Cannabigerol, abbreviated CBG, was first discovered by scientists in 1964 as a component of hashish. It was later discovered in 1975 that CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid) is the first cannabinoid formed in plants; cannabis’ first expression. CBGA is then transformed into CBDA, THCA or CBCA by enzymatic actions. The cannabis plant is unique because of its ability to produce the Cannabigerolic acid.
Cannabigerol serves as a precursor to the three major cannabinoids – tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, cannabinolic acid, and cannabichromenic acid. The cannabis plant contains synthases, its natural enzymes which degrades the CBGA and channels it towards the desired branch.
Cannabigerol (CBG) belongs to the non-psychoactive group of cannabinoids. Research into its medical properties is currently ongoing. Though it has not been studied as intensively as the other cannabinoids like CBD or THC, results obtained so far from studies suggests that it is enriched with loads of health benefits for the consumer.
It should be noted that exposure of the cannabinoid acids to extreme temperature or prolonged ultraviolet rays of the sun results in the loss of a carbon dioxide molecule. These acids are considered to be neutral at this point. In a number of cannabis strains, CBGA is converted immediately to another type of cannabinoid which is usually present in low concentrations. However, a strain high in CBGA will change to Cannabigerol (CBG) when it is smoked.
Laboratory analysis of hemps has found that CBG exists in much higher levels than other strains of cannabis. Research has shown that this may be caused by a recessive gene. The theory is that the plants prevents the formation of one of the cannabinoid synthases.
Effects of Cannabigerol
Cannabigerol does not get the user high. It is non-psychoactive. Nevertheless, it does help to create a synergy by balancing the effects of THC with other cannabinoids.
In general, cannabinoids exert their effects by contacting their own receptors which are present all over the body.
There are two kinds of cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2. CBG acts on both receptors. However its effect on both receptors is extremely weak when compared to the effect of THC.
CBG affects the body by causing an increase in the anandamide levels. Anandamide is a cannabinoid that helps in the regulation of body functions. It occurs naturally in the body. Functions regulated by this include sleep, appetite and memory. Anandamide, just like THC acts on CB1 and CB2 receptors to produce its effects.
CBG is also known to antagonize the serotonin receptors, meaning it may have a role to play in treatment of depression.
Because of its ability to act on the nervous system without any accompanying psychotic effects, the benefits and medical usage of CBG has aroused great interest.