The lesser known cannabinoids are gaining traction as they become better understood due to ongoing research and new developments in their application. Cannabigerol (CBG) is one such compound that doesn’t quite have the reputation of the other cannabis-derived chemicals such as CBD and THC. CBG, however, is just as important and full of potential as its cannabinoid cousins and is actually the progenitor of these commonly used and talked about compounds.
Even though the current spotlight is growing on the use and benefits of CBG, this cannabinoid has been known to exist within cannabis since various compounds within the plant were observed in the 1960’s. CBG often gets the distinction as a minor cannabinoid because it exists in low levels in most cannabis strains but the role it plays in the creation of the major cannabinoids as well as its growing list of potential benefits make it far from inferior.
In order to understand the importance of CBG, it is crucial to look at the compound in its natural form within the plant. Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is one of the first compounds produced by the cannabis plant during its early stages of growth. During the flowering cycle, CBGA is converted into both THCA and CBDA, the precursors to the two major cannabinoids THC and CBD. This naturally occurring process within the plant shows that without CBG, there would be no CBD and THC. It is through this process of being a precursor molecule that CBG can be seen and referred to as the ‘stem cell of cannabinoids.’
While this activity as a precursor molecule is apparently important, the other known and studied benefits of CBG show its exciting possibilities as well. The cannabinoid has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and display other properties that show potential for cancer treatment.  CBG also show excellent pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, a direct benefit to common ailments that affect many.  And those are only a few major benefits of the many CBG is currently being used for or studied.
CBG is a highly important and valuable cannabinoid that plays a crucial role in the formation of CBD and THC. This alone is reason enough to hype this ‘minor’ player on a major scale. With the list of medicinal benefits continuing to grow on top of this, it’s no wonder that CBG is poised to see some major attention in the cannabis industry and beyond.
- Sledzinski, Pawel, et al. The current state and future perspectives of cannabinoids in cancer biology. Cancer Med. 2018 Mar; 7(3) 765-775
- De Petrocellis, et al. Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-enriched Cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes. Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Nov.