The Young Cannabinoids (CBG and CBC)

The Cannabis Professor Podcast Season 2 Episode 34 – The Young Cannabinoids 

Cannabichromene and Cannabigerol (CBG and CBC)

The Cannabis Professor Podcast with Scott Goddard

S2 E34: The Young Cannabinoids – Cannabichromene and Cannabigerol (CBG and CBC)

Not all chemicals are created equal – and not all cannabinoids are made in the same day.  Some start early, and some take time to ripen – and so today we are here to look at the first Cannabinoids, CBG and CBC, that the Cannabis plant grows in the trichome head and ask:

What do they do for the plant?
What do they do for humans?
And do they get you high – and can they keep you young?

Tune in and find out!


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Full Transcription Below


Welcome to the Cannabis Professor, a marijuana science and culture podcast, broadcasting from Philadelphia, to the rest of the nation, and the world.

My name is Scott, I am your cannabis professor.

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The Fine Young Cannabinoids – cannabichromene and cannabigerol CBC and CBG

And you know, we all would like to stay young. You know, they they often say that youth is wasted on the young, but they also say to eat your vegetables. But for those of you who might be allergic to certain plants that can actually be a death sentence in disguise of advice. And so with all that in mind, today, we’re going to take a look at what occurs in the young cannabis plant, the young cannabinoids, cannabichromene and cannabigerol, otherwise known as CBC, and CBG. Now these cannabinoids develop early in the growth of the plant, they are actually some of the first ones in that start the whole process of what we care about. And so we do have a couple of questions to answer. One, what are these chemicals do for the marijuana plant itself that makes them occur in the early stages to what can these chemicals provide for us and are very human bodies. And three, are these cannabinoids part of why we actually get high and what gets us there. So these are all good questions. And without much further ado, I say let’s crack on into it.

What are CBC and CBG cannabinoids?

So to begin, we’re going to first take a look at what exactly CBC and CBG are, as we call them the young cannabinoids, but in a weird way, they are also the old cannabinoids. So let me explain. When the plant first grows, and sprouts out of the seed gets tall enough to start growing leaves, and eventually buds, it’ll form trichomes on the surface of the plant material. And trichomes is actually a word that means like a growth of hair, and its root. So trichomes are sort of like hair. So think of like humans, you know, we grow hair on the outside of our skin. Generally plants go trichomes on the outside of their leaf. And also the buds, and trichomes are a defense mechanism. So all the oils that we get from cannabis, all the smells really come from these outside oil glands that they grow, which will house cannabinoids and terpenes as the plant develops. 

But the thing is, the plant doesn’t just grow them in a moment and they just sit around to be used, the plant kind of ripens over time, like fruit does in the kitchen. So the flavor of the plant, the benefits of the plant will change over time as well. You know, when the plant is first growing, it’s going to grow a certain profile of chemistry. And as it gets older, and taller and more colorful, potentially, it’s going to change what it needs. And thus change what it produces to meet its own needs. You know, just like trees eventually get bark and get taller. And it’s a whole different organism at that point. So cannabis works similarly. And that means that when it’s younger, it will grow certain cannabinoids, the first ones in if you will. And as it gets older those cannabinoids might develop into other substances. 

CBG – cannabigerol

So when you’re thinking about cannabigerol, CBG, and cannabichromene CBC, CBG is actually the very first one synthesized in that trichome part of the plant. So it’s the number one cannabinoid, it’s like antifungal, antibacterial, helps with bone growth and stuff like that and people so CBG, which when it grows in the plant, is actually going to be called CBGA. You see, when the plant grows, it grows mostly acidic forms of cannabinoids, almost everything that comes out of it is going to be acidic. So really CBG is going to be cannabigerolic acid as the plant grows at first. CBGA will grow and then start to develop into other chemicals as it develops and matures. So CBG is in first. And then CBC will develop from it. But also so we’ll things like THC and CBD. So now you can understand maybe a little bit why we call CBG the parent or like the older cannabinoid, it’s actually the first one and thus it produces the rest of them by changing and synthesizing and, and doing all sorts of mutation. So it starts with CBG. ie, if you were to cut a cannabis plant when it was pre harvest when it was little young in its development. You should have more CBG than you normally do, you know, ideally, you’d be getting more of that young cannabinoid, which occurs when the plant is young.

