Over the last decade, CBD has exploded to mainstream popularity and hand in hand came CBG.
Recently, CBD has been the subject of many scientific studies. As a result, many people are digging into CBD’s medicinal potential to treat various conditions, such as arthritis, insomnia, and epilepsy.
This widespread interest has earned CBD a growing fan base. However, this fan base is unaware of another highly beneficial cannabinoid related to CBD — cannabigerol or CBG.
CBG, like CBD and THC, is among the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis Sativa plant. Today, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about CBG to educate you on this new and exciting cannabis-based compound.
CBGA- The Mother of All Cannabinoids
Although there are hundreds of cannabis derivative, they all originate from one “mother” substance:
CBGA. CBGA undergoes chemical reactions with different dehydrogenase enzymes to produce THC, CBD, CBC, and of course, CBG. The process that yields these end products is decarboxylation and involves removing a carbon dioxide group from CBGA. In simple terms, decarboxylation is simply the heating up of CBGA under certain conditions.
What is Cannabigerol?
As mentioned above, CBG is one of the many cannabinoids derived from the CBGA in hemp and cannabis. CBGA is essentially the acidic form of CBG. With the development of the cannabis plant, most of CBGA is synthesized into CBDA or THCA.
At the time of harvest, most cannabis-strains contain less than 1% of CBGA, which is too low for commercialization purposes. However, producers are considering the possibility of breeding CBG-heavy strains to increase yields. As more research highlighting the potential benefits of CBG comes to light, CBG-dense experimental varieties are expected to increase.
Like THC and CBD, CBD interacts with the natural endocannabinoid system in various ways, producing diverse effects. Here’s how:
CBG & the Endocannabinoid System
CBD is similar to CBG in one important aspect: it is non-psychoactive. Researchers believe CBG functions as a CB1-receptor antagonist. Meaning it counteracts the effects of agonist molecules, such as THC. This is quite similar to how CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the brain.
Moreover, studies have shown that CBD affects the activity of 5HT1A receptors, which regulate the production of serotonin. CBG exerts a mild negative force on the 5HT1A receptor, thereby affecting serotonin release in the central nervous system. CBD is also known to affect the adrenoceptor, which is involved in adrenaline and noradrenaline — hormones linked with fight and flight responses — regulation in the central nervous system.
The research on whether CBG stimulates the activity of CB2 receptors is inconclusive. While some studies suggest CBG modulates this receptor, it isn’t clear what kind of force it exerts, whether agonist or antagonist.
Effects of CBG
The best thing about CBG is that it isn’t psychoactive. So, you don’t have to worry about losing your consciousness while taking CBG. Furthermore, research has linked CBG to a host of therapeutic properties. We’ll discuss some of these below:
CBG And Pain
Although the science on CBG’s medicinal use is scarce, science has hinted that CBG might act as a potent pain-reliever. In 2010, CBG acted as a powerful alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist. This receptor plays a critical role in regulating pain in our bodies. Therefore, science believes CBG might belong to a class of drugs used to treat various pain responses. Another 2008 review produced similar results. In the review, CBG proved to be an even more impactful analgesic than THC.
CBG And Glaucoma
Research focusing on the links between CBG and Glaucoma dates back to several decades. In 1900, West Virginia’s Department of Ophthalmology tested the efficacy of both THC and CBG to treat glaucoma patients. The main purpose of the study was to find whether these cannabinoids would reduce intraocular pressure in rodents. When CBG was administered to the animals’ cornea, it succeeded in relieving intraocular pressure. This indicated that researchers could introduce CBG as a viable therapy for glaucoma and other optic conditions in the future.
CBG And Inflammation
Inflammatory bowel diseases leave many people worldwide in constant distress and pain. Consequently, big pharmaceutical companies are always searching for viable remedies to treat it. In one such effort, researchers at the University of Naples conducted a study on mice to understand how CBG could combat inflammation. The study results in 2013 revealed that CBG successfully debilitated murine colitis and alleviated the production of a compound (nitrogen oxide) known for stimulating inflammatory activity.
