What is CBG? Benefits and Uses of Cannabigerol
*Despite what you might read elsewhere on the internet, no CBD product has been medically proven to prevent, treat, or cure diseases. 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 a medical condition, talk to your doctor.*
With interest in cannabis products exploding across the country, many people are curious about the effects of the various compounds found in these plants. They’ve likely heard that some strains of cannabis can give the user a high, while other products do not generate a high and can help with a wide array of health conditions.
One of the most exciting chemicals found in cannabis plants is cannabigerol or CBG. CBG and other compounds found in cannabis work with your body’s natural systems to regulate critical bodily functions. Research has also shown that CBG may help improve bodily function, associated with the digestive system, the nervous system, and cellular function.
CBG and other Cannabinoids
CBG and other chemicals derived from cannabis plants are known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids work by binding with chemical receptors in our bodies. These receptors are collectively known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS. There are two different kinds of ECS receptors located throughout our bodies. The first kind is CB1 receptors, found in the central nervous system in places like your brain and spinal cord. The second kind is CB2 receptors, found in your peripheral nervous system in areas like your extremities, the digestive system, and most cells in the immune system.
By acting on these receptors in different ways, endocannabinoids can have many different effects on the body. The ECS plays a significant role in a process known as homeostasis, which is essentially the body’s way of regulating its internal environment for optimal functions. Research shows that the ECS helps regulate many functions in our bodies, such as
- The immune system
- Temperature regulation
The two cannabinoids you’ve likely heard of are tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, and cannabidiol, also known as CBD. THC is the cannabinoid that produces a high when consumed in significant quantities, while CBD can help with bodily tension, increasing calm, and other daily struggles. CBG is another kind of cannabinoid, and new findings suggest it could have potentially powerful health effects.
What Makes CBG Different?
There are more than 120 cannabinoids that have been identified. Part of what makes CBG unique is that it’s involved in the formation of several other essential cannabinoids. When the proper enzymes are activated by light or heat, CBG breaks down to form THC and CBD. This means mature cannabis plants often have very little CBG, making up less than 1 percent of the cannabinoids present. CBG is easier to find in younger cannabis plants before it breaks down into either THC or CBD.
Does CBG Get You High?
Similar to CBD, consuming CBG does not get the user high. In fact, CBG is much closer to CBD than it is to THC, as both CBD and CBG are more useful for their health benefits than in getting someone high. That said, CBD and CBG work in different ways on the body.
Unlike some cannabinoids, CBD does not directly bind with CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it acts as a catalyst to speed up the effects of other cannabinoids. CBG, on the other hand, does bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning it can have a more powerful impact on the body.
What are the Possible Benefits of Using CBG?
Because CBG works differently than CBD, it has other effects on the body. We cannot make the claim that CBG, CBD, or any other cannabinoid should be taken to treat specific diseases or ailments, though limited research has shown that CBG could support people with conditions like:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease- A 2013 study showed that CBG seemed to reduce the inflammation in people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
Glaucoma- CBG may be partly to explain why medical cannabis can help treat glaucoma. One study found that CBG could help treat glaucoma patients by lowering intraocular pressure.
Bladder Dysfunctions- Research suggests cannabinoids can affect bladder contractions. One study from 2015 found that CBG showed promise in treating bladder dysfunctions.
- Bacterial Infections- Drug-resistant bacteria are a growing health concern, but CBG may offer a way forward. One research team found that CBG can kill bacteria, particularly MRSA strains that are resistant to antibiotics.
- Cancer- A study from 2014 found that CBG might reduce the growth of cancer cells, as well as other tumors.
*These studies do not constitute or suggest in any way that CBG is a suitable form or treatment for disease or illness. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for specific advice regarding any conditions that require medical attention. We simply want to highlight that CBG is currently being studied in a variety of different ways.
CBG can be used as a wellness product to improve your life. By stimulating cell receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system, CBG helps your body better regulate itself. This leads to reportedly positive outcomes like:
- Better sleep
- Improved memory
- Reduced feelings of anxiousness
- Relief from minor aches and pains
- Inflammation reduction