The origins of CBG
While you may not have heard about CBG, humans have reaped its benefits for millennia, in both cannabis and hemp plants. It was first synthesized in 1964, alongside THC, and has been studied extensively for its medicinal potential. It’s often called the “mother of all cannabinoids” because without it, cannabis would have no high.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp plants that contain less than 0.3% THC are federally legal. CBGA is present in both cannabis and hemp plants, and since it directly correlates to hemp plants’ CBG and CBD potency, farmers can derive CBG from hemp plants. In fact, numerous hemp farmers now breed and grow CBG-rich strains that don’t require a trip to the dispensary or a medical marijuana card to access.
Because CBG isn’t abundant in most strains, breeders have begun crossbreeding plants to achieve higher levels of the cannabinoid. Farms like Oregon CBD have won multiple awards for their White CBG strain, which contains around 10% CBG and less than 0.3% THC.
CBG, like CBD, is non-intoxicating and does not impart a high, despite its connection to THC. Research indicates it can bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors within the body’s endocannabinoid system, meaning it not only interacts directly with the body’s internal systems, but can also counteract the effects of other cannabinoids, such as THC.
The human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) keeps the body in a balanced state of homeostasis via innumerable receptors throughout limbs, organs, nerves, and systems (e.g., digestive, immune, reproductive, and more).
A 2021 patient survey indicated a majority of patients found CBG-dominant products effective in treating their chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia, among other conditions.
While there are still gaps to fill in the research of CBG, early findings indicate it has numerous health benefits:
- Reducing intraocular pressure and working as a vasodilator neuroprotectant; this makes it a promising option for treating and managing symptoms of glaucoma.
- Anti-inflammatory properties when tested on mice with induced colitis, which could prove an effective and holistic treatment for various infammatory bowel diseases.
- Combating Huntington’s disease in mice, which causes nerve cell degeneration in the brain, by protecting neurons and stymieing progression.
- An agonist to alpha-2 receptors, which are primarily found in the nervous system and regulate blood pressure and heart rate, as well as sympathetic nervous system activity. By inhibiting them, CBG may be able to address symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
- High potential as a cancer inhibitor and treatment, including for breast, gastric, and colorectal cancer cells, and even glioblastoma brain tumors.
- An antibacterial agent, even against bacterial strains resistant to other drugs.
- Stimulating appetite, though studies have only been done on rats. This may help induce appetite in chronically ill pati
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition that causes chronic inflammation in the bowel. It affects millions of people across the globe and is incurable.
An experimental animal study conducted in 2013 observed the beneficial effects of CBG on inflammatory bowel disease.
In an animal study, researchers found that CBG has therapeutic potential for the treatment of glaucoma.
Reseachers administered CBG to cats with glaucoma and noticed a reduction in eye pressure and an increase in aqueous humor outflow, a fluid produced by the eye which maintains eye pressure and provides the eye with nutrition.
Huntington's disease is a condition that causes a breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. In a 2015 study, researchers examined the potential neuroprotective properties of CBG and other cannabinoids in mice who had an experimental model of Huntington’s disease.
It was observed that CBG acted as a neuroprotectant, protecting the nerve cells in your brain from damage. It also improves motor deficits and preserves striatal neurons against 3-nitropropionic acid toxicity.
A 2020 study on the antibiotic potential of cannabis, found that CBG has antibacterial properties. Especially against methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacteria which causes staph infections and is drug-resistant.
Fighting Cancer Cells
In a 2014 study, researchers observed the effects of CBG on rats with colon cancer. They observed that CBG showed some promise in blocking the receptors that cause cancer cell growth and inhibiting the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
They suggested that the use of CBG should be considered translationally in the cure and prevention of colon cancer.
How to Use CBG
The most common way CBG is produced for consumers is as an oil. You can get the benefits of CBG by using pure CBG oil. However, CBG oils are rare and expensive.
The good news is that you can also get some of the benefits of CBG from using broad-spectrum CBD oils. Broad-spectrum CBD oils contain all the cannabinoids found in a cannabis plant including CBG, but it doesn’t include THC.
When cannabinoids are used together, they can increase the effectiveness of each other by a phenomenon called the entourage effect.
CBG vs. CBD
CBG is often compared to CBD because it shares many similarities and they both act on the endocannabinoid system.
Both CBG and CBD are non-psychoactive which means they will not alter your state of mind in the way THC will.
They can however reduce the psychotropic effect of THC if you consume a cannabis plant. One of the biggest differences between CBD and CBG is the quantity which is found in most cannabis plants. Most cannabis plants contain only 1% of CBG, but up to 25% of CBD.
The production difficulties of CBG makes it very scarce. It’s much harder to produce than other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Since CBG shares many similarities with CBD, manufacturers would rather produce CBD.
When CBG is produced, products derived from it are very expensive. However, CBG has a host of promising potential benefits and more research is being done into easing the production and availability of the cannabinoid.
Credits: Verywellmind andleafly.com