Today’s article is going to showcase one of the lesser known cannabinoids; CBG. I will be the first to admit that I know very little about it, so this is a learning experience for me, too. CBG, short for Cannabigerol, is one of the building blocks necessary for the formation of many of the cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. It is non-psychotropic and is considered to be the “parent” of many other cannabinoids.
CBG was discovered in the 1960s along with THCV, CBD, CBDV and CBV. As far back as 1975, researchers were able to isolate the acid form of CBGa. They realized that the plant’s natural enzymes break down CBGa into other cannabinoid acids such as THCa, CBDa and CBCa. When the acids are heated, they convert to THC, CBD and CBC via decarboxylation.
Without CBGa, there would be no other cannabinoids. As a result, most cannabis strains are left with very little actual CBG content; usually less than 1%. Hemp contains higher percentages of CBG.
How does CBG work?
It works with both CB1 and CB2 receptors and helps to synergistically balance THC and many of the other cannabinoids. It is also recognized as increasing anandamide levels. Anandamide is the cannabinoid that regulates many biological functions such as sleep, appetite and memory. CBG’s effect on CB1 and CB2 receptors is much weaker than that of THC. CBG is also a GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) uptake inhibitor which regulates neuron activity. It has been shown to block serotonin receptors which suggests it can play a role in controlling depression.
Although there have been no clinical trials of CBG on humans, it is thought that it provides many benefits:
Stimulates Bone Growth and Healing. Work in a lab with bone marrow cultures showed that CBG can stimulate bone marrow stem cells indirectly via CB2 receptors. Along with other cannabinoids, CBG may promote bone growth and formation, facilitating the healing of bone fractures.
Slows Tumor Growth. CBG and other cannabinoids have been shown to slow the progression and growth of cancer cells and tumors.
Antifungal and Antibacterial Treatment. CBG has shown to be an effective weapon against MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria.
Pain Reliever. CBG and other cannabinoids control the pain associated with MS and cancers. When used in conjunction with other analgesics, cannabinoids increase their effectiveness.
Anti-Inflammatory. Studies show that CBG acts as a COX-2 inhibitor. COX-2 is an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen work exactly the same way.
Bladder Disorders. CBG and other cannabinoids successfully treat various bladder dysfunctions. They work by reducing bladder contractions.
Psoriasis and Skin Treatment. CBG and other cannabinoids affect the cannabis receptors in the skin. They inhibit keratinocyte proliferation which suggests that they would be an effective treatment option for psoriasis as it is a disease caused by abnormal keratinocyte proliferation.
Glaucoma Treatment. Clinical trials with animals showed that there was an aqueous flow of 2 to 3 times in animal models with glaucoma. The increased flow can reduce intraocular pressure which is associated with glaucoma.
Depression and Anxiety Treatment. CBG works to treat depression and anxiety the same way as THC does, but without the psychotropic effects. For those who do not enjoy those effects, CBG appears to be an even more effective alternative.
Neuroprotection. Studies on mice demonstrated that CBG is an extremely effective neuroprotectant, especially useful for those with Huntington’s Disease. It improved memory and recovery in mice and stopped the neuron degeneration. CBG’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it an excellent treatment option for those with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, MS and ALS.
Cannabis breeders are working on creating CBG-rich strains, so stay tuned!
Source: LeafScience.com, What is CBG? April 26, 2017