Possible Therapeutic Effects
Cannabigerol (CBG) was discovered in 1964 by scientists as a constituent of hashish. In 1975 a bigger discovery was made when researchers identified Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGa, the acid form of CBG) as the first cannabinoid formed in the cannabis plant. It should be mentioned that it is not known if CBG has any psychoactive effects, like THC for example.
Although CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid, it plays a big role in the formation of other cannabinoids. Within the context of chemistry, CBGa is the precursor to the three major branches of cannabinoids. The cannabis plant possesses natural enzymes, referred to as "synthases", that break the CBGa down and convert it to one of the desired major cannabinoids. Each synthase is named after its cannabinoid. For example, the 'THC Synthase' is activated to synthesize CBGa into THCa. Once in the acid form, almost all cannabinoids will naturally go through the 'decarboxylation' process, as shown in this set of graphics:
Heat and/or light are applied to the acid form, which forces the loss of a CO2 molecule, resulting in a "neutral" cannabinoid.
SIDEBAR: Lab testing of industrial hemp shows significantly higher levels of CBG than most strains of cannabis, which scientists think is due to a recessive gene in hemp that does not make the synthase necessary to convert CBGa to another major cannabinoid.
NOTE: Categorized as a "Minor" cannabinoid in cannabis.
MORE RESOURCES: For more technical details about CBG, please see the learning supplement, The Cannabigerol Connection.
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