Cannabinoid Clinic: CBG

Updated: 4 days ago

Welcome to Cannabinoid Clinic, an education project powered by Higher Learning LV. This series provides cannabis and hemp industry professionals with easily digested cannabinoid profiles that ask little of your time—but provide plenty of science-based information.


There are two categories of cannabinoids: Phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are those produced by cannabis/marijuana/hemp, while endocannabinoids are made by the human body. This series covers both.

CBG molecular structure


What is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is the result of CBGA, the acidic precursor for this pivotal cannabinoid. It is considered a minor cannabinoid because it is typically available in relatively low volumes compared to major cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabiol (THC) (under one percent).


Non-psychoactive, CBG may help patients suffering from a range of conditions, including glaucoma, cancer, and Huntington's disease.

Although not psychoactive, anecdotal testimonies and scientific research has revealed that CBG may help patients suffering from a range of conditions, including glaucoma, cancer, and Huntington's disease.


First isolated in 1964 by Dr. Yehiel Gaoni and Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in Israel, CBG offers anti-inflammatory and antibacterial powers that may be of value in the treatment of a wide range of disease states and conditions.


CBG Fast Facts

  • Role: Results from CBGA

  • Biosynthetic pathway: CBGA > CBG

  • Psychoactivity: Non-psychoactive

  • Acidic precursor: CBGA

  • Boiling point: 248° F

  • Primary medical benefits: Anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antibiotic

Biosynthetic pathway of CBG


CBG Medicinal Benefits

Like many cannabinoids, the primary potential medicinal benefits of CBG are numerous and include benefits for patients with glaucoma, cancer, Huntington's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and staph infections resulting from bacteria.


A 1990 study involving cats with glaucoma entitled "A Comparison of the Ocular and Central Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabigerol" indicated that felines treated with CBG experienced a reduction in intraocular pressure and an increase in the outflow of aqueous humor (fluid produced by the eye that maintains eye pressure and delivers nutrition).


"A 2014 study showed that CBG may fight cancer via a mechanism involving the blockage of receptors that cause cancer cell growth."

A 2013 study involving mouse subjects entitled "Beneficial Effects of the Non-psychotropic Plant Cannabinoid Cannabigerol on Experimental Inflammatory Bowel Disease" revealed that CBG may be helpful in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) due to its anti-inflammatory effects. The authors of this study recommended additional experimentation of CBG in clinical trials involving humans.


A 2014 study involving rats entitled "Cannabinoid Effects on Experimental Colorectal Cancer Models Reduce Aberrant Crypt Foci (ACF) and Tumor Volume: A Systematic Review" showed that CBG may fight cancer via a mechanism involving the blockage of receptors that cause cancer cell growth. CBG was also found to prevent the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

A 2015 study involving mice entitled "Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabigerol in Huntington’s Disease: Studies in R6/2 Mice and 3-Nitropropionate-lesioned Mice" investigated the possible neuroprotective efficacy of CBG in a model of Huntington's disease. The study found that CBG delivered protection for brain cells and prevented them from being damaged by Huntington's disease.


"CBG may offer considerable antibacterial abilities, particularly for methicillin-resistant strains that result in staph infections."

A 2020 study entitled "Uncovering the Hidden Antibiotic Potential of Cannabis" explored the antibacterial properties of CBG. It found that the cannabinoid may offer considerable antibacterial abilities, particularly for methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that result in staph infections.


How to Get CBG

Some companies sell tinctures, gummies, capsules, and oils that feature CBG. Patients can also infuse foods with loose-leaf flower that has been decarboxylated, converting the CBGA acidic precursor into CBG.


"CBG-dominant products are often expensive and difficult to procure."

However, CBG-dominant products are often expensive and difficult to procure. This is due to the biosynthetic pathways that result in low levels of CBG in plants that are heavy in CBD and THC. Why? Because CBGA molecules converted to CBDA and THCA, ultimately resulting in CBD and THC. CBG is a good example of how cultivars and plants that feature an abundance of one cannabinoid may also be deficient or low in another based on the biosynthetic relationship of the two molecules.


Like what you just read? Check out our new Cannabis for Cancer Hub that features links to all of our articles about marijuana for cancer.

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