When we talk about Cannabis, our attention is often focused on THC and CBD, however we should not forget the presence of over a hundred molecules, each of which with their own specific characteristics.
Let’s talk about CBG, Cannabigerol, a molecule which is proving to possess an interesting therapeutic potential.
In this article we will discuss CBG as a potential treatment to fight neuro-inflammation.
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol, known as CBG, is a phytocannabinoid, which unlike THC, and exactly like CBD is not psychotropic.
CBG was identified for the first time in 1964 by the scientist Yehiel Gaoni and is composed of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), one of the first cannabinoids formed in the cannabis plant.
Gaoni talks of a terpenophenolic compound, like there are others present in cannabis, which can be divided in three different molecules, which, in turn, present different chemical properties and have application in the therapeutic and pharmaceutical fields.
In fact, during the maturation phase of the cannabis plant, some enzymes act and transform CBGA in a variety of acid cannabinoids, THCA, CBDA, e CBCA.
CBG is considered an antagonist of the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system. What does this mean? It means that it can inhibit the effects of the CB1 agonists, especially of THC, and hence interfere with the effects of these cannabinoids.
What is Neuro-inflammation?Neuro-inflammation is a “cytokine-mediated” inflammatory process which can be provoked by systemic tissue damage, but is more often associated with direct damage of the central nervous system.
The Therapeutic Potential of CBG
In 2015, researchers of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Complutense University of Madrid, have demonstrated the neuroprotectant properties of CBG.The researchers used two different in vivo models of the Huntington’s Disease in mice, which is characterized by a progressive collapse of the nervous cells in the brain. The study discovered that CBG was very much active as a neuroprotectant, improving motor deficiencies and protecting the neurons at the same time.
CBG and Neuro-inflammation
The research study published in PubMed last June, investigated the role of CBG in neuro-degeneration, mainly caused by inflammation and oxidative stress.
“It is interesting to notice – one can read in the study report – that different natural compounds can be able to exert neuroprotectant actions against inflammation and oxidative stress, while protecting the loss of neuronal cells”.
Amongst these natural sources Cannabis and cannabigerol (CBG) are mentioned, of which the antioxidant properties have already been demonstrated in macrophages. Macrophages are cells belonging to the phagocyte system. Their main function is to incorporate in their cytoplasm foreign particles, including microorganisms, and to destroy them.
In this research the objective was to assess the capability of CBG to protect the “NSC-34 motor neurons from toxicity elicited by RAW 264.7 macrophages, stimulated with LPS”.
“Using MTT assay, we observed that pre-treatment with CBG could reduce the loss of vital cells, elicited by macrophages, stimulated with LPS in the NSC-34 cells”.
The CBG pre-treatment not only neutralized inflammation but also the form of oxidative stress.
In conclusion, these results have indicated the neuroprotectant effects of CBG, which could form a potential treatment against neuro-inflammation and oxidative stress.