Cannabigerol (CBG) is a type of cannabinoid obtained from the cannabis plant. It’s often referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids. This is because other cannabinoids are derived from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), an acidic form of CBG.
Other more common cannabinoids obtained from cannabis plants include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBG is found in smaller quantities than other cannabinoids in cannabis plants. In most strains of the plant, only 1% of CBG can be found compared to 20 to 25% of CBD or 25 to 30% of THC.
This makes consumer products derived from the cannabinoid rare and often expensive. However, CBG is growing in popularity as a result of the host of potential benefits the cannabinoid has to offer.
How CBG Is Made
CBG is derived from young cannabis plants because they contain higher amounts of CBG than fully developed plants.
Some strains of cannabis like White CBG, Super Glue CBG, and Jack Frost CBG also have higher CBG content than other strains. These strains are specifically cultivated to produce higher quantities of CBG.
Both CBD and THC start as CBGA, an acidic form of CBG. This is why younger cannabis plants contain higher concentrations of CBG.
In fully developed plants with high concentrations of THC and CBD, you’ll find very low concentrations of CBG. This happens because most of the CBG has already been converted to CBD and THC as the plant developed.
Due to the difficulty of getting CBG, cannabis growers have been experimenting with cross-breeding and genetic manipulation to help cannabis plants produce more CBG.
Where Can I Find CBG?
All cannabis contains CBG as it is a minor cannabinoid found during the early stages of the cannabis growing cycle and extracted from budding plants during their flowering stage. This makes it difficult to obtain in large quantities. Industrial hemp was recently discovered as a producer of higher levels of CBG than most cannabis strains.
At FARM all forms of phoenix tears will have CBG, more specifically, the Viridesco Phoenix Tears, and the Medibloom: Lyme Aid Phoenix Tears contain a tested CBG amounts. Speak to any one of FARM’s knowledgable budtenders for dosing information, and other CBG alternatives.
How CBG Works
CBG is processed by the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is made up of molecules and receptors in our bodies that are responsible for keeping our bodies in an optimal state regardless of what’s going on in our external environment.
In our bodies, CBG imitates endocannabinoids, the natural compounds our body makes.
Cannabinoid Receptors in the Body
Our body contains two types of cannabinoid receptors—CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the nervous system and brain, while CB2 receptors are located in the immune system and other areas of the body.
CBG works by binding to both receptors where it’s thought to strengthen the function of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in enhancing pleasure and motivation, regulating appetite and sleep, and alleviating pain. Unlike THC, CBG has no psychotropic effects, so it will not give you a high.
Like other cannabinoids, CBG has shown to contain numerous therapeutic benefits and could play an integral role in several health disorders and diseases.
CBG isn’t psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high.
In fact, much like CBD, it’s believed that CBG could counter some of the negative effects of THC-rich strains such as paranoia and anxiety.
CBG has shown to be a partial agonist of CB1 receptors (those found in high concentrations in the central nervous system), which explains why it could mitigate the effects of THC.
While CBG does have some binding affinity to CB2 receptors, the mechanisms here aren’t as well known.
In a 2010 review, neuroscientist and endocannabinoid expert Ethan Russo, highlighted some of the promising benefits research has discovered about CBG.
Some of the most significant discoveries noted in this review include:
- Muscle Relaxant: CBG has GABA uptake inhibition that is greater than both CBD and THC, which “could suggest muscle relaxant properties.”
- Pain Relief: According to Russo, the analgesic (pain-relieving) properties of CBG are said to surpass those of THC.
- Anti-Cancer: It’s suggested that CBG is the second-most effective phytocannabinoid against breast cancer after CBD. It is also thought to be a potent agonist for “possible application in prostate cancer.”
- Antidepressant: More than one study suggests that CBG contains antidepressant properties.
- Antifungal: Research shows that CBG is a powerful agent against MRSA.
Russo also expressed that CBG could be beneficial for psoriasis due to its ability to inhibit keratinocyte proliferation.
He also suggested CBG might help with overactive bladder and bladder pain.
A 2015 study backed up this suggestion by testing the effects of CBG and other cannabinoids on bladder dysfunction.
Results found that CBG and THCV had the greatest capacity for the reduction of bladder contractions.
Something else Russo expressed is that CBG could work in synergy with other cannabis compounds, namely terpenes such as limonene, linalool, phytol, and caryophyllene, lending to what’s known as the entourage effect.
A 2016 study looked at the neuroprotective properties of CBG in patients with Huntington’s disease, a condition that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.
Symptoms of Huntington’s include involuntary movements, muscle problems, and more.
The study found that CBG was “extremely active as a neuroprotectant” and helped improve motor deficits in animal models.
The study concluded that the discoveries they made “open new research avenues” for the use of CBG and other cannabinoids for neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington’s.
A 2007 study discovered that CBG (and other cannabinoids) have the potential to indirectly stimulate bone marrow growth by means of the CB2 receptor.
Does CBG hold the potential to heal bone fractures? It’s possible, although further research is certainly needed.
A 1990 study looked at the effects of CBG and THC on glaucoma and found that both cannabinoids produced a 2-3-fold increase in aqueous outflow activity, suggesting that “cannabigerol and related cannabinoids may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of glaucoma.”
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition that causes chronic inflammation in the bowel. It affects millions of people across the globe and is incurable.
An experimental animal study conducted in 2013 observed the beneficial effects of CBG on inflammatory bowel disease.2
Researchers induced inflammations similar to IBD in the colons of mice and then administered CBG. CBG was found to reduce the inflammation and the production of nitric oxide. It also reduced the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the intestines. They concluded that CBG should be considered for clinical experimentation in IBD patients.