The Key Is CBG, By Dr. August Dunning
Often ignored, CBG is the precursor for the cannabinolic compounds. In the trichome it is rapidly chemically transformed into THC, CBD and CBC. Once this precursor compound is created and moved into the secretory reservoir of the trichome the precursor it is never found in high concentrations in the finished weed. Interestingly this critical precursor has medical applications for treating glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and skin diseases. In fact, it is rarely found in the finished sativa or indica cannabis plants but it is found in high amounts in certain strains of industrial hemp that carry a genetic mutation that down regulates the production of CBD thereby encouraging the accumulation of CBG. The primary compound formed in the trichome is cannabingerolic acid (CBGA) in molecular variations determined by the various concentrations of terpenes...hence the fragrance of the final weed. And as can be seen in this chemical analysis of ACDC and Harlequin the amounts of final cannabinolic compounds are determined by the amounts of the specific terpenes created by the genetics of the plant in the plasatidic pathways of the disc cells in the trichomes. For instance, Alpha -pinene in Harlequin is higher than in ACDC and the THC level is higher as well. D-Lemonene is higher in Harlequin and so is the CBC levels. Linalooo is higher in ACDC and so is the CBN content compared to Harlequin. And as can be seen low alpha-pinene relates to high CBD and low d-lemonene relates to high CBD. This is pretty good evidence that the fragrance of weed, the terpene esters, are scent guides for medical application when using medical cannabis. Smell the weed in the jars at your dispensary before buying folks…it does a body good. But how does this all work? How is this complex chemistry achieved in the trichomes? In an earlier article I presented a study conducted in Spain that proved that the production of THC is manganese dependent while the Production of CBD is iron dependent. That study didn’t delve deep enough into the molecular requirements of mineral substrates to fully describe how these compounds are mineral dependent. Here I will provide those pathways and dependencies. Under the influence of prolonged UVB during the maturity of the trichome – from clear to milky- , CBGA will lose a carbon dioxide molecule. Once this occurs the plants natural enzymes (synthases) break CBG down in two common directions. One direction employs CBD synthase to transform CBG into CBD then THC synthase to transform CBD into THC; the end product. The other direction employs CBC synthase to transform CBG into CBC; the end product of that transformation. When any of the cannabinoid acids, CBCA, THCA, CBDA are heated – smoked or exposed to UVB- they break down into the neutral forms; CBC, THC, CBD etc., and at any given time a trichome is filled with a mixture of all these acids and neutral forms. An article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry July 19, 1996 described an experiment that performed a biochemical analysis of an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidocyclization of cannabigerolic acid to cannabidiolic acid – CBGA to CBDA. Cannabinoids are plant secondary metabolites possessing alkylresorcinol (typically olivetol or olivetolic acid) and monoterpene groups in their molecules; meaning the phenols that combine with terpenes in cannabis form the precursors which then change under the influence of heat or UVB in the trichome secretory reservoir. That’s why weed grown in the sun is typically higher potency than weed grown indoors unless the grow room has UVB light frequencies provided during the bloom phase. What the authors verified was that CBDA synthase is an oxidoreductase that catalyzes the cyclization of the monoterpene moiety in CBGA. Meaning that the action is on the terpene part of the molecule! Most terpene cyclases require a divalent ion such as Mg2+ or Mn2+ for the cyclization of substrates as discovered in an earlier study: Biosynthesis and catabolism of monoterpenoids Rodney. Croteau, Chem. Rev., 1987. That means that the terpene part of the CBG molecule or the subsequent CBD molecule is the means for the synthase enzymes to transform the molecular structures. More specifically, the mineral ions act’s as a charged surface (substrate) for the enzyme to transform the terpene part of the molecule under the action of the enzyme. Ionic minerals in the soil do the same thing; acting as pseudo enzymatic substrates for soil metabolic activity. What does this all indicate? It shows that, as I have described in previous articles, the plant phenol olivetol as olivetolic acid in the vacuoles of the trichome disc cells form the foundation for the cannabinolic compounds that, when combined with terpene compounds formed in the plastids in the disc cells of the trichome can then form the different terpene specific species of CBGA. That is the real insight of this article…there are several terpene dependent variations of CBG acid molecules that are then the determinants of the amounts of the various cannabinolic compounds found in the final product – trichomes of the buds. During the maturation in long duration (weeks) bloom phase these CBGA acids lose a CO2 molecule under heat or UVB light (or both which is why I like hot lights not cold LED’s) changing the molecule into CBG in the trichome reservoirs to let the process proceed. Thereafter the divalent minerals Fe2+ ion acts as the substrate for CBD synthase to create CBD from CBG. After this transformation the divalent mineral Mn2+ ion acts as the substrate for the THC Synthase to change CBD to THC. These elements are next to each other on the periodic table; it seems logical that they are intimately involved with subsequent molecular transformations. In the other direction the divalent Mg2+ ion acts as the substrate for the CBC synthase to convert CBG into CBC. It is important to note that it is Boron’s un balanced electron in the 2p shell that can hold Calcium and together drag the substrate ions into the trichome to be released to perform the ionic substrate function so it is essential for the 7 to 1 calcium to magnesium ratio to be correct in the grow medium and is an essential part of the nutrient supplementation along with the My Grow Minerals for the critical minerals in the ionic charged state to direct calcium and act as the mineral substrates for the synthase enzymes to convert the precursors into the active compounds in cannabis. The complete cannabinolic compound bio synthesis pathways of cannabis plants Simply put: My Grow Minerals - don’t grow weed without it.