Everyone knows about CBD, but another phytocannabinoid is increasing in popularity. Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a less abundant hemp compound that plays a vital role in the potent plant’s growth. Like CBD, it’s nonintoxicating. Scientists are exploring CBG’s wellness potential. Research already shows advantages for reducing anxious thoughts and has neuroprotectant properties.
CBG is a Hemp Compound
CBD is a phytocannabinoid often referred to as the “Mother of All Cannabinoids” because it forms first in the plant’s trichomes. CBGa is the acidic precursor to CBDa and THCa. It was isolated for the first time in 19641. The trichomes are found all over hemp’s stalk, stems, leaves, and flowers. These tiny outgrowths contain the plant’s essential chemical compounds, including over 140 phytocannabinoids2, a rich terpene profile, flavonoids, and other essential nutrients.
Is CBG Different from CBD?
Some consumers may confuse CBG and CBD. However, these are far from identical. The two phytocannabinoids have different molecular structures, effects and activate the receptors other than CB1 and CB2 in the body.
Additionally, CBG handles more tasks for the endocannabinoid system than CBD. Cannabigerol increases anandamide, one of the body’s endogenous cannabinoids. It also offers synergistic interactions3 with CBD, meaning CBG and CBD can provide more benefits together than singularly.
How is CBG Extracted?
As you may have guessed, plants produce an abundance of CBG, but less than 1% is left by harvest time since all other cannabinoids are derived from CBG.
Thanks to hemp breeders, there’s a growing number of CBG-dominant strains that offer consumers the benefits of a full-spectrum CBG experience. These new cultivars contain about 10% to 15% CBG. Examples include,
- Jack Frost
- Super Glue
- Lemon Diesel
- Sour G
The increasing number of CBG hemp strains is turning the essential cannabinoid into a dominant phytocannabinoid. As availability booms, it will lead to more research and potentially additional benefits.
Benefits of CBG
Researchers have been busy studying the effects of CBG since they were able to extract the compound. Because of its limited availability over the past few years, studies have been few and far between. Now that breeders are developing CBG-dominant strains, more data will be available. Here is what’s known so far about the essential cannabinoid.
Many consumers take CBD to reduce anxiety. Research confirms certain phytocannabinoids play a role in relieving anxious feelings and improving mood. A June 25, 2013 publication notes4,
“… nevertheless, the recent discovery that CBG is a highly potent agonist for α2 adrenoceptor and a blocker of serotonin 5-HT1A receptor  underscores the potential importance of these and other alkaloids in the psychoactive profile of cannabis.”
For patients with gastrointestinal issues and anyone undergoing chemotherapy, nausea can reduce appetite and lead to nutrient deficiencies. By improving appetite, ongoing treatments may progress better. Studies indicate CBG may increase hunger for these patients. The researchers wrote in a 2017 publication of Behavioural Pharmacology5,
“We have recently shown that purified cannabigerol (CBG) is a novel appetite stimulant in rats.”
CBG as an Antibiotic
Antibiotic-resistant viruses are an increasing problem with modern medicine. Scientists have found a connection between CBG and MRSA6, better known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. The non-psychoactive compound promoted cell death in the virus and helped rid the skin of biofilms caused by MRSA.
Mark Blaskovich, a researcher at the University of Queensland, explained to the Guardian,
“These are likely made as a defence mechanism to protect the plant from bacterial and fungal infections, but to date have not been very useful for human infections as they really only work outside the body,” he said. “That’s what makes this new report potentially exciting – evidence that cannabigerol is able to treat a systemic infection in mice.”
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Early studies show CBG may help reduce the body’s inflammatory response and improve inflammatory bowel disease symptoms for patients. A study published in February 2017 determined7,
“The CB2 receptor pathway was also found to modulate the favourable effects of cannabigerol (CBG), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid capable of reducing nitric oxide production in macrophages and attenuating murine DNBS-induced colitis in both a preventive (pre-treatment) model and therapeutic (established colitis) model2.”
A review in Neurotherapeutics in January 2015 found CBG has the capacity to provide neuroprotectant properties for mice with Huntington’s disease through the activation of the cannabinoid receptors.
The researchers concluded8,
“Treatment with this phytocannabinoid produced a much lower, but significant, recovery in the deteriorated rotarod performance typical of R6/2 mice. Using HD array analysis, we were able to identify a series of genes linked to this disease … whose expression was altered in R6/2 mice but partially normalized by CBG treatment.”
Colorectal Cancer Cell Growth
There’s ongoing research about cannabinoids and cancer cells. Nothing is definitive, and studies will take years to confirm with proper clinical examination. However, the available information is enough to proceed with further analysis of the phytocannabinoids benefits.
A research study in the Carcinogenesis Journal in December 2014 found9,
“In vivo, CBG inhibited the growth of xenograft tumours as well as chemically induced colon carcinogenesis. CBG hampers colon cancer progression in vivo and selectively inhibits the growth of CRC cells, an effect shared by other TRPM8 antagonists. CBG should be considered translationally in CRC prevention and cure.”
The growing interest in CBG isn’t a fad. The hemp compound has the potential to help many people. In the short-term, researchers know the essential cannabinoid produces a calming effect that reduces anxious thoughts. Add CBG to your wellness routine and boost your overall wellbeing.