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How is CBG (cannabigerol) made?
This cannabinoid it is present in low levels (usually less than 1%) in most cannabis strains and CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid. Cannabis plants produce cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), the precursor to the three main cannabinoid lines: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).
Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of more than 120 identified cannabinoid compounds found in the plant genus Cannabis. Cannabigerol is the non-acidic form of cannabigerolic acid, the parent molecule from which other cannabinoids are synthesized. Cannabigerol is a minor constituent of cannabis. During growth, most of the cannabigerol is converted into other cannabinoids, primarily tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), leaving about 1% cannabigerol in the plant.
The biosynthesis of cannabigerol begins by loading hexanoyl-CoA onto a polyketide synthase assembly protein and subsequent condensation with three molecules of malonyl-CoA. This polyketide is cyclized to olivetolic acid via olivetolic acid cyclase, and then prenylated with a ten carbon isoprenoid precursor, geranyl pyrophosphate, using an aromatic prenyltransferase enzyme, geranyl-pyrophosphate—olivetolic acid geranyltransferase, to biosynthesize cannabigerolic acid, which can then be decarboxylated to yield cannabigerol.
Interest in CBG is on the rise due to its non-psychoactive properties and pharmacological potential.
CBG has many potential therapeutic benefits, including antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory qualities.
CBG interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system by interacting with both CB1 and CB2 receptors and stimulating a response. These receptors regulate physiological processes such as mood, pain response, and appetite. Recent preclinical research has indicated that CBG has a stronger affinity for the CB2 receptor. CBG seems to interact with the endocannabinoid system in a number of possibly therapeutic ways that are not yet fully understood. CBG appears to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors differently than either THC or CBD, producing unique physiological effects.
CBG and the entourage effect
All cannabinoids have their own unique pharmacologic activity. When cannabinoids are combined, as in whole-plant extracts, however, direct or indirect interactions can occur which modify the overall clinical effect. This interaction is known as the entourage effect. It’s important to note that some, but not all phytocompounds in cannabis, may act synergistically. The overall effect on the organism depends on the concentrations of the compounds and the health of the organism.
One of the reported benefits of the entourage effect is that the presence of other compounds such as CBD and CBG can help to “tame” the intoxicating effects of THC, potentially increasing its therapeutic abilities. For example, test tube research on leukemia has suggested that anti-cancer activity is enhanced when CBG is combined with other cannabinoids.
CBD vs CBG
CBG is often compared to CBD because it shares many similarities and they both act on the endocannabinoid system.
Both CBG and CBD are non-psychoactive which means they will not alter your state of mind in the way THC will.
They can however reduce the psychotropic effect of THC if you consume a cannabis plant. One of the biggest differences between CBD and CBG is the quantity which is found in most cannabis plants. Most cannabis plants contain only 1% of CBG, but up to 25% of CBD.
As of 2019, no clinical research has been conducted to test the specific effects of cannabigerol in humans.
Cannabigerol is under laboratory research to determine its pharmacological properties and potential effects in disease conditions. Contrary to the major psychoactive cannabinoid THC, cannabigerol antagonizes CB1 receptors and is both a alpha2-adrenoceptor agonist and moderate 5HT1A receptor antagonist. Cannabigerol displays CB1 and CB2 binding affinity. Additionally, cannabigerol has been evaluated in laboratory models of colitis.
Research has revealed potential uses for CBG, including:
- Neurogenic Properties – Research from 2015 found that CBG was very effective in fighting against some sort of chemical intoxicants by preserving the brain and improving motor function. It was also effective in fighting against a variety of other toxic chemicals in maintaining the performance of the mice, and so it has been considered as a potential agent in the fight against conditions such as Huntington’s Disease.
- Appetite Stimulant – Eating disorders ravage lives globally, from teenagers to those in late adulthood. One such disease is cachexia or wasting disorder. CBG has been shown to stimulate the appetite without causing adverse neuromotor effects and is thus a potential medicine to treat this condition.
- Antibacterial – With the rise of superbugs and other medical emergencies that threaten the general public, phytocannabinoids are a tremendous alternative antibiotic. CBG was found to be one of the cannabinoids promising in fighting against bacteria.
- Anticancer – Colon cancer is one of the leading cancers affecting American men. CBG may prove to be a useful tool in fighting against colon cancer. Research from 2014 found that CBG was able to inhibit the cell growth of malignant tumors in mice models.
Cannabigerol is not scheduled by the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. In the United States, it is not a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act as long as it is not produced from the controlled parts of the cannabis plant.