What is CBG (cannabigerol) & what does this unique cannabinoid do?

What is CBG?

What is CBG (cannabigerol) & what does this unique cannabinoid do?

Even if you are not an avid cannabis advocate or hemp fan you probably heard of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBD (cannabidiol), and their effects, but did you know there are many other similar compounds found in cannabis and hemp alike? A unique and lesser-known cannabinoid called cannabigerol (CBG), is found in abundance in specialty plant breeds but in small quantities in most CBD strains. Although it is obscure cannabinoid it has qualities that are going to make it mainstream.

How is CBG (cannabigerol) created?

It is present in low levels in most strains (usually less than 2%), it is considered a minor cannabinoid for this reason. All cannabis plants produce Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), a precursor for 3 major cannabinoids: Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and Cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).

Figure 1 CBG-A is the chemical precursor of THCA, CBDA, and CBCA (not pictured here). Enzymes within cannabis turn CBGA into either THCA or CBDA, which can be subsequently decarboxylated (“activated” by reaching 252F for 27-34 minutes) by light or heat energy to create THC or CBD. (Sage Howell/Hemp Cultivation Science)

The plants break CBGA down with specific target enzymes and “direct” it toward one of the three lines. The acids are exposed to specific heats and or ultra violet light and then they become the cannabinoids we are familiar with and love: THC and CBD. In most of today’s common strains, CBGA is immediately converted to either THCA or CBDA by the unique pathway the plant has genetically been predisposed to have. Thus, more THC means less CBG and CBD. CBG is a limiting factor for the production of THC and CBD.

The Enzymatic Pathway of CBG-A

Modern cannabis breeders are experimenting with genetic manipulation and cross-breeding of plants to increase the CBG content of finished plants. For example, Texas Hemp Cultivators is crossing strains to produce higher CBG contents. Scientists can also extract higher levels of CBG from budding plants by pinpointing the optimum extraction time, about six weeks into an eight week flowering cycle. Texas Hemp Cultivators utilizes a unique strain from The White lineage to produce 17% CBG upon flowering finish.

CBG’s potential medical benefits

The human body’s built-in endocannabinoid system (ECS) works to keep the body in its balanced state of homeostasis. While there are specific details about how cannabinoids work, in general the endocannabinoid system performs different functions specific to each area of the body. For example, at an injury site, the ECS can help regulate immune cells to limit inflammation.

CBG and its potential medical benefits

CBG has been found to act on very specific physiological systems and problems, and results for medicinal use are promising:

Scientists, economists, and agriculturalist are excited about these initial CBG results and are promoting future research with CBG alone or CBG in combination with other cannabinoids and therapies for the treatment of multiple maladies. Because it is non-psychotropic, CBG has a promising wide range of potential applications not only for the problems mentioned above, but also as an analgesic, therapy for psoriasis, and as an antidepressant.

 

Sources

https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-tetrahydrocannabinol

https://www.sweetnectarcbd.com/pages/what-is-cbd

Sage Howell/Hemp Cultivation Science)

https://www.texashempcultivators.com/abouttexashempcultivators

https://www.sweetnectarcbd.com/pages/what-is-the-endocannabinoid-system

https://www.sweetnectarcbd.com/pages/what-are-the-effects-of-cbd

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19112869/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23415610/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25252936/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18681481/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23415610/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26197538/

About the writer Sage Howell