CBG or Canabigerol: What is that?
Often when we think of the words “Cannabis” and“cannabinoids” the first thing that comes to mind is tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly called THC. Why do we even think about this? Simple: this is the cannabinoid whose effects we feel more strongly and immediately when we consume marijuana.
Thanks to the new studies carried out by the researchers, more than 100 different cannabinoids have been found in the Cannabis, each of which has particular effects. These include CBG, or cannabigerol, which has been found to be very effective against pain, nausea, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.
WHAT IS CANNABIGEROL?
The cannabigerol, commonly known as CBG, is a phytocannabinoid present in cannabis. It is considered non-psychoactive, as preliminary studies have shown that in mice and rats it does not cause any narcotic effects on THC gender.
The CBG was first discovered in 1964 as a hashish component. It is composed of cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, which is actually one of the first cannabinoids that form in the cannabis plant.
As the plant matures, enzymes convert CBGA into a wide variety of other cannabinoids acids, including THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. Then, through drying, maturing, and heating, most of these cannabinoids turn into non-acid versions such as THC, CBD, and CBC.
CBG is considered to be a mild CB1 receptor antagonist of the endocannabinoid system. This means that it can inhibit the effects of CB1 agonists, more particularly THC, and thus interfere with the effects of other cannabinoids. CBG is believed to interact with CB2 receptors, but it is not entirely clear whether it exerts agonist or antagonist effects on this receptor class.
THE THERAPEUTIC POTENTIAL OF CBG
Research into the therapeutic properties of cannabis is still in its infancy. However, in recent years a fair amount of research has been done on CBG, which suggest that this cannabinoid has a wide variety of therapeutic benefits.
CBG AS A NEUROPROTECTOR
In 2015, researchers from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Madrid, Spain, found that CBG has unique neuroprotective properties. Researchers used two different in vivo models of Huntington’s disease in mice, characterized by a progressive collapse of nerve cells in the brain.
The study found that CBG was very active as a neuroprotector, making improvements in motor deficits and at the same time protecting neurons. The study also showed that CBG has the ability to positively influence the expression of certain genes related to Huntington’s disease.
Another study published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology in 2012 addressed CBG and its effects on multiple sclerosis.
The study, conducted by researchers of Vivacell biotechnology España, found that the cannabigerol is a potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective agent. Using an in vivo model, researchers found that CBG helps mediate multiple sclerosis symptoms, and at the same time modulates the expression of key genes involved in the disease.
Both studies conclude that CBG shows great promise, alone or in combination with other cannabinoids and treatments, to help develop drugs and treatment methods for both Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
CBG AND THE REDUCTION OF PAIN
CBG, like other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, shows promise in helping to relieve neuropathic pain.
A 2011 patent of Otsuka Pharmaceutical and GW Pharma states that the cannabigerol, as well as other cannabinoids (such as CBC, CBDV, and THCV), help alleviate symptoms of neuropathic pain induced in mice. The research of the two pharmaceutical giants shows that CBG has helped the mice recover from the pain caused by surgically induced nerve injuries.
Because neuropathic pain is generally refractory to treatment with opioids and other drugs, this is a huge step forward in treating this type of pain. It is also important to note that this research found that CBG was more effective at low doses in relieving the neuropathic pain of the test mice.
OTHER CBG THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS
Apart from the studies mentioned above, there is much other evidence that indicates the therapeutic benefits of CBG.
For example, a 2009 study found that CBG reduces intraocular pressure in cats with glaucoma. Studies in mice have also suggested that CBG may help to treat nausea and vomiting, but this research has not yet been replicated in humans. Finally, CBG also showed anti-inflammatory effects that could help treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
WHERE CAN CBG BE FOUND?
Unfortunately, cannabis is mostly collected for THC or CBD. This means that it is harvested quite late in the flowering period, and consequently contains low CBG concentrations. Most of the cannabis on the market today contains only about 1% of this cannabinoid.
Research on cannabinoid variations in cannabis suggests that Indian ecotypes may contain higher CBG concentrations than other varieties. It is also advisable for growers to harvest their plants at about three-quarters of the flowering period if they want to get more CBG content.
In 2013, researchers at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany, analysed the cannabinoid content of Bediol, a medicinal variety of bedrocan BV, in the Netherlands. Researchers analyzed the variety flowers over an 8-week period and found that the CBG content was higher during the sixth week.
CBG: A NEW MEDICINAL POTENCY?
It is quite obvious that the cannabigerol has shown great medicinal potentialities. The fact that it is a non-psychoactive compound is particularly encouraging, as many people may hesitate in the face of the amazing effects of THC and other psychotropic cannabinoids.
However, it is important to remember that this scientific research has its limits. And although this article collects a wide range of research on CBG and its therapeutic benefits, as far as understanding this powerful cannabinoid is concerned, we are still just scratching the surface.
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