All About CBG
With hemp recently made legal to study by the federal government, the plant has been receiving a deluge of attention from the scientific community in the past few years.
More studies than ever are being conducted on the cannabis plant and its many potentially beneficial compounds – including CBG, which some early reports show may be one of the most beneficial compounds discovered yet.
What Is CBG?
CBG is the acronym standing in for cannabigerol, the name of a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant.
Like it’s more well-known counterparts, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as the chemical that makes you feel high when smoking marijuana), CBG belongs to a specific group of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids.
This class of chemicals works directly with our bodies, interacting with a vast group of sensors found throughout our nervous system called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short.
Because it’s represented at such low levels (usually less than 1%) in most strains of cannabis, cannabigerol in particular is considered a minor cannabinoid – but don’t be fooled by the name: that designation has nothing to do with the many potential benefits the compound could bring to the table.
How Does CBG Work?
In fact, CBG has proved to be one of the most interesting cannabinoids discovered in recent years.
The compound is actually considered a “precursor” of sorts to three major types of cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).
That’s because, in its acidic form, CBGA, the compound can break down (when heated) to produce the same acidic-form precursors of CBD and THC (as well as CBC, known as cannabichromene, another type of cannabinoid).
In other words, CBG is a bit like the grandmother of CBD and THC. (It’s important to note, however, that unlike THC, CBG is not considered psychoactive.)
This genetic link also means the compounds work in similar ways inside our bodies.
Like cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol interacts with the receptors of the ECS to help our body keep tabs on and regulate a number of our internal systems – and because of their closeness, it appears CBG may interact with the same types of receptors as CBD, and in similar ways, as well.
Scientists are still parceling out all the finer-tuning of the mechanism, studying exactly how these compounds influence the receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
Still, a few studies conducted on CBG in particular are starting to fill in the blanks – and reveal some real potential benefits of the compound.
Potential Benefits of CBG
Indeed, CBG has been linked to a number of potentially beneficial traits, shown in studies to offer help with:
A 2016 study performed on rats showed the potential link between CBG and appetite stimulation. The effect could be especially helpful for those suffering from Cancer or AIDS, where appetite loss is a typical—and potentially severe—side effect.
CBG was found in one 2008 study to do well at fighting bacteria – particularly the type of dangerous bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA, or the bacteria that causes potentially deadly staph infections. CBG was found to work against even antibiotic-resistant strands of MRSA in the study (which was conducted in a lab, and not on humans).
The ECS has a lot of influence over the digestive tract, including bladder contractions and bowel movements. In one 2015 study, CBG was found to have a particular impact on bladder contractions, showing promise for use against bladder issues.
One 2014 study linked cannabigerol to help with colon cancer, when the compound was found to help slow the growth of cancer cells and tumors.
Medicinal marijuana has long been used to treat conditions like glaucoma. Now, some scientists believe that relief may actually be thanks to CBG. A 2008 study first raised the issue, finding that CBG was a helpful agent in reducing intraocular pressure.
Where to Find CBG
That being said, CBG is relatively easy to find in today’s cannabidiol marketplace.
Mostly, the compound can be sourced from CBD products that claim to be full-spectrum (and sometimes, even products that are broad-spectrum). These are products that include not just CBD but a whole host of (or, in the case of full-spectrum products, all of) the additional types of cannabinoids found in the plant.
A few companies have also started producing CBG oil, though these isolate products are typically much more difficult to find.
No matter which way you choose to get more CBG into your daily routine, however, it’s best to start slow and take your time with the substance. And make sure to do a little research into both the product you’re buying and the company producing it before making a purchase, to make sure you’re getting the safest, most effective version of the product possible.