What is CBG (Cannabigerol)?

by Robert Davis, PhD

Cannabigerol (CBG) is becoming increasingly popular and is advertised as a cannabinoid with great potential. While the potential of CBG is undeniable, (despite little evidence to suggest specific therapeutic value), many consumers know little about it. So, what is CBG?

The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids at the end of its growth cycle, mostly in the flowers of the plant. Specifically, cannabinoids are primarily produced in small glandular hairs on the flower known as trichomes. Cannabis first creates CBGa (the acid form of CBG) and subsequently converts CBGa to THCa and CBDa, among others. A marijuana cultivar favors high levels of THCa, an industrial hemp cultivar produces mostly CBDa. CBG-rich hemp strains don’t perform much conversion at all, resulting in high levels CBGa, and little CBDa or THCa. Because the plant uses CBGa to produce all other cannabinoids, CBG has been dubbed “the mother” of all cannabinoids. Since CBGa is the precursor to CBDa, one can imagine that the molecules are very similar, as seen below:

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