CBC – cannabichromene

Then CBC is an offshoot of CBG. And once again, it’s going to be CBCA when it develops in the plant. And CBC is just a laundry list of anti-insomnia, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, it’s simply just a big old defense mechanism. And thus, it kind of helps the plant out. Because if you think about it, a young plant, just like a young human, is going to have a need for extra protection, right? Babies, they can’t defend themselves very well, very susceptible to disease and damage from the environment. So we keep them in a crib, and we vaccinate them depending on exactly what side of the aisle you sit on. And we give them you know, food and stuff, so they can grow stronger. And a plant is going to need the same kind of treatment in general, where it’s going to need some extra chemistry in its youth. And it’s going to need extra protection. So CBG and CBC come in strong in the early stages, and help protect the plant against all of these things that can really hurt it, especially when it’s young, and still a little weak. As I mentioned, these chemicals will occur in the trichome head. And it isn’t to say that CBG like all of it turns into CBC, or THC. Ideally, you know, this is like a recipe, where not everything is cooked the same amount, one corner might get a little more heat, one corner might get less. And in the same way, you might have one trichome head, which is mostly CBG. And it has a little bit of THC or CBD or anything else in it. And you might have another trichome head next to it, which is the exact opposite. And then a third one, which might have a little bit of everything. And in equal ratios, you know, we’re really taking a collection of trichomes. When we’re extracting from the plant or using the plant, we’re not really consuming one track at a time. And so as we think about the display of chemistry we see, and what this means you have to remember, there’s a lot of variety to it, you know, we’re not saying trichome by trichome, we’re just talking about generally what the plant needs. 

Trichomes are all different

And I’m going to say it’s very similar, very similar to anybody out there who’s ever observed a beard up close or might be growing one.  Sometimes you grow a gray hair, right, if you get older, when you’re younger, sometimes you might grow some blonder hairs. For some folks, you know, like me, I have some random ass red hairs in my beard. And that means if we’re talking trichomes, which are the hairs of the plant, you’re going to have some trichomes, which are completely different than the other ones as far as what they smell like and what chemistry they contain. Maybe it was on the one side of the plant that there was more light, so it tanned just like skin or hair can also do you know, sun bleaching is something some people, their hair lightens when they’re in the sunlight more. So these are all factors that also affect plants. As much as humans, we just keep them all in mind.

Can CBC and CBG cannabinoids help keep humans young?

But whenever we’re thinking about these young cannabinoids, CBC and CBG, we wonder if they help the plant stay young. Can they also help us keep our youth right and promote our health so that we stay young. And now funny enough, as linguistic as that may be, there’s also some scientific truth to it. And so they can help steel, you know, the plant defense during its youth to help defend the human body so we can maintain our youth. And so for that second question, what do they do in the human body? Well, we’re going to start off with CBC this time, because it’s actually my favorite, cannabinoid.

CBC protects the brain

CBC, otherwise cannabichromene, as we’ve been saying, is actually known as a neuro-protectant and a neurodegenerative substance. And so noro means you know, your brain. So ideally, it helps protect the brain and brain cells, and it helps to generate more brain. Now, that is one of the reasons why it’s a favorite of mine, you know, it can help create better brain cells. And something we need to think about when we’re thinking about human health is cellular health. You know, we often think of the health of the whole body, you know, all systems working together. But for some of us who are you know, damaged or unlucky, diseased, even,

