Ever heard of CBG?
The cannabis plant is loaded with beneficial compounds known as cannabinoids. So far, we’ve discovered more than 100 of these compounds, with more being discovered every year, so it’s not too surprising if you haven’t heard of this new cannabinoid.
By far the most famous cannabinoid is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) —which causes the euphoric highs that cannabis is famed for. On the flipside, there is CBD (cannabidiol) – well known for its calming, non-psychoactive and therapeutic effects.
But here comes CBG (Cannabigerol) – another compound from the cannabis plant, only present in levels less than 1 percent and known for its anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidative properties.
Interested in this cannabinoid and want to find out why it is so unique and special? Stick with us as we uncover the secret behind this truly special compound from the cannabis plant.
The Basics on CBG
Before we dive into CBG, let’s start with a quick explanation for how our bodies interact with cannabinoids and how we experience the psychoactive high or super calming effects of cannabis.
In a nutshell, to interact with cannabinoids, our body was built-in with a special system called the Endocannabinoid system responsible for producing its own cannabinoids and regulating our mood, pain and appetite.
The system itself is made of several receptors, endocannabinoids and enzymes.
There are two main receptors known as CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mainly activated by endocannabinoids and is associated with pain management and the nervous system, while CB2 is known for protecting our bodies from outside invaders.
Enzymes, in their turn, are in charge of breaking down endocannabinoids AEA and 2-AG once they have carried out their function.
That said, cannabinoids are known to interact with our Endocannabinoid System and produce well known psychoactive and therapeutic effects.
But where does CBG stand in this whole endocannabinoid process?
What is CBG?
CBG, also known as cannabigerol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant.
As the cannabis plant matures, cannabigerol is broken down by plant enzymes to direct it into three key cannabinoid precursors: THCA, CBDA and CBCA.
Once CBG is exposed to heat, it gets converted to THCA or CBDA, which then get decarboxylated to get converted to THC or CBD.
Unfortunately, the cannabis plant can only produce a limited amount of cannabinoids, so the more THC or CBD are created, the less for CBG is left.
Thus, obtaining CBG is a very demanding process and research is still in its infancy. The cannabinoid has not undergone any clinical research, but it is currently an important topic of study for its great benefits and ability to act on specific diseases.
The good news is, with the large demand from CBG consumers, producers are working to create pure CBG strains and soon we would see even more CBG strains appearing on the market.
How Does CBG Compare to CBD?
CBD and CBG are both non-psychoactive cannabinoids that act upon our CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The main difference between CBG and CBD lies in their ability to interact with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system. While cannabigerol is known to interact directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD employs its effects through stimulating the endocannabinoid system to produce its own cannabinoids and does not interact directly with the receptors.
There is also much greater research available on CBD, while CBG carries a fewer number of studies due to rarity and expensive aspects. Whether a strain is an indica vs sativa or something else entirely, there will always be a little CBG present in most dried and cured cannabis flowers, just like there are always trace amounts of CBD and THC as well.
The Benefits of CBG
Like we discussed before, benefits of CBG have yet to be proven in clinical studies, however, there are some animal studies showing that cannabigerol can help with Glaucoma, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease and even cancer.
- CBG may treat cancer: Studies have been conducted to investigate whether CBG protects against colon tumorigenesis. Using mouse models of colon cancer, scientists have found that CBG promoted apoptosis and reduced cell growth in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells.
- Glaucoma treatment: In 1990, researchers studying cannabigerol in animals found that cannabigerol related cannabinoids may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of glaucoma.
- Huntington’s disease: In a 2015 study, cannabigerol was shown to reduce the aggregation of mutant huntingtin CBG-treated animals and helped to protect against neuroinflammation and cell loss.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: A 2013 study on mice showed cannabigerol reduced the inflammation that is heavily associated with IBD.
- Appetite stimulant: Much like THC, CBG shows signs of it being an effective appetite stimulant. A 2017 study, found that cannabigerol works as an appetite stimulant in rats while doubling the total food intake and increasing the number of meals consumed.
While CBG has been efficient in treating a variety of diseases, more clinical research is required to gain more insight into how CBG differs from CBD, THC and other cannabinoids.
The Downsides of CBG
Many cannabis plants contain extremely low CBG levels, making cannabigerol an extremely rare cannabinoid quite expensive to produce. In comparison, CBG content of most cannabis plants is only 1-2 percent, when THC or CBD dominants possess 20 percent of cannabinoid content.
Additionally, products such as THC edibles, Phoenix tears and even CBD Oil Canada have been able to extract and concentrate potent high amounts of their desired cannabinoids in products readily available for consumption. At the time of this writing, no such product or extraction technique currently exists for cannabigerol.
Adding to the scarcity of the situation, growers only have two options when trying to cultivate CBG crops. The first option is to wait until it is time to harvest the cannabis plant, while the second option is to harvest the entire crop for pure CBG.
By now, there are not many breeders that specialize in CBG due to its scarcity along with expensive production. Thus, it will take some time before breeders are able to experiment with genetic manipulation and cross-breeding of plants in order to produce higher concentrations of CBG.
Does CBG Cause Any Side Effects?
So far, there haven’t been reports of side-effects to CBG and very little is known about this cannabinoid.
Animals have seemed to tolerate the effects of the compound very well, however, more research is needed to determine whether CBG causes any side effects on humans.
CBG – Concluding Thoughts
Cannabigerol is showing great potential and soon may become one of the most popular cannabinoids available on the cannabis market, potentially even rivalling that of CBD oil Canada!
With its potential medical benefits and healing properties, CBG could be a great option for those who need help with Glaucoma, Huntington’s disease, IBD or cancer. However, more research is needed to prove the potential of this newly discovered cannabinoid.