Most people have probably heard of CBD and THC and their medical benefits. However, they’re just two of the many cannabinoids, which are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are more than a hundred cannabinoids, and many of these could potentially have therapeutic benefits. Among these not-so-well-known cannabinoids is CBG, or cannabigerol.
CBD, its more popular cousin, was discovered in the early 1940s by the American chemist Roger Adams, who successfully isolated and identified the cannabinoid. Then, in 1964, two Israeli researchers, Raphael Mechoulam and Yehiel Gaoni, discovered and isolated additional cannabinoids. The cannabinoids they discovered included, besides THC, CBG, the lesser-known cousin.
Since then, the number of cannabinoids that have been discovered has increased to about 150. Of these cannabinoids, only THC was found to have psychotropic, or mind-altering, properties. CBG, for the most part, has been overshadowed by other cannabinoids, notably CBD. But CBG is getting popular because of its potential health benefits.
Things To Know About CBG
Researches and studies done on cannabis made the less-popular cannabinoids to be more well-known. The technology for extracting and isolating these chemical compounds has also advanced sufficiently, which made it possible for scientists to isolate and study CBG and other cannabinoids.
Although further studies are still needed, researchers have found a few interesting things about CBG and its potential benefits, such as CBG and sleep. This and others are discussed below.
1) Cannabinoids Began As CBG
Cannabigerol (CBG) is considered the ‘mother of all cannabinoids’ because other cannabinoids, including the more popular CBD and THC, started as CBG. Among all cannabinoids, CBG is the first to develop, serving as a precursor for others.
It’s also referred to as cannabis’ stem cell. This is because the base molecule of other cannabinoids comes from CBG, or more accurately, from the broken down inactive and acidic form of CBG–the cannabigerol acid (CBGA).
2) Difficult To Produce
Compared to CBD, CBG is difficult to produce, which is why the production of CBG is still low. It’s found in many cannabis strains, but in small concentrations–usually not more than 1%. Its rarity makes it more expensive to produce. Isolating a small amount of CBG takes thousands of biomass pounds. Moreover, since CBG in cannabis changes into other cannabinoids as the plant matures, farmers have to harvest their crops early.
They either have to grow plants (usually hemp since it’s legal at the federal level)) and then harvest exclusively for CBG, which means harvesting early before CBG changes, or letting them fully mature, making it possible to sell a portion of the crop for other purposes.
However, extracting CBG from a fully mature crop can yield a very low CBG content. Its rarity makes CBG more expensive. However, for cultivators, this could mean that an acre of land planted for CBG extraction can yield more in terms of money than an acre dedicated to CBD.
3) CBG’s Relationship With ECS
Researchers have also found that CBG, like all the other cannabinoids, interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a system in the human body involved in the regulation of numerous bodily functions, keeping them stable even with fluctuations. These functions include appetite, mood, memory, sleep, pain, and many others. This system regulates and adjusts these functions if they’re out of whack.
Cannabinoids like CBD and THC, including CBG, interact with ECS receptors located in the brain and the body. However, it was discovered that CBG has a unique interaction with some receptors and enzymes found in the ECS, which may be indicative of its therapeutic potential for some neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and other diseases.
CBD has a lower affinity to ECS receptors compared to CBG. It also doesn’t interact directly with ECS. CBG, on the other hand, interacts directly with the cannabinoid receptors found in the ECS. Researchers believe that this could be significant in CBG’s efficacy.
4) Potential Medical Benefits
Compared to CBD, not many studies have been done on CBG. But what scientists can tell us is that results so far show promise in terms of the cannabinoid’s medicinal benefits. For example, CBG possesses anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, which means it has the potential to fight drug-resistant bacteria or as a treatment for infections.
It was also reported to have the ability to block the growth of cancer cells. This could mean CBG is potentially helpful in the reduction of tumors and other cancerous growth. CBG may also be used as an appetite stimulant, anti-depressant, treatment for glaucoma, bladder dysfunctions, inflammatory bowel syndrome, sleep disorders, and others.
We must remember, however, that studies in CBG are still in their infancy. There are still no tests that involve clinical human trials yet. Also, CBG is still marketed as a supplement, not as a medicine.
CBG may not be as popular as CBD, but its benefits are potentially enormous due to the way it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Currently, CBG is difficult to produce on a larger scale, so for consumers, it may be much harder to procure than CBD.
Still, its potential as a possible treatment for many medical conditions is enormous, even though studies haven’t yet involved human clinical trials. Consumers should be cautious, though, as hype often doesn’t match up to reality.