CBGs are a fantastic part of this plant.

It makes cannabis very special.

CBGs aren’t easy to see.

Crash-Course in CBGs

In this issue of Cannabinoid Profiles, the properties of CBGs are broken down and the therapeutic benefits are explored. Get to know this cannabinoid and discover what studies are currently being done to determine its wide variety of medicinal benefits.

Formula: C22H32O4
Molecular Mass: 360.48708 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: ????

Boiling Point: ????

LD50 (Lethal Dose): Currently Unknown, likely similar to CBGs, 300mg/kg for mice  (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg),

Cannabigerolic acid (CBG) is formed when geranyl pyrophosphate combines with olivetolic acid within the cannabis plant. It is thanks to CBGa that all other medicinal effects of cannabis are possible. Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) can be thought of as the stem cell cannabinoid, which becomes THCa/THCCBDa/CBD, CBCa/CBC, and CBG. It does this through different types of biosynthesis, where chemicals combine to form new compounds, examples being the THC biosynthase and the CBD biosynthase. Hemp strains of cannabis have higher amounts of CBG due to a recessive trait, which may imply higher amounts of CBGa present in those strains as well.

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth through apoptosis.

Currently Being Studied For

Cannabinoid Biosynthase: Nearly all current research on CBGs focuses solely on its role in the biosynthesis of other cannabinoids. Virtually no money is going to study its analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative properties.

We learned in 2005 that the enzyme controlling the conversion of CBGs into THCa and further THC is held within the trichomes of the plant. This makes sense, as the trichomes have long been known to be the home of THC. Sirikantaramas did a follow up study on his 2005 research which showed they could grow THCa in a laboratory using a yeast culture as a host. If you want to know more about the THCa synthase, which is the first biosynthase to see any major study, you can look at this 2009 literature review profiling it. It wasn’t until 2014 that any of this research turned back to focus on CBGa again, when Alaoui et Al (2014) identified how and where CBGs binding happened, then explored how it was converted into THCa. Their research could be key to better understanding how THCa.

Cancer: While there are no current studies being done on CBGs for its abilities to help with cancer, it has been shown to be an anti-proliferative just like CBGs, THC, and CBD. CBGs encourages apoptosis, which is also known as programmed cell deathDefective apoptosis is believed to be a major reason for the formation and progression of cancer, so oncologists are naturally eager to find new ways to stimulate that bodily response. Cannabinoids appear to stimulate apoptosis in previously unknown ways, posing a novel way to mitigate and potentially cure cancer. While this much is known about CBGs, more research should be done.

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.

Cannabinoid Profiles Series

1. Meet Your CB Receptors

2. A Crash Course in THC

3. A Crash Course in CBD

4. A Crash Course in THC

5. A Crash Course in CBG

6. A Crash Course in CBC

7. A Crash Course in THC

8. A Crash Course in CBN

9. A Crash Course in CBDs