As you’re tapping, scrolling, and swiping through your CBD search, you probably haven’t given much thought to other endocannabinoids until CBG came along. This little gem is as hopeful and enticing as it is expensive.
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid typically most abundant in low-THC and high-CBD hemp plants. In much a similar way to CBD, CBG stimulates the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and alleviates any ‘high’ created by THC.
What is CBG ?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. Scientists have known about CBG for over 70 years. CBG was first isolated by Raphael Mechoulam and his team at the Hebrew University in Israel in 1964.
However, it took Japanese scientists 30 years to reveal that CBGA was the precursor of CBG (‘A’ stands for acid). They discovered that it was produced in the resin glands of mature female hemp plants.
Unlike THC, consuming CBG won’t get you high. Infact, it is believe that CBG counteracts the psychotropic effects of THC in very much the same way CBD does, especially when taken in quantity or by new users.
What’s interesting about the discovery made by the Japanese, is that the acidic form of CBG, CBGA, plays a huge role in the synthesis of other phytocannabinoids (namely THCA and CBDA) as well as determining the metabolic lifespan of the hemp plant.
This grants CBG with the nickname ‘mother cannabinoid’ or ‘stem cell’ cannabinoid.
Thanks to specific enzymes during the plant’s flowering cycle (usually within 6-8 weeks), CBGA is broken down to become tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). In layman’s terms, CBG is naturally converted to create THC or CBD.
The transformation into their neutral forms occurs thanks to the exposure to UV light, heat and oxygen.
So, When you light a joint, CBDa will naturally turn into CBD, THCa gets activated to THC, and so on.
Why is CBG so expensive?
CBG is not present in large quantities in most strains. Most hemp plants have been bred to produce as much CBD as possible, so strains where the CBGa converts to CBG, are in fact rare.
Most hemp strains contain low levels of CBG — usually less than 1%. This is what makes CBG the most expensive cannabinoid to extract from regular strains.
To give you an idea, manufacturers need 20 times more CBG hemp biomass than they do CBD if they are looking to produce equal quantities of CBD oil made from a CBD flower containing 20% CBD.
So breeding hemp plants with a naturally high CBG genetic yield is necessary and requires breeders to understand the genetics of the plant.
Is there a relation between CBG and CBD?
Ok, so we have covered that CBG helps make CBD.
CBG and CBD are both cannabinoids, and both found inside the cannabis plant. Both CBG and CBD are currently considered to be non-psychotropic, meaning that they won’t change your perspective in a manner that would hinder your everyday capacity and mental lucidity.
Like CBD, CBG is nonpsychoactive, but it is able to alter a person’s state of mind in a way that could relieve anxiety and depression.
CBG has been found to be more potent than CBD, and its possible medical benefits include pain relief, reducing bacterial growth, calming inflammation and relaxation amongst others.
So, the primary difference is that CBD and CBG are chemically distinct due to their particular physicochemical properties and interactions with the endocannabinoid system. Serving separate purposes, each with the possibility to help treat various maladies and symptoms.
What does the cannabinoid CBG do?
Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) works to keep us in a balanced state of homeostasis. While there are specific details about how cannabinoids work, in general the endocannabinoid system performs different tasks specific to each area of our body.
By way of example, when we injure ourselves, one of the functions our ECS will perform will be to help regulate immune cells and thus limit inflammation.
What are CBG potential benefits?
CBG has been found to act on very specific physiological systems and problems, and results for medicinal use are promising.
CBG is an epic neuroprotector
In 2015, CBG was shown to protect neurons in mice with Huntington’s disease; characterised by nerve cell degeneration in the brain.
CBG was also shown to protect the nervous system from potential damage. Your nervous system needs to accurately control your blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, etc.
CBG packs antimicrobial protection
Research shows evidence that CBG is an effective antibacterial agent, particularly against MRSA microbial strains which are resistant to other classes of drugs. Topical cannabis has been effective in skin infections & doesn’t come with the harmful side effects that occur to the gut prescription antibiotics bring.
CBG boasts staggering anti-inflammatory benefits
CBG decreases inflammatory response in gastrointestinal issues, IBS, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and even cancer as it blocks receptors in the body that cause cancer cells to grow. CBG is thought to be particularly effective in treating glaucoma as it reduces intraocular pressure acting as a vasodilator.
CBG stimulates appetite
Researchers have shown that CBG is an effective appetite stimulant. This can be useful in adults who have suppressed appetites due to
severe weight loss & muscle wasting from illness such as cancer treatment side effects. It may also be a novel treatment option for patients with eating disorders that have stunted appetites.
Increases bladder function
Out of all cannabinoids, CBG tested best at inhibiting muscle contractions, making it a possible future tool in preventing bladder dysfunction disorders.
Bladder issues can result from age, but can also present itself with a variety of health issues. One is Parkinson’s disease. Many patients with Parkinson’s experience loss of bladder control in the later stages of its progression.
Which is better, CBD or CBG?
To be honest it simply boils down to individual preference and needs.
Both CBG and CBD have their unique benefits and will affect different people in different ways. You may want to first understand what you need and perhaps try both and see which one works better for you.
It’s important to remember that each hemp flower will contain a different set of cannabinoids and terpenes. So, make sure to check lab reports and learn more about the effects of cannabinoids found in each flower.
This variation in make-up will inevitably alter the effects of each product —no one is best and no one is necessarily suitable for everyone. I explain this as it is an open invitation to experiment and discover your needs until you find the right strain/s for you.
Does CBG get you high?
Absolutely not! CBG is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid, which means it doesn’t get you high, it is legal and most importantly safe to consume.
It is very different from THC, as mentioned above, CBG usually makes up less than 1 percent of most cannabis strains and is the stem cell needed to create THC and CBD.
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.
Is CBG good for pain?
Cannabinoid analgesics have generally been well tolerated in clinical trials. Their use for the treatment of pain shows great promise as CBG has proven beneficial in studies to fight both inflammation and pain.
Animal studies specifically have shown that CBG stimulates the receptors that are involved in pain as well as being able to stimulate a2-adrenergic receptors in the brain and blood vessels (blood pressure regulation). So, not only does CBG have the potential to assist in pain and inflammation relief but may too play a role in blood pressure regulation.
Over to You
So we have seen that the potential benefits of CBG are enormous making it easy to understand where the buzz and latest craze for it in the cannabis market has come from. Despite being expensive to produce, CBG serves as a great alternative natural alternative therapy and can be found in a variety of forms ranging from oils, vapes and creams and is likely to become the next cannabinoid medical cannabis research focuses on.