CBG- The Next BIG Thing?
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol, or CBG is touted to be the next big thing in the cannabis biz. So, what makes it unique? It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid byproduct in low-THC and high-CBD strains of cannabis, such as hemp. Just like CBD, CBG interacts with the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system of the body. However, it does seem to have some slightly different functions and health benefits than CBD. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
What’s so neat about CBG?
The interesting thing about CBG is that it is the precursor or parent molecule to the other cannabinoids. This is because a flowering hemp plant begins to produce cannabinoid crystal molecules around the 3-4 week mark. Known as CBGa, these molecules are thought to protect the plant from pests and ultraviolet rays. As the plant continually absorbs the UV radiation of the sun, the CBGa molecule transforms into either THCa or CBDa. THCa or CBDa are essentially the natural, unrefined forms of THC and CBD. When the organic matter is dried and heated it removes the molecule’s carbolic acid in a chemical reaction known as decarboxylation. This process is what transforms the THCa, CBDa, and CBGa molecules into THC, CBD and CBG. Because CBG transforms to create all of the other cannabinoids, it often occurs as less than 1% of the total cannabinoids present in the final product.
What are some benefits of CBG?
As with so many of the cannabinoids, of which there are over 100, there is still so much to learn about the many potential health benefits they may provide. This is also true of of CBG. That said, some things we already know is that CBG helps to slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter, GABA, and is actually a much better GABA re-uptake inhibitor than both THC and CBD. This is interesting because large concentrations of GABA help to regulate stress responses and have enormous effects on muscle relaxation. Even more interesting, CBG may help to support stress management by suppressing the uptake of serotonin, which means a higher concentration remains active in the brain helping to support mood. Not to mention, CBG has also shown some potential in neurogenesis and as a neuroprotectant. This could potentially lead to greater capacity for focus and attention.
Another cool thing about CBG is that it counteracts the intoxicating effects of THC by binding to specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This is really neat because although THC has its own set of health benefits, its psychoactive properties can be undesirable. By combining the 2 cannabinoids a phenomenon called the entourage effect takes place. This effect allows the body to reap the health benefits of THC while vastly reducing its intoxicating affect. This is also why plant breeders all over the world are experimenting with ways to include higher concentrations of CBG and THC in marijuana strains.
In addition to all of this, CBG can also:
*Help to regulate pressure inside the eye
*Stimulate the appetite
*Help to support a normal inflammatory response
*Effect fat tissue storage closely related to obesity
*Work to slow the proliferation of cancer cells
*Fight pain and nausea
*Help treat intestinal diseases such as IBD and Crohn’s disease,
How are they different?
Despite the fact they each have many health benefits and similarities, one big difference is the availability of pure CBG to the consumer. Because most of the CBGa is naturally converted into THC and CBD, CBG occurs in very small quantities in both hemp and marijuana, making the refining process expensive. Another key difference is that CBG has the ability to counteract the high produced from THC, while CBD cannot. One of the more subtle differences is that CBD and CBG have opposing affect on appetite; CBD is a depressant while the other is a stimulant.
What does this all mean?
Although CBG is found in full spectrum hemp oils, the pure stuff is still a little difficult to come by. However, because of the entourage effect it is still extremely beneficial. Not to worry; as science discovers more about this fascinating cannabinoid the demand for it grows. It should soon be as easy to find as CBD. Many are also predicting that it may surpass CBD in popularity because of its many far reaching health benefits.