Cannabis is comprised of various elements from cannabinoids to terpenes to flavonoids. When it comes to cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, they make up a large portion of the cannabis plant. In higher quality strains, the THC content can be 25-30%! However, THC and CBD are not the only cannabinoids that can be found in the cannabis plant. In fact, there are estimated to be dozens, maybe even hundreds, of these elements.
While THC and CBD are the two most well-known cannabinoids, there is another that should be taken note of: CBG-A, which is sometimes referred to as the “mother of all cannabinoids”.
What is CBG-A?
Cannabigerol (CBG) or cannabigerolic acid (CBG-A) is a minor cannabinoid that actually plays a major role throughout the cannabis plant. In fact, CBG-A is the chemical catalyst for both of the popular cannabinoids – THC and CBD! When heat is applied to CBG-A through the process of decarboxylation, it changes the structure of the cannabinoid, resulting in the neutral form of CBG (as well as THC, CBD, CBC), which then become “active” compounds. The genetics of the strain itself are what determines the conversion to either THC or CBD.
CBG-A is known as the “mother of all cannabinoids” due to this phenomenon and is often converted into another form before ingestion even takes place. This is why it may be minor in regard to concentration levels when smoked, but is still a vitally important cannabinoid.
Benefits of CBG-A
Beyond its incredible affect on cannabinoids, CBG on its own is a non-intoxicating and non-psychoactive component with various medical qualities.
According to a 2009 study, it was proven that CBG can lower intraocular eye pressure, making it a potent treatment for individuals suffering from glaucoma.
Another study, published in 2011, found several other benefits for CBG including antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties as well as antidepressant potential. This study also concluded that CBG can benefit those suffering from anxiety and muscular tension as it helps to inhibit the uptake of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), a neurotransmitter.
This amazing cannabinoid is also believed to benefit individuals with psoriasis by inhibiting growth of the offending skin cells, as well as promoting appetite, lowering blood pressure and also decreasing inflammation – particularly associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
A more recent 2015 study shows promise for CBG against Huntington’s Disease as it has a unique ability to protect neurons. And – if that isn’t impressive enough – it was also shown to block receptors that cause cancer cell growth in a study the year before.
Strains High in CBG-A
As CBG-A converts to THC-A and CBD-A and then later THC and CBD, it is hard to find high quantities of this cannabinoid. While hard to find, they are not entirely rare. Here are a couple strains that are found to be high in CBG / CBG-A.
William’s Wonder is a well-known legend as it is a rare, 100% pure Indica. This strain has been around since the 1980s offering users great taste and high potency with THC levels of 20-25%. Unique to William’s Wonder, it also has a high CBG potenty of around 30%.
Exodus Cheese is a Sativa-dominant strain that is a cross between Skunk and Cheese. It packs quite a punch with THC levels reaching up to 18%. This strain is quite potent with a skunky, cheesy aroma and flavor.
Destroyer is a rare 100% pure Sativa strain that was created by crossing a Meao Thai with a Mexican x Colombian strain. This strain is a destroyer of stress and bad moods and can help alleviate pain and depression. This strain has lower THC at 10-15%, but is known for having higher concentrations of CBG.
With the interest growing in the benefits of this cannabinoid, we may very well see CBG oils and tinctures on the market soon!