Cannabigerol application in skincare: past, present, and future


CEO, Demetrix, San Francisco Bay Area, USA


Cannabinoids have emerged as promising bioactive ingredients in several attractive commercial applications. While trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most studied cannabinoids, there are over 100 other minor cannabinoids (considered “minor” due to their low concentration in cannabis plants). Yeast-based biomanufacturing of one such rare cannabinoid, cannabigerol (CBG), has emerged as an alternative production process enabling access to commercial-scale production of this compound making it a viable candidate for personal care products. Research has demonstrated CBG has distinct pharmacology compared to other cannabinoids such as CBD, making it an attractive ingredient for further study and commercial efforts. Here, we report transcriptomic analysis on skin cells treated with CBG to determine its effect the genomes compared to CBD. We find that CBG activates skin response to microbial attacks and downregulates skin pigmentation pathways, suggesting that it may provide benefits in anti-microbial and anti-hyperpigmentation personal care products.

Cannabis plants, including Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and others, have a long and rich history of broad and far-reaching medical applications for humans. In China, as far back as 2500 B.C., the plant was used for many conditions, from joint pain to gynecological disorders (1). Use developed and/or spread to Egypt, Greece, and Rome, where it was used for other medical purposes, including glaucoma. By the 1800s, cannabis extracts and tinctures were routinely used in Western countries for migraines and nausea (1).


In the modern-day, much of the molecular mystery behind these various biological activities has been unshrouded or debunked. The purification, structure, and pharmacology of the major cannabinoids, trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have been well studied (2-4). Δ9-THC is known for inducing psychotropic effects such as euphoria, while CBD is non-psychoactive and has been found to have a variety of bioactivities. The most well-validated medical application of CBD is as an FDA-approved treatment for pediatric seizures (5). More recently, topical application of CBD in vivo has al ...