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Ok let’s talk about CBG. What is it and why is it so important? And what are the benefits?
Let’s first talk a little bit about basic Cannabis plant biology.
Pretty much everything that happens in the cannabis plant occurs because of biosynthesis. Biosynthesis is the combination of chemical compounds to form new chemical compounds. In the case of the cannabis plant, the important chemicals to remember are Geranyl pyrophosphate (GPP or sometimes GDP) and Olivetolic acid (OLA). These two chemicals are the building blocks – the parent molecules – of all 113 cannabinoids. When they combine, magical things happen!
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in your brain. THC is the most well-known cannabinoid because of it’s psychoactive effects. But other cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, CBG, and CBDV are gaining popularity thanks to their powerful medicinal effects.
There are endocannabinoids found in our bodies, that are primarily responsible for keeping our bodies in homeostasis- or equilibrium. Our endocannabinoid system keeps our bodies in balance and is the reason why we’re able to feel any effects from the cannabis plant.
Cannabinoids come in two distinct types: acids and non-acids. THC and CBD are non-acidic forms, while THCA and CBDA are the acidic forms. For the most part, the acidic form occurs in raw cannabis, while the non-acidic form occurs in heated cannabis. We can illustrate this in the following way:
THCA and CBDA + heat = THC and CBD
The acidic form of each cannabinoid doesn’t offer the same medical effects as the non-acidic form. To get the most from your cannabis, you have to decarboxylate, or heat it up.
In raw cannabis plants, geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid combine to produce cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBGA then combines with enzymes in the plant to produce the other main acidic cannabinoids (THCA, CBDA, CBCA). Here’s another word picture to help illustrate:
Geranyl pyrophosphate + olivetolic acid > CBGA + enzymes > THCA, CBDA, CBCA
When you buy flower, like Lemon Thai for example, it consists of CBGA, THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. When you apply heat, all of those acids transform into their non-acidic “children” molecules (CBG, THC, CBD, and CBC).
CBG is found mainly in hemp products, and strains bred for high THC usually contain very low amounts of CBG (less that 1%). High CBD strains, on the other hand, contain much higher concentrations of this essential cannabinoid. No CBG will not get you high because it’s a non-psychoactive cannabinoid much like CBD. In fact, in brain chemistry terms, CBG is what’s known as an antagonist because it interferes with the trippy high created by THC. That’s not a bad thing.
Scientists are doing all kinds of research with cannabis and the many chemical compounds within this plant. With the right dose, CBG can:
CBG does not have any negative side effects when taken in appropriate doses. You can experience negative side effects from consuming too much of any substance, even food and water. Thankfully, CBG only becomes a problem when taken in excess of 300 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
For a 180 lb person, that means they would have to consume 54,000 milligrams of CBG for it to become dangerous. That would be hard to do, let alone expensive! To put that into perspective, a 180 lb person suffering from pain should take, at most, 25-50 milligrams to feel relief. You would have to consume extremely high doses of CBG or CBD to cause harmful side effects, like eating 5 bottles of gummies in one sitting. That’s why we can effectively say that CBG has no negative side effects.