As technology grows, newer cannabinoids are emerging. Currently, CBG is one of the minor compounds under research. The article familiarizes you with CBG by explaining the following headlines; how it is extracted, its psychoactive effects, and its regulations. We will also discuss its medical and therapeutic benefits.
Cannabis-derived products have become the trending herbal remedies in recent years. CBG is an emerging herbal remedy for health with almost similar benefits to CBD. The cannabis derivative is available in oil, gummies, soft gels, and edibles. CBG-infused compounds can increase your body's energy level and relieve anxiety, pain, and inflammation without causing the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis. However, CBG products are rare; the compound is complicated to extract from the cannabis plant since it has small traces compared to other cannabinoids.
What Exactly is CBG?
Rock et al. (2011) stated that Cannabigerol is one of 100 active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. It is majorly extracted from marijuana and hemp plants. The difference lies in how hemp and marijuana process the CBG molecule. Marijuana contains plant enzymes that convert CBG to THC, while the hemp plant converts the latter to CBD. CBG is widely known as the “mother” of other cannabinoids. The regular cannabis compounds are derived from CBGA; CBGA is the acidic form of CBG. Hemp and marijuana contain small quantities of CBG. Thus, their products are rare and more expensive compared to CBD and THC products. Fortunately, its popularity is growing due to its potential benefits.
How is CBG Made and Extracted?
CBG is domiciled in young cannabis plants compared to mature cannabis. Wang et al. (2018) stated that CBG forms at a higher rate when the industrial hemp is 6 to 8 weeks into the flowering cycle. At about 8 weeks, the acid is not yet converted to other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The compound is present in less than 1% by weight of most cannabis strains; you will need a lot of hemp to extract a viable quantity of CBG. The process uses alcohol or CO2. During the process, the cannabis plant is dissolved in the solvent for a few hours. The superfluid draws the other cannabinoids and terpenes out of the plant, isolating CBG. The solution is then heated to evaporate the solvent under an enclosed vacuum leaving pure CBG concentrate. The resulting products are stored at room temperature to avoid direct sunlight, which may degrade their potency.
Recently, research was done on genetic engineering whereby cannabis strains like white CBG, super glue, and Jack Frost were breaded to make more CBG naturally. It made it easier to extract the compound in large weight and reduced the plant biomass (amount of plant required).
Is CBG Psychoactive and Legal?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive compound famous for causing highness in marijuana users. Gugliandolo et al. (2018) explained that even though at some point CBG can be converted to THC, it is normally a non-intoxicating compound. Instead of the psychoactive effects it provides calming and relaxing effects and alleviates pain, anxiety, and depression. For these reasons CBG is legal under federal law (according to the 2018 farm bill) but it is not internationally regulated hence the law changes if the CBG products contain more than 0.3% of THC content.
What are the Benefits of CBG?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) maintains the body’s homeostasis (balance) by combating imbalances like pain, inflammation, appetite, stress, and anxiety. It is responsible for processing most plant cannabinoids like CBD and CBN into the body. CBG imitates ECS’s components called endocannabinoid. Instead of the body receptors (CB1 & CB2) binding with the endocannabinoid, they bind with CBG molecules to strengthen the function of the neurotransmitters that regulate pleasure, appetite, and pain. Deiana & S. (2017) highlighted the following potential health benefits from the CBG and ECS interactions;
It Boosts Concentration and Focus
CBG is a great neuroprotectant that supports a healthy inflammatory process and enhances the growth of new brain neurons.
Like THC, CBG is an appetite-stimulating compound. However, while THC brings appetite for junk food, CBG is more greenery and meaty.
Alleviate Pain and Inflammation
CBG binds with CB2 receptors to support normal immune inflammatory response and blocks electrical impulses in the brain that perceive pain.
CBG Supports Normal and Healthy Metabolism
CBG support cleansing fatty cells by increasing body metabolic rates.
It Helps in Eye Health
In most cases, blood conditions like hypertension can put the optic nerve under pressure affecting vision. CBG help in regulating the intraocular pressure level in the eye preventing diseases like glaucoma.
Help in Fighting Cancer Cells
CBG helps in blocking the body receptors which aid in cancer cell growth and decrease the chances of tumor formation.
Alleviate Stress and Anxiety
CBG has shown to be more prominent in supporting normal anxiety and stress responses than CBD and THC. CBG increases the release of a hormone called serotonin. The hormone regulates how the mind perceives negative thoughts.
CBG is found in the young cannabis plant. The cannabis derivative matures to CBD in hemp or THC in marijuana. CBG improves brain focus and alertness, reduces pain, anxiety, and depression, and stimulates the appetite for healthier foods. The cannabis derivative constitutes a paltry 1% hemp or marijuana plant, making it rare and expensive. Clinical trials on its effectiveness for treating conditions like cancer, glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), anxiety disorder, and Huntington's disease are still ongoing. Anecdotal findings show that the cannabis derivative is an equally potent medication for everyday conditions.
Rock, E. M., Goodwin, J. M., Limebeer, C. L., Breuer, A., Pertwee, R. G., Mechoulam, R., & Parker, L. A. (2011). Interaction between non-psychotropic cannabinoids in marihuana: effect of cannabigerol (CBG) on the anti-nausea or anti-emetic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in rats and shrews. Psychopharmacology, 215(3), 505-512.
Wang, Y. H., Avula, B., ElSohly, M. A., Radwan, M. M., Wang, M., Wanas, A. S., ... & Khan, I. A. (2018). Quantitative determination of Δ9-THC, CBG, CBD, their acid precursors, and five other neutral cannabinoids by UHPLC-UV-MS. Planta Medica, 84(04), 260-266.
Gugliandolo, A., Pollastro, F., Grassi, G., Bramanti, P., & Mazzon, E. (2018). In vitro model of neuroinflammation: Efficacy of cannabigerol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(7), 1992.
Deiana, S. (2017). Potential medical uses of cannabigerol: a brief overview. Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies, 958-967.