Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is the precursor of two major cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). They are the building blocks of THC, CBD and CBC.
When harvested, cannabis contains high levels of CBG gummies that convert into acidic forms like THCA or CBDA. The acidic form binds to the cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system without activating it. This reduces side effects like anxiety, rapid heart rate and increases blood concentration which enhances the pain killing effect. At higher temperatures (>180 degrees Celsius/356 Fahrenheit), THCA will decarboxylate into THC which will activate your endocannabinoid system and provide you with all the great benefits of cannabis.
After drying and curing, about 80% of the CBGA has transformed into THCA. However, during long-term storage much of the remaining CBGA will slowly convert into CBDA. This is why cured flowers lose potency over time.
CBG vs CBN: making weed stronger?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid discovered in 1964 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam’s research group at Hebrew University. The plant produces this cannabinoid in abundance to act as protection against pests and UV light exposure for young plants before it matures enough to develop THC, CBD or any other well cannabinoids . Research suggests that because CBG is non-psychoactive, it can be used as a base for more potent and effective cannabis formulations than the cannabinoid commonly found in the plant which is CBN. Read here why CBN is not as good as CBD or THC
In 2017, Dr. Bonni Goldstein from Canna-Centers stated that she has seen excellent results from combining high levels of CBD with low levels of CBG together with THC. In certain cases, her patients saw better results using the cannabinoid combination instead of pure CBD or THC alone. This opens up a new medical avenue to use cannabis extracts containing much higher levels of less psychoactive cannabinoids like CBG and CBC instead of reaching for high doses consuming much larger quantities of hemp flowers .
As of now, cannabinoids like CBD, CBG and CBC are not scheduled by the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs from 1961. However, cannabis extracts have been classified as Schedule I or II drugs depending on their THC level. This is problematic since schedule 1 drugs are defined as having no medical benefit which is clearly not true for many cannabinoids found in the plant along with whole-plant cannabis itself .
You can read more about using high levels of CBG to potentiate your CBD or THC treatment. The sections below give you an overview of what is known today about this cannabinoid that might soon become a very popular addition to people’s daily lives.
CBG vs CBD & CBN: Medical benefits
1) Antibacterial properties
In 2004, a study from Italy discovered that CBG has potent antibacterial activity against gram-positive bacteria. These include Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes which cause diseases such as pneumonia, endocarditis or meningitis . The Iranian Society of Microbiology conducted another research in 2015 where CBG showed the strongest inhibition on E. coli and gave partial inhibition on S. aureus and B. subtilis .
2) Anti-inflammatory properties
A 2011 study from Canada discovered that CBG is among some other cannabinoids to show promising anti-inflammatory effects but with less central nervous system side effects than THC . In 2014, scientists found out more about how CBG influences the endocannabinoid system and its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, CBG is a more potent inhibitor of TNF-alpha than THC or CBD . The same study found that this cannabinoid blocks COX enzymes similarly to ibuprofen which makes it a good candidate for pain relief without psychoactive effects .
A clinical trial from 2018 published in Frontiers in Pharmacology discovered that CBG lowers the production of sebum, lipids and increases energy consumption in human sebocytes. Researchers concluded that “CBG suppresses lipid synthesis by targeting multiple key enzymes at different points in the lipid metabolic pathway”. This means that it could be used as an acne treatment with less side effects common to pharmaceutical treatments such as Isotretinoin .