Keeping Up with the Cannabinoids could be a new reality show. Although, we daresay it would be a bit more educational and beneficial to your health. Cannabinoids, major and minor, are becoming increasingly popular, in demand by consumers, farmers and manufacturers alike.
The reality is, while cannabinoids potentially have a lot to offer, we still have loads to learn about them—there’s more than a hundred that we know of. And some of them we only know of, not about.
The more well known cannabinoids, though, are coveted for what is thought to be a wide range of therapeutic benefits. There’s growing preliminary evidence that suggests that CBD, THC, CBG, and others have the potential to treat anything from anxiety to inflammation to insomnia. CBD, even, has made it all the way through the FDA gauntlet as a treatment for untreatable forms of epilepsy.
Fortunately, the wellspring of cannabinoid forms seems to have no end—and why should it? You deserve options, everything from CBD softgels for daily maintenance, to powerfully effective liposomal CBD when you want immediate results, to smokeable hemp flower when you want to roll like a connoisseur.
Right now, cannabigerol (CBG) is the darling cannabinoid, and it seems that 2020 will be CBG hemp flower’s coming out year. So what makes this CBG bud so special, you ask? Let’s start with the fact that it’s hard to get.
CBG: The Cannabinoid that Plays Hard-to-Get
Imagine you are watching one of those time-lapse videos. A field of hemp seedlings grows up before your eyes. Somewhere, after the plants reach a tall, slender height, nearly mature but still young for harvest, there’s a point where you’ll be able to push pause, and the plant will contain only cannabigerolic acid or CBGA. No other cannabinoids.
Push play again, and you will suddenly be staring at mature, flowering plants that are loaded with a variety of cannabinoids, including CBD, THC and CBC … but very little CBG.
CBGA, and the potential for CBG, comes and goes just like that! This short window for CBG that doesn’t yield nearly as much extract as the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), has posed challenges for cultivators. One of which is that if you farm to produce CBG, you forego all other cannabinoids … because in natural cannabis plants, without CBG, there aren’t substantial amounts of other cannabinoids.
Where Do Cannabinoids Come From?
During the evolution of the cannabis plant, it appears that CBGA was elected to be the mighty morphing cannabinoid that parents all other cannabinoids. It’s been called the “Mother” or the “Granddaddy” cannabinoid, but probably most suitably, it’s been christened the “Stem Cell” cannabinoid. Stem cells, as you probably know, are the shape-shifting building blocks of the human body that can amazingly change into other cells.
From CBGA, it only takes a little decarboxylation to make CBG. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that causes raw, inert cannabinoids to drop something called a carboxyl group, release a little CO2, and—voila! Active cannabinoids like CBG, THC, etc. are born. However …
CBGA, in “normal” cannabis plants, does not make much CBG at all. Instead, after some mingling with cannabis enzymes, it redirects into three lineages from which other cannabinoids cascade into the cannabinoid pool. Those three lines are:
- THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
- CBDA (cannabidiolic acid)
- CBCA (cannabichromenic acid)
These are the precursors or inactive forms of THC, CBD, and CBC, respectively. Cannabis expert Dr. Ethan Russo calls CBG “a way station on the path to these other cannabinoids.”
Cannabinoids Seemed to Come Out of Nowhere
Until 2009, it was all about THC. Then, some cannabis industry experts introduced cannabidiol (CBD) to the world and changed everything. Before that, Israeli scientist Robert Mechoulam had isolated the THC molecule in 1964. That same year, he published work on cannabigerol (CBG).
But it wasn’t until CBD opened the door that minor cannabinoids like CBG were able to trot out of the lab and into the public spotlight.
Where Does CBG Hemp Flower Come from?
Mutation or Happy Accident?
In the race to raise CBD, it’s been discovered that, although rare, some cannabis plants lack sufficient enzymes needed to put CBGA on the path to cannabinoid parenthood. The result of this mutation means high CBGA hemp flower, which can be decarbed into CBG.
But don’t think that breeders are waiting around for nature to deliver into their hands this rarely occurring plant. Cannabis breeders have been working in recent years to develop CBG-rich strains.
There are benefits to selective breeding of CBG varietals, the greatest being that it can guarantee a hemp product that falls below the legal .3% limit of THC. Some breeders believe CBG will surpass the demand for CBD. But also, because CBG holds the secrets to making CBD, THC, and CBC, it could be tweaked to be farmed either way.
