01 Apr What is CBG? What are its benefits?
The cannabis plant is made of many different chemical compounds, among which the cannabinoids have gained special attention due to their various therapeutic properties.
If you’ve been reading up on cannabis and its increasing popularity in the medicinal and cosmetic world, you must be familiar with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), the main active cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, and their numerous benefits on health.
Wellness products containing CBD have gained immense fame over the past few years, mainly due to their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-oxidant effects.
Since CBD is the main non-intoxicating component present in the cannabis plant, it is relatively abundant in common strains, making it easy to isolate and extract, and subsequently used to manufacture commercial products.
However recently, another non-intoxicating cannabinoid has come into the scene with equally significant therapeutic potential – cannabigerol (CBG). Even though it is less abundant, CBG has been seen to reduce inflammation, fight aches and soreness, and even slow down the multiplication of certain cancer cells (although research is scant).
Want to find out more about this potential health benefactor? We’re here to help!
In this article, we’ll be discovering what is CBG, how is it extracted, what potential therapeutic benefits does it hold, and how to choose the best CBG product.
CBG, or cannabigerol, is a relatively less abundant cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant that is presently under investigation for its potential pharmacological properties. It is the precursor molecule for CBD and THC, which further highlights its importance. CBGA, the acidic and inactive form of CBG, undergoes modifications and is broken down to form the base molecule for other cannabinoids.
Despite having undergone no clinical trials yet, researchers believe that the compound is thousands of years old, with one study dating back to the ’60s. However, common knowledge about its existence and medicinal benefits is still new.
Since it is a rather uncommon cannabinoid and doesn’t exist in fairly large quantities within the plant, it is difficult to obtain sufficient amounts for a comprehensive study. However, studies conducted in-vitro in rats have demonstrated that CBG may ease symptoms associated with conditions such as colitis, cancer, and neurodegeneration.
CBG is extracted via a chromatography process that utilizes superfluid liquid solvents such as CO2 or ethanol. The extraction process involves the following key steps:
- Hemp is dissolved in the superfluid liquid solvent, drawing out the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.
- This solution is then evaporated under a vacuum to remove all gases, leaving behind a highly pure CBG concentrate.
- Once extracted, the concentrate, as well as CBG products, must be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight to preserve their potency.
Despite being a seemingly-easy process and with CBD having no intoxicating effects and many medicinal uses, there comes to mind a question: why hasn’t CBG gained the same popularity as CBD?
Well, there are several reasons. To begin, and most probably the main reason blocking the popularity of CBG as a potential therapeutic alternative to CBD is the cost of its extraction.
CBG is regarded as the most expensive cannabinoid to isolate, being dubbed as the “Rolls-Royce of cannabinoids”. Why? Since hemp contains only minute proportions of CBG, it requires thousands of pounds of biomass to produce a relatively small amount of CBG. For instance, if the CBG content of hemp crop is about 1 percent, about 20 times its biomass is required to obtain a substantial amount of CBG.
Moreover, CBG extraction also uses specialised production equipment. Since the levels extracted are relatively low, the high-performance chromatography apparatus used to isolate and purify the cannabinoid’s extract needs to be extremely precise to use limited raw cannabis or hemp material as efficiently as possible.
Lastly, apart from costs, CBG also proposes potential difficulties for cultivators. This is because the longer a cannabis plant takes to mature, the greater the chances of CBGA and CBG being converted into CBD or other cannabinoids. So, cultivators can either grow cannabis solely for producing CBG, or they can allow the crop to fully mature and sell it for various other purposes with a lower CBG content.
As mentioned earlier, research on CBG and CBG oil is fairly limited. However, some studies do suggest several benefits of the cannabinoid. Let’s take a look at some of the potential diseases and health problems that may be managed by CBG therapy.
These conditions refer to inflammation and ulcers along the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. According to a study performed in 2013 on mice, CBG may help reduce soreness and the painful symptoms of colitis.
As per another study, IBD patients experienced an improvement in abdominal pain, cramping, poor appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, and nausea after the use of cannabis; however, the isolated effect of CBG on these symptoms needs to be explored further.
Glaucoma is a cluster of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve, often caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure).
According to a study performed in 2008, and another conducted in 1990, CBG and related cannabinoids may be partially responsible for reducing the intensity of glaucoma and intraocular pressure. This could be extremely beneficial because currently, patients are using THC to manage glaucoma but CBG presents a solution without any intoxicating effect.
After a comparative study in 2015 involving five cannabinoids, researchers concluded that CBG showed promise in improving bladder dysfunction and contractions in mice.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a form of staph infection resistant to methicillin, a common antibiotic, making it a potentially threatening and even fatal bacterial infection. A study conducted in 2008 showed that CBG could serve as a promising antibacterial agent capable of rendering the drug-resistant bacterium ineffective.
