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Cannabigerol CBG - the father of all cannabinoids

CBG is the new star of cannabis products. CBD might have held all of our attention before, but cannabigerol (CBG) is sharing its spotlight almost equally today. There are many reasons for increased interest in CBG. One of which is certainly that the market is constantly striving for innovation. CBD and CBG share many similar characteristics, including their therapeutic potential, but important distinctions between the two still have to be made. The process of their formation is different, as well as their representation in the plant, the way they bind to receptors and the effects they have on human organism.

cbg - cannabigerol

 

A brief overview of cannabinoids

We know over 120 different types of cannabinoids in cannabis. In the plant, they are always first present in the form of acids that we recognize by the letter A at the end of the name (CBDA, THCA, CBGA, ...). The acid form of cannabinoids is transformed into a better known and more pharmacologically active form (CBD, THC, CBG, ...) under high temperature. This form is stable and not subject to further change. The representation of individual cannabinoids in cannabis varies. It depends, most importantly, on the genetic predisposition and age of the plant and less on the growing conditions.

A common property of all cannabinoids is their ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body. We usually divide cannabinoids into three types:

  • Phytocannabinoids - plant cannabinoids that occur in cannabis naturally
  • Endocannabinoids - cannabinoids produced in the bodies of vertebrates (and some invertebrates), including humans
  • Synthetic cannabinoids - human-made cannabinoids produced in laboratories.

 

CANNABIGEROL CBG - the predecessor of all cannabinoids

CBG is considered the father of cannabinoids, because all of them are synthesized from it. Cannabigerolic acid or CBGA is the first cannabinoid structure that forms in the cannabis plant. During the cannabis’ growth and maturation, CBGA breaks down and forms three main cannabinoid acids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).

Young cannabis contains the most CBG

CBG content is the highest when cannabis is still in its early stages of growth. If we harvest the plant when it is already mature, the representation of cannabigerol CBGA will be low, because it will be almost entirely converted into other cannabinoids.

Therefore, if we wish to extract the largest amount of cannabigerol CBG, we must harvest the cannabis when it is young, before the substance converts into other cannabinoids. Even in this case, it is difficult to achieve a high concentration of CBGA in the plant, because the cannabinoids form and concentrate during its growth. This means that the older and more mature the plant, the more cannabinoids it contains. Young plants are consequently relatively modest in the content of any cannabinoid.

 

There is only around 1% of CBG in cannabis

Cannabidiol CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol THC are the most researched cannabinoids. CBG is not only less researched but also less commercially popular, although it has been gathering more public and professional interest over the past few years. Considering cannabis contains a much lower percentage of CBG compared to CBD, the process of the former’s extraction is a lot more expensive. On average, cannabis contains 25% of CBD and only 1% of CBG.

CBD and CBG bind to organisms in different ways

The main difference between CBD and CBG lies in their binding to CBD1 and CBD2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system. Like THC, CBG also binds directly to these two receptors, allowing for high efficiency in its therapeutic effects. The binding of CBD is different - while its binding to CBD1 and CBD2 receptors is very weak, it is very effective in activating other receptors and channels that also have a multitude of positive effects on the organism. CBD can, for example, activate the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A, which helps alleviate anxiety, nausea, vomiting and the perception of pain.

Most of the receptors affected by CBD are connected to serotonin, which explains its calming effects that also assuage anxiety.

 

Areas of CBG’s therapeutic activity

Studies on the therapeutic activity of CBG are still relatively new, since it is less researched than CBD or THC. For now, the only available CBG research has been carried out on animals, but it promises high therapeutic potential. Studies on CBG effectiveness:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Inflammatory bowel disease is an incurable disease characteristic of industrialized countries. A 2013 study on mice showed that CBG effectively reduces the inflammatory processes in the intestines, thereby mitigating the activity of the illness.
  • Neuroprotective properties of CBG in Huntington’s disease: A 2015 study showed that CBG is extremely effective in protecting neurons from degeneration typical of Huntington’s disease.
  • High potential in inhibiting colon cancer: Another study on mice (2014) showed that CBG inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the colon.

We have only listed a few studies showcasing the therapeutic application of CBG, but there are many potential uses; research shows, for example, that CBG is a powerful antioxidant, that it has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, that it improves appetite and has a soothing effect on skin issues.

 

A synergy of all cannabinoids still assures the highest efficiency of their therapeutic activity

Cannabis extracts, especially CBD, represent a significant share on the market of natural dietary supplements and alternative medicine. Which means that they are, to a certain extent, subject to the laws of this market that tends to be competitive and simplifying. A few years ago, CBD might have been the only star, but the spotlight today is on CBG, CBC and even CBN as well. We often make the mistake of pitting the cannabinoids against one another. We create competition of which one is better and more therapeutically effective and will therefore have more positive effects. That is why it is easy to forget that cannabinoids are the strongest when they work together. All the better if they’re accompanied by waxes, terpenes and other phytochemicals found in cannabis.

Their therapeutic activity is the strongest when we can most closely imitate the natural arrangement of substances in the extract - i. e. the kind cannabis had while it was growing.

This is also called the “entourage effect”. It means that an individual cannabinoid is therapeutically the most effective when it works in synergy with other cannabinoids and phytochemicals from the plant.

 

Our CBD Oil Amber 600mg CBD contains the full spectrum of all naturally occurring cannabinoids (CBD, CBDV, CBC, CBG), flavonoids and terpenes found in the plant. It is characterised by an ideal ratio of two key cannabinoids – CBD and CBG.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7324885/

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x

http://www.ffa.uni-lj.si/docs/default-source/e-knjige/uporaba-kanabinoidov.pdf?sfvrsn=2

https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/cannabinoids