What is CBG?

 

The lesser known, premium cannabinoid on the bleeding edge of hemp science

Whether or not consumers are science buffs, nutrition and wellness experts or just passive observers, they’ve almost certainly heard of CBD. 

 

They may know CBD is short for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating derivative of the hemp plant and relative of marijuana’s active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. What many have yet to learn is that these two popular cannabis compounds are far from the only wonders the hemp plant has to offer. 

 

The separate compounds of the cannabis plant, called cannabinoids, include THC and CBD and work together in the body when administered to create what scientists call “entourage effects.”

 

There are over 100 known cannabinoid varieties in the hemp plant, and the more research and agriculture is performed on the crop, the better idea we have of each of these components and what they bring to the table. 

 

CBG photo of Plant Diva

One of the more interesting cannabinoids for the forward-looking enthusiast is called cannabigerol, or CBG. 

 

CBG makes up a minor portion of the industrial hemp plant popular in CBD manufacturing and the marijuana plant which boasts high THC levels.

 

While THC has established itself on the market in a majority of states in some form as a medicinal option or recreational drug and CBD has exploded onto the scene in recent years as a wellness aid, CBG is a bit of an unsung hero when it comes to cannabis components.

 

According to Forbes, CBG acts as a sort of “stem cell” for other cannabinoids in hemp or marijuana, and as the plants grow to maturity a large collection of CBG is slowly converted to other components like CBD or THC via natural processes. [1]

 

Strains of hemp and marijuana on the market exacerbate this phenomenon, however, because people prefer to buy end products with high CBD or THC contents depending on their needs. 

 

“A few companies are looking to refine and perfect chromatography to speed up the process of refining plant genetics as the process can be lengthy,” Plant People CEO Gabe Kennedy told Forbes. [1]

 

“As the industry is able to scale up chromatography equipment to extract CBG from full-spectrum oils, it should allow larger batches to be produced and reduce costs.” [1]

 

In scientific surveys of cannabinoids, CBG has often been left out. Because it is quite scarce in the mature plants, it can be difficult to study and not much attention has been directed toward it.

 

Still, research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology indicates that CBG has the capability to latch onto cannabis receptors within the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. [2]

 

That 2010 BJP paper said that the CBG compound was first discovered in 1964 and shown not to have the mind-altering “high” associated with THC.

 

Once in the ECS, cannabinoids have been shown to have multiple beneficial effects, though in many cases the extent of these and their potential side effects are unknown for now.

 

What we do know about the ECS and how cannabinoids act on it is promising, however.

 

One prescription drug based on CBD was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of rare childhood epilepsy, for instance, and multiple states have medical programs for marijuana use.

 

CBG is one of the most recent discoveries in cannabinoids. The fact that it has been discovered, named and researched at all means it is one of the more well-known out of the whole landscape of cannabinoids, at least in a scientific capacity.

 

“It seems to us that CBG still isn’t on most people’s radar yet,” Floyd Landis, owner of Floyd’s of Leadville, told Forbes. [1]

 

“The general public is still digesting terms like cannabinoid and cannabidiol so when you throw another acronym in the mix, the reaction can be ‘CB-what?’ Most people are still trying to wrap their heads around cannabinoids so once you move past THC and CBD people get confused very quickly.” [1]

 

Still, there are certain things we can draw from speculative research on CBG in order to find out what might be on the horizon for its uses.

 

According to reporting from Yahoo! Finance, some preliminary research on CBG and its effects on “GABA reuptake neurotransmitters” which have expansive influence on relaxation, pain relief, insomnia and other bodily functions. [3]

 

“We’ve already seen a number of patients experiencing a dramatic improvement in conditions including abdominal bloating and distinction, constipation, blood pressure, sleep, muscle, and joint pain,” Dr. J Matthew Andry, assistant clinical professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, told Yahoo! Finance. [3]

 

Other research projects, including those highlighted by hemp blog Leafly, seem to show that CBG could have effects in fighting against some infections. [4]

 

Leafly reports that recent McMaster University research showed drug-resistant staph bacteria frequently found in hospitals may have trouble surviving exposure to CBG treatments. 

 

This process works because CBG stops harmful bacteria from forming the layer of “biofilm” armor and in some cases also actively works against this layer of material. [4]

 

According to Leafly, these bacteria that often infect or even kill vulnerable people while they are in busy or unclean hospitals can be helped along by overzealous prescriptions of powerful antibiotics which can force the bugs to develop resistance. 

 

On this analysis, low-concentration cannabis products may work by taking a less aggressive tack and still fighting the bacteria effectively. [4]

 

As with all of the research on cannabis, keep your eyes open, read the science for yourself when needed and come to Nothing But Hemp for more information whenever you need help!

 

Sources

 

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/janellelassalle/2019/09/11/why-cbg-cannabigerol-expensive-produce/#3694d00a2f77

 

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2823359/

 

[3] https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cannabis-101-cbg-cannabigerol-next-161716569.html

 

[4] https://www.leafly.com/news/health/study-finds-cbg-useful-in-killing-mrsa-the-deadly-hospital-bacteria

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