What is CBG? What does it do?
One of the lesser known cannabinoids is Cannabigerol (CBG) whilst it is not present in large quantities in most strains it is nonetheless an important cannabinoid for a number of reasons.
As CBG is present in such low levels ,typically less than 1% in many strains of cannabis plants CBG is considered by many as a minor cannabinoid . Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA) is the precursor to the three main cannabinoid lines . THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) , CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) and CBCA (cannabichromenic acid) Enzymes within the plant breakdown CBGA and direct it towards one of the three lines. When the acids are exposed to heat energy or UV light they become the cannabinoids we know as THC and CBD . In most strains of plants CBGA is immediately converted to THCA or CBDA . Therefore more THC means less CBG and CBD (and vice versa) by nature of how these compounds are synthesized .
To obtain higher percentages of CBG breeders are genetically manipulating and cross breeding plants . Subcool seeds are currently cross breeding strains to produce higher CBG contents . Research has allowed scientists to pinpoint the optimum extraction time for CBG to week 6 of an 8 week flowering cycle. Dutch company Bedrocan BV has produced the medicinal strain Bediol using this method.
The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) works to keep the body in a balanced state of homeostasis , in general terms the ECS performs different functions specific to each area of the body, for example at the site of an injury the ECS can help regulate immune cells to reduce inflammation.
What is CBG?
CBG has been observed acting on very specific physiological systems and problems , and it’s results for medical use are very promising.
- endocannabinoid receptors are prevalent in eye structures and CBG is thought to be particularly beneficial in the treatment of glaucoma as it reduces intraocular pressure . CBG is also a powerful vasodilator and also has neuroprotective benefits .
- During experiments involving mice CBG was effective in decreasing the inflammation characteristics of IBS (inflammatory Bowel Disease)
- During a 2015 study CBG was observed protecting neurons in mice effected with Huntingtons Disease which is characterised by nerve cell damage and degeneration in the brain.
- CBG is also being studied as a cancer therapy , CBG was shown to be effective in blocking receptors that cause cancer cell growth. In one particular study CBG successfully inhibited the growth of colorectal cancer cells , thereby slowing colon cancer growth. CBG was able to inhibit tumours and chemically induced colon carcinogenesis , demonstrating a very exciting possibility for a colon cancer cure.
- European studies have provided evidence that CBG is an extremely effective antibacterial agent , especially against MRSA(methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus ) which is resistant to many strains of drugs .
- Since the early 1950’s many topical balms using cannabis have been effective in the treatment of skin infections , however at the time researchers were not familiar with the plants molecular make-up.
- In a recent 2017 study scientists were able to demonstrate an effective treatment for Cachexia, the muscle wasting and extreme weight loss of late stage cancer and other diseases. This was achieved through using a purified form of CBG and removal of delta-9 THC which acted as an appetite stimulant.
- During a study looking at the effects of five different cannabinoids on bladder contractions CBG performed the best at inhibiting muscle contractions , proving itself as a useful tool in future prevention of bladder dysfunction disorders.
Scientists are obviously very excited by the results CBG has initially shown and are promoting further research foe CBG as a stand alone cannabinoid and also in conjunction with other cannabinoids as alternative therapies for a wide range of illnesses , disease and disorders . Due to its non-psychotropic nature CBG has a promising wide range of potential applications as an analgesic, for the treatment of psoriasis and as an antidepressant as well as the applications previously mentioned .