Cannabigerol (CBG): A Powerful Cannabinoid!
Cannabis research is developing at a rapid pace. Until now, the medicinal effects of CBD and THC in particular have been uncovered. However, scientists are learning more and more about another important cannabinoid: cannabigerol (CBG).
CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which appears to have a wide range of potential uses. Despite the few studies as yet, scientists are already very enthusiastic about the first research results.
Mother of CBD and THC
CBD and THC are two well-known but very different cannabinoids. Besides some similar medicinal properties, they have another common denominator: they come from the same parent, namely cannabigerol (CBG). CBG is the precursor from which other cannabinoids are formed. Cannabigerol acide (CBGa) is also called the stem cell or mother cell of other cannabinoids. Under the influence of certain enzymes present in cannabis (called synthases), cannabidiol acid (CBDa) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) are formed from CBGa. Under the influence of UV light, dryness or heating, the acidic forms are converted into CBD and THC respectively. The propyl variant of CBG, cannabigerovarin, is the precursor of cannabidivarin (CBDV) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
There are only a few cannabis strains that, when fully grown, still contain some CBG. However, this often concerns low concentrations (<1%). By crossing different cannabis strains, a higher CBG content can be produced. In addition, by determining the optimal harvest time, a higher percentage of CBG can be achieved.
CBG is mainly found in fiber hemp, and less in (medicinal/recreational) cannabis. This is probably why CBG has long been considered a minor cannabinoid. Scientists now suspect that CBG can be used in various therapies, for the treatment of various diseases.
Working in our body
Cannabigerol and other cannabinoids mimic specific body substances (so-called endocannabinoids), as it were, by acting on specific receptors in the cell walls of our cells. These receptors and our endocannabinoids form a complex network known as the endocannabinoid system. This set of physiological processes has an essential effect on various bodily functions and helps to maintain homeostasis (keeping the body in balance). Scientists hypothesize that a disease can be caused by a deficiency of endocannabinoids. This phenomenon is also known as endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome (ECDS).
Because cannabinoids from the cannabis plant (phyto-cannabinoids) can target certain receptors in our body, they can replenish the resulting deficiencies and thus help our body stay in balance.
While synthetic drugs contain serious and sometimes harmful substances, which can carry life-threatening side effects, cannabinoids are non-toxic. Of the therapeutic effects, life-threatening side effects have never been reported.
CBG: the ultimate cannabinoid?
The effects of CBG to date are promising and stimulate future research with CBG alone, or CBG in combination with other cannabinoids. CBG appears to work on very specific physiological systems. CBG is said to target endocannabinoid receptors in the eye structures, but also has the unique property of also exerting an influence on receptors other than those of the endocannabinoid system. In a recent Italian animal study, CBG was shown to be effective in reducing inflammation in the treatment of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) in mice.
Furthermore, CBG is said to affect the 5HT1 (serotonin) receptor and inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. Furthermore, CBG is said to inhibit the absorption of gamma-aminobutyric acid (in English: Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid, abbreviated GABA), thereby stimulating the production of serotonin in the brain.