What is Cannabigerol (CBG)?
We’ve all heard of CBD and THC, the two most talked-about chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, but we don’t hear much about Cannabigerol or CBG. Cannabigerol is a phytocannabinoid and is one of the 120 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that is not psychoactive. CBG is referred to as a “parent molecule” as it is the first cannabinoid to develop in a young cannabis plant. As the plant grows CBG can still be found in smaller quantities of the plant, however it is usually extracted when the plant is young. When cannabinoids are extracted from a well developed cannabis plant, only 1% of those cannabinoids are CBG with “20 to 25% of CBD or 25 to 30% of THC.”
How is CBG Produced?
CBG is extracted from the young cannabis plant. This is the stage of growth where the most CBG can be found. As the cannabis plant begins to mature and with exposure to heat and UV rays, enzymes are released, breaking down the CBG acid, which causes a significantly smaller amount of CBG to be found, and higher amounts of CBD and THC become present.
CBG can be found in the form of crystals or oil. Because it is challenging to extract high amounts of CBG from the cannabis plant, breeders are beginning to experiment in different breeding techniques such as cross-breeding and genetic manipulation. Scientists are also working to pinpoint the perfect time in the budding process to extract the maximum amount of CBG from the plant.
How CBG Works on the Human Body
CBG, like CBD and THC, is processed through our own body's endocannabinoid system. Our endocannabinoid system plays an essential role in homeostasis and regulates various processes of both the physical and the cognitive kind. It's made up of small signalling molecules and receptors within the human body responsible for maintaining internal function with an ever-changing external environment.
The human body contains two types of cannabinoid receptors, type 1 cannabinoid receptor CB1 (this is the dominant receptor) and type 2 receptor CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the nervous system and brain, while CB2 receptors are found in the body’s immune system and other areas. CBG works by attaching to receptors that bind to a neurotransmitter called anandamide. This was the first endocannabinoid to be discovered, and the same receptor THC effects. It plays a part in regulating sleep, appetite, pain relief, pleasure and motivation, but unlike THC, it has no psychotropic effects.
So what are the advantages to taking CBG?
According to Leafly, CBG has promising results for the use of medicinal purposes such as;
It is thought that CBG is effective in the treatment of glaucoma, an eye condition caused by damage to the optic nerve. Due to its ability to reduce intraocular pressure and act as an effective vasodilator with neuroprotective effects.
Animal studies have found that with CBG, there has been a decrease in the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease, which causes chronic inflammation in the bowel and affects millions of people worldwide.
Huntington's disease is a condition affecting nerve cell degeneration in the brain. A 2015 study has shown that CBG protected neurons in mice with the disease. If effective, this could possibly stop the onset of Huntington’s. Any person found to carry the “mutated” IT-15 gene will develop Huntington’s disease eventually, and with no present cure, these are encouraging results.
CBG has been shown to assist in intercepting receptors responsible for cancer cell growth, and in one study, the use of CBG has shown to obstruct the development of colorectal cancer cells in mice. These findings demonstrate an exciting possibility for the cure of colon cancer with the use of CBG.
Research conducted in 2017 also found that purified CBG with the removal of the delta-9 THC component was an effective appetite stimulant in rats. This is a promising result for severe weight loss treatment associated with late stages of cancer and other diseases.
In a European article published in 2008, evidence found that CBG was an effective antibacterial agent, particularly in treating Staphylococcus aureus, the most dangerous and drug-resistant staphylococcal bacteria. CBG has been used as a topical skin treatment since the 1950s; however, scientists were unaware of the chemical composition at the time.
In a 2015 study called “Effect of Non-psychotropic Plant-derived Cannabinoids on Bladder Contractility: Focus on Cannabigerol,” five different cannabinoids were compared with CBG tested for their ability to inhibit muscle contractions. The results suggested CBG could be a tool in treating bladder dysfunction.
The therapeutic benefits to CBG are looking promising and with the added benefit of non-psychotropic effects. CBG could be a good candidate for future use in various treatments and symptoms as mentioned above. According to WebMD, animal studies have indicated no negative side effects, and we look forward to human studies that some scientists say could change the way these diseases are treated.
So What’s the difference between CBG and CBD?
As you may have noticed, CBG and CBD have very similar qualities, they are both non-psychotropic, and they both act on the endocannabinoid system. The main difference between them is that CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, whereas CBG directly binds to them. This does not make CBD less effective than CBG; it just means that they interact differently. Both CBG and CBD are linked to some very exciting health benefits, but more research is needed, particularly around CBG.
CBG can potentially offer substantial health benefits and is becoming increasingly popular; however, more research is always needed in cannabis-based products. This is a common issue and one that can only be resolved with legislative reform and regulation.
As CBG is far more challenging to extract from the cannabis plant than CBD, it can be more difficult to find pure CBG oil, and prices can be higher than other cannabis products. Users may prefer to look at broad-spectrum CBD oil products that contain CBG with the added benefits of other cannabinoids and Terpenes. If you are looking to try CBG for any of the conditions mentioned above, you could start by trying Enectas G500 5% CBG oil.
Alternatively, take a look at the Enecta range that is clearly labelled with all ingredients and keep an eye out for the word Cannabigerol or CBG. Remember, CBD and CBG have many similar benefits and can often be more effective when complemented by other cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. You can learn more about this “Entourage Effect” by checking out this article: “Terpenes and Entourage Effect.”