Today most people that ever heard about cannabis are mainly familiar with the two botanical compounds like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, this plant is rich in more than 400 useful components and over 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Meet another highly promising and interesting cannabinoid – cannabigerol (CBG). What benefits can CBG offer? How does CBG differ from CBD and THC? Let’s find out the answers in this article.
CBG is a naturally occurring and non-psychoactive chemical derived from the cannabis plant. CBG is considered a “minor cannabinoid” due to its presence of about 1% of total cannabinoids. Although this compound occurs in lower concentrations, its potential properties are piquing interest among health professionals and consumers.
CBG was first discovered in 1964 by Israeli scientists Yehiel Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam. These researchers managed to isolate CBG from the plant and changed the full understanding of the cannabis Sativa plant.
All cannabinoids in the raw hemp plant exist in non-active acidic forms. Only when these compounds are heated through a decarboxylation process, they can gain their typical physiological properties.
CBG is the precursor to all of the cannabinoids. The cannabis creates CBG and then transforms it into different cannabinoids, including the well-known THC and CBD. CBGa is split into CBDa and THCa through an enzymatic reaction. Eventually, these components turn into psychoactive THC and non-psychoactive CBD through heat.
CBG acts by interacting with the endocannabinoid system within the body, just like other cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signalling system that includes a network of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids are compounds that each body produces naturally. They bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors to help in regulating main physiological functions and maintain a state of internal balance. CB1 receptors mostly exist in the nervous system and brain, while CB2 receptors primarily occur in the immune system.
The cannabinoids can also attach to these receptors due to similar structures. After cannabis intake, CB1 and CB2 receptors provide assimilation of cannabinoid molecules, which contributes to the different psychoactive and immune processes.
THC binds with CB1 receptors and may cause high or euphoric effects in cases of misuse. As for CBD, it doesn’t link with these receptors easily but impacts the way they react with other cannabinoids.
CBG is known to bind with CB2 receptors, unlike THC. Also, high concentrations of CBG might inhibit other compounds from binding with CB1 receptors. CBG acts as a buffer to the psychoactivity by reducing intoxication, sometimes caused by high amounts of THC.
Even though CBG helps to create CBD and THC, these compounds and their concentrations vary between one another as well as their chemical structures.
Both CBG and CBD are non-psychotropic chemicals, which means their intake won’t alter mental clarity or daily function and won’t cause the “high” effect as it does THC cannabinoid. Furthermore, they are used for various purposes and can help to treat most ailments and disorders, despite some potential medical overlap.
Now when you know what CBG is and how it works, let’s draw attention to its main advantages.
- Health benefits of CBG aren’t fully understood as of today. However, initial research confirms that it may be a useful remedy in the treatment of most physical and mental conditions.
- Pain-relieving properties. In a 2010 study, CBG showed significant promise to reduce pain as well as help in relieving muscle pain. This makes CBG worth considering for the management of sports injuries, wounds, and different types of chronic aches.
- Antidepressant and anti-anxiety qualities. Based on the same 2010 review, CBG may provide relief from depressive symptoms and increase levels of anandamide in the brain to prevent anxiety.
- Neuroprotective effect. A 2005 study suggests that CBG might help support brain health by keeping it safe from a decline in cognitive functions. These advantages can be useful for people subject to severe neurological conditions. Also, CBG beneficial effects may help patients with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. A 2008 publication suggests antimicrobial properties of CBG, that can even help to deal with MRSA.
- Anti-tumor effects. Some animal studies have mentioned that CBG can slow down the progression of certain cancers, such as breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Furthermore, CBG may activate appetite, which helps to counteract chemotherapy effects.
- Remedy for psoriasis. CBG might be able to manage psoriasis. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBG can be a possible option for psoriasis treatment.
- Anti-inflammatory effect. CBG may alleviate inflammatory bowel disease. In 2013 animal study showed the potential of CBG to be used as an inflammation reducer in the lower bowel. Also, a 2018 study suggested that cannabinoids may help deactivate the body’s inflammatory reaction in the gut.
- Glaucoma treatment. CBG and other cannabinoids may diminish intraocular pressure in the eye, which can be useful for patients with glaucoma.
CBG is only beginning to conquer the health market and emerging from the shadow of famous THC and CBD compounds. It has been suggested that CBG affects not only the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but may also influence α2-adrenoceptors and 5-HT1A serotonin receptors in the nervous system.
Furthermore, CBG could act as a reuptake inhibitor of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline by cells, which can be useful in preventing depression.
Unlike CBD, CBG hasn’t been permitted as a drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, there is a drug exception rule for parts of the cannabis plant that don’t include THC or CBD compounds. If CBG were approved as a drug, this exception wouldn’t apply due to exclusion for substances marketed as foods or dietary supplements before any FDA clinical investigation. Nevertheless, many brands and companies are already selling CBG infused products as foods and nutritional supplements.
Also, in 2018 Farm Bill reclassified hemp from a forbidden compound to an agricultural commodity in the United States. This means CBG can be produced and extracted from hemp, which gives CBG a possible legal direction. However, the fact that many companies offer CBG infused products is conducted on their avoiding claims of unapproved CBG health effects.
CBG is considered a safe-to-use remedy and a well-tolerated compound at any time of the day. There is still not enough information about side effects related to CBG; however, in some cases, people may face drowsiness after CBG intake.
Also, it’s strongly advised to consult a doctor or medical specialist before considering using CBG, especially if you are already taking prescription medications or have been diagnosed with severe disorders.
Keep in mind: CBG might not be compatible with other medicaments and can adversely interact with specific prescriptions because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Prices for CBG are usually much higher than the CBD. CBG content in the cannabis plant is approximately 1%, and manufacturers have to go through a vast amount of hemp biomass to produce just one bottle of CBG oil. No surprise that companies put such a high price tag on CBG infused products.
Another reason for established CBG costs is enhanced technology and specialized extraction equipment. Such machinery is necessary to provide a thorough and careful separation of the CBG compound.
Small bottles of CBG tincture are selling for a price between $50 to $200. Nevertheless, when a product includes CBG blended with CBD or other cannabinoids, the cost can be lower and more affordable for customers.
Proper CBG dosage depends on many factors, such as age, body weight, and disease severity. Also, if you are currently taking medications or food supplements, you may need to adjust the dose accordingly.
Companies usually recommend consuming no more than 5-10mg of a CBG tincture once or twice per day. It’s also advised to drop the CBG oil under the tongue and hold the liquid for 60 seconds before swallowing. Sublingual ingestion proves faster absorption of the taken cannabinoid before it goes through the digestive tract.
As with any treatment, always start with small doses and pay attention to how your body reacts to CBG intake. If you don’t experience any adverse effects, you could gradually increase the dosage by a few milligrams until you achieve needed beneficial results from CBG.
Initial CBG studies showed great results. Scientists are willing to do more research with CBG alone or in combination with other cannabinoids to promote the treatment of multiple diseases.
CBG has a promising broad range of applications due to its non-psychotropic properties. CBG can help to fight inflammation, pain, nausea, and psoriasis. Also, it inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells, acts as an analgesic and as an antidepressant.
CBG may not be as prominent as CBD, but attention to this cannabinoid continues to grow. If soon CBG takes off in a significant way, this compound has enough chances to compete with trendy CBD; however, two things probably have to happen.
The first is that scientists need to do more research to shed light on CBG advantages and disadvantages. As for the manufacturing process, if companies will find a cheaper way to produce CBG infused goods, and eventually, the prices will drop, that certainly can attract more customers interested in CBG benefits.