What is CBG and what does it do?
Cannabigerol or CBG is another lesser-known cannabinoid. For you to encounter the term, it can only be assumed that you are already familiar with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These two are the most well-known chemical components found in cannabis.
CBG’s lack of popularity may be due to the fact that it is not present in large amounts in most cannabis strains. That is because CBG is the non-acidic form of CBGA or cannabigerolic acid, which is the “mother cannabinoid” – the parent molecule from which many of the other cannabinoids are produced. It so happens that by the time cannabis plants mature, most of the CBG has already been converted into CBGA, which, in turn, has become other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. In effect, only less than one percent of CBG is left in cannabis by the time the plant gets harvested.
In order to get higher levels of CBG, cannabis breeders have been experimenting with cross-breeding different cannabis strains and with genetic manipulation. Scientists can also extract larger quantities of CBG from budding cannabis plants by knowing the optimum time for extraction, which is in the sixth week of an eight-week flowering cycle.
CBG is also anti-psychoactive and non-intoxicating. This means that, like CBD, it does not create a high when consumed.
Medical benefits of CBG
Preclinical studies on CBG’s therapeutic benefits – usually involving mouse models – have shown very promising results. CBG has been found to work very well with CBD to produce the best therapeutic effects.
For one, CBG has a great potential to effectively treat glaucoma. It has been found to reduce intraocular pressure and is a powerful vasodilator. It has also been found to have neuroprotective effects.
CBG may also help in treating Huntington’s disease because of its ability to protect neurons. Huntington’s disease is characterized by the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain.
CBG also has anti-inflammatory properties and may improve inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Research also shows that CBG is a great antibacterial and antimicrobial agent. Its antiseptic properties found it effective in fighting off MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a microbial strain that is resistant to several drugs and is responsible for several infections that are difficult to treat.
There’s also evidence that CBG can treat skin conditions. This is because CBG facilitates the production of natural skin moisturizers, which, in turn helps counter dry-skin syndromes. CBG is also contained in cannabis topicals that are used to treat skin infections and ailments like psoriasis.
Moreover, CBG can help relieve pain, especially neuropathic pain. It also has anti-anxiety properties. CBG can inhibit uptake of the brain’s GABA, which can lessen muscle tension and anxiety. Because of this, CBG is also believed to have mood-lifting and anti-depressant effects.
CBG can inhibit the growth of cancer cells or tumor and shows promising properties in vitro in the treatment of various types of cancer, including liver cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and many others.
Furthermore, CBG is a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
CBG may also be effective in stimulating appetite and can be used in the treatment of cachexia, which pertains to the severe weight loss and muscle wasting seen in late-stage cancer and certain other diseases.
Clinical trials are still needed
Scientists are excited about these initial CBG results as they show a lot of potential when it comes to the treatment of a host of diseases. But like most other cannabis-related studies, these CBG studies are non-clinical. Human trials are needed to cement cannabis’ position as a universal therapeutic option for patients.