The market for Cannabis-related products is thriving. The reasons behind this recent surge are many. The sometimes-psychoactive Cannabis plant has become so famous and so widely used, primarily for medical or recreational purposes, that it can now be found in any form, from food to hygiene products. Moreover, the high demand has pushed producers to bring other ingredients of the Cannabis plant into the market, both in their raw form as well as mixed into different products. And CBG is taking its fair share too.
One of the most important of the over 100 compounds of Cannabis (known as cannabinoids) is Cannabigerol – CBG in short. However, it is less famous than the two others, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
While CBD is widely known for its medicinal benefits and is used for treating pain, seizures, anxiety, as well as depression, THC is used for its psychoactive effects – or to put it more bluntly: to get high.
However, the ingredient we seek to cover here, CBG, has many benefits in spite of it has stood in the shadow of THC and CBD for decades. This article seeks to inform you about the history of CBG as well as its main benefits.
Story Time: How CBG Was Discovered
Had Israeli researchers Yehiel Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam not been able to isolate CBG, THC, and CBD from the cannabis plant in 1964, we might have never known about these three compounds.
These two scientists did not only manage to isolate the three substances but also studied them further, thereby discovering their effects, benefits, and other properties. One of the main things that they discovered about CBG was that it has no psychoactive properties and that it exists in some varieties of industrial hemp as well as other, more potent, marijuana strains.
Later research by other scientists showed that CBG has many rare properties, many of which, however, remains to be discovered.
Main Effects & Benefits of CBG
The way CBG affects one’s brain and body are similar to other cannabinoids. However, its properties are different, and so are its effects.
Although a large part of these effects and properties remain unknown, the ones that have been discovered are absolutely noteworthy, including the ones that have proven to be quite useful in treating illnesses and conditions.
Below we have listed only some of these effects:
- May treat glaucoma and relieve intraocular pressure
- Contains antibacterial properties
- Can help stimulate appetite
- It has anti-inflammatory effects
- May help people with bladder problems
- Potential to combat cancer
- Neuroprotective effects
A study carried out by scientists in 1990 showed that CBG and other related cannabinoids might help treat glaucoma, combined with glaucoma medication prescribed by the doctor. This means that CBG can be used to enhance the effect of medications on a patient’s glaucoma treatment.
Studies have shown that CBD can be used to treat the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterial infection that could be fatal due to the fact that it is resistant to antibiotics like methicillin.
CBG can also be used to treat other bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics as well.
In a study from 2016, researchers tested CBG on rats and noted that the rats that had been given CBG would eat more than the rest, thus indicating that CBD can work as an appetite stimulant, especially for people suffering from eating disorders like anorexia and cachexia.
Moreover, as the rats did not show any side effects, Cannabigerol (CBG) could be one of the healthiest and safest ways to treat unhealthy eating habits.
Another property of CBG is that it is anti-inflammatory and, as a result, may assist in the treatment of several chronic diseases.
For example, several studies have shown that CBG has the capability to reduce the inflammatory markers in mice with induced inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), while at the same time also relieving colitis.
Although a study on humans has yet to be conducted, in order to confirm the suspected anti-inflammatory properties of CBG, there are high hopes that it could be the future of chronic inflammation treatment.
People with bladder dysfunction may soon be able to treat their conditions with cannabinoids. A study from 2015 showed that cannabinoids are capable of reducing acetylcholine-induced bladder contractions.
In particular, CBG and THCV proved to be the most effective with regards to treating bladder problems.
These tests were done on lab mice, but researchers have seen similar effects in simple tests on humans. They may soon be able to perform the tests that they did on mice also on humans. If the results of human tests are similar to those on mice, treatment of bladder problems could look completely different.
It might be a bit of a stretch, but we had to list it here. Several studies have been carried out regarding the potential effect of CBG in cancer patients. Most of them actually showed that CBG inhibits the growth of certain cancerous cells.
A study from 2009 indicated that “CBG could potentially slow tumor growth”, while another study from 2016 concluded that it “can act as a direct inhibitor of tumor progression as well as enhance the activity of first-line therapies.” Similar findings have been presented in studies between 2006 and 2014.
It is believed that the CBG can protect the nervous system from damage while acting as an antioxidant, similar to the endocannabinoid 2-AG.
Tests carried out on animals, show that CBG could help improve motor deficits and preserve neurons in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease.
What’s the Difference Between CBD and CBG?
CBD and CBG are often mixed up due to the similarity of their abbreviations. While they are both compounds within the cannabis plant, Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are still quite different.
Their effects on the human body and mind are quite different as well, although they are both considered to be non-psychotropic, which means that they won’t get the user high. They are both, however, thought to help people with mental conditions, like anxiety and depression.