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Featured Cannabinoid: Cannabigerol (CBG)

By Danyal Swan September 19, 2023

As our society becomes increasingly aware of the potential side effects of the various pharmaceutical medications humans are exposed to in order to treat a range of health conditions, we’ve experienced a push to begin replacing those harmful chemicals with a more natural remedy. One natural substance that shows great promise for treating a wide variety of conditions is cannabis.  

This wonderful plant boasts naturally occurring compounds capable of positively interacting with the human body, particularly within the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a system of receptors and organs that exist to maintain homeostasis, or a sense of chemical balance within the body. Learn more about one of the promising cannabinoid compounds: cannabigerol, or CBG. 

What is a Cannabinoid?

Cannabinoid compounds are found throughout nature, including in the cannabis plant. In fact, the human body produces its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. These compounds are thus named because they are structured similarly and can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors.

When the receptors in the ECS interact with cannabinoid or endocannabinoid compounds, they stimulate them to send a chemical signal that affects the way the organs affiliated with the ECS regulate homeostasis-related functions like mood, sleep, pain perception, appetite, and more.

The cannabis plant produces these beneficial compounds within trichomes, or the tiny, mushroom-shaped hairs that coat the plant, giving it its frosty appearance. The densest of cannabinoid production occurs in the trichome heads.

What is Cannabigerol (CBG)?

Cannabis Cannabinoid CBG

Cannabigerol is an important but lesser-known cannabinoid found naturally within the cannabis plant. It is produced by CBGA, the mother cannabinoid, when it is decarboxylated. CBGA is considered the mother cannabinoid because it is the first cannabinoid produced by the plant as it is developing and it creates several other cannabinoids. For instance, CBGA can also be turned into THCA and CBDA, which can then be decarboxylated to THC and CBD. CBG is typically found in low concentrations in THC-dominant cannabis, however breeding techniques can cultivate high CBG varieties.  

Like the other cannabinoids, CBG affects the functioning of the ECS to modulate some critical bodily functions and achieve homeostasis. Like CBD and THC before it, researchers are attempting to determine how CBG’s effects on the ECS can be harnessed to treat mental and physical ailments. Currently, it is a frequent accompaniment to CBD and THC in many therapeutic products. 

Potential Benefits of CBG

Remember that medical research featuring CBG is just beginning, so we know only some of the potential benefits this cannabinoid may have. From what limited research is showing scientists so far, CBG may be just as powerful as CBD as a natural way to combat physical and mental health concerns.  

Some of the most promising potential benefits of CBG include: 

Antibacterial Properties

Some bacterial strains like MRSA become resistant to antibiotics and are, therefore, hard to treat and extremely dangerous to humans. Thus far, CBG has shown positive results in helping fight MRSA and other resistant bacteria because of its ability to disrupt bacterial growth. Research suggests that CBG is much more powerful in treating bacterial infections than other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. 

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

In animal test studies, CBG has shown positive results for its potential to treat inflammation in the colon.  Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by ongoing inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract, which includes the colon. Examples of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. CBG shows promise for those with IBD and other inflammatory conditions. 

Anxiety Relief

How CBG affects mood, specifically anxiety, is not very well understood. Although researchers found that it interacts with a type of serotonin receptor, the way that it reacts is expected to cause anxiety instead of ease symptoms. Regardless, a study asking cannabis consumers who regularly consumed CBG-products why they do found that the most common medical condition reported was anxiety. In fact, the majority of participants stated that CBG-dominant cannabis helped their anxiety better than prescription medicine. 

Muscle Relaxant

CBG shows promise for slowing muscle contractions in body muscles as well as in the bladder due to its interactions outside of the ECS. Just how CBG interacts with a serotonin receptor, it also interacts with transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and is believed to inhibit GABA reuptake, which both play roles in pain sensation and muscle relaxation. This could assist in helping to treat a wide variety of muscle spasms or strains, including bladder disorders. CBG may also help to ease the pain of athletes suffering from sports injuries.  

Glaucoma Relief

Glaucoma is a disease where fluid accumulates in the eye, increasing pressure and damaging the optic nerve. Research indicates that CBG, like other cannabinoids, may be an effective way to treat glaucoma. More specifically, CBG may help relieve intraocular pressure, a hallmark of glaucoma risk.

Pain Relief

The mechanisms mentioned above plus CBG’s activity at the alpha-2 and COX receptors help make CBG a natural way to manage pain of varying degrees, particularly pain related to inflammation or muscle tension. When taken alongside other cannabinoids like CBD or THC, many patients report experiencing pain relief.  

Cancer Treatment

A team of researchers reports that CBG has stopped the growth of new cancer cells and has exhibited anti-tumor properties. CBG also appears to slow the progression of the disease overall. For patients undergoing chemotherapy, CBG may stimulate appetite and reduce nausea and vomiting.  

Immunoprotective and Neuroprotective Properties

Many conditions are related to excitatory neurons and immune cells that overstimulate or improperly stimulate the nervous and immune systems. For example, psoriasis, a disease where people suffer from patches of dry, itchy, flaky, and red skin, could be caused by a heightened immune response.  

