Can CBG Help My Anxious Thoughts and Feelings?
*Despite what you might read elsewhere on the internet, CBG has not been medically proven to prevent, treat, or cure anxiety. This article discusses ongoing research into the endocannabinoid system and should not be the foundation of any medical or health recommendations or diagnosis. If you have or suspect you may have anxiety, talk to your doctor.*
Anxious thoughts and feelings are a normal part of daily life. Yet, sometimes, these feelings can get overwhelming. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of young adults under age 30 who reported feeling anxious rose significantly. Scientists believe the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic triggered this event.
There are a number of things people can do to reduce their anxious feelings, such as exercise, eat a healthy diet, and possibly take medication. Unfortunately, commonly used medications for these feelings of occasional anxiousness come with a long list of side effects, including blurred vision, fatigue, restlessness, headache, and erectile dysfunction, to name a few.
Many people are searching for alternative options that may help with their anxious feelings, which aren’t linked with significant adverse side effects. Some people have reported that CBG helps to reduce these feelings.
What Is CBG?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a type of cannabinoid, or naturally occurring chemical compound found in the hemp plant. CBG is not present in large amounts but is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant. Hemp has over 100 different cannabinoids, each with specific effects on the human body.
CBG starts out in the plant as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which undergoes a transformation to CBG. Many of the cannabinoids with which you are familiar begin as CBGA. These include cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabinol (CBN).
CBG is present in low concentrations in the plant. So, someone cannot smoke or consume a particular strain and identify any specific effect contributed to CBG. However, scientists have isolated the compound, which helps them to study it independently and understand how it affects people.
CBG Affects the Endocannabinoid System
It is important to understand that CBG interacts with your endocannabinoid system. This system is a vast network of receptor sites in your body that helps control pain, mood, appetite, and other basic functions. These receptors are built specifically for the cannabinoid compounds your body produces.
These are endogenous cannabinoids, which means they occur naturally within your body. When a person produces optimal levels of endogenous cannabinoids, they help to support mental resilience and keep us calm. When the system doesn't work optimally, it may result in experiencing symptoms like anxious thoughts and feelings.
The endocannabinoid system was named for the cannabis plant that led to the discovery of the body’s receptors. Increased stress, lack of exercise, and a poor diet are factors that may contribute to endocannabinoid dysfunction.
How CBG May Modulate Anxious Thoughts
Scientists have found that CBG is non-intoxicating. It binds with the CB1 receptor in the brain, which is the receptor THC uses to produce a psychoactive effect. So, it reduces the intoxicating effect of THC. This means that CBG is a CB1 antagonist because it blocks the effect of the receptor.
This is interesting since THC may stimulate feelings of fear and increase feelings of nervousness or anxiousness in higher doses. By blocking the CB1 receptors with CBG, people using THC may experience reduced anxious feelings or occasional nervousness.
Another benefit of CBG is that it may boost levels of anandamide. This is a natural compound found in the brain that helps your body regulate sleep and mood. Evidence has shown the endocannabinoid anandamide is likely to help regulate fear.
Finally, research demonstrates that CBG helps inhibit the uptake of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which may help to relax muscles and reduce anxious feelings. As researchers continue to study CBG, they are hopeful it will one day be a treatment for anxious feelings and occasional nervousness.