The strain, dubbed “Matterhorn,” was developed by breeder Matthias Ghidossi, founder of Swiss Cannabinoid, Ticino, Switzerland, who worked with a team of European geneticists and a pharmaceutical company in developing the cultivar. Matterhorn is registered in the USA under Phylos Galaxy, a crop science company based in Portland, Oregon.
As part of the U.S. launch campaign, 10 licensed hemp farmers received 2,000 seeds each to introduce and test Matterhorn in their regions. Recipients of the giveaway seeds cultivate hemp across diverse states and climate zones ranging from California to Vermont, Texas to Pennsylvania, and Colorado to Georgia.
CBG (cannabigerol), like THC and CBD, is one of 120 cannabinoids found in cannabis. While cannabis stakeholders have long been focused on developing THC and CBD, researchers and hemp breeders are now teaming up to better understand CBG, and developing CBG-rich cultivars.
CBG is known as the “mother” or “OG” cannabinoid, due to the fact that it is the precursor to all other cannabinoids such as CBD (Cannabidiol), CBN (Cannabinol), CBC (Cannabichromene), and THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid).
CBG also activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This means it could possibly hold the cumulative qualities of all other cannabinoids put together.
“We chose to focus on CBG due to its powerful efficacy in early trials,” Ghidossi said. “Over the past few years, more and more research has been conducted to understand the value of CBG. The early results of research in Europe are creating a lot of excitement in the fields of science and medicine.”
While clinical trials of CBG have not been performed, early studies have shown the compound may be therapeutic for such things as glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease and Huntington’s disease, and may inhibit tumor growth in some cases; it is known to kill or slow bacteria and advance bone development. CBG also reportedly buffers the feelings of paranoia sometimes caused by over-ingesting THC.
“Paving the way in CBG has been a logical next step – both in advancing the agricultural industry and also in improving the availability of CBG products to U.S. consumers,” Bodhi Urban, CEO at High Grade Hemp Seed, said of the company’s push into cannabigerol. High Grade carefully develops the value chain through breeding and other partnerships to ensure the farmers it serves get proven, robust genetics, Urban said.
First discovered in the 1960’s, CBG, which is non-psychoactive, is not under international drug schedules, and is not considered a controlled substance in the USA.
The relatively low amount of CBG found in conventional cannabis plants means it takes thousands of pounds of biomass to isolate even small amounts of the compound, meaning high prices to the end user, at least for now. CBG has been called “the Rolls-Royce of cannabinoids” due to the costly process of producing it.
Matterhorn offers farmers a vigorous hemp strain specifically bred to yield high levels of CBG, opening up a wide range of opportunities for the next hot cannabinoid.
Jay Lee, owner of Lee Family Farm, is one of the early farmers of Matterhorn CBG in the USA. “My passion for this industry is driven by the opportunity to bring real growth, sustainable products and viable, proven alternatives to pharmaceuticals into our communities,” Lee said. “All that starts with having reliable, proven genetics.”