Cannabis plants contain specific components that can be beneficial to health. You have seen THC or CBD in other articles, the most important but not the only ones. But what is CBG? CBG is the abbreviation for Cannabigerol. A medical element found in marijuana or hemp herbs.
Its definition would be that of a cannabinoid that shows as a predecessor of other cannabinoids. That is to say that its acid form is transformed into THCA, CBDA, or CBCA. It is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid and is legal in many countries. It was first described in 1964 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in collaboration with Professor Gaoni. Years later, in 1975, researchers discovered that the CBGA molecule eventually changes into other compounds.
For this reason, the average CBG level in cannabis plants is generally low. However, lately, genetics containing this cannabinoid are appearing on the market. Here is a “what is CBG?” article to take note of.
What Is CBG?
Cannabis is a botanical product that keeps on providing. The potent plant is pack with more than 500 different compounds. At least 100 of which are cannabinoids. Anyone is probably familiar with the most important ones, THC and CBD. And the other ninety-eight? Most people couldn’t name a single one.
High in the ranks of the lesser-known cannabinoids, however, is cannabigerol, or CBG. CBG is a minor cannabinoid from the cannabis plant. It is minor, not in terms of its ability to make an impact on health. But because it exists in the plant in small concentrations, compared to CBD and THC.
CBG has attracted the interest of both scientists and cannabis enthusiasts for its distinctive composition and variety of benefits. CBG is getting a lot of attention at the moment. There are many reasons: one is that CBG is the mother of all cannabinoids. CBG (CBGA) is a compound that parents several other cannabinoids, such as CBD, THC, CBC, CBN, and more.
Rest assured, however, that CBG does not convert to these cannabinoids when they are used. Human bodies do not have the enzymes necessary for such alteration. It is also interesting as it shows what some would call “concept fatigue.”
How CBG Is Made
CBG or cannabigerol is the first cannabinoid that is generated in cannabis plants. Specifically, phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that develop in plants. They are different from endocannabinoids, which are generated in our bodies. Thus, phytocannabinoids are the different chemical substances that we find in our marijuana plants. CBG is one of about 70 that have been identified. Among these are also the famous THC and CBD. The first cannabinoid generated in the plant is often called “mother molecule” or “mother of cannabinoids.” It is responsible for generating THC and CBD, but let’s take it one step at a time.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered CBG, a renowned cannabis research professor, in 1964. He identified the presence of this substance in cannabis plants. But it was not until ten years later that CBGA, i.e., discovered its acid form. Why is this important? Because it is its acid form that generates, while the plant is alive, THCA and CBDA. These acronyms correspond to the acid forms of THC and CBD.
This is thanks to light or heat in a process called decarboxylation. Thus, the acid cannabinoids are converted into non-acidic ones in the drying and processing phase once the harvest is done. This means CBGA turns into CBG, THCA into THC, and CBDA turns into CBD.
When THC and CBD stages increase, CBG levels decrease. This is what usually happens with cannabis; CBG levels are less than 0.1%. Yet, nowadays, specialists are trying new matches to find strains with high CBG levels. This is due to the number of studies demonstrating the enormous benefits and the therapeutic and medicinal properties of this particular cannabinoid. Though, medicinal benefits are also with other cannabinoids such as THC. The main difference between these two is that while THC does cause psychoactive effects, CBG does not.
How Does CBG Work?
As you see, there are two types of cannabinoids: Phytocannabinoids (in plants) and endocannabinoids (which our body produces). Our endocannabinoid system is in charge of regulating and communicating the neuronal system. It also directly affects essential physiological functions related to appetite, mood, pain, etc.
It has several receptors, of which only two have been discovered. CB1 and CB2, which are responsible for receiving and modulating both endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids. Thanks to this system, we achieve homeostasis, that is to say, a balance in our organism. Through natural processes that occur within the Cannabis plant. Once it is synthesized, CBG rapidly converts to other cannabinoids. This explains the low CBG content of most Marijuana strains.
How To Use CBG
Cannabigerol is a substance currently under study. Its best formulation is CBG oil (drops to place under the tongue or dissolve in food). So far, experts have not been able to delineate a standard dosage. Or a specific treatment regimen for pain, insomnia, or anxiety.