In a stage when farmers are having a hard enough time getting feminized hemp seeds acclimated for American soil that won’t bust the legal THC limit, genetic options are looking good.
But if breeders are eager to make high-CBG hemp flower, and farmers are eager to grow it, what is it that makes this cannabinoid so special outside the cannabis plant itself?
What Are the Benefits of CBG?
Cannabinoids are believed to work through activating receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Although studies show that cannabinoids can interact with many kinds of receptors in the body, CBG seems to prefer the two main cannabinoid receptors–CB1 and CB2. CBG acts similarly to THC with cannabinoid receptors—but has very different effects. Because CBG cannot get you high like THC, researchers are eager to find out if CBG can produce many of the benefits of THC without the intoxication. Many people already using high CBG strains say that it can.
Like CBD, CBG can also increase anandamide levels. Anandamide is your “well-being” endocannabinoid. It weighs in on things like mood, appetite, sleep, and memory.
In the brain, CBG is believed to prolong the presence of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for reducing excitability (anxiety and fear responses).
CBG is also thought to antagonize serotonin receptors, implying that it could help treat depression.
It’s important to keep in mind that in the field of research, cannabinoid science is still in its infancy. While scientists have been exploring the world of cannabinoids for over a century now, human trials are limited because restrictions, until recently, have made them impossible to conduct.
However, a substantial amount of preclinical studies on cannabinoids have been carried out. “Preclinical” means not in human bodies, but in animal models or human tissue in the lab. Some promising results from preclinical studies on CBG include:
- Results from a 2007 study showed that CBG can stimulate the stem cells of bone marrow. Therefore, CBG could be helpful in healing fractures and forming new bone.
- A review article published in 2009 showed that CBG and other cannabinoids inhibited the growth and progression of various cancer cells and tumors.
- A study conducted in 2015 on animal models of Huntington’s disease showed that CBG acted as a neuroprotectant.
- It has been proven that THC can have positive effects on patients suffering from CBG has shown similar effects but without the accompanying psychotic effects that THC is known for. A 2016 report has suggested that CBG and other non-psychotic cannabinoids could effectively treat depression and anxiety.
- A study conducted in 1990 has shown that when treated with CBG, animals with glaucoma had a 2-3 times increase in their aqueous flow, which can relieve glaucoma.
- CBG may reduce inflammation by acting on special molecules that trigger the inflammatory processes in many disease states such as cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and pain syndromes.
- Other potential therapeutic benefits include treatment of overactive bladder and skin treatment.
Why is CBG Hemp Flower in Demand?
Extractors Want CBG Flower to Make Isolate
It takes a lot of biomass to make a small amount of CBG extract. Like thousands of pounds of biomass. Biomass, by the way, is the leftover organic material (stalks and leaves) after flowers or seeds have been harvested from the hemp plant.
In conventional farming, biomass is waste. But in hemp farming, it’s a different story. While cannabinoids like CBD are most abundant in the flowering tops of hemp plants, they are also in the stalks and leaves. Instead of throwing it away, biomass can be used to extract CBD for CBD oil.
According to a recent Forbes article, modern hemp plants are often around 20% CBD, which makes extracting it from biomass worthwhile. The percentage of CBG in most hemp plants, however, is low. If the plant has only 1% CBG, that’s 20 times more biomass needed to extract the same amount as you could of the CBD.
In addition, expensive equipment is needed to extract the CBG, making it even less appealing to produce.
Selectively bred CBG hemp flower could eliminate these challenges.
New Hemp Flower Market
Smoking and vaping hemp flower has become popular. It’s believed that CBG hemp flower amplifies the positives of the other parts of the cannabis plant. It lifts the mood and creates a confident calm without getting you stoned. These effects are immediate when raw CBG flower is inhaled.
People also find the sensory effects of hemp flower alluring. It often looks, smells, and taste like good old-fashioned bud, but without the psychoactive effects. And CBG goes one step further, by putting a pretty perk in your step. Some say it alters their perspective and helps them focus, but again without any trippy or couch-seeking effects.
We’ve found that people think of CBG flower to get through the grind of the day. Stress, anxiety, aches and pains, and general work tedium can fade to the background, allowing an uplifted, clear, and chill self to stand and be counted.
