There are at least 113 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant – one of which is cannabigerol, or CBG. While THC and CBD tend to get the most press, new developments in cannabis science are revealing the potential of other major and minor cannabinoids.
Cannabigerol (CBG) is growing in popularity and availability. What is CBG? Let’s take a look at this cannabinoid and find out if CBG oil just might be the newest trend for the cannabis consumer.
CBG: An Overview
CBG is a minor cannabinoid formed when cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is decarboxylated. CBGA is often referred to as “the mother of all cannabinoids” because it breaks down and converts to either CBG, THC, CBD, or CBC when heated. However, only about 1% of CBGA breaks down into CBG, as opposed to 25% that turns into either THC or CBD.
Because of this breakdown and limited availability, CBG is hard to come by. In addition, since it is not as prevalent as CBD vs. THC, products made with CBG oil tend to be quite expensive. But as more and more strains are researched and extraction science evolves, CBG will likely become more readily available in various formats.
CBG is non-psychotropic, meaning it will not produce the same “high” that is usually associated with THC and smoking weed. Instead, it acts a bit more like CBD in that it affects the body and mind, but much more subtly. Although research is ongoing, CBG is proving to have plenty of unique benefits.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an incurable disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Studies show that CBG reduces inflammation and the production of nitric oxide in the intestines, an essential trait needed for lessening symptoms of IBD. Research also suggests that CBG may inhibit the growth of cancer cells, particularly in the colon.
CBG acts as a neuroprotectant, making it a viable option for treating Huntington’s disease, a condition where the nerve cells in the brain break down and degrade. Although studies have only been performed on mice, the results were so promising that researchers believe CBG will be an option for human treatment as well.
Further animal studies have shown improvement in treating glaucoma by relieving eye pressure and providing optimal nutrition to the eye. Additionally, CBG acts as an antibacterial that can fight infections like MRSA and staph.
Much like CBD, CBG offers a positive effect on the mind and body. It can quell feelings of anxiety and lessen physical symptoms associated with stress. It also appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. Another unique therapeutic benefit is CBG’s ability to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC.
When considering the entourage effect, CBG plays an integral role in harmonizing the synergistic effects of cannabinoids and terpenes, providing for an overall soothing experience. This is desirable for many cannabis consumers that wish to obtain benefits without the intensity of a THC high.
Possible Side Effects
Since CBG is still largely understudied, there isn’t much information about the full potential side effects. However, some people have reported similar side effects that one might encounter when taking too much of any cannabinoid. This can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Don’t worry, these side effects will pass quickly as your body processes the CBG. Remember to start small with any cannabis product and gradually increase the dosage only when you know how much the first dose affects you. For example, cannabis edibles can take up to two hours for full effect, and smoking may take only minutes to kick in.
The Body and CBG
Like all cannabinoids, CBD is processed by the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating many bodily functions like hormones, sleep, mood, appetite, digestion, and motor control, to name a few. Two main receptors work with cannabinoids — CB1 and CB2.
The CB1 receptors work with the brain and nervous system, and CB2 receptors work with the immune system and many other areas of the body. CBG interacts with both of these receptors and is said to help strengthen the neurotransmitters that enhance pleasure, drive motivation, relieve pain, regulate appetite, and moderate sleep cycles.
Adding to its therapeutic benefits, studies on CBG and leukemia show that CBG has anti-cancer properties when combined with other cannabinoids to engage the entourage effect. This promising research may put CBG at the top of the list for treating and preventing cancers.
The Differences of Cannabinoids
While cannabinoids work harmoniously together, there are some distinct differences and striking similarities among CBG and other cannabinoids.
CBG vs. CBD and CBN
CBG is compared to CBD and CBN for a good reason. They all share similar therapeutic properties and are non-psychoactive. Each of these cannabinoids interacts with the ECS.
CBG and CBD are derivatives of CBGA, but CBN is created from oxidized THC. However, since THC is also a derivative of CBGA, each comes from the same origin. The percentage of CBN is directly correlated to how long the THC has been exposed to oxidation, light, and at what temperature.
CBG, CBD, and CBN all work on the ECS to manage pain, regulate sleep, and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, as stated above, CBG may offer some unique benefits to specific conditions. CBN has become well-known for its strong sedative effects, and CBD is popularized for its use in reducing stress and anxiety.
CBD, CBG, and CBN are all legal when derived from hemp so long as the final product, like in the case of a CBG oil, does not contain more than 0.3% THC. CBG appears to be more prevalent in hemp, making it easier to access by people who don’t live in a state with a recreational or medical marijuana program.
Cannabis science is a fascinating field of study with the potential to revolutionize the medical and pharmaceutical industries. While we’ve come a long way, there is still so much to learn about cannabinoids and their unique uses. Although CBG is scarce now, we are hopeful that more CBG oil products will be available to those seeking its medicinal benefits.