What Are The Benefits Of CBG?
What is CBG?
CBG, or Cannabigerol, is one of the many unique compounds in Cannabis plants that is receiving much attention. Unlike its cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBG has no hallucinogenic properties. In fact, CBG can actually block the effects of THC.
CBG is often overlooked in favor of the more studied cannabinoids. CBG is most often taken orally or substituted for other cannabinoids in order to reduce psychoactive effects. Some people compare the mild effect of CBG with green tea, which may explain why it has become so popular among health-conscious consumers. Although more research is needed to understand the medical implications of CBG, it is clear that this cannabinoid holds much promise.
CBG and Cannabis Plants
CBG is made from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBG can be produced from the full spectrum of cannabinoids, meaning that if the plant is rich in THCVA or CBC, it will contain CBG.
Cannabis plants containing high levels of THC and low levels of CBD & CBN have been reported to produce a "ceiling effect" at around 40-50 mg of CBG. In other words, there is a limit to the amount of CBG that can be produced from the plant in addition to THC, CBD & CBN.
This means if you want to get the most out of your cannabis plants, it's best to keep the THC/CBD/CBN levels balanced for optimal CBG levels.
Activation of the CB1 receptor by THC can lead to some side effects such as anxiety and paranoia, but CBD antagonizes this receptor so it can reduce these unwanted side effects.
CBG acts as an agonist at the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor in a similar way to pharmaceutical drugs such as Buspirone and LSD. This serotonin receptor has been linked to anxiety relief.
A study in 2015 found that CBG was as good as CBD at suppressing nausea, but it had a longer lasting effect than CBD. For this reason, some patients may prefer to use CBG instead of CBD for anti-nausea treatment.
What are the benefits of CBG?
CBG has been found to act on very specific physiological systems and problems, and results for medicinal use are promising:
- Endocannabinoid receptors are prevalent in eye structures, and interestingly, CBG benefits is thought to be particularly effective in treating glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure. It is a powerful vasodilator and has neuroprotective effects to boot.
- In animal experiments involving mice, CBG was found to be effective in decreasing the inflammation characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease.
- In a recent 2015 study, CBG was shown to protect neurons in mice with Huntington’s disease, which is characterized by nerve cell degeneration in the brain.
- CBG is showing great promise as a cancer fighter. Specifically, CBG was shown to block receptors that cause cancer cell growth. In one such study, it was shown to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells in mice, thereby slowing colon cancer growth. CBG inhibited tumors and chemically-induced colon carcinogenesis, therefore demonstrating a very exciting possibility for a cure for colorectal cancer.
- European research shows evidence that CBG is an effective antibacterial agent, particularly against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) microbial strains resistant to several classes of drugs. Since the 1950s, topical formulations of cannabis have been effective in skin infections, but researchers at the time were unaware of the plant’s chemical composition.
- In a very recent 2017 study, researchers showed that a form of CBG purified to remove delta-9 THC was a very effective appetite stimulant in rats. This may lead to a novel non-psychotropic therapeutic option for cachexia, the muscle wasting and severe weight loss seen in late stage cancer and other diseases.
- In a study that looked at the effects of five different cannabinoids on bladder contractions, CBG tested best at inhibiting muscle contractions, so it may be a future tool in preventing bladder dysfunction disorders.
* Antibacterial (slows bacteria growth).
* Anti-convulsive (reduces seizures and convulsions).
* Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation).
* Anti-insomnia (aids sleep).
* Anti-proliferative (inhibits cancer cell growth).
* Antidepressant (raises mood).
* Bone stimulant (promotes bone growth).
* Brain cell stimulant (promotes neuron growth).
* Appetite stimulant (increases appetite).
Scientists are excited about these initial CBG results and are promoting future research with CBG alone or CBG in combination with other cannabinoids and therapies for the treatment of multiple maladies. Because it is non-psychotropic, CBG has a promising wide range of potential applications not only for the problems mentioned above, but also as an analgesic, therapy for psoriasis, and as an antidepressant.
CBG's chemical structure makes it a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. In addition, due to its low concentration in cannabis plants, CBG Oils has been largely overlooked until recently. In recent years, research on CBG has taken a positive turn.
Researchers have also found that CBG can reduce vomiting and nausea by interacting with the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs such as Ondansetron. CBG acts as an agonist for this particular serotonin receptor, meaning it activates the receptor to produce a biological response. The discovery of this property has led to the development of CBG as a potential anti-nausea treatment for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
How to take CBG?
There are several different ways to use CBG, most of which involve oral ingestion. The most popular method is similar to that for CBD oil - it can be added to the food or drinks of your choice (or simply swallowed in capsule form) and will enter the bloodstream when metabolized in the digestive system. However, some people using CBG for medical reasons may want to consider inhaling it as an alternative. Both methods are effective, but the benefits of smoking CBG are mainly symptomatic relief rather than long-lasting effects.
What are the side effects of CBG?
There have been no known adverse side effects associated with CBG. Unlike THC, which can induce anxiety and even increase the symptoms of certain mental illnesses, CBG has been found to be more beneficial than harmful.
CBG is largely recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, various studies have shown that CBG can actually reduce some of the side effects associated with THC. By working as an antagonist to the CB1 receptor, CBG can reduce some of the anxiety and paranoia THC causes.
However, more research is still needed to determine whether or not CBG has any adverse effects.
What are some products that contain CBG?
CBG is typically taken orally in oil drops or capsules, but it can also be vaporized or smoked in order to produce symptomatic relief.
Finally, the vast majority of medical marijuana products contain some level of CBG, meaning that many patients can obtain therapeutic effects from a single item rather than having to buy multiple medications.
As research continues on this cannabinoid, we will have a better understanding of its full potential as a treatment. For now, CBG shows incredible promise for patients looking for natural solutions.