Neurological disorders like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and even epilepsy result from irregularities in the nervous system. CBG may be among the cannabinoids that exhibit neuroprotective properties or reduce the symptoms of these disorders.  

Comparing CBG to CBD and THC

CBG and Cannabinoids are Produced in Trichomes

From the research and potential benefits listed above, it may seem like there isn’t much difference between CBD and CBG. However, the two have a different molecular structure – though they are similar and have a similar molecular weight and mass. One crucial difference is that CBG interacts directly with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the human body, while CBD appears to affect the ECS indirectly and modulate other cannabinoids’ interactions with these receptors.

Like CBD – and unlike THC – CBG does not produce the psychoactive effects that would cause users to feel a “high” as THC does. Interestingly, CBG is found in much lower quantities than either CBD or THC, especially in mature plants, and can be a bit difficult to gather for this reason. Despite its lack of abundance, it’s shown great promise as a therapeutic compound.

Dosing CBG

Like THC, CBD, and many other medications, the amount of CBG you should take to address your symptoms greatly depends on factors such as your weight, height, overall health, and whether you have used cannabis products in the past. You should also note that different products contain varying concentrations of CBG, and may also contain other cannabinoids like CBD or even THC. All of these factors can influence how much of the product you should take.

The general rule of thumb when beginning any new cannabis product is to start small, note the effects, and gradually take more and more until you reach the desired results. You may be able to achieve the best results by keeping a journal and noting your benefits and side effects with each dose. You can consider trying 2.5 mg. of CBG per day in a product that contains your other preferred cannabinoids.

How to Consume CBG

Right now, there are many different ways for you to take CBG, just like there are many different ways to take other cannabinoids. What product you should consider will vary with your personal preferences and your cannabis goals.

Some of the most common ways to take CBG include:

  • Edibles – A favored way to consume cannabis, edibles provide long-lasting effects and no tell-tale odor. CBG edibles are often paired with THC for mood-enhancing benefits.
  • Oils or Tinctures – This is a liquid form of CBG. You can apply directly under your tongue for absorption through the tiny bloody capillaries there and directly into the bloodstream for the quickest results (otherwise known as sublingual application). Or, you can swallow it or mix it into any of your favorite foods or beverages, but the CBG must be digested and metabolized to be effective. 
  • Crystals – This tends to be the purest form of CBG and is often sold as a powder. Typically, this type of product is meant to be ingested and not inhaled. You can include the powder in a smoothie/coffee or let it melt right under your tongue.  
  • Supplements – If you prefer to take your CBG like a daily vitamin, that possible too. You can find gel capsules and tablets that you can take alongside most other vitamins or herbal supplements, but it’s best to check with your healthcare provider or a medical professional first..  
  • Topicals or Ointments – If you are taking CBG for pain or skin irritations, like psoriasis or ezcema, you may find that topicals and ointments that are applied directly to the affected area yield the best results.  
  • Flower – CBG can, of course, be found in cannabis flower, though in low amounts. Strains with CBG often provide uplifting benefits. If you're curious

While CBG edibles and tinctures are not yet available on MÜV shelves, you can ask your Cannabis Advisor for strains high in this minor cannabinoid. Using Certificates of Analysis, your cannabis guides can help identify the best option for your needs.

CBG FAQs

Interested in learning more about CBG? Check out our most frequently asked questions!

Find CBG at Your Local MÜV Dispensary

Find CBG at Your Local MÜV Dispensary

Now that you have learned a little bit more about the powerful potential of the cannabinoid CBG, it’s only natural to want to discover whether this crucial cannabinoid may help relieve your symptoms. Stop in any of our dispensaries located throughout Florida to explore strains high in CBG, and stay tuned for CBG-infused products coming soon.


References:

  1. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  2. Ethan B. Russo, Carrie Cuttler, Ziva D. Cooper, Amanda Stueber, Venetia L. Whiteley, and Michelle Sexton.Survey of Patients Employing Cannabigerol-Predominant Cannabis Preparations: Perceived Medical Effects, Adverse Events, and Withdrawal Symptoms.Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.Oct 2022.706-716.http://doi.org/10.1089/can.2021.0058
  3. Jastrząb, A., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2022). The Origin and Biomedical Relevance of Cannabigerol. International journal of molecular sciences, 23(14), 7929. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23147929
  4. Lah, T. T., Novak, M., Pena Almidon, M. A., Marinelli, O., Žvar Baškovič, B., Majc, B., Mlinar, M., Bošnjak, R., Breznik, B., Zomer, R., & Nabissi, M. (2021). Cannabigerol Is a Potential Therapeutic Agent in a Novel Combined Therapy for Glioblastoma. Cells, 10(2), 340. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10020340
  5. Tomko, A. M., Whynot, E. G., Ellis, L. D., & Dupré, D. J. (2020). Anti-Cancer Potential of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids Present in Cannabis. Cancers, 12(7), 1985. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071985
  6. Tomida, I., Pertwee, R. G., & Azuara-Blanco, A. (2004). Cannabinoids and glaucoma. The British journal of ophthalmology, 88(5), 708–713. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjo.2003.032250

Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.

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