As CBD becomes more popular, there is a growing awareness of what it is and the health benefits it can provide. But as we do further research in studying the cannabis plant, we discover that there are other cannabinoids also lurking among its leaves. One of them is CBG. Read on to find out more about CBG and how it can be beneficial to your health.
What is CBG?
There are a number of cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Perhaps best known of these cannabinoids is THC. THC provides health benefits but also produces mind altering effects which is why it’s often frowned on in certain circles of society.
Other cannabinoids in the plant, like CBD and CBG (cannabigerol) provide similar health benefits without the mind altering effects.
Looking at CBG specifically, it is not present in large quantities in most cannabis strains. It is present in low levels, usually less than 1% and is considered a minor cannabinoid. Yet, you may be surprised to learn that it is actually the parent cannabinoid of both CBD and THC.
Here’s how it works.
CBG starts out as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Enzymes in the plant break the CBGA down. The acids are then exposed to ultraviolet light and heat to become either THC or CBD. Because CBG is almost immediately converted to one of these compounds, there is usually very little left in the plant.
However, scientists are working on genetic mutation which will allow for higher levels of CBG to be present. One example of this is known as Subcool Seeds. Here, scientists cross strains and produce higher CBG contents.
Scientists have also experimented with extracting higher levels of CBG from budding plants by pinpointing the optimum extraction time, which is typically about six to eight weeks into the flowering cycle.
Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. This is a system that consists of receptors that regulate health and homeostasis in the body.
The ECS has two primary receptors, CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor binds to the brain and nervous system while the CB2 receptor interacts with the immune system. Cannabinoids bind with these receptors to produce potential health benefits within the body.
When CBG interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it acts as a possible inhibitor to the psychoactive effects of THC. It also may boost anandamide, an endocannabinoid that increases dopamine levels naturally and regulates functions like mood, sleep and appetite.
CBG may also obstruct GABA uptake in the brain making the cannabinoid an effective anti-anxiety agent and muscle relaxant. It may also block serotonin receptors to minimize anxiety.
11 Amazing CBG Benefits
Studies of CBG have shown that the cannabinoid can provide the following health benefits in the human body.
Helps Treat Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a condition where increased pressure within the eyeball can cause a gradual loss of sight. In a 1990 study, it was found that CBG can improve eye’s fluid drainage to reduce intraocular pressure. It also is a powerful vasodilator which enables it to allow more oxygen rich blood to the eye area.
Helps Treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease: CBG works as a powerful anti-inflammatory and may be effective at reducing the inflammation associated with Crohn’s Disease and other health issues that may involve bowel inflammation. One 2013 study tested mouse models of colitis. Colitis was induced, and inflammation was assessed. Once CBG was administered, it reduced the production of nitric oxide which causes inflammation. Therefore, the inflammation of the intestine was reduced, and the symptoms of IBS improved.
Works as a Neuroprotective: CBG is neuroprotective, meaning it protects and preserves the nerves of the brain to keep it safe from injury disease and degeneration. In 2015, research was conducted on mouse models who were given agents that caused nerve damage that was the same as that which is present in those suffering with Huntington’s disease. After CBG was administered, nerve damage slowed, and further deterioration was prevented. This could make CBG an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and Huntington’s Disease.
Treats MRSA: MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a group of bacteria that is responsible for several difficult to treat infections in humans. One study showed that CBG, along with other major cannabinoids, can treat this bacteria due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Stimulates Appetite: CBG has been shown to treat the loss of appetite in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Research was conducted on rats who were given CBG and studied to see how it would affect their eating habits. It was found that rats did not eat more at one sitting but did eat more frequently. This can be ideal for patients who are unable to eat due to nausea that is brought on by chemotherapy treatments. This can also make CBG effective for treating cachexia, an illness that affects late stage cancer sufferers.
Fights Cancer: Studies have shown that CBG can be effective in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, particularly in the case of colorectal cancer. In one study conducted in 2014, the compound was shown to hamper colon cancer progression and selectively inhibit the growth of CRC cells.
Reduces Depression: Studies have been conducted that shows CBG to be an effective antidepressant. In one study, mouse brain membranes were given CBG. The compound worked to stimulate alpha-2 receptors and block 5HT1A receptors. This was effective in decreasing both anxiety and depression in test subjects.
Pain Reliever: CBG has been proven to be a better pain reliever than THC. This may be due to where in the cell the CBG exerts its effect. While its effects on the CB1 receptor may be not much to note, it stimulates the CB2 receptor to inhibit the TRPM8 receptor. This results in a reduction of pain. Pain relief is also enhanced by CBG’s ability to stimulate the alpha-2 receptor and inhibit the 5HT1A receptor. This causes an uplift of mood which can also be effective in pain relief. Some research on cannabinoids effects in pain management can be found in research conducted in February of 2008.
Helps Sports Injuries: Because CBG has a greater GABA uptake inhibition than CBD or THC, it may be used as a muscle relaxant to treat spasticity which may be due to sports injuries, chronic lower back pain or multiple sclerosis.
Treats Psoriasis: Because CBG inhibits keratinocyte proliferation, it may be effective in treating the skin condition psoriasis when applied topically. One study conducted in 2016 suggested that CBG, along with other cannabinoids, might benefit people with psoriasis by affecting the interaction between the body’s immune and nervous system.
Treats Bladder Dysfunction: One 2015 study researched various cannabinoids and their effect on bladder contractility. Of all the cannabinoids studies, CBG came out on top as being the most effective. It was shown to reduce acetylcholine induced contraction in the human bladder.
How to Get CBG
Although CBG may not yet be as popular as CBD, surprisingly, it is not difficult to find when it comes to buying it online or in stores. You can find it available in isolate form, oils, tincture, powders, water soluble edibles, vape oils, topicals and more. It may be a matter of trial and error before you find an application that works best for you.
As for dosage, it is always best to start out with lower dosages to see how the compound will affect you. Then you can increase or decrease to suit your needs.
Another way you can enjoy the benefits of CBG is in full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD products.
Broad spectrum and full spectrum products contain not only CBD, but various cannabinoids and this mix is said to provide an entourage effect that offers the maximum benefits of each compound. However, these products can contain trace amount of THC and, while this small amount is not potent enough to cause mind altering effects, it is possible that it may show up on drug tests.
Is CBG better than CBD?
Reviewing the research here, we can see that CBG has actually ‘beat out’ CBD as well as other cannabinoids in providing certain health benefits. This may be the reason why many in the cannabinoid community question whether it might be more effective than it’s more well known counterpart. The truth is, there is no hard and fast answer to that question, but it is more subjective depending on the person and the condition it is being used to treat.
However, it is a bit astonishing to find that CBG is coming up so quickly and is so readily available in the cannabinoid world, especially considering that the use of cannabinoids is still a relatively new concept in medical studies.
Whichever cannabinoid you prefer, we’ll say the more the merrier when it comes to having natural products on hand that can help people enjoy a higher level of well being. We look forward to seeing how CBG will continue to evolve and become an accepted treatment in the world of modern health.