Cannabigerol or CBG is one of the more than 113 cannabinoids found in the plant genus cannabis. It is the non-acidic form of cannabigerolic acid, which is a parent molecule used for the synthesis of other cannabinoids. It is a minor constituent of cannabis with a concentration of just 1% in a grown cannabis plant.
The biosynthesis of Cannabigerol begins when a polyketide synthase assembly protein is loaded with hexanoyl-CoA and then condensed with three molecules of malonyl-CoA. The olivetolic acid cyclase is used to cyclize the polyketide formed in the previous step into olivetolic acid.
The resultant compound is then prenylated with geranyl pyrophosphate using an aromatic prenyltransferase enzyme to biosynthesize cannabigerolic acid. The resultant CBGA is then decarboxylated over time, or heated, to produce Cannabigerol (CBG).
Molecular Formula of CBG - C21H32O2
Importance and Potential Benefits:
Although CBG occurs as a minor cannabinoid in a cannabis plant, it is a parent compound used in the synthesis of other cannabinoids, including THC (delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).
The potential medical benefits of CBG are still under investigation but some of the results are impressive and listed below.
Bone Formation and Healing – A 2007 study done at Tissue Engineering Group, Department of Engineering Materials, Kroto Research Institute Nanoscience and Technology Centre, University of Sheffield, Broad Lane, Sheffield S3 7HQ, UK reveals that CBG, along with other cannabinoids, promotes new bone formation and growth and can be used for healing bone fractures.
Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal – A 2008 study held at Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Alimentari, Farmaceutiche e Farmacologiche, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Via Bovio 6, 28100 Novara, Italy showed that CBG is highly effective against antibiotic-resistant MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
Anti-Depressant – A 2016 report “Beyond Cannabis: Plants and the Endocannabinoid System”, establishes the role of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBG as a potential treatment for anxiety and depression.
Neuroprotective – CBG was found to be extremely active as a neuroprotective compound in the 2015 study "Neuroprotective properties of cannabigerol in Huntington's disease: studies in R6/2 mice and 3-nitropropionate-lesioned mice” done at Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Neuroquímica, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, 28040, Spain.
Anti-Inflammatory – CBG is found to have anti-inflammatory properties in a study on “Evaluation of the Cyclooxygenase Inhibiting Effects of Six Major Cannabinoids Isolated from Cannabis sativa” done by Lucia Renee Ruhaak, Jenny Felth, Pernilla Christina Karlsson, Joseph James Rafter, Robert Verpoorte, Lars Bohlin.
Being non-psychoactive, the results of the initial researches on CBG establishes it as a cannabinoid with major potential health benefits. This has prompted future research on the effects and uses of CBG alone as well as with other cannabinoids.