I guess you all know what THC is, but what about CBG (Cannabigerol)? CBG is a molecule found in the Cannabis genus of plants, just like THC. In fact, there are more than a hundred different molecules in the plant just like them. They are called cannabinoids, and all have their connections and effects on us. What is CBG?
CBG is the chemical parent of THC and CBD, the most common cannabinoids out there. In other words, THC and CBD molecules start as CBG molecules. That is why CBG is considered a phytocannabinoid (produced by the plant itself). Most strains out there have usually less than 1% CBG for that matter, but I recently had the opportunity to buy one with 5%. I can tell you, this cannabinoid is promising.
In this article, we will bring the light to this amazing molecule, its place in the legal market and all its benefits.
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system is a complex system of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain, the CB1 receptors, and throughout the entire body, the CB2 receptors. As you may have experienced before, the “high” you get from using cannabis is produced when the THC cannabinoids bind with the CB1 receptors in the brain. On the other hand, the CBD cannabinoids have a stronger affinity with the CB2 receptors in your digestive tract and immune system.
What about CBG? Well, the Cannabigerol molecule can bind to both, CB1 and CB2, receptors. That makes CBG an interesting cannabinoid with a ton of medicinal benefits. In addition to having no psychoactive properties, by binding to CB1, it can inhibit part of THC’s psychoactivity, making it more attractive for its anti-anxiogenic clarity.
Because it is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, there isn’t a huge demand for it in the black market under prohibition. That is why most of the “high-CBG” strains naturally disappeared over time, which is pretty sad. However, some strains still exist, and I had the opportunity to taste one lately.
WHISTLER MEDICAL MARIJUANA CORP
Whistler medical marijuana corp (WMMC) is a licensed producer of Health Canada able to grow biological cannabis in British Columbia. It is also the first Canadian licensed producer to commercialize a strain with more than 5% CBG (Shiastu Kush phenotype).
In my opinion, it is a really good strain with a singular and strong smell of hazelnut and pine. It is not that much psychoactive due to its high concentration of CBG and 7% THC, making it a great choice if you want to get focused on a task. I felt my body a little heavier than usual in my chair, very pleasing and relaxing. The downside: my mouth was pretty dry.
The therapeutic benefits
It is important to know that the list below is based on preclinical studies, which means they occurred on animals other than humans. There is still a lot to do to understand all the benefits of the Cannabigerol on us, but the list is, somewhat, pretty impressive.
The CBG cannabinoids can reduce inflammation by targeting specific molecules that cause inflammation in various pathological states like the pain syndrome, cancer, and even the inflammatory bowel disease. Some studies show that CBG can also act as an enzyme inhibitor, just like COX-2, similar to widely used pharmaceuticals called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID).
We know that the THC cannabinoids can help people suffering from depression, but according to a report in 2016, the CBD and CBG cannabinoids could also be a great non-psychoactive alternative for people more sensitive to the psychoactive properties of THC.
Anxiety and cannabis. Those two have been in a long-term relationship for a long time now, but did you know that the CBG can inhibit the absorption of the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, which can decrease anxiety and muscle tension? Well, tests on mice show that CBG induces anxiolytic effects similar to imipramine. Like I said earlier, these studies are preclinical but very promising.
We are currently studying the antifungal and antimicrobial properties of CBG as we speak ( the year this article was published), but great results are to be expected. The Cannabigerol molecule has shown to be pretty effective against MRSA, a strain of highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, in a 2008 study. Since the 50’s, topical formulations of cannabis have been used effectively in the treatment of skin infections, but Researchers at the time were still unaware of the chemical composition of the plant.
In a recent 2015 study, CBG was found to be extremely active as a neuroprotectant in mice with Huntington's disease, characterized by nerve cell degeneration in the brain. The researchers concluded that CBG should be further studied as a treatment for neurodegenerative disorders.
Endocannabinoid receptors can also be found in the ocular structure, and that is pretty good news for those who suffer from the glaucoma disease. In fact, CBG reduces intraocular pressure, which can be pretty effective in the treatment of glaucoma. In 1990, a study showed that the Cannabigerol is a powerful vasodilator.
PSORIASIS AND SKIN DISEASES
Well, there are endocannabinoid receptors everywhere, even in our skin. The CBG and other cannabinoids that bind to the CB2 receptors can help treat various skin disorders even psoriasis. In fact, the Cannabigerol has shown to prevent the proliferation of keratinocytes, the hydrophobic skin molecules, in a 2007 study.
STIMULATES BONE FORMATION
Results from a 2007 study showed that cannabigerol could stimulate bone marrow stem cells via CB2 receptors. In other words, CBG can help cure bone fractures by promoting new growth and bone formation.
DECREASES CANCER TUMOR GROWTH
It has been showed that the Cannabigerol cannabinoids could block the receptors that cause cancer cell growth. In a study, the CBG was shown to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells in mice, greatly slowing the growth of colon cancer. This is very promising for the never-ending battle against cancer.
THE FUTURE OF CBG?
I’m convinced that more and more “high-CBG” strains will see the light in the legal market.
We can enjoy the most of what Cannabis has to offer when we use it with moderation and CBG is a great example of that.
A ton of people restrains themselves from using cannabis because of their sensitivity to the psychoactive effect of THC. Well, the CBG cannabinoids can prevent the psychoactive effects by blocking the CB1 receptors to the THC cannabinoids. They can’t block 100% of the receptors, but they can do a pretty good job in diminishing the psychoactive effects for sure!