By now, it may not be news that endocannabinoids are produced in the body. In the case, endogenous refers to the lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the human central nervous system. One of those such compounds is Cannabigerol
First, let’s discuss the compound we are familiar with, CBD. Cannabidiol acts upon CB1 and CBD2 receptors located throughout the body to produce a variety of potentially positive outcomes. CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system, which is thought to promotes homeostasis, reduces pain sensation, and decreases inflammation.
So what about the cannabinoids that aren’t native to human receptor cells?
Cannabigerol and Where to Find It
CBG, or cannabigerol, is one of those. It’s in a class called phytocannabinoids. These are correctly sourced from plants.
The tricky part is that most dried and processed hemp/plant material only has trace amounts of CBG. Despite this, it’s a very sought after compound.
CBGA—is actually the first cannabinoid acid to develop in the cannabis plant. As such, it is sometimes referred to as the “stem cell” of cannabis. As such, it can be extremely fragile during processing.
The heat or UV light used in these scenarios breaks down these acidic cannabinoids into their non-acidic counterparts, such as THC, CBD, and CBC. This phenomenon is known as decarboxylation—the removal of a carboxyl group. Decarboxylation also produces many other cannabinoids (at least 100), all of which initially stem from CBGA.
As plants continue to grow, enzymes convert CBGA into either THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid), or CBCA (Cannabichromenic acid).
Most of the cannabis strains on today's market are bred to be high in THC and/or CBD, and the more THC or CBD present in a plant sample, the less CBG.
Hence, strains usually contain only small amounts of CBG.
Now that the search is on for more CBG in our strains, growers and processors alike are working to produce more of this wonder molecule. So just what is the all the hype about?
The Effects of CannabigerolWe’ve discussed the effects of CBD at length here, but CBG is very distinct from CBD despite their origins. It’s clear that CBG is an essential cannabinoid, but figuring out how to use it properly has left the market researching vigorously. Let’s review the effects we know of.
First, CBG is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid; therefore, there is no interruption of mental faculties. However, just like any other cannabinoid, CBG does interact with the endocannabinoid system in a variety of ways.
CBG has been shown to increase appetite and could have a possible application for cancer patients or those suffering from anorexia nervosa.
Additional good news for cancer patients, some studies suggest that CBG may inhibit the growth of some tumors.
CBG also is found to have neuroprotective effects. The PLoS One medical journal also claims that some CBG-derived products could suppress the body’s immune response.
CBG could be a replacement for highly-addictive muscle relaxants is being researched for it’s potential to inhibit GABA neurotransmission in the brain, as well as affect pain and inflammation.
More studies are progressing on CBG as an antidepressant.
As the market hype for THC and CBD has surged, CBG has been overshadowed. This is likely to change over time.
Hopefully, you’ve learned something new about CBD and the many compounds surrounding it. Please comment and let us know what other aspects you’d like to see us cover in the coming weeks.