What is CBG? Discover the cannabinoid of the (next) future

Cos'è il CBG? Scopri il cannabinoide del futuro (prossimo)

What is CBG? Discover the cannabinoid of the (next) future

: 🕰️
Blog & News Team : ✍🏼

By now, most people who are familiar with cannabis have heard of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) and their effects, but did you know that there are many similar compounds in cannabis? A lesser-known cannabinoid called Cannabigerol ( CBG ), while not present in large quantities in most strains, is still worth studying for a number of reasons.

How is CBG made?

CBG is a non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating cannabinoid , meaning it does not produce the “high” synonymous with THC. Because it is present at low levels (usually less than 1%) in most cannabis strains, CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid. Surprisingly, however, THC and CBD start out as CBG – it is, in fact, their chemical parent. Cannabis plants produce cannabigerolic acid ( CBGA ), the precursor to the three major lines of cannabinoids (pictured below): tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).

Plant-specific enzymes break down CBGA and "direct" it to one of three lines. Acids exposed to ultraviolet light or heat magically become the cannabinoids we know: THC and CBD. In most strains, CBGA is immediately converted to THCA or CBDA. So, more THC means less CBG and CBD (and vice versa) due to the nature of these compounds and their synthesis.

To obtain higher yields of CBG, breeders are experimenting with genetic manipulation and crossbreeding of plants. For example, Subcool Seeds is breeding strains to produce higher CBG contents. Scientists can also extract higher levels of CBG from live plants by targeting the optimal extraction time – in fact, around six weeks into an eight-week flowering cycle seems to be the perfect time. A medicinal strain called Bediol is produced in this way by the Dutch company Bedrocan BV Medicabababis .

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 several functions specific to each area of ​​the body. For example, in the case of injury, eCS can help regulate immune cells to limit inflammation.

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

  • Endocannabinoid receptors are prevalent in ocular structures, and interestingly, CBG is thought to be particularly effective in treating glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure. It is also a powerful vasodilator and has neuroprotective effects;
  • In animal experiments involving mice, CBG was found to be effective in reducing the inflammation characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • In a recent 2015 study, CBG was shown to protect neurons in mice with Huntington's disease, which is characterized by the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain;
  • CBG is showing great promise as a cancer fighter. In particular, CBG has been shown to block receptors that cause tumor cell growth. In one such study, it was shown to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells in mice, thus slowing the growth of colon cancer. CBG inhibited tumors and chemically induced colon carcinogenesis, thus demonstrating a very exciting possibility for a cure for colorectal cancer;
  • European research demonstrates that CBG is an effective antibacterial agent, particularly against methicillin-resistant multi-drug-resistant (MRSA) microbial strains. Since the 1950s, topical cannabis formulations have been effective in skin infections, but at the time researchers were unaware of the chemical composition of the plant;
  • In a very recent 2017 study, researchers showed that a form of CBG purified to remove delta-9 THC was a very effective appetite stimulant in rats. This could lead to a new non-psychotropic treatment option for cachexia, muscle wasting and severe weight loss seen in advanced cancer and other diseases;
  • In a study examining the effects of five different cannabinoids on bladder contractions, CBG was found to be the best at inhibiting muscle contractions, so it could be a future tool for preventing bladder dysfunction disorders.

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

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.