However, did you know that there are over one hundred different, unique cannabinoids out there? This includes CBG. While it is lesser-known, it is worth learning about for a number of reasons.
What Is CBG And How Is It Made?CBG is short for cannabigerol and it is present in most cannabis strains, though it is usually only about 1%. That is why it is considered a minor cannabinoid. Cannabis plants produce cannabigerol acid (CBGA), which serves as a precursor to the three main cannabinoid lines: THCA, CBDA, and CBCA.
Specific enzymes work together within the plant to break down CBGA and route it to the three lines. Once those acids are exposed to elements such as heat or ultraviolet light, they become the cannabinoids we already know: THC and CBD.
Recently, breeders have begun experimenting with genetic manipulation and cross-breeding plants in order to get a higher yield of CBG. By zeroing in on the best extraction time, scientists have been able to extract even higher amounts of CBG. Typically, the best extraction time is about six to eight weeks within the flowering cycle.
Potential Medical BenefitsNow that some of the technical talk and science is behind us, let’s explore why it’s important to look closer at CBG: the possible medical benefits.
The human body is equipped with the ECS, or better known as the endocannabinoid system. The ECS works to keep the body balanced and achieve homeostasis, which is physiological equilibrium, in general, the endocannabinoid system helps to perform various functions specific to each area of the body, from the brain to the skin. As an example, when you are injured and suffering from inflammation, the ECS can help regulate immune cells to help limit inflammation and pain.
- Eye structures: Endocannabinoid receptors are especially prevalent with eye structures. CBG is thought to be particularly helpful with issues such as glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure. It is also a strong vasodilator and comes with the added benefit of a neuroprotective.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease: In a study conducted on rats, CBG was found to help decrease the inflammation characteristic of IBS. IBS affects over 200 thousand Americans each year and can have a debilitating effect and keep them functioning within normal life. By exploring CBG for IBS, it could make treatment more readily available and prove relief.
- Nerve Cell Degeneration: Huntington’s disease is a well-known degenerative disease that affects the brain. In a 2015 study conducted on mice with Huntington’s Disease, CBG was shown to protect neurons in the brain. This could mean new opportunities for older adults who have a predisposition to Huntington’s due to genetics.
- Cancer Fighter: Great promise has been shown for CBG as far as its ability to aid in fighting cancer. Specifically, studies have showcased CBG’s ability to block receptors that can cause cancer cell growth. In a study conducted on mice, CBG was shown to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells, therefore slowing colon cancer growth. CBG inhibited tumors and chemically-induced colon carcinogenesis.
- Anti-bacterial agent: Ever since the 1950s, topical formulations of cannabis have proven to be an effective solution for skin infections, even if at the time researchers were unaware of the plant’s chemical make-up. Evidence has shown that CBG is also effective as a means of an antibacterial agent, especially against the aggressive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or better known as MRSA. This is a huge breakthrough as many microbial strains have evolved and become resistant to several classes of drugs.
- Appetite inducer: While being an appetite-inducer is also a health benefit of THC, harnessing CBG can be a non-psychoactive way of achieving such a benefit. Cachexia is the metabolic mutiny that occurs in cancer patients who see major weight loss and muscle mass deterioration. Research has shown that a form of purified CBG was able to be an appetite stimulant in rats.
- Bladder Disorders: When five different cannabinoids were put to the test against bladder contraction, CBG proved to be the front-runner and inhibiting muscle contractions. Because of this, it could be the future of preventing bladder dysfunction disorders.
As more and more research is conducted on CBG, we could very well see new products featuring this particular cannabinoid so that it is more readily accessible to the public. Being able to include CBG could mean more advances in cannabis for medical use and an all-natural way to treat some of the disorders that we explored above. Overall, CBG is also worth exploring because of its non-psychotropic characteristics. A psychotropic is any drug that has an effect on behavior, mood, thoughts, or perception. This would make CBG a great candidate for potential use as an antidepressant, treating psoriasis, and even for pain relief.