The mother cannabinoid nut otherwise known as cannabigerol (CBG) is the non-psychoactive molecule that’s emerging as the next big cannabis extract that could disrupt the market. Why is this known as the “mother” of the plant? Well, it’s the precursor of the most known cannabinoids, namely THC and CBD.
CBG is a peculiar cannabinoid because it is most abundant in the plant before it converts directly into CBD and THC via decarboxylation. By the time the main cannabinoids develop and the growers get ready to harvest the plant, there’s usually very little CBG that remains in the [hemp] biomass. The main strategy to yield more CBG is to harvest much earlier before the other cannabinoids develop.
Cue the phrase, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” You can either cultivate cannabis plants to harvest CBD and THC or CBG, but not both. We talk about many of the benefits of THC/THCA and CBD in our previous blog articles, so let’s highlight the benefits of CBG. Though research on CBG’s ability to combat ailments and chronic diseases is still in its infancy, it shows promise as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent. Moreover, it boosts anandamide, the body’s natural “bliss” molecule which is responsible for runner’s high or that deep, relaxing state of euphoria you might experience after an intense or lengthy workout. As a result, it’s thought to be a mood regulator.
So, what’s the catch? Why isn’t CBG flooding the shelves already? Industry folks call it the Rolls Royce of cannabinoids because it’s notoriously expensive to produce. Most hemp plants that contain moderate levels of CBD will contain relatively small amounts or mere traces of CBG. It would effectively take dozens of times more hemp biomass to extract the same amounts of CBG as CBD. Plants can only produce a finite amount of cannabinoids, and due to consumer demand, cultivators have bred more and more plants to optimize the production of THC and CBD. As a result, several cannabis plants harvested only contain less than 2% CBG. But that fact is finally changing.
CREO is one of a few companies in North America that is producing novel cannabinoids and ushering CBG into the cannabis market after years of research and development. The new production of CBG has the potential to disrupt the market and become the next mainstream hype as we saw with CBD in 2012. There are currently only a handful of CBG producers in the U.S., including Hemptown USA, Plant People, and Flower Child.
The CEO of Steve’s Goods in Colorado said in an interview with Forbes that “there are a number of other methods to extract [CBG] and they’re all much cheaper to carry out. That said, the genetics of the plant is still the primary price factor. Breed higher CBG hemp strains and the cost to extract the CBG goes way down as you need much less material to extract it.” There are only a few places in the country that are breeding such strains but might change over time as knowledge and demand for CBG products grow.
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