Medical cannabis and individual cannabinoids, such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), are receiving growing attention in both the media and the scientific literature. The Cannabis plant, however, produces over 100 different cannabinoids, and cannabigerol (CBG) serves as the precursor molecule for the most abundant phytocannabinoids. CBG exhibits affinity and activity characteristics between Δ9-THC and CBD at the cannabinoid receptors but appears to be unique in its interactions with α-2 adrenoceptors and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT1A). Studies indicate that CBG may have therapeutic potential in treating neurologic disorders (e.g., Huntington disease, Parkinson disease, and multiple sclerosis) and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as having antibacterial activity. There is growing interest in the commercial use of this unregulated phytocannabinoid. This review focuses on the unique pharmacology of CBG, our current knowledge of its possible therapeutic utility, and its potential toxicological hazards. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Cannabigerol is currently being marketed as a dietary supplement and, as with cannabidiol (CBD) before, many claims are being made about its benefits. Unlike CBD, however, little research has been performed on this unregulated molecule, and much of what is known warrants further investigation to identify potential areas of therapeutic uses and hazards.
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