anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant

What is CBG?

Much like CBD, Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant that is being researched extensively for different medical ailments. The Apothecarium Dispensary explains that CBG acts as a chemical precursor to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. This conversion typically takes place 6-8 weeks in the flowering cycle. CBG is present only in trace amounts in most cannabis strains, however some hemp strains are specifically cultivated to generate higher yields of this cannabinoid.

According to Shape.com, the plant itself is thousands of years old but common knowledge of it is still new. So far, in-vitro and rat studies have shown some indications that CBG may help with colitis, neurodegeneration, and cancer.

Perry Solomon, M.D., a board-certified anesthesiologist and medical cannabis expert, says they don’t know much about CBG and it’s not a common cannabinoid. Solomon noted that it's not found in large quantities within the cannabis plant, "and you have to get enough to be able to test it and study it." Due to nearly a century of cannabis prohibition and scarcity of this novel phytocannabinoid, many of the claims about its efficacy are yet to be proven-but that doesn't mean it's not important.

"CBG is the precursor to CBD, CBC, and THC," says Dr. Solomon. It's sometimes referred to as the stem cell. This means "CBGA (the acidic, inactive form of CBG) changes, is broken down, and becomes the base molecule that other cannabinoids form from," including THC, CBD, and CBC.

What's the Difference Between CBD and CBG?

CBG helps make CBD, so while they're both cannabinoids, they're different compounds within the cannabis plant. Additionally, they serve different purposes and may help treat different ailments, despite some potential pharmacological overlap.

Both CBG and CBD are currently considered non-psychotropic, meaning they won't alter your state of mind in a way that would inhibit your day-to-day function and mental clarity. They can, however, alter your mind in a way that could potentially relieve anxiety and depression. So perhaps a better description of this would be "non-intoxicating"-it won't get you high in the way THC can.

Like CBD, CBG may counteract the intoxicating effects of THC, says Dr. Solomon. "Studies of CBG seem to show that it activates the CB1 receptor just as CBD does, which essentially decreases psycho-activation," he says.

This means if you consume cannabis that has a high concentration of CBD and CBG, or consume an isolate of CBG in addition to consuming cannabis, you could potentially counterbalance the "high" or intoxication. There is CBG naturally found in the cannabis you're already consuming, but likely not in a large enough quantity to make any difference.

How Does CBG Work?

CBG interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, acting as a possible inhibitor to the psychoactive effects of THC. CBG is also thought to boost anandamide, an endocannabinoid that naturally increases dopamine levels and responsible for regulating various health functions such as mood, sleep, and appetite. GABA uptake in the brain may be obstructed by CBG, making this cannabinoid a possible anti-anxiety agent and muscle relaxant. CBG may also block serotonin receptors, showing potential antidepressant traits.

The Research

CBG has been found to act on very specific physiological systems and problems. There is a growing interest in CBG research for many medical ailments with promising research results for glaucoma, inflammation, Huntington's Disease, bladder dysfunction disorders, cancers, cachexia, psoriasis, and depression.

CBG may also increase your appetite. It's also different from another phytocannabinoid, THCV, which inhibits appetite and may lead to weight loss.

CBG was examined for lowering intraocular pressure in a 1990 study, making it a possible glaucoma treatment. In a 2008 study CBG was found to be possibly beneficial in the treatment of MRSA due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. A December 2014 study explored CBG as a possible agent to combat colorectal cancer. The neuroprotective properties of CBG were the subject of a January 2015 study, suggesting therapeutic potential for Huntington’s disease. CBG showed to be a particularly effective cannabinoid in a June 2015 study that focused on bladder dysfunction treatment options. An October 2016 study showed CBG to be potentially effective for inducing appetite.

Sources: Leafly.com, Shape.com, Apothecarium.com, Nature.com, Wikipedia.com, NORML.org, Foliumbiosciences.comncbi.nlm.nih.gov