All cannabis plants, whether hemp or marijuana have a similar chemical pathway to produce cannabinoids. Before CBD can be produced, the plant makes CBG-A, which is synthesized in the trichomes. That’s why you may hear people talk about CBG being the “stem cell cannabinoid” or the “parent molecule” to CBD and THC. The plant produces CBG-A and then uses an enzyme called CBD-A synthase to turn CBG-A into CBD-A (THC-A synthase does the same thing for THC in marijuana).2 CBD-A is converted to CBD by means of decarboxylation, but this happens outside of the plant.
To read more about decarboxylation and how CBD is produced, read our ‘What is decarboxylation?’ article next.