If you had to guess how many cannabinoids are found within the cannabis plant, what number would you go with? If you guessed over 100, you nailed it! Based on the relatively limited research that has been conducted on cannabinoids so far, scientists have already identified over 100 phyto-cannabinoids (cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant), according to Medical Jane findings. Out of these phyto-cannabinoids, the ones that have gained the most attention are THC and CBD. However, other phyto-cannabinoids that have made recent waves in the medical world include CBN, THCV, and cannabigerol (or CBG for short). Keep reading to find out more about CBG in particular, its health benefits, and which cannabis products contain CBG.
Background of CBG
Cannabigerol (CBG) was discovered in the 1960s, along with other main cannabinoids. However, in a 1975 study, researchers discovered that CBGA (the acid form of CBG) was the first cannabinoid formed within the plant. After being synthesized, CBG gets rapidly converted to other cannabinoids through natural processes that take place within the cannabis plant, as stated in a Leaf Science article.
Generally, CBG is categorized as the building block for many compounds found within cannabis, including CBD and THC. However, CBG is completely non-psychoactive, and it's sometimes referred to as the 'stem cell' or 'parent' of other phyto-cannabinoids.
CBG is found within the cannabis plant, but it's specifically found during the early stages of the cannabis growing cycle. Then, it's extracted from the budding plants during the flowering stage. Relatively high amounts of CBG can be extracted from the budding cannabis plants around three-quarters of the way through flowering.
Health Benefits of CBG
Cannabis and varying cannabinoids contain numerous medicinal benefits and properties, and CBG is one of them. Most of the evidence of CGB’s health benefits has been gathered from different pre-clinical studies. From the limited research that has been conducted on CBG thus far, it has been discovered that CBG works with other cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, to provide synergy and balance. CBG is also believed to partially counteract the paranoid cerebral high feeling that's associated with THC consumption, as mentioned in a Medical Jane article.
In addition, CBG has an effect on the brain because it inhibits the uptake of GABA, which is a brain chemical that determines how much stimulation a neuron needs to cause a reaction. When GABA is inhibited, it can decrease muscle tension and anxiety, similar to CBD's effects.
Aside from these health benefits, according to a 2013 Italian study published in the May edition of Biological Psychology, CBG contains anti-inflammatory properties. The cannabinoid can reduce inflammation by targeting specific molecules responsible for inflammation in different disease states like pain syndromes, cancer, and IBD. Therefore, CBG could be used as a treatment method for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammation-related problems.
Furthermore, CBG has been found to be useful in the treatment of glaucoma because it can increase the fluid drainage from the eyes while reducing eye pressure, according to a 1990 study on animal models with glaucoma. Fast forward two and a half decades, and there's evidence from a 2016 report regarding CBG as a treatment for depression, because CBG has been found to block serotonin receptors. CBG can also affect the body by increasing anandamide levels. Anandamide is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid that regulates biological functions like sleep, memory, and appetite.
Additional Medical Benefits & Properties of CBG
Similarly, according to a 2007 study, it was discovered that CBG can stimulate bone marrow stem cells indirectly through the CB2 receptor. This finding suggests that CBG and other cannabinoids can help with bone-fracture healing and promoting new bone growth and formation. In the same year, another study was performed, which found that CBG inhibited keratinocyte proliferation. This suggests a significant role for CBG aiding in the treatment of skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema.
Then, a 2008 study was released that found CBG's effectiveness against MRSA (staph bacteria that's antibiotic resistant). In a 2009 review article, it was discovered that CBG and other cannabinoids can slow the progression and growth of various tumors and cancer cells. Like CBD, CBG contains analgesic properties, according to a 2008 review article.
Other health benefits of this cannabinoid include the recent finding that CBG is an extremely active neuroprotectant, based off a 2015 study involving animal models with Huntington's disease. Thus, it's suggested that additional research must be conducted on CBG as a treatment for neurodegenerative disorders. Lastly, according to Ethan Russo, who published a report in the British Journal of Pharmacology, in conjunction with limonene (a common cannabis terpene), CBG displays promising results in fighting breast cancer.
Cannabis Products Containing CBG
Now that we’ve discovered some of the numerous health benefits of CBG, we have to ask: Which cannabis products contain this cannabinoid? Well, it depends on the cannabis strain you get, the content of it, and where it was derived from. For example, most cannabis strains contain less than 10 percent CBG. However, industrial hemp strains have tested much higher; many have been tested as high as 94 percent CBG with as low as .001 percent THC, according to findings from Medical Jane.
Researchers believe that the higher levels of CBG in industrial hemp could be due to a recessive gene. Therefore, it's possible for breeders to alter/manipulate their strains' cannabinoid profile accordingly so that it'll contain more CBG. Recently, more CBG cannabis strains have become available in Europe. However, cannabis growers can breed their own strains to contain more CBG.
If you're looking for cannabis products that contain more CBG than other cannabinoids, your best bet would be to purchase industrial hemp–based products instead of whole cannabis-derived products. It won't be long though before cannabis breeders create their own high-CBG strains, especially due to its already-known health benefits. Stay tuned to find out the other health benefits CBG contains as more research is conducted around the world.
To learn more about hemp, its byproducts, and the health benefits it contains, check out the informative article here.
Learn about the differences between hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD by reading the interesting article here.
Article by: Nicole Skrobin