When you read and write about cannabis, hemp, marijuana, strains, cannabinoids, and all of that good stuff it can be overwhelming because there are so many new findings to dig into every single day.
Take cannabinoids for instance. Not too long ago we thought that the only important cannabinoid was tetrahydrocannabinol (a.k.a. THC). Suddenly Cannabidiol (CBD) comes into play and our world is flipped upside down. If you thought that’s where it stopped, then you were mighty wrong. There are 111 more cannabinoids to study and find benefits from, not to mention the nearly 500 other components found in the cannabis plant. But for now, we’ll stick to cannabinoids.
Perhaps the next big thing on the agenda is yet another tri-lettered cannabinoid called Cannabigerol, or CBG for short. Although not as widely recognized (yet) as CBD and THC, cannabigerol has the potential to turn into one of the most coveted cannabis-derived concentrates worldwide, and here’s why…
The CBG Hype
Tons of brands are coming out with their version of CBG products. Perhaps the most common among specific cannabinoids always tend to be concentrates and oils. Fewer brands are coming out with what seems to be a step back but are harder to do in terms of manufacturing; cannabinoid-specific flower. Contrary to popular belief, not all cannabinoids are naturally occurring. There’s a branch of components called Phytocannabinoids which are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant and CBG is one of them.
Why is this important?
By exposing these phytocannabinoids to the environmental influences, we can produce THC and CBD. The story is not different with CBG. In fact, CBG is considered to be the “stem cell” of other cannabinoids. In other words, CBD and THC are produced from CBG after an internal enzymatic reaction in the plant.
CBG carries an array of benefits, including mitigation of paranoia and anxiety, specifically, the paranoia and anxiety often caused by THC. Which makes it a perfect complement to a smoking session that could get out of hand. The main reason why CBG has become so popular is because of its “precursor” nature to other important and commercial cannabinoids. This paves a path for science to develop new ways of producing THC and CBD products. The only problem is that CBG is found in small quantities within the cannabis plant, it is this scarcity that has also stalled conclusive evidence of what the effects of CBG are on the body.
CBG vs. CBD
As we mentioned before, CBG is CBDs “parent” or “precursor”. Actually, CBG is the precursor to every other cannabinoid. In short, CBG and CBD are nothing the like, from a structural standpoint at least, but the effects of both components on the human body tend to manifest themselves in similar ways. But don’t let this fool you, the fact that they manifest themselves alike does not mean that the way they behave chemically is the same.
CBD latches onto a naturally occurring element in the mammalian body called an ‘endocannabinoid receptor’. When this happens, the receptor activates a function in the body (depending on where that receptor is located) but CBG behaves differently.
When CBG latches onto a receptor it not only activates its own effects, in some cases, it blocks the effects of other cannabinoids. In other words, it prevents other cannabinoids from latching onto certain receptors.
Benefits of CBG
Early research suggests that CBG may prove to help combat the negative effects of colitis, neurodegeneration, cancer, glaucoma, and inflammation. It has also shown promise as an aid for muscle relaxation, tension relief, and may potentially carry antibacterial properties. Other studies suggest a use for CBG in inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. I want to stress that it is far to early to say there are “quantified” results, but there is promising anecdotal evidence. Regardless of the vast promise the cannabinoid shows in alternative medicine, CBG research is only just in its early stages. Robust research is lacking and conclusive evidence is far from being available to us yet. Most of the benefits and effects of CBG on the body are currently anecdotal, empirical, and consumer-based.
The truth is that we don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into until clinical research is a few years deep. For this reason, any attempt to dose with cannabis for a specific symptom or condition is best discussed with a licensed physician or qualified caregiver.
*Special Thanks to Herb.co as the data source for this article.