Some people who use cannabis like to mix in hemp flower to moderate the effects of a high-THC product. We’ve also heard reports that CBG hemp flower can extend the effects and duration of other strains of hemp flower. That makes sense, considering that cannabis compounds are thought to work synergistically and CBG is the parent of most other cannabinoids.
Answering the Call for CBG Flower
In the hemp and cannabinoid world, consumer demand appears to outpace production.
Developing CBG genetics seems to be the key to meeting that demand, both within the industry and the market. Production costs are a problem because CBG is inefficient and expensive to extract, and because demand is high.
Large-scale farming of CBG-based hemp crops, in which CBG is the dominant cannabinoid, is on the horizon. Not only will hemp strains with a high CBG yield help set the stage, but so too will other genetic developments, like removing most of the terpenes in CBG hemp. That may sound like sacrilege, but sticky terpenes gum up the machinery and hinder the production needed for large-scale cultivation. Experts suggest terpenes and other cannabinoids could be added back into the CBG once it has been extracted, in order to restore full spectrum goodness to the final product.
This, however, will not work for the raw CBG hemp flower market. Raw hemp flower enthusiasts will likely want the full spectrum of cannabis compounds available, including those sticky terpenes. Such a demand ought to encourage artisanal growers to continue cultivating the full hemp flower experience.
The Hemp Haus is excited to announce that we now feature our own brand of hemp flower—Stardust—available in several unique and outstanding varietals. Shopping hemp flower can be a fun personal adventure, and we’re here to guide you through our line of exceptional hemp bud.
Hemp Flower at The Hemp Haus
We work with farmers in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California to offer a carefully curated line of raw hemp flower. And we are pleased to introduce some of the first CBG hemp flower available.
First up is Jack Frost CBG. As the name suggests, this hemp flower is frosted in silvery trichomes. Its aroma is fresh, sweet, and earthy with flavors of pine and citrus that come across as smooth as you could wish for.
Jack Frost CBG can shift your mood into a calm confidence, uplifting and settling you into a cruising altitude of focus and clarity that brilliantly manages the daily grind. Anxiety, aches and pains, and work stress have no authority on this hemp flower’s watch!
People are digging hemp flower because they can enjoy all the whole plant nutrients of cannabis without the intoxicating effect. And CBG hemp flower is no exception. Our clientele describes it as uplifting and giving an open feeling that they can relax in. Think of how fresh mountain air can both invigorate and relax. But there is almost zero THC, so you won’t get high. Relieve anxiety without having to sacrifice your focus … Tell your inflammation to take a hike so you can take a hike. Leave the negative behind so you can do you.
Smoking and vaping hemp flower is a way to get a significant amount and range of cannabinoids into your system fairly quickly. With this form of consuming hemp CBG, there is an appreciable absorption rate through the lungs, and you can simply inhale more right away if you need it.
And with hemp flower, you can be certain you’re getting the full spectrum of cannabinoids and whole plant nutrients because it hasn’t been processed to remove anything. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch out for quality.
Hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means it leeches impurities from the soil around it. If your hemp was grown around heavy metals, pesticides, or other contaminants, they will certainly be in your hemp and in you if you ingest it. Always vet your hemp product and make sure that it comes with a certificate of analysis (COA) which is an analysis of what is in your hemp (from cannabinoid amounts to impurities) that is performed by a third-party lab. It is important to know that your hemp flower is safe.
The hemp industry is still making its way toward unified regulation. Because of how hemp legislation was enacted, states have various practices for monitoring hemp cultivation and production. And, honestly, poor quality hemp is slipping through the cracks from a lack of education and oversight. The safest and highest quality products will come from growers and producers that put forth the time, energy, and expense to self-regulate.
At The Hemp Haus, education about high-quality cannabinoids is our first priority. Access to these products and understanding their effects is second, because they don’t exist without a safe, high-quality product to begin with. Check out co-founder Zach Allen’s recent post about why he chose the cannabis business.
Even if you do not use our products, we want you to have the knowledge to make an informed decision about purchasing safe, high-quality cannabinoid products that will positively affect your life. We are always available to discuss hemp and cannabinoids and answer any questions you may have.
You can learn some quick, simple tips here that will ensure you are getting only high-quality cannabinoid products.