What is Cannabigerol (CBG)?

by | Dec 1, 2019

Detroiter Karhlyle Fletcher is the host of High Lit, a cannabis research and classic literature podcast featuring leading voices and independent music. In addition to years in written and video cannabis journalism, he is also a traditional author.

CBG, or Cannabigerol, is the active form of Cannabigerol’s acid form, CBGa, which is the chemical precursor of most known cannabinoids. From THC to CBD and CBC, CBGa develops into a variety of substances with unique medical value. 

Most commonly sold strains have low CBG content because all the available CBGa has been developed into other cannabinoids. However, there are ways to produce strains rich in CBG. The only reason they are not more common is that the market does not demand it.

This may change as the versatile and promising effects of CBG are better researched, and can offer resistance to conditions as versatile as neurodegenerative conditions and bacterial infection. 

What We Know About CBG

When active in the body, CBG interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, possibly mitigating the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids such as THC. From what data is available, CBG is considered to be able to help manage sleep, appetite, and mood due to increasing anandamide, an endocannabinoid that naturally increases the available dopamine in the brain. 

Modern cannabis has had low concentrations of CBG; however, this is only due to the market’s infatuation with CBD and THC. Cannabis breeding has resulted in a handful of chemotypes lacking in downstream enzymes, and their harvest expresses 100 percent of their phytocannabinoid content as CBG. This means that despite uneven research, CBG can be readily produced. 

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. 

Who is Producing It? 

Although strains can be cultivated to be rich in CBG, the niche status of CBG keeps it somewhat expensive for the general consumer. Still, brands such as Flower Child out of Colorado, and many others offer both CBG and full-spectrum products that contain CBG. In addition to this, there are strains such as Mickey Kush, which are naturally rich in CBG content available at dispensaries across the nation. 

For those looking to infuse things such as beverages with CBG, companies such as Hemp For Fitness, headquartered in Illinois, offer CBG isolate crystals ready to be added to a variety of products. Industrial Hemp Farms, out of Colorado, is another company that provides CBG isolate.