
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis and the fourth leading cause of cancer related mortality worldwide. A 2013 study examined CBGA’s effect on colon cancer cells. A cannabis fraction containing high amounts of CBGA was reported to have cytotoxic activity against colon cancer cells, induced cell cycle arrest, apoptotic cell death, and distinct gene expression. (Nallathambi, et al., 2018)
In 2013 researcher Katherine Ann Scott and her team discovered synergistic toxic effects when CBGA was given with a cannabis fraction high in THCA. The two fractions prevented the growth and proliferation of adenomatous colon polyps, a colon cancer precursor. When CBGA was tested at micromolar concentrations against human leukemia cell lines invitro CBGA had cytotoxic effects, demonstrating the need for more clinical studies. Additionally, when CBGA was combined with other cannabinoids, such as CBD, less amounts of both cannabinoids where needed to achieve cell death. (Scott, et al., 2013)
In 2017, Scott further examined cannabinoids effects on cancer cell lines finding when combined they have a synergistic effect allowing for lower and more therapeutic doses. The study supports the possibility that mixing cannabinoids could result in a product for anti-cancer effects. (Scott, et al,. 2017)
A more recent study conducted in 2022 analyzed 25 cannabinoid extracts containing high levels of Delta 9 THC and other minor cannabinoids, including CBG and CBGA, on more than 10 cancer cell lines, including breast cancer and brain cancer. Both CBGA and CBG demonstrated inhibitory effects on the cancer cell lines, with CBG showing the greatest inhibition. When CBD and CBG were combined, they had a strong modulating effect on proliferation inhibition. Furthermore, a correlation analysis was performed between cannabinoids and terpenes and there was a positive correlation between CBGA and the terpenes linalool, isopulegol, terpinolene, and p-cymene, suggesting they work synergistically to produce their anti-cancer effects. (Li et al 2022)
Essentia Scientific and CBGA
Essentia Scientific is a global solutions provider of hemp derived extracts leading the industry to a safer and more sustainable extraction method with their patented water-as-solvent technology. Rather than utilizing butane or ethanol that needs to be remediated, the proprietary process uses water to leach cannabinoids from the plant without the use of heat, harsh chemicals, or hydrocarbons. The process also removes contaminants such as pesticides, microbial, heavy metals, and mycotoxins. Essentia Scientific offers an array of pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids including the rare acidic cannabinoids such as CBDA and CBGA. By utilizing water as the solvent, Essentia Scientific can produce a 99% high purity microcrystalline cannabinoid powder that is consistent and user friendly, ready to be easily infused into products for any cannabinoid-based application.