There are a lot of cannabinoids that naturally develop in a cannabis plant. Most of the attention goes to the popular compounds THC and CBD, but there are many other valuable cannabinoids in our nugs. Cannabigerol (CBG) is highly valued for its neuroprotective qualities. Like CBD, CBG doesn’t create any psychoactive effects. It is actually an antagonist of the CB1-receptor, meaning that it can counteract the sometimes overwhelming effects of high-THC in the body.
CBG isn’t super prominent in most dried flowers because it degrades as the buds develop in the flowering process. But as distillation and extraction become more readily available, consumers will have access to tinctures, oils, and other products that include large quantities of CBD. The reason that most dried, cured flowers don’t have lots of CBG is because the compound exists in the early stages of the flowering cycle.
Cannabigerolic-acid (CBGA) is the precursor to THCA or CBDA. By this, we mean that CBGA is how THC and CBD begin, but specific enzymes in the plant will direct the CBGA down either line. Depending on whether the plant is exposed to heat or ultraviolet light, the CBGA will be converted to THCA or CBDA. That is why a plant bred for higher amounts of THC will have smaller quantities of CBD and CBG.
So, CBG naturally degrades as we develop THC, but now that studies are emerging showing the benefits of the cannabinoid we are finding ways to harvest larger quantities of it. Many extractors will harvest live plants about 6 to 8 weeks into flowering to achieve the highest quantities of CBG after extraction. As well, some breeders are working to breed plants that yield higher amounts of CBG.
Studies have shown CBG to have very relevant medical effects. One study involving mice from 2013 showed CBG to decrease inflammation as it pertained to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). On another note, CBG was shown to relieve intraocular pressure which makes it valuable to any patients diagnosed with glaucoma. Yet another study using CBG and mice studied the effects of CBG on neurons of mice with Huntington’s Disease. In the study, CBG actually protected the neurons which can reduce the progression of nerve degeneration in Huntington’s Disease. One very exciting study involving CBG even showed that it could very possibly be a colon cancer fighter. Let’s take a bird’s eye view at everything that this amazing cannabinoid can do.
CBG has shown that it can:
Relieve intraocular pressure
Decrease colon inflammation
Inhibit bladder contractions
Modest antifungal properties
Inhibit growth of cancerous colorectal tumors
These are just some of the more proven possibilities with CBG. There are also some studies going forth that dissect the use of CBG as an antidepressant, and when paired with the terpene limonene, as a way to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
Both studies and first-hand accounts with the cannabinoid have shown that CBG can be valuable for medical patients with a multitude of qualifying conditions. They also provide foundation for lawmakers when they attempt to protect the channels providing safe access to medical cannabis for patients.