CBG, or Cannabigerol, was discovered in 1964 by Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam and his research team (Y. Gaoni, C. Trips, and S. Benezra, et al.). Some refer to CBG as the “mother” of all cannabinoids because as hemp and cannabis plants grow, the CBG they produce is gradually converted to other cannabinoids.
Over time, as plants mature, enzymes transform CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) into THCA, CBDA, and CBCA, which in turn are transformed into THC, CBD, and CBC through decarboxylation—a scientific term for the removal of their carboxyl groups.
Any CBGA remaining—in most strains typically 1-2% by weight—is in turn decarboxylated into CBG. This explains why, in most strains, CBG is relatively rare—by maturity, most of the CBG(A) has been converted to other cannabinoids.
Crossbreeding and other techniques are being employed to increase CBG yields, and some CBG-heavy cultivars have reached the market.
CBG and the ECS (Endocannabinoid System)
Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates several other physiological systems. Since phytocannabinoids can interact with the body’s ECS in the same way endocannabinods can, they can have many effects.
Phytocannabinoids are made by plants. “Phyto” is Greek for plant and is derived from the word phutón. Endocannabinoids, on the other hand, are produced in the body. “Endo” is Greek for inside and is derived from the word éndon.
Our bodies produce small amounts of (endo)cannabinoids and one theory behind why some may suffer from migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome is Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, or CED. Very few studies on this theory have been conducted, however, so there is a long way to go before it is more clearly defined.
Possible Benefits of CBG
Early studies show that CBG may help with inflammation, especially of the intestines or colon, e.g., Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS).
CBG may provide relief for those suffering from eye diseases such as Glaucoma. Eye structures have endocannabinoid receptors, and CBG is thought to reduce intraocular pressure by interacting with them.
Malignant Cell Growth
CBG might suppress the growth of harmful cell types, such as cancer and other abnormal growths. Particularly promising in this area are studies involving CBG and the colon.
Maintaining Normal Appetite
CBG has been shown to assist with maintaining and even stimulating appetite.
CBG has shown promise in fighting certain bacteria such as MRSA, a virulent form of staph.
One study found that CBG might have neuroprotective properties (protection of nerves), which could be helpful for those with Huntington’s Disease.
CBG may improve mood by increasing anandamide, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of euphoria. It may also act as a GABA reuptake inhibitor, promoting overall psychological health and well-being.
Some claim to feel less tired and able to focus for longer periods while taking CBG.
CBG has also been linked to improved digestion, bone growth, bladder muscle tone, and even the proliferation of new brain cells.
Although more research needs to be done, studies have shown CBG to have promise in various areas. CBG may be a useful tool to help protect good health and build on the benefits of fitness, diet, and other good behaviors.