We’ve finally accepted CBD into our daily routines as a wellness aid in terms of inflammation, pain management, depression, anxiety, and more. You’re using it, along with your mom, your banker, and even your dog. And now, suddenly there’s a new acronym in town that you’re curious about. So what is CBG and why are we talking about it? Medical scientists have completed a few studies to discover various CBG benefits and effects on the human body. Their outcomes provide plenty of reasons to get excited about the possible benefits of CBG!
With continued studies on the benefits of hemp, scientists are fine tuning the ability to extract the individual cannabinoids from the plant and are starting to study each of them individually to understand their unique properties. Some of them you may already be familiar with.
- THC “Tetrahydrocannabinol”
- CBD “Cannabidiol”
- CBN “Cannabinol”
- CBG “Cannabigerol”
- CBC “Cannabichromene”
The Mother of Cannabinoids
CBG (cannabigerol) is the parent molecule or precursor to THC and CBD. It is most abundantly found in young hemp plants, but as the cannabinoid matures, it transforms into the more biologically active cannabinoids. During early growing stages, Cannabis sativa plants contain high concentrations of cannabigerolic acid, CBGA, before THC or CBD are present. As the plant matures, CBGA is converted to THCA, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, as well as CBDA, cannabidiolic acid, and CBCA, cannabichromenic acid. Because of its key role in biosynthesis for other cannabinoids, cannabigerolic acid is considered “The Mother of Cannabinoids.”
CBG has only gained more popularity recently, but these studies give insights into CBG’s potential as a starring cannabinoid. CBG, like CBD, works with our CB1 & CB2 receptors. CB1 and CB2 are believed to be linked with most of the body’s systems, including the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, as well as the immune system. In humans, these receptors are abundant in the brain, immune cells, bone, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, blood vessels, kidneys, gastrointestinal and fatty tissue. Like CBD, CBG is non-intoxicating. In fact, it may have properties that counteract the psychoactive effects of THC, which may reduce some of the adverse effects of the compound. In some studies, CBG was the stronger advocate for pain management. CBG has also been shown to regulate mood and naturally boost production of anandamide in the body. This powerful neurotransmitter is known for improving memory and other cognitive functions.
CBG has been found to act on very specific physiological systems and problems, and results for medicinal use are promising. This cannabinoid is the subject of preliminary studies on a host of chronic conditions, including:
- Intraocular eye pressure caused by Glaucoma
- IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease
- Movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Colon Cancer
- Bladder Dysfunction
- Anxiety & Depression
Endocannabinoid receptors are prevalent in eye structures, and interestingly, CBG is thought to be particularly effective in treating glaucoma because it reduces intraocular eye pressure. It is a powerful vasodilator and has neuroprotective effects to boot.
In animal experiments involving mice, CBG was found to be effective in decreasing the inflammation characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease.
In a recent 2015 study, CBG was shown to protect neurons in mice with Huntington’s disease, which is characterized by nerve cell degeneration in the brain.
CBG is showing great promise as a cancer fighter. Specifically, CBG was shown to block receptors that cause cancer cell growth. In one such study, it was shown to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells in mice, thereby slowing colon cancer growth. CBG inhibited tumors and chemically-induced colon carcinogenesis, therefore demonstrating a very exciting possibility for a cure for colorectal cancer.
European research shows evidence that CBG is an effective antibacterial agent, particularly against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) microbial strains resistant to several classes of drugs. Since the 1950s, topical formulations of cannabis have been effective in skin infections, but researchers at the time were unaware of the plant’s chemical composition.
In a very recent 2017 study, researchers showed that a form of CBG purified to remove delta-9 THC was a very effective appetite stimulant in rats. This may lead to a novel non-psychotropic therapeutic option for cachexia, the muscle wasting and severe weight loss seen in late stage cancer and other diseases.
In a study that looked at the effects of five different cannabinoids on bladder contractions, CBG tested best at inhibiting muscle contractions, so it may be a future tool in preventing bladder dysfunction disorders.
Scientists are excited about these initial CBG results and are promoting future research with CBG alone or CBG in combination with other cannabinoids and therapies for the treatment of multiple maladies. Because it is non-psychotropic, CBG has a promising wide range of potential applications not only for the problems mentioned above, but also as an analgesic, therapy for psoriasis, and as an antidepressant.
CBG, like CBD, offers similar benefits to the mind and body including immune support and relief of muscle soreness. CBG is most often used to improve behavior and moods, promote a healthy inflammation response and help address occasional nausea.
Based on anecdotal evidence, a partnership between CBG and CBD seems to offer effectiveness for maintaining a healthy systemic response to inflammation, maintaining a sense of calm and supporting recovering following exercise. In preliminary studies, evidence also suggests CBG and CBD may support healthy immune and digestive functions.
CBG and CBN show potential for supporting brain health, possibly leading to a greater capacity for focus and attention.
Similar to CBD, CBG helps slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Higher levels of GABA may have potent calming effects that help to regulate stress and mood.
How is CBG most beneficial?
CBG as an isolate is difficult to source, as it requires harvesting hemp plants before maturity to yield higher concentrations of it, but it results in excluding many beneficial compounds. Like the other cannabinoids, CBG is better in a group than a solo act.
Let’s Talk Again About The Entourage Effect
While cannabinoids show potential for supporting a healthy lifestyle when taken alone as an isolate, they’re much more powerful when combined.
The entourage effect comes from a phenomenon in herbal medicine called synergy, where naturally occurring botanical compounds work together to yield stronger effects and balance out potential side effects.
When one active compound is isolated, it becomes weaker.
The entourage effect refers to the synergy of cannabinoids from the hemp plant in compounding its effects in the endocannabinoid system. This is why you may have noticed that you may require higher doses of your CBD isolate to achieve the same level of effects as a full spectrum or broad spectrum extract.
CBD is the leader of the synergistic effect as it’s the most abundant cannabinoid harvested from hemp. CBN, CBG, and THC may help to increase the absorption of CBD and heighten its effects for supporting a sense of calm, post-workout recovery, and mental alertness.
The effectiveness of any given extract will depend on the potency and the cannabinoid and terpene profile.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The included studies are meant to provide a comprehensive review of the investigations into the compounds mentioned herein and by no means is this review an endorsement of the possible conclusions of these studies.