As cannabis research evolves, scientists are discovering new cannabinoids that offer potential benefits. One cannabinoid that is getting a lot of attention lately is CBG or cannabigerol. Some people believe that CBG may be better than CBD due to its unique properties. Let’s take a closer look at this cannabinoid and see what the science has to say!
What exactly are cannabinoids, and how do they work?
Cannabinoids are a class of naturally occurring phytochemicals found in the cannabis plant. There are over 100 different cannabinoids, but THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most well-known. CBD (cannabidiol) is another prominent cannabinoid found in cannabis oil. It has been shown to have many therapeutic benefits, including reducing anxiety and inflammation.
CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, similar to CBD, that is thought to have potential therapeutic benefits. CBG works by binding to the CB₁ and CB₂ receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulate various physiological processes in the body, including pain, inflammation, and mood.
So far, research on CBG is minimal. However, there is some evidence to suggest that it may help treat certain conditions.
CB1 and CB2 Receptors in the Body
Cannabinoids work by binding to both CB₁ and CB₂ receptors. CB₁ receptors are located in the nervous system and the brain. In contrast, CB₂ receptors are located in the immune systems and other parts of the body.
CB₁ receptors are responsible for most of the psychoactive effects of THC, including euphoria and intoxication. CBD also binds to these receptors, but to a lesser extent than THC.
CB₂ receptors are mainly responsible for the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, such as pain relief and inflammation reduction. Anandamide, a neurotransmitter that is produced in the body, binds to both CB₁ and CB₂ receptors. Anandamide is responsible for many of the effects of cannabis, such as pleasure and motivation, appetite regulation, and pain relief.
What Is Cannabigerol (CBG) and What Does It Do?
Some people have referred to CBG as the mother of all cannabinoids. This is because other cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, are derived from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).
However, the active component we are looking at is found in much smaller quantities than other cannabinoids in cannabis plants. In most strains of the plant, only about 1% of CBG can be seen compared to 20 to 25% of CBD or 25 to 30% of THC.
Because of its scarcity and high price, CBG-derived consumer goods are difficult to come by and frequently costly. But CBG is gaining favour due to the cannabinoid’s numerous advantages.
CBG is known for its ability to fight inflammation, pain, and nausea. It is also effective in treating glaucoma by reducing pressure in the eye. In addition, CBG has shown promise in slowing the growth of cancer cells and inhibiting the spread of bacteria. (1)
CBG is non-psychoactive and does not produce the “high” associated with THC. It has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic benefits, including:
– Antibacterial properties
– Inhibition of tumour growth
– Reduction in inflammation
– Stimulation of appetite
– Pain relief
CBG is also being studied for its potential to treat many other conditions, such as:
– Huntington’s disease
– Multiple sclerosis (MS)
How CBG Is Produced
Although CBG can be derived from both immature and mature cannabis plants, it is most commonly found in young plants. This is because the cannabinoid precursor CBGA is more prevalent in immature plants.
CBG is produced from young cannabis plants because they contain higher amounts of CBG than fully developed plants. The highest concentration of CBGA is found during the early stages of growth, so producers typically harvest plants when they are less than three months old.
To make CBG products more viable, growers are now working hard to increase CBG levels in cannabis plants. This is done by using cross-breeding and genetic manipulation to create strains that are higher in CBG.
After harvest, CBGA is converted into one of the other cannabinoids, such as CBD, CBG or THC. This process is called decarboxylation, a chemical reaction that removes a carboxylic acid group (COOH) from a molecule.
Potential Benefits of CBG
When looking at the potential benefits of CBG, it’s essential to consider the fact that most research has been done on animals. However, the findings of these studies suggest that CBG may offer several benefits for humans.
CBG is more effective at reducing inflammation than CBD (which is often touted as having anti-inflammatory benefits). In one study, CBG was found to be more effective at reducing inflammation in mice than a range of other cannabinoids, including CBD, CBC, and THCV. (2)
CBG has also been shown to treat glaucoma by effectively reducing pressure in the eye. In one study on rats, CBG was more effective at lowering intraocular pressure than CBD. (An increase in intraocular pressure is one of the main signs of glaucoma). (3)
And finally, CBG has shown promise in slowing the growth of cancer cells and inhibiting the spread of bacteria. In one study, CBG was found to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in mice. The study also found that CBG was more effective at inhibiting the growth of cancer cells than CBD. (4)
To summarise, the research suggests that CBG may offer several potential benefits, including reducing inflammation, treating glaucoma, and slowing the growth of cancer cells. However, it’s important to remember that most of this research has been done on animals, so more research is needed to confirm these findings in humans.
As the body of research increases, it will become easier to answer whether CBG is better than CBD. For now, it is clear that both cannabinoids have a multitude of benefits, and both should be studied further.
Is It Safe to Use CBD and CBG Together?
Although most research has focused on the therapeutic benefits of individual cannabinoids, there is some evidence suggesting that the benefits multiply when CBD and CBG are used together.
So far, there is no indication of adverse side effects when CBD and CBG are used together.
In one study, scientists found a combination of CBD and CBG to be more effective at reducing inflammation than either cannabinoid alone. (5) This is likely because CBD and CBG work synergistically to reduce inflammation.
In fact, an increasing body of research suggests that the benefits of CBD are increased when used in combination with other cannabinoids. This is likely due to the Entourage Effect, which we will discuss in more detail below.
The Entourage Effect of Cannabinoids
The Entourage Effect is the name given to the phenomenon whereby a substance’s benefits are increased when used in combination with other substances.
It is clear that the Entourage Effect applies to cannabinoids, as research has shown that the benefits of CBD are increased when it is used in combination with other cannabinoids.
The Entourage Effect may also apply to other substances, such as terpenes. Terpenes are a group of molecules found in cannabis and other plants. They are responsible for the distinctive smell and flavour of each plant.
It is thought that terpenes may also work synergistically with cannabinoids to increase both benefits. More research is needed to confirm this, but it is an exciting prospect.