CBG – The Next BIG Thing?Dana OV
Cannabigerol, or CBG is touted to be the next big thing in the cannabis biz. So, what is it? It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid byproduct in low-THC and high-CBD strains of cannabis, such as hemp. Just like CBD, CBG interacts with the same receptors in the endocanabinoid system of the body. However, CBG does seem to have some slightly different functions than CBD. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
What’s so neat about CBG?
The interesting thing about CBG is that it is the precursor or parent molecule to the other cannabinoids. This is because a flowering hemp plant begins to produce cannabinoid crystal molecules around the 3-4 week mark. Known as CBGa, these molecules are thought to protect the plant from pests and ultraviolet rays. As the plant continually absorbs the UV radiation of the sun, the CBGa molecule transforms into either THCa or CBDa. THCa or CBDa are essentially the natural, unrefined forms of THC and CBD. When the organic matter is dried and heated it removes the molecule’s carbolic acid in a chemical reaction known as decarboxylation. This process is what transforms the THCa, CBDa, and CBGa molecules into THC, CBD and CBG. Because CBG transforms to create all of the other cannabinoids, it often occurs as less than 1% of the total cannabinoids present in the final product.
How does CBG interact in the body?
Some things we already know is that CBG helps to slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter, GABA, and is actually a much better GABA re-uptake inhibitor than both THC and CBD. Interestingly enough, CBG may help in suppressing the uptake of serotonin, which means a higher concentration remains active in the brain. Not to mention, CBG has also shown some potential in neurogenesis and as a neuroprotectant. CBG also counteracts THC by binding to specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Plant breeders all over the world are experimenting with ways to include higher concentrations of CBG and THC in marijuana strains.
How is CBG different from CBD?
Despite the fact they each have many similarities, one big difference is the availability of pure CBG to the consumer. Because most of the CBGa is naturally converted into THC and CBD, CBG occurs in very small quantities in both hemp and marijuana, making the refining process expensive. Another key difference is that CBG has the ability to counteract the high produced from THC, while CBD cannot.
What does this all mean?
Although CBG is found in full spectrum hemp oils, pure CBG is still a little difficult to come by. Not to worry; as science discovers more about this fascinating cannabinoid the demand for it grows. It should soon be as easy to find as CBD. Many are also predicting that it may surpass CBD in popularity.