WHAT IS CBG?(CANNABIGEROL)
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is one of a family of more than 100 molecules called cannabinoids that are produced by cannabis. CBG is unique among its peers due to the pivotal role that it plays in the synthesis of other cannabinoids and the overall chemical composition of the plant. This fact would be trivial if not for the considerable potential of this family of molecules for humans (and all mammals) that has been revealed by thousands of peer-reviewed research studies.
Before investigating the health and wellness merits of CBG, it is important to understand the botanical and physiological framework and underlying mechanisms by which this molecule functions.
Modern science and technology-driven research methodologies have allowed insight into the composition and dynamics of the cannabis plant. Of the more than 450 chemicals identified in the herb, one of the most compelling—from the perspective of human health and economic development—is cannabigerol, or CBG.
This molecule is of great significance to all vertebrates because it rivals the potential of its peer cannabinoids and terpenes (the molecules that give cannabis its aroma and also possess medicinal qualities). Of the hundreds of unique chemicals produced by the herbal species cannabis sativa, none plays a more pivotal role than CBG (cannabigerol).
There have been multiple studies conducted over the course of the past three decades, particularly in the primary areas of analgesia (pain relief), reductions in systemic inflammation, decreased anxiety and nausea, and anti-cancer research.
CBG is a subject worthy of investigation by medical professionals, businesses, and consumers due to the unique role that it plays within the metabolic lifespan of the plant. Of the hundreds of different molecules produced by the resin glands (called trichomes) within the flowers of mature female cannabis plants, none is more compelling or important than CBG.
The uniqueness of CBG is due to two primary characteristics of this molecule. CBG is:
1. The origin of all most other cannabinoids produced by hemp and cannabis.
2. The dominant cannabinoid of a fourth cannabis chemotype that research has revealed sometimes yields up to 94 percent CBG and as little as 0.001 percent THC.
WHAT MAKES CBG THE MOTHER OF CANNABINOIDS?
Molecules transmogrify from one form to another based on exposure to environmental elements such as UV (Ultraviolet) light, heat, and oxygen. All cannabinoids evolve (in something called the biosynthetic pathway) from something called an acidic precursor. Acidic precursors can be considered the “larval form” of the neutral cannabinoid that results. From a molecular perspective, acidic precursors are extremely similar to their neutral and varin versions.
A research 2005 study identified CBG as the metabolic source of the most dominant phytocannabinoids, including CBC, CBD, and THC. Reported the study’s authors, “CBG is the direct precursor of the cannabinoids CBD, THC, and CBC. Plants strongly predominant in CBG have been found in different fibre hemp accessions.”
Reported a 2018 research study, “In the cannabis plant, all cannabinoids are biosynthesized in the acid form, mainly THCA, CBDA, etc. CBGA is the first molecule formed in the biosynthetic pathway.”
The acidic precursor to CBG, CBGA (often denoted as CBG-A or CBGa in research studies and literature reviews), plays an even more central and important role than CBG. This is because it is the source of the acidic precursors of other critical cannabinoids, including those for CBD (CBDA), THC (THCA), and cannabichromene (CBC; CBCA).
In this biosynthetic pathway, CBGA converts to CBCA, which in turn yields CBC after exposure to UV light or heat (via the decarboxylation process). If not for CBGA, molecules such as CBD and THC would not exist.
It should be noted that claims that CBG, the neutral version of the cannabinoid, produces the neutral version of all other cannabinoids (including CBC, CBD, and THC) are, technically, incorrect. The mechanism is indirect, with CBGA acting as a “master” acidic precursor, producing other acidic precursors—but never directly producing the neutral version of other cannabinoids.