CBG And Neurodegenerative Diseases
Science has also found that CBG might have a role to play as in neuroprotection. A 2015 study published in Neurotherapeutics demonstrated how CBG protects mice who have Huntington disease from neurodegeneration. Researchers found that CBD also improved many underlying symptoms of Huntington’s disease by normalizing the expression of many genes associated with the illness.
Is CBG Better Than CBD?
While both CBG and CBD are cannabinoids, it would be wrong to compare them. Existing research suggests that both might have similar governing structures and, therefore, may affect various conditions, ranging from inflammation and chronic pain to glaucoma similarly. CBG has shown to outweigh other cannabinoids in terms of therapeutic effects because it has sown to manage muscle contractions.
Generally, no cannabinoid is superior or better than the other. In the end, your experience will depend on your intended use and preferences.
Is CBG Legal?
The fact that CBG isn’t a psychotropic substance makes it legal for manufacturing and distribution. CBG neither comes under the UN convention on psychotropic substances nor is it listed as a prohibited drug in the US’s controlled substances act. Whether CBG is easy to get your hands on or not is another matter. But, as far as legality is concerned, you have nothing to worry about because CBG is 100% legal. If you’re still not confident enough, you can check drug laws in your locality for your peace of mind.
Where Can You Find CBG Products?
Right now, CBG products aren’t as common as CBD or THC products. You might not find a CBG edible or oil in a local dispensary. However, some pharmaceutical companies have started processing and isolating CBG oil for widespread commercialization. These efforts will catch more pace as the scientific and public obscurity surrounding CBG fades, and CBG’s popularity stands toe-to-toe with its other close family members — THC and CBD.
If you want to have a taste of CBG, but can’t find it anywhere, here’s what you can do instead:
Try full-spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all cannabinoids to some extent. If you can’t find exclusively CBG-based products, these are your best bet. Plus, many experts believe that a holistic concoction of cannabinoids is much better than an individual formula. So, if you’re getting your cannabinoids in a single product, they’ll work a lot better.
Check for third-party testing.
Any company that’s in the CBG business should support third-party lab testing. So, before you make any CBG purchase, make sure the brand’s products are third-party verified. Reading the lab report to find the concentration of CBG and other additives may also be a good idea.
Does CBG interact with other medications?
Right now, research on CBD’s interaction with other prescription medications is non-existent. You should always consult with your doctor before using CBG if you’re one some meds, especially if one of these meds has a grapefruit warning. some meds that fall in this category include:
- antibiotics and antimicrobials
- anticancer medications
- antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
- blood pressure medications
- blood thinners
- cholesterol medications
- erectile dysfunction medications
- gastrointestinal (GI) medications, such as to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or nausea
- heart rhythm medications
- mood medications
- pain medications
- prostate medications
The future of the CBD and CBG Industry
Right now, many legal hurdles have impeded the progress of clinical CBD research. But, as these obstacles are overcome, you’ll see that the Cannabis industry will introduce us to a host of powerful cannabinoids that will change the way we perceive cannabis and its compounds.
Although existing research paints a promising picture of CBG’s potential benefits, we need more to bring CBG’s popularity on par with CBD and THC. This is the only way to fast-track the widespread commercialization of CBG products.
Keep in mind that everything starts with awareness. When more people realize that CBG can help them, just like other cannabinoids, pharmaceutical companies will invest in CBG-based products just like they have in CBD-based products. Who could’ve thought a decade ago that we’d be treating epilepsy with Epidiolex — a CBD based drug. But here, we are.
Maybe, you might face difficulty getting your hands on CBG products. These are not as pervasive as CBD. But, there are places you can explore. And if you run out of luck even there, you can always use full-spectrum CBD products that contain all cannabinoids, including CBG. And if you’re worried that CBG is some obscure new drug that’s going to cause you harm, then your fears are unfounded. No regulatory authority has banned the use of CBG products because CBG isn’t illegal or known to cause any adverse effects.