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What is CBG?

by Caileen Vermilyea |

Let's Talk Cannabigerol


Plain and simple, CBG is the parent cannabinoid.

This means it is the first cannabinoid to be formed in the Cannabis plant along side various terpenes, which give off the potent scents we so often associate with the plant. 

CBG’s precursors, olivetolic acid and geranyl pyrophosphate (GPP), are combined via aromatic prenyltransferases (enzymes) which results in  cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabigerovarninic acid (CBGVA). 

CBG can then be further converted into 120 other cannabinoids (CBC, THC, CBD etc.) via enzymes called synthases. GBG can also be converted into terpenes, indicating that cannabinoids and terpenes share close bonds that ensure proper interaction and assimilation within the human body.

So whats the big deal?

There's a few things that are a big deal, honestly!

Being able to harness the parent molecule to all cannabinoids, in the Cannabis spp. plant, will theoretically unlock the true healing potential that is contained within. 

This potent compound will likely provide a broader therapeutic range and increased beneficial effects for the human body.There is much left to discover about cannabinoids in general, but the preclinical evidence becomes stronger everyday. 

Current scientific evidence indicates that CBG may help target or potentially treat the following conditions (we’ll try keep this updated as new information is released):

1. Regeneration of neurons

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In a study by Aguarles et al. (2019) CBG was shown to directly promotes neurogenesis (growth of new neurons), prevent Huntington induced neurodegeneration, and decrease neuroinflammation. (2)

This may be one of the most important aspects of the CBG molecule as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and other diseases continue to lack any effective and targeted treatments that drastically slow disease progression. CBG may potentially be able to reverse some of these disease courses with it’s proven ability to regenerate neurons in the central nervous system of rats. 

It was always believed to be common knowledge, that once you lose your neurons they are gone. CBG is now making us rethink all our previous conclusions on what is possible to achieve using plant based medicine in the treatment of aggressive and difficult diseases.

2. Depression & Mood stability

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Depression, suicide, and anxiety are some of the largest growing concerns in the world today. This is especially true in adolescent, military, and medical professional populations. 

Within this rise of depression and anxiety there exists, not only a strong relation to chronic disease development, but also an overall decreased quality of life. In a world where our collective inner empaths suffer, there is not much to be done when the external world continues to swirl towards chaos. 

We are left to work on our internal landscapes, in order to find peace and wellbeing, to which we can orient ourselves towards. This gives us the ability to share our knowledge with the greater communities around us. 

Cannabinoids have consistently shown the ability to decrease anxiety and increase sensations of wellbeing. There seems to be a never ending stream of science to support its actions as an anti-depressant.

CBG has now been shown to act as a 5HT1A (serotonin) antagonist, α-2 adrenergic agonist, CB2 partial agonist. This means that it has the ability to help quell tension and anxiety in our body, moving us away from our fight or flight state to our rest and digest mode where we do much of our self healing.

3. Appetite stimulation

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We all know that the munchies come along with getting high. 

CBG has shown that it also has a knack for inducing munchies in a study that observed the increase of appetites in pre-satiated rats. 

This means we can stimulate our appetite without having to get “high”, which may keep us away from junk food cravings due to altered states and lack of proper judgement. 

Increasing appetite is essential for patients who are unable to consume proper amounts or varied forms food. Ingesting wholesome and healing foods is one of the most important thing we can do to support our health and healing process.

Some patients though, may prefer to not consume THC in their current state. CBG provides an alternative tool in assisting patients ingest sustenance to support their body's natural healing ability. 

4. Intestinal inflammation & IBD 

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Gut issues affect almost everyone. Gut inflammation and microbiome imbalances compose of the main underlying causes of many chronic disease processes. 

Diseases such as irritable bowel disease and colitis can wreak havoc on our system and prove hard to treat without the use of multiple drug therapies. This, of course comes with undesired side effects. 

Pre-clinical science shows that CBG can prevent nitric oxide production and radical oxygen species formation, both being direct contributors to the inflammatory disease processes in the gastrointestinal system.

Of course CBG is not a cure all end all. Any good treatment will include lifestyle changes and dietary modifications necessary to properly treat aggressive, debilitating diseases. Yet, there is the potential to radically change the way inflammatory bowel disease is clinically approached, through the use of CBG and hemp related products.

5. Diabetic complications

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Diabetes is another disease that affects a large portion of populations in developed countries. Quality of life is a huge concern in those diagnosed with diabetes as its effects on the body can be highly detrimental. Diabetic patients are now considered to have a lower quality of life than chronically infected HIV patients.

