CBG: An Introduction
Cannabigerol, known as CBG, is currently under intense scrutiny by doctors and scientists. It is being investigated for its possible pharmacological properties. To date, rat and in-vitro studies have demonstrated that CBG has the potential to help many conditions and more studies are being performed at this very moment.
CBG is not an uncommon cannabinoid, although it does not exist in substantial quantities within a fully matured hemp plant. In addition, due to cannabis prohibition and the shortage of CBG, there are still many claims about its effectiveness that need to be proven. What we do know is that CBG is a precursor to various cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and CBC. Scientists often refer to CBG as a stem cell. In its inactive and acidic form, CBG is CBGA. It changes and is fragmented into smaller molecules, forming the base of other cannabinoids.
CBG and CBD: What’s the Difference?
As stated earlier, CBG is the main ingredient in CBD and both cannabinoids are found within the hemp plant. In addition, both compounds serve different purposes and therefore treat different conditions.
CBD and CBG are non-psychotropic; they do not affect your mental state in any way that may inhibit your mental clarity or daily functioning. An important point to note is that CBG is able to neutralize the intoxicating effects produced by THC. This occurs when the CB1 receptor is activated, which helps in diminishing psycho-activation. If you consume cannabis with a high concentration of CBG and CBD, you can potentially counteract the intoxication effects of THC. Keep in mind, CBG naturally occurs in cannabis but the concentration isn’t sufficient enough to make an impact in most strains. Some strains are currently being grown that do have a significant amount of CBG in the fully matured plant. CBG has been shown to increase your appetite. In animal lab studies that examined the effects of CBG, rats became hungrier which is contrary to what CBD does in similar studies.
CBG: The Mother of All Phytocannabinoids
CBG or cannabigerol is a steppingstone from which other cannabinoids form. CBG itself is a product of geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid, two key organic compounds in the cannabis plant. In raw cannabis, the product formed is CBGa or the acid form of CBG. CBGa is then combined with other plant enzymes to create non-acidic cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBC, and THC. CBGa is the acidic variety of CBG and is the stem cell equivalent in the human body. CBGa sits at the top of a cascade reaction which ultimately produces three key cannabinoids: THCA, CBDa, and CBCa. Eventually, these acidic versions will become non-acidic forms, i.e. THC, CBD, and CBC. We can also manually convert acidic forms of cannabinoids to their non-acidic form through a process called decarboxylation. Decarboxylation normally involves heat to transfer the cannabinoid from the acidic version to the non-acidic form. CBGa is produced in the plant’s trichomes where it has a protective function. CBGa promotes plant cell necrosis so that the leaves prune themselves naturally. This action enables the plant to direct most of its energy towards the flowers. CBGa is a key ingredient in cannabis flower production.
Scientists first discovered CBG more than five decades ago. Israeli researchers were the first to isolate this cannabinoid. Later, Japanese researchers were able to demonstrate that CBGa is the precursor to CBG. While there are only a handful of medical studies available on CBGa, these early findings hint at potential health benefits down the road. CBGa may have potential benefits for treating many different irregularities in the human body.
CBG is one of many cannabinoids that naturally exist in the cannabis plant. If you consume the entire cannabis plant, you will likely get a small portion of CBG in its purest form. More scientific investigations are still required to study the potential health benefits of CBG, but the evidence gathered so far is promising. CBG can be taken as an OTC supplement or medication as part of your daily regimen, but only after consulting with your doctor.