Cannabigerol (CBG) is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. It is often referred to as a parent cannabinoid because most cannabinoids are broken down from the acidic form of CBG, cannabigerol acid (CBGA). While the popularity of CBG is growing, you may be wondering how this cannabinoid is made.
You probably have heard about cannabis products or even used some of them. You may have also heard about the most popular cannabinoids CBD and THC. Well, as much as CBD and THC are the most common compounds with myriad therapeutic benefits, there are also other lesser-known compounds such as CBG. CBG is usually referred to as the precursor cannabinoid. CBD and THC, among other cannabinoids, are derived from the acidic form of CBG, otherwise known as cannabigerol acid (CBGA). CBG is capturing the attention of cannabis consumers as well as researchers. This minor cannabinoid has displayed a variety of unique benefits and applications. Current studies indicate that CBG has similar properties as CBD, the well-known cannabinoid. CBG is highly concentrated in young cannabis plants than in fully developed plants. This is because; most of it has already been converted into other compounds such as THC, CBN, and CBD.
What Is CBG?
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is one of the cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are naturally-occurring components found in cannabis plants. CBD, THC, and CBN are also among the natural compounds of the cannabis plant. CBG is not as popular as CBD and its sister cannabinoid, THC. CBG was first discovered in 1964, together with THC, by researchers Raphael Mechoulam and Yehiel Gaoni from Israel. CBG is usually more abundant in young cannabis plants than in fully developed plants. This is because, as the plant develops, most of it is converted to other cannabinoids, and a relatively low percentage, usually 1%, is converted to CBG.
How Is CBG Made?
When young cannabis plants begin to develop, various compounds and enzymes bind to form a precursor to CBG known as CBGA. This is where all cannabinoids originate from. The plant absorbs more heat and light and continues to grow into a fully developed plant. At this point, CBGA breaks down to CBDA and THCA, the acidic precursors of the popular cannabinoids CBD and THC. CBDA breaks down to a very small amount of CBG, usually 1%. Most CBGA converts to THC and CBD, usually 20% to 25% CBD and 25% to 30% THC.
In most cases, CBG is derived from the young cannabis plant in which it is highly concentrated. Because the concentration of CBG is relatively low in most strains, most people have begun crossbreeding some plants to create cannabinoids with higher levels of CBG. Strains like white CBG contain approximately 10% CBG with less than 0.3% THC.
How Does CBG Work in Our Bodies?
CBG fits perfectly into the framework of your endocannabinoid system and how it works to perform its functions. Like CBD and other cannabinoids, CBG interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, which help regulate most bodily functions. The endocannabinoid system regulates mood, pain, appetite, immunity, and other brain functions. CBG binds with the major receptors in the ECS, CB1, and CB2, to optimize the performance of the endocannabinoid system in regulating its functions and maintaining healthy homeostasis. High doses of CBG may block other cannabinoids from interacting with CB1 receptors. CBG seems to alter the effects of other cannabinoids. For example, when consumed with THC, CBG blocks the psychoactive compound from binding with CB1 receptors. This way, you may not be able to feel the effects of THC. Many scientists are now beginning to comprehend the implication of a phenomenon known as the "entourage effect." They suggest that cannabinoids provide more powerful effects when used in combination.
Therapeutic Effects of CBG
CBG also contains anti-inflammatory effects like CBD, which could greatly help with pain and symptoms related to various chronic conditions. Borrelli et al. (2013) showed that CBG reduced inflammatory markers in mice with induced IBD and relieved colitis. However, clinical experiments on IBD patients should be done to test the effectiveness of CBG as a treatment for IBD.
CBG also contains neuroprotective properties that protect the nervous system against damage. Valdeolivas et al. (2015) also found that CBG could help improve motor deficits and preserve neurons in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease (HD)
While CBD reduces appetite, scientific studies indicate that CBG stimulates appetite. Brierley et al. (2016) revealed that CBG doubled the amount of food intake in pre-satiated rat models compared to a placebo. Besides, there were no adverse side effects observed during the exercise. This study indicates that CBG could produce promising results in treating conditions such as cachexia and anorexia.
CBG cannot get you high. Like CBD, CBG is also non-intoxicating. CBG does not affect the brain's receptor, CB1, as THC.
How Can You Buy CBG?
As the popularity of CBD continues to grow, so are the products in the market. Like CBD, CBG is also available in forms such as;
CBG is not the most popular cannabinoid. However, it seems to have unique effects on most of the body's vital functions. CBG is available in higher amounts in young cannabis plants than in fully developed plants. This is because, as the plant develops, the acidic form of CBG (CBGA) breaks down into other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. CBD, THC, and CBN are numerous cannabinoids produced in large quantities. CBG contains similar effects as other cannabinoids, except that it seems to block the effects of other cannabinoids when used together. It also contains powerful therapeutic properties such as anti-inflammatory effects and neuroprotective properties. Unlike CBD, CBG is a good appetite stimulator. Today, CBG can be purchased as edibles, topicals, tinctured, or dry flowers. As CBG is still finding its way into the limelight, much research is needed to determine its potential health benefits and uniqueness from other cannabinoids.
Borrelli, F., Fasolino, I., Romano, B., Capasso, R., Maiello, F., Coppola, D., ... & Izzo, A. A. (2013). Beneficial Effect Of The Non-Psychotropic Plant Cannabinoid Cannabigerol On Experimental Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Biochemical Pharmacology, 85(9), 1306-1316.
Brierley, D. I., Samuels, J., Duncan, M., Whalley, B. J., & Williams, C. M. (2016). Cannabigerol Is A Novel, Well-Tolerated Appetite Stimulant In Pre-Satiated Rats. Psychopharmacology, 233(19), 3603-3613.
Pagano, E., Montanaro, V., Di Girolamo, A., Pistone, A., Altieri, V., Zjawiony, J. K., ... & Capasso, R. (2015). Effect of non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoids on bladder contractility: focus on cannabigerol: Natural Product Communications, 10(6), 1934578X1501000653.
Valdeolivas, S., Navarrete, C., Cantarero, I., Bellido, M. L., Muñoz, E., & Sagredo, O. (2015). Neuroprotective Properties Of Cannabigerol In Huntington’s Disease: Studies In R6/2 Mice And 3-Nitropropionate-Lesioned Mice. Neurotherapeutics, 12(1), 185-199.