Much more is known about cannabis now than it was just 30 years ago. Due to marijuana being outlawed (including for medical purposes) in 1970 with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, it developed a stigma in society that left it with a bad reputation.
Luckily, cannabis has slowly earned a better reputation and is now less feared by the general public. Thanks to research over the past several years, we now know that cannabis is made up of several chemical compounds that are potentially beneficial to humans. One of the lesser-known compounds is CBG. And no, that’s not a typo.
Cannabigerol, or CBG for short, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is only present in tiny doses by the time the cannabis is harvested and dried. In CBG’s acidic form, known as CBGA, it is the first cannabinoid to develop in the cannabis plant, earning its nickname as the “stem cell” of cannabis.
This compound plays a crucial role for the cannabis plant, as it is responsible for the creation of both THC and CBD.
CBG is classified as a phytocannabinoid. Unlike endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids naturally produced by the human body, phytocannabinoids are the compounds that are found only in the plant itself.
Phytocannabinoids – Molecules synthesized by plants. While this term technically covers all cannabinoids found in a cannabis plant, several cannabinoids are produced within your own body.
Endocannabinoids – Any of the chemical compounds naturally produced in your body. These bind to the same receptors as certain compounds, such as THC.
So far, there are around 113 known cannabinoids, with the most studied being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
What Is the Difference Between CBG and CBD?
Although CBD is created by CBG, the two have very different chemical structures. As mentioned before, CBG is only found in trace amounts (around 1% concentration) by the time that the cannabis is ready for consumption.
When somebody consumes cannabis, regardless of the method, they only receive a small portion of CBG. This small portion will activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but only to an extent that is unnoticeable. CBD, on the other hand, is typically found in concentrations levels between 5 and 10 percent, allowing it to active your receptors more effectively than CBG.
CBG and CBD do have a bit in common, though. Both of these compounds are non-intoxicating, meaning they won’t give you the euphoric feeling, commonly referred to as a “high”, that THC gives you. In fact, both CBG and CBD are known to counteract the effects of THC.
What CBG is Believed to Help With
Even though nothing has been proven, studies indicate that CBG may be able to help with several medical conditions. While some studies provide more evidence than others, most of the conditions in question are already being treated with some form of cannabis, strengthening the claims behind CBG. Below are a few examples of conditions that CBG is believed to help treat.
- CBG Could Help Treat Colitis – In 2013, a study was done on rats and the use of CBG to treat colitis, which is a chronic digestive disease identified by inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. According to the study, the results were positive and significant improvement was seen within the rats. While it is known that cannabis can be used to help treat patients with inflammatory bowel disease, there is little research done on using CBG as an isolated compound.
- CBG Could Help Treat Glaucoma – Glaucoma is one of the approved medical conditions that makes patients eligible to receive their medical marijuana card. The reason behind this is because THC has been proven to help relieve intraocular pressure, which is the pressure of the fluid in your eye. This could be a huge breakthrough for CBG if it is proven to help treat glaucoma because it would give patients a cannabis alternative that is non-intoxicating, for those who prefer a milder approach.
- CBG Could Help Fight Cancer – In 2009, a review article stated the CBG potentially has the ability to slow the growth of tumors. It can also help patients undergoing chemotherapy, as a 2016 test on rats showed an increased appetite with CBG use. Similar to the scenario with glaucoma, THC is already used by chemotherapy patients to help treat nausea and vomiting. CBG could provide them with a non-intoxicating remedy.
No Clinical Trials
Although many studies have been done to look into the potential benefits of the chemical compound CBG, no clinical trials have been done to test the effects on humans.
So far, it seems as though rats have been the primary test subject for CBG, and the results have been optimistic up to this point. After conducting the 2013 experiment on rats, researchers mentioned that CBG could be considered for clinical trials for patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. Hopefully, we will be able to see these clinical trials begin in the near future.
If this was your first time hearing about CBG, it was probably a lot of information to take in. Here is a quick summary of the important facts we learned about CBG.
- CBG is known as the “stem cell” of cannabis because it is responsible for the production of other compounds such as THC and CBD.
- CBG is only found in trace amounts of cannabis that is ready for consumption.
- CBG can counteract the effects of THC.
- Despite the lack of hard evidence, CBG is believed to help treat several medical conditions.
If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out our other blogs for more information regarding CBD and its benefits.