Most of our major organ systems of the body are highly sensitive and are significantly affected by our blood sugar levels and toxic loads. These systems includes our eyes, kidneys, liver, the nervous system and heart amongst others. 

Complications begin to arise overtime, such as blindness, kidney failure, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, high lipids, and numbness in the extremities. Quality of life can rapidly decrease if any of these systems sustain critical damage, impairing their proper function and support of other bodily systems.

Many of the consequences of diabetes can, of course, be prevented or minimized through lifestyle practices that include dietary, physical, and supplemental modifications.

CBG has been shown to have a significant ability to prevent aldolase activity, a direct contributor to diabetic complication development. This means the quality of life for Diabetic patients can be vastly increased through the clinical use of properly dose CBG and hemp products.

6. Inhibition of tumor growth

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Cancer incidence continues to rise year after year in most developed countries of the world. Even though treatment regiments are becoming more specific and comprehensive in their approach, the number of cancer deaths has still increased steadily.

A combination of poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyles, and increased toxic loads has now led us to the fact, that 1 in 3 humans will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. (statistics provided by the American Cancer Society)

This may be a morbid statement to some, yet, being aware of our mortality allows individuals to develop deeper connections to their body and their overall health states.

With that being said, there are new discoveries indicating that CBG hampers colon cancer progression in vivo. CBG selectively inhibits the growth of CRC cells, an effect shared by other TRPM8 inhibitors, and acts very much in the same way as TRPM8 inhibitors.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer amongst males and females. If CBG has the potential to help target and prevent any part of the disease process it may be able to stop the progression of colon cancer and potentially other cancers in endless amounts of patients.

It should be clear by now that CBG has a ton of healing potential. Yet, there is still much to be discovered before we can come to any concrete conclusions, dosing guidelines, and ingestion methods that allow for its true power to be harnessed.

We hope you enjoyed this article, please leave any comments or questions we can answer for you!

As always this content does not represent medical advice and does not form any patient doctor relationship. 

The statements in this article have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA. 

This content is purely educational and is meant to empower our readers with proper and accurate information so that they can make the best decisions for themselves and their health moving forward.

- Dr. Thomas Macsay


1. Bonini, S. A., Premoli, M., Tambaro, S., Kumar, A., Maccarinelli, G., Memo, M., & Mastinu, A. (2018). Cannabis sativa: A comprehensive ethnopharmacological review of a medicinal plant with a long history. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 227, 300-315. 

2. Aguareles, J., Paraíso-Luna, J., Palomares, B., Bajo-Grañeras, R., Navarrete, C., Ruiz-Calvo, A., ... & Galve-Roperh, I. (2019). Oral administration of the cannabigerol derivative VCE-003.2 promotes subventricular zone neurogenesis and protects against mutant huntingtin-induced neurodegeneration. Translational neurodegeneration, 8(1), 9. 

3. Brierley, D. I., Samuels, J., Duncan, M., Whalley, B. J., & Williams, C. M. (2016). Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats. Psychopharmacology, 233(19-20), 3603-3613. 

4. Borrelli, F., Fasolino, I., Romano, B., Capasso, R., Maiello, F., Coppola, D., ... & Izzo, A. A. (2013). Beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease. Biochemical pharmacology, 85(9), 1306-1316.

5. Cascio, M. G., Gauson, L. A., Stevenson, L. A., Ross, R. A., & Pertwee, R. G. (2010). Evidence that the plant cannabinoid cannabigerol is a highly potent α2‐adrenoceptor agonist and moderately potent 5HT1A receptor antagonist. British journal of pharmacology, 159(1), 129-141. 

6. Borrelli, F., Pagano, E., Romano, B., Panzera, S., Maiello, F., Coppola, D., ... & Izzo, A. A. (2014). Colon carcinogenesis is inhibited by the TRPM8 antagonist cannabigerol, a Cannabis-derived non-psychotropic cannabinoid. Carcinogenesis, 35(12), 2787-2797. 

7. Granja, A. G., Carrillo-Salinas, F., Pagani, A., Gómez-Cañas, M., Negri, R., Navarrete, C., ... & Calzado, M. A. (2012). A cannabigerol quinone alleviates neuroinflammation in a chronic model of multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 7(4), 1002-1016. 

8. Pagano, E., Montanaro, V., di Girolamo, A., Pistone, A., Altieri, V., Zjawiony, J. K., ... & Capasso, R. (2015). Effect of non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoids on bladder contractility: focus on cannabigerol. Natural product communications, 10(6), 1934578X1501000653.

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