By now, most people familiar with cannabis have heard of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) and their effects, but did you know there are many similar compounds in cannabis? A lesser-known cannabinoid called Cannabigerol (CBG). While CBG is a lesser-known cannabinoid not present in large quantities, research findings and anecdotal evidence suggest it has some exciting natural health benefits that make it worth learning about. Some even say CBG oil could be the next big trend in cannabis wellness. CBG is one of more than 100 cannabinoids native to the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are a unique class of active chemical compounds that act on receptors in our cells and alter the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Cannabigerol, or CBG, can be found in small amounts in both hemp and marijuana. It is considered a minor cannabinoid because in most cannabis strains it’s found in low concentrations, usually less than 1 percent in marijuana and less than 2 percent in hemp. CBG is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, meaning that when consumed it won’t cause any type of euphoric effects like THC. In fact, some early evidence suggests that CBG may be able to suppress THC’s intoxicating effects.
Like other cannabinoids, CBG works by influencing the ECS or endocannabinoid system within our bodies. The endocannabinoid system is a complex collection of receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors), chemicals called endocannabinoids, and enzymes. CB1 receptors are primarily in the nervous system and brain. CB2 receptors are elsewhere in the body, mainly in the cells of the immune system. Research has shown that CBG binds primarily with CB2 receptors. It has also shown that, in high doses, it could block other compounds from binding with CB1 receptors. This complex interaction between the various plant cannabinoids and the body’s endocannabinoid system is known as the ‘entourage effect.’ Scientists are only just starting to comprehend the full implications of this. Although, some have suggested that using these cannabinoids in combination is more beneficial than using any one alone.
CBG was first discovered and isolated by Israeli scientists Yehiel Gaoni and Ralph Mechoulam in 1964. Years later, Japanese researchers figured out that CBG starts out as CBGA, or cannabigerolic acid, and over time or when exposed to heat is synthesized into an active cannabinoid.
What is CBG Used For
We still don’t fully understand the health benefits of CBG. However, initial research suggests that it may be a useful tool in the treatment of a wide range of physical and psychological conditions. Let’s take a look at the existing research on CBG, and how it could affect your health.
Endocannabinoid receptors are prevalent in eye structures, and interestingly, CBG 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 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. 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.
Despite people often overlooking CBG in favor of THC and CBD, it seems that it could also be potentially beneficial. However, CBG research is still in its infancy. There is no doubt that we still have much to learn about this compound.
We at Snake River CBD STRIVE to keep you educated in this industry. When we release new products we like to inform our customers on what they are and the potential benefits. With the potential benefits of CBG we will be adding CBG to all of our Oil Tinctures, lotions and balms
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