You may have areas of the body that no longer operate properly, you know, maybe your liver is a little underwhelmed, or maybe your stomach has issues. And then the rest of the body seems to be affected by just that one system, right? There is no single serving in the body, everything is kind of connected. And as we’re thinking about that, we often miss the fact that, you know, cells are really the building blocks of all these systems. And if I have healthy cells, I probably have a healthier system, which means not only will it maintain my health, but also will prevent itself from degrading as much. You know, to really steal a metaphor. I’m going to go towards cars, because it’s just like cars in a way, you know, if you let the paint on a car go shit, it’s going to eventually start to damage the body. And that may start to weaken the entire structure of the car. Even though the motor’s good, even though the tires are new, even though all the electrical and mechanicals are working, just the, you know surface of the car, it’s still a part of the car’s health. And then in the same way, if any one of those systems, if you have one tire that’s too worn, or one bolt, somewhere in the vehicle that’s getting a little loose, it could create more problems over time, make other systems overwork themselves and generally ruin the vehicle, sort of a death by 1000 cuts. And in our bodies, it’s no different, you know, we really can think more of our bodies as a collection of cells that are all in agreement, that they want to work towards our health, and promoting our lives. And thus, if a small collection of cells somewhere in my body starts to revolt, I might get cancer, I might get some malfunction or disease, which means healthy cells are the best, right? And if you want a healthy vehicle, you got to wash it, you got to maintain it, you got to grease it and change things on it right? pay for your general inspection and all the things cars need – use better gasoline, right, good in, good out. And if you want a healthy body, we also have to think, are we giving our bodies all the things that it needs to create healthy cells? Does it have enough water so that I have enough blood so cells can have enough blood to get there? Do I have enough nutrients so that when I’m making cells, I have all the little chemicals, I need to build a sell as well as it can, right I have good wood, I’ve good paint, I’ve good nails, everything you need to make a good house. And so although I’ve extended this metaphor a little longer than it needed to, this is really the thought process as we’re taking in cannabinoids as to what they really can help contribute for. So CBC hits you up in the brain and helps you get better brain cells. So when your brain starts to degrade, when you get older, and your memories might start to slip, it might just take a lot longer before your mind goes away, it might just mean that you only need a couple cells to remember that birthday instead of every cell that was available. So it generally means a better quality of life. So I would say CBC does seem to meet the challenge, anti-bacterial anti-insomnia. You know anti-fungal really helps keep the body nice. And it also helps internally, you know, it doesn’t grow cells, but it keeps the soil fertile. So that when cells grow, they are stronger, you know better soil better plants, think any grower knows that. And better plants give you better medicine. So that takes care of CBC.

CBG is good for bone and blood health

And then we have CBG, once again in view. And CBG says it’s good for bone and blood health. Another great thing that humans need if they want to stay young, right, another great thing that kids need, if they want to grow correctly, because you think when you’re born, what do you really need? You need healthy brain cells, because your brain is going to grow, you need healthy bones, because your bones are going to be your structure, you need your blood to be healthy, so they can carry those nutrients to where they need to go. And so the youth of these cannabinoids and what they seem to do in the plant, and keeping it defended against things in promoting itself. Well, it seems to do very similar things in the human body – promotes the health of our systems, helps ourselves out, makes the primary things that our body needs – the foundational system, skeletal, circulatory, your brain, you know, all the things that really start out first – really seems to keep them in health.

Are CBC and CBG psychoactive?

Now, given how much they do for the plant, and obviously how much they can do for the human body, the big question leftover is: Do any of these actually gets you high? And first, to really see if they could be part of it. We have to wonder, are they psychoactive? Now that seems to be the term that really does describe whether or not we’re talking about something which is going to inebriate you change the way you think gets you high, and something which just sounds great, like a vitamin, but doesn’t really change your mentality. And I’m going to tell you, you know, as a word nerd, I do have some comments concerning psycho-activity that I’d love to include.