Huntington’s disease is an advanced brain disorder. It is caused by a defective gene that stimulates changes in the central region of the brain, adversely affecting movement, mood, and cognitive skills.
In 2015, a study conducted on mice established that CBG alone, or combined with other phytocannabinoids and medicinal therapies, could help with neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease. Researchers found that CBG normalised the expression of abnormal genes associated with brain degeneration, highlighting its potential as a neuroprotective compound.
A 2016 study involving rats showed that CBG may help improve and stimulate appetite, and could be of potential use to those suffering from conditions such as HIV or post-chemotherapy complications.
Moreover, a 2017 study found that CBG might present great potential as an anti-oxidant, and may hold more potent pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and inflammation-blocking activity as compared to THC.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring amino acid functioning as a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) in the brain. GABA uptake inhibitors are used medicinally to treat symptoms of anxiety. Decreased GABA uptake can help potentially reduce anxiety.
A study performed in 1975 concluded that CBG inhibits GABA uptake and promotes muscle relaxation, relief from tension, and enhances sensations of peace and calm in the brain and body.
A 2007 study looked into CBG’s ability to improve skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, revealing its potential to reduce inflammation, ache, and swelling in these conditions.
While these studies show the prospective promise of CBG in the pharmacological realm, remember that they don’t confirm its benefits. More research is still required to fully understand how CBG works in the human body.
As mentioned earlier, CBG is a precursor compound for CBD, so even though they’re both cannabinoids, they are completely different compounds present within the cannabis plant serving different purposes and despite some overlap, both are extremely useful for improving different medical conditions.
In terms of their similarities, both CBG and CBD are non-psychoactive or non-psychotropic, meaning that they don’t adversely affect one’s state of mind and inhibit their normal day-to-day functioning and cognitive abilities. Simply put, both compounds will not get you ‘high’ but will help relieve symptoms of anxiety, ache, soreness, and depression.
A rather important thing about CBG is that like CBD, CBG can help counteract the mind-altering effects of THC. Studies have shown that CBG activates the CB1 receptor in a way similar to CBD, which essentially reduces psycho-activation. This means that when you consume cannabis with a high concentration of CBD and CBG combined, or if you consume an isolate of CBG along with smoking or eating cannabis, you may be able to significantly counterbalance any intoxication.
When it comes to addressing their differences, one of their main distinguishing features is that CBD has a fairly low affinity for cannabinoid receptors present within our body, and it mostly interacts with our inherent endocannabinoid system indirectly. CBG, on the other hand, is thought to interact directly with our brain’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
When it comes to finding reputable CBG oil, the task is often quite difficult as compared to finding a product infused with CBD. Also, neither CBD nor CBG is currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so ensuring that your chosen product is authentic and high-quality can be fairly confusing.
Here are a few important questions to consider when choosing a reliable CBG product:
- Are you looking to buy a product with a high concentrate of CBG?
- Are you looking for pure CBG?
- Are you looking for a mixture of CBG and THC?
- Are you looking for CBG products that can be used in various ways or only for oral consumption?
Other important points to consider are whether:
- The product has undergone stringent testing for quality and purity
- The company selling the product is reliable
- The CBG is non-GMO, pesticide-free, gluten-free, and vegan friendly
Another very important consideration before choosing any cannabis product for that matter is whether the company producing the CBG products has them tested by an independent lab. This is called third-party tested, and many companies have given access to their lab reports on their websites, highlighting that their products have been tested for contaminants and any harmful substances.
Why choose Naturecan?
Grown and extracted in the USA, our CBD meets the highest standards and is fully compliant under state law. Utilising whole-plant extraction means we filter out all unnatural substances to maximise CBD concentration, with 0% THC guaranteed. And each and every product is third-party lab tested for certified quality, every time.
We are members of the ACI, who we have worked with through the Novel Food process, and now also a member of the European Industrial Hemp Association – championing quality and safety across our entire industry through important regulatory policy.
If you’ve been consuming cannabis in its entirety, you’ve already been getting a bit of CBG in its natural form. To date, there haven’t been any reports of side-effects to CBG, but remember that there is still not sufficient research on CBG as yet. However, the few studies that have been performed show that CBG offers various medicinal and pharmacological benefits, and is no doubt a major upcoming contender in the cannabis business.
So, if you’re interested in trying CBG, it might be relatively easier to start by using high-quality broad-spectrum CBD oils, which contain relatively small amounts of CBG. And if you’re opting for pure CBG-only products, remember to consult your doctor on specific usage and dosage.
Scientists can create synthetic CBD without any hemp plants. Creating synthetic CBD may cost less, but is it better for you?
Could CBD and migraines be the right thing to look into next? It might very well be!
CBD is gaining traction as a natural alternative to help cope with PMS symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about CBD and PMS