New Kid On The Block: What Is CBG?
While we’ve all been busy obsessing over CBD, there’s another phytocannabinoid (spoiler, there are at least 120 of them) over on the sidelines being like “hey guys, I’ve been here this whole time, too.”
Seriously though, it’s time to take a good hard look at CBG. Yes, it’s true, research is painfully and frustratingly limited in the cannabis compound world (thanks for nothing, prohibition!) but the evidence that is there for CBG — cannabigerol — is riveting. No seriously. We know “riveting research” may seem like an oxymoron unless you’re a PhD candidate, but check it out.
CBG is also non-intoxicating. Like it’s phytocannabinoid pal CBD, CBG is not known to be intoxicating whatsoever, meaning no high for the end user who may want to use this as an isolated compound/plant-based medicine.
CBG can do things that CBD can’t. We’re looking at you, intraocular pressure relief! While there hasn’t been conclusive evidence, some lab rats received a nice bit of glaucoma treatment from CBG. The exciting part about this is that CBD doesn’t relieve intraocular pressure — only THC has done that so far. So, combine the aforementioned note (no high!) with this one (glaucoma relief!) and you have a promising treatment for those who want to use cannabis medicine for a serious disease, without getting stoned.
CBG has overlap with CBD. There are several things that CBG has in common with CBD, including its purported abilities to alleviate anxiety, reduce inflammation, fight cancer, and treat neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s disease. However, it may treat these conditions in a different way than CBD does. Specifically, CBD works on anxiety via a serotonin receptor, whereas CBG inhibits the reuptake of GABA. Both have similar results (anxiety relief) but their methods are completely different.
CBG could be a serious antibacterial agent. It’s showing serious promise for a gnarly type of infection: MRSA. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is nothing to mess with, and it’s difficult to treat with antibiotics because as you may have guessed, it’s resistant to methicillin (a common type of antibiotic). Some studies are showing that CBG kicks MRSA ass, so that’s exciting.
CBG is the parent of CBD and THC. As the cannabis plant grows, the compounds change and evolve. CBG is the “stem cell” for CBD and THC, so it’s an important cannabinoid!
This all sounds great, right? Well here’s the catch (because of course): CBG is only found in trace amounts. Small, but mighty it is! So, in order to get enough CBG isolated for scientists to study, it’s going to take a lot of work — and a lot of hemp. If you’ve been consuming marijuana or hemp in its whole plant form, you’ve been getting CBG already (heck yeah!) but if you’re waiting to get an isolated compound, it may be a little while before that’s widely available.
The good news: there’s serious scientific interest, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. So, stay tuned as the research unfolds, and until next time, enjoy your hemp medicine!