Because it’s not just a clear yes or no kind of statement. So I dug up on mother Google, what psychoactive means and I stole this definition from the Mayo Clinic. it’s a large medical body does a lot of research. And so this is their definition, I believe, or at least one of them. So psycho-activity describes a drug or other substance that affects how the brain works and causes changes in things like mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behavior. Examples of psychoactive substances include alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, good old marijuana, right, that’s why we’re here and certain pain medicines. And so okay, definitions not too bad includes marijuana.

But it’s funny because now we’re talking about a part of marijuana. So we’re wondering, is this part of marijuana psychoactive? Because we already know that THC is psychoactive it over qualifies for those things. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol. That makes sense, although caffeine seems to barely qualify, but we all know that people can get a caffeine high it can actually cause issues with your heart and stuff if you take too much caffeine in over time.

But back to marijuana really right? So if THC is psychoactive? You know, find out most people say CBD is non psychoactive. But I’ve seen some recent papers that actually say CBD is psychotropic. And I can’t tell you if I know exactly what the big difference between psychoactive and psychotropic are right now, but I’ll find out and I’ll let you know as soon as I know.

So at least with my experience with things like CBD, I personally would say it does have the ability to sort of affect somebody’s awareness, thoughts and feelings or behavior. It’s a stabilizer usually, but it does kind of change the texture of your thinking. And so these kind of effects kind of fall into this gray area where it’s not psychoactive like you’re high when you take in CBD, but it does make you feel adjusted. And as a result if CBD is not psychoactive we look at CBC and CBG are young cannabinoids and we wonder well, do they change your mind or get you high? And they say they don’t. They are both considered non-psychoactive-cannabinoids. They do affect us deeply. You know, they can do a lot in the body. They can help with seizures and spasms too. But they don’t get you high like THC does that seems to be mostly just THC kick in its own but and maybe a little bit of CBN which we talked about in season one if you want to check it out.

But I I’m pragmatic, as you already know. So I think things like well, if THC psychoactive, but CBD isn’t, and as a result, CBG and CBC are not considered, well is sugar psychoactive is water. You know, if you don’t take in enough water, you definitely will change how your brain works and everything and thus, if you take in water, once you’re dehydrated, all these things will change again. You know, I know like mushrooms, you know, psilocybin and heroin are obviously psychoactive. But as an ex-musician, I know I’ve been to concerts and they say that loud bass can affect people. To that extent it can change your behavior, it can give you a headache, at least. Politics, right, can make you feel sick. Does that mean it’s psychoactive because it makes you nauseated? Or what if like a movie or a song makes you cry? Is that considered psychoactive, at least in your relationship to it? Because if it’s anything that affects how the brain works and causes changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings or behavior? I mean, if you’re fine sitting there, and then I play, I don’t know some heartfelt song like who wants to live forever by Queen and you cry at the end? Doesn’t that mean that that song was psychoactive to you in that moment? You know, a lot of questions. I wonder exactly how we can properly use that word. Because marijuana, you know if marijuana psychoactive than everything it does is psychoactive, but is it really? Or can we figure out one versus another chemical. And because there is such a varied range of effects from these cannabinoids, depending on the person, depending on the ratio, depending on the testing, we’re just going to take their word for it and say they aren’t psychoactive, but they can change a lot. The way I feel like you process your mental traffic changes. And so at some point that hopefully means improvements to things like mood and thoughts, as opposed to a detriment.

And so, you know, overall, no, they don’t get you high. It’s mainly a THC game. In the PA program where I’m in, I only really saw one period of time where I saw a bunch of CBC cannabichromene products get released. And it was very, very weird because it’s kind of a hard cannabinoid to get.

CBG and CBC are found in young plants.

Because usually the plant develops well past its youth. By the time we want to harvest it and get the medicine from it.