However, if you want to use a CBG-based product, we advise you to follow the experts’ recommendations.
- To start: Use a minimum amount and increase the dose little by little.
- Seek balance: Use a potent dose to alleviate symptoms of pain or stiffness without suffering adverse effects (such as drowsiness).
- Always with a medical follow-up: It will be necessary to look for a health professional who can attend us individually. Also, help you to face any complication. Their attitude should be one of active listening and willingness to learn and teach.
You can also find CBG in cream format. Generally, specialists use this type of product to relieve joint pain. Or to combat specific skin problems (such as psoriasis). In this case, it is essential that you only use it externally. If irritation appears or symptoms do not improve, discontinue use.
CBG vs. CBD
CBD and CBG have several similarities and differences. But comparing these cannabinoids at this point in the research is relatively useless. CBD is much better studied. There could be other similarities and differences that we are not aware of. But take a look at what is known.
CBD and CBG have a low affinity for the CB1 receptor. At the same time, THC produces its psychotropic effects by stimulating this area of the central nervous system. CBG acts as a partial agonist of this receptor. Stimulating it to a point where it does not cause psychotropic effects. However, both CBD and CBG also function as CB1 receptor antagonists. Temporarily inhibiting the uptake of the endocannabinoid anandamide.
Everyone knows marijuana increases appetite. This mechanism manifests itself in the form of “munchies.” An intense state of hunger and food cravings. THC is usually associated with this phenomenon. However, people agree that cannabis extracts without THC still stimulate appetite.
The authors believe that CBG could be the cause of this phenomenon. In a rat experiment, CBG doubled total food consumption. It also amplified the number of mealtimes. Opposite to this, CBD reduced hunger during one study.
Potential Benefits Of CBG
It is important to note that most of the evidence comes from preclinical studies. This means that the safety and efficacy of CBG have not yet been tested in humans. That said, studies on CBG have revealed a wide range of potential benefits.
- It stimulates the healing and formation of bones
- Slowing tumor growth
- Antifungal and antibacterial treatment
- Relieves pain
- Reduces inflammation
Does It Cause Any Side Effects?
Another unknown of cannabigerol is its side effects. Although in the short term, this product seems safe. We need more studies before we can establish the existence of long-term risks. In principle, the most common adverse effects of CBG will be fatigue, drowsiness, and intestinal discomfort. They will appear if excessive consumption is made.
Some CBG producers claim that it is a safe compound as it lacks psychotropic effects. According to these manufacturers, an unusually high amount should be consumed for severe intoxication to occur. This dose would be equivalent to taking several vials of CBG (months of treatment) at once. However, the more skeptical health specialists are wary of this claim. Official bodies warn of the possibility of long-term effects of this product. Effects on the brain, lungs, or metabolism.
Choosing A CBG Product
Being a minor cannabinoid. Given its immense number of therapeutic applications, why aren’t CBG extracts and tinctures dominating the market? Well, until recently, few growers have had any interest in cultivating CBG-rich cannabis strains. Many crops have less than 2% CBG by volume. This makes its extraction a labor-intensive procedure.
But the CBG landscape is changing rapidly. Novel CBG-rich strains and improved cultivation techniques are making extraction easier. Today, however, few CBG extracts are available. So it pays to research to the best CBG products before purchasing them.
The Bottom Line
The cannabis plant produces a wide variety of molecules, including more than 100 cannabinoids. Clinical trials and animal studies have demonstrated the potential of THC and CBD. But as more cannabinoids begin to be studied, there is great excitement about other compounds such as cannabigerol (CBG). Scientists have discovered that it has numerous promising traits. This has piqued the interest of companies and researchers alike.
Carlos B. graduated from Oxford in 2014 after pursuing biological sciences, and his passion has been so much about health and lifestyle. He later quits his career as a health consultant to focus on writing. His love for hemp and endless possibilities, including the practical medicinal functions in making CBD is among the reasons he now writes about it. Carlos is an informative writer that delivers timely content about hemp, its uses, and its potentials of hemp. He enjoys his leisure time visiting the people suffering neurological conditions and advises them on the best practices that can change their lives.