Research based articles

Research Demonstrates CBGA as a Possible Therapeutic for Diabetes

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a group of diseases that affects how the body uses glucose. Glucose is vital to our health as it is a source of energy for the cells that make up the tissues and muscles in the body and is also the brains main source of fuel. Diabetes can lead to excess glucose in the blood leading to serious health problems including cardiovascular events, kidney disease, and vision and nerve complications.

Causes of Diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most common, estimated to effect over 34 million people in the US alone according to the Center of Disease Control. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility. The immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas, leaving the patient with little to no insulin. Rather than transferring to cells in the body, the excess sugars build up in the blood stream. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by a variety of factors including obesity, high fat diets, and high blood pressure. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the cells become resistant to the action of insulin and the pancreas in unable to produce the amount of insulin the body needs.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes vary from person to person and are dependent on blood sugar levels. Patients may experience increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and frequent infections with slow wound healing.

What is CBGA?

Cannabinoids have been researched as a therapeutic option for an array of diseases, including diabetes. CBGA is an acidic cannabinoid that has demonstrated itself as a promising therapeutic option for patients with diabetes.
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. However, CBGA has shown great therapeutic potential on its own having some cultivators use selective breeding to produce higher concentrations of CBGA. Additionally, harvesting plants early compared to later in the plant’s life allows for the extraction of higher levels of CBGA from the plant. While there is less research on CBGA compared to other cannabinoids, research has shown CBGA may play a role in controlling diabetes.


A 2019 research study demonstrated CBGA can potentially control diabetes mellitus and prevent cardiovascular complications that can accompany type 2 diabetes. CBGA acts as a dual PPARa/y agonist with the ability to modulate the lipid metabolism. Current PPAR agonist drugs can come with unwanted side effects including weight gain, fluid retention, bone fractures, and congestive heart failure. CBGA has demonstrated itself as a promising plant derived alternative as a PPAR agonist, useful for metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes. (1)
PPARs play central roles in lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis. In a 2015 study CBGA improved lipid metabolism and reduced the accumulation of adipose tissue through its activation of PPARs. Therefore, reducing the insulin resistance in a patient with type 2 diabetes. (2)
In 2021, CBGA’s anti-diabetic effects were evaluated using Streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats. CBGA significantly decreased the blood glucose levels, total cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and increased high density proteins, while also increasing the serum insulin levels after 21 days of treatment. Furthermore, CBGA prevented STZ-induced diabetes in the rat models, suggesting CBGA could be a promising anti-diabetic treatment. (3)
Mortality in type 2 diabetes primarily results from cardiovascular events. CBGA through research has inhibited the enzyme aldose reductase, a key enzyme involved in diabetic complications. CBGA demonstrates dose dependent aldose reductase activity and higher than fractions. The inhibitory activity was greater for acidic cannabinoid-rich fractions used in the study, demonstrating CBGA had greater inhibitory activity in this use than CBG. (4) The need for alternative aldose reductase inhibitors is great as the current synthetic options on the market have damaging side effects including elevated blood liver enzymes, nausea, and vomiting. CBGA could be a useful therapeutic for those with diabetes and preventing complications, without giving patients harmful unwanted side effects.

About Essentia Scientific

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.
D’Aniello et al 2019 (1)
Gao et al 2015 (2)
Garg et al 2021 (3)
Smeriglio et al 2018 (4)
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