There were these pens, they were like one to one and two to one CBC. And what we all imagined happened is maybe something in the grow room went wrong, and they had to cut all that crop right away. And so if they extracted from all that young cannabis, they probably got a butt ton of CBC and said, screw it, let’s just roll with it and see what the market says. Now, I didn’t notice too much of a difference, you know, didn’t seem to betray me or throw me down the wall. It was kind of a little bit of a lighter feeling. However, I guess if I could have been able to ask my brain What’s going on? Maybe it would have said you know, we’re growing brain cells baby. We’re doing great up here. How about you? It just it’s such a light undertone and when THC is present, it’s tough to tell what is doing what. So I would say you know, not terribly psychoactive, but it does seem to count. You know, those were slightly different highs than normal. And that brings us to the very last thought

Where can you find CBC? You know, since those products had a little bit of it doesn’t really occur that often. It’s a young cannabinoid, where would I expect to see it the most. And as I said, you know, only really if somebody screws something up and has to cut young, you may get a lot of CBC in a product, if it’s made with underdeveloped or immature cannabis. Looking at some flower procured recently in the PA market, this is actually packaged almost exactly a month ago to the day was packaged on 511. And I’m looking at CBG.

It has 0. 3% CBG. So a third of a percent, which is barely any. We’re looking for CBG a, and there’s 0.6. So if I add them together, there’s just under 1% CBG, between the acidic and active cannabinoid,

Then we’re looking for CBC and it’s not even listed on the label, showing that it didn’t seem like it was important enough for them to test for. Now we have THC on this product somewhere in the 25% percentile. So when we’re talking 25% THC, cannabinoids, and then only like point nine 1% CBG cannabinoids and no CBC, we realize that even if it did change the high, you probably wouldn’t notice because there’s so little in this level, the Moxie Slimer flower I have which, right after I’m done recording I guarantee you, I’m gonna get into.

Now for another example for an extract at least for those looking around. Looking at the potency of something called Lemons Stilton Live Butter made by Cresco. It’s actually probably my new favorite from them because this is my fourth gram of it. So if you’re in pa and you’d like a good daytime Hetty, kind of get worked on strain, high limonene high caryophyllene it’s the way to go. But I digress. Looking at the cannabinoids on here, we look for CBG, the parent cannabinoid, the first one in and I have 0.67% CBG no CBG a listed and then I’m looking for CBC, and it literally just has zero across the board. So much like the with the flower, it’s barely showing any of either cannabinoid a little bit of the young one in CBG, not too much of the brain, one and CBC.


So it’s you know, something that we know about, and we look forward to these rare cannabinoids becoming more focal. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to happen. A lot of the breeding, I should say selective breeding that humans have done over the years, has really created a plant that is absolutely potent with THC, but really doesn’t grow a whole lot of those other cannabinoids in balance. And in a way, I mean, when you have a plant in a grow room with exactly what it needs to grow, you know, the plant’s only going to grow what it needs. And generally if we give it everything, it’s only going to grow a couple of things, you know, kind of a one note song. Thus, a wild strain of cannabis, a landrace strain as some of us might call it, something that Mother Nature grew, probably has a lot more of these other cannabinoids present. Because you know, it hasn’t been mutated, it hasn’t been modified. It hasn’t been selectively bred. And thus, in the future, we might see some of these come up. Just like with Delta eight THC. There’s also some other ones, CBDP, and THCP that we’ll talk about in the future, all sorts of crazy new cannabinoids coming out, and each one with the possibility of giving us another beneficial sort of color that we can use to paint our quality of life.

And so thanks for joining everybody. That’s everything I had for you today. Please like, share and subscribe. If you’d like information like this, you can find me on Instagram at the cannabis professor.

And also, you know, check out if you’re on YouTubes and you have some time. Check out the daily dose on YouTube. It’s actually through Terravita that’s actually my main job. I haven’t really mentioned up to this point, I think but I realized my privacy is ever fleeting. And so we might as well share, you could check me out there and see my silly face. Since it is a video series. Very similar topics. You know, we share scripts sometimes but that way, if you’re more visual, you can take it in that way.

However, until next time, I want to thank you again for joining me and be sure to keep young get medicated.  Be well out there.

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