Chances are if you’ve been going around the internet, you’ve probably heard talk about the “Cadillac of the cannabinoids,” but wondered what sort of ride you were in with CBG. So far, the information we’ve been getting has been sporadic, and not all of the questions have conclusive answers just yet, this baby shows real promise.
THE CBG BASICS – What is CBG or Cannabigerol?
Well, first off, it’s C21H32O2. Found at the same time as THC by Israeli biochemist Raphael Mechoulm, CBG, just like the acidic versions of THC and CBD, is made by the same precursor, CBGA. However, there’s far less CBG in the plant than THC or CBD — less than 1%, which accounts for its “Cadillac” distinction. Not only does CBGA give birth to medicinal compounds, but it is also insecticidal in its own right, perhaps protecting the plant from active predators. Selective breeding has given rise to enzyme-lacking plants which drastically allows for more CBG-rich plants to bloom.
Fun Fact: CBG and CBGA have also been found in the South African Helichrysum unmbraculigerum
THE EFFECTS OF CBG – Does it get you High?
No. To recap, the main receptors in the brain and body’s endocannabinoid system (i.e. the components of our brain and body which respond to cannabis) are the CB1 and CB2 receptors . CBG has been shown to partially interact, or agonize, weakly with both receptors. THC also partially agonizes the CB1 receptor, and this is what gets you high. CBG’s effects on CB1 are WAY too weak, and it’s possible that it could also neutralize the effects of THC as well on the same receptor. In other words, it’s a total buzzkil — which for some is a good thing.
CBG FOR PAIN: A study cited by Ethan Russo in “Taming THC” reported that analgesic effects of CBG topped THC. In addition, because of its activity as an antagonist of the TRPM8 receptor, could assist in bladder pain as well.
MUSCLE RELAXANT: This is based on a study whereupon CBG helped inhibit GABA intake. This suggests a role for CBG in the muscle relaxants of the future, though more research is needed.
CANCER: Not unlike other cannabinoids, CBG has shown preliminary promise in handling certain types of cancers and cancerous growth – human epitheliod carcinoma, breast cancer, and through its TRPM8 antagonism, prostate cancer as well, though we’ll need studies on humans to know for sure its role.
ANTIDEPRESSANT: As a moderate 5HT1A antagonist, CBG has worked well to suppress certain signs of depression in rodent models. Again, this needs to be tested out in humans.
ANTIBACTERIAL: Just like CBN, CBG has been shown to have powerful antibacterial properties on MRSA.
ANTIINFLAMMATORY: A 2013 study done in mice showed the promise of CBG in treating Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, reducing nitric oxide and inflammation alike. Depending on how CBG does in this and other studies, it could also give CBD, itself an excellent antiinflammatory, a run for its money.
GLAUCOMA: Similar to CBN, CBG can also relieve intraocular pressure on the eye, although whether it can do so better than other drugs on the market has yet to be proven.
APPETITE ENHANCER: As the search continues for a cannabinoid appetite enhancer that won’t get one high, CBG may also be a candidate. A 2016 study done in rats found that CBG increased “hyperphagia,” meaning a hunger strong enough to overcome previous satiety.
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