CBG - Cannabigerol Explained
Cannabis contains dozens of cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds in the plant that affects our bodies in different ways. Some cannabinoids get us high, some have health benefits, and most are poorly understood compounds that need to be researched further.
In this series, we will take a look at a few of the most well-researched cannabinoids that are found in cannabis.
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is one of the lesser-known cannabinoids. It was first identified by researchers in the 1960s, and since then it’s been the subject of a lot of speculation. What’s interesting about CBG is that it’s the “mother cannabinoid” from which all other cannabinoids are synthesized. In other words, CBG turns into other cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
CBG does not seem to be an intoxicating cannabinoid, meaning that it can’t get you high. Most strains of cannabis are less than 1 percent CBG. However, some growers are attempting to make higher-CBG strains because it is thought to have fantastic health benefits.
What are the health benefits of CBG?
While CBG hasn’t been studied extensively, there are a few studies that suggest it has a few health benefits. For example, it seems to have the following properties:
- Anti-inflammatory. In a study based on mice, CBG seemed to reduce the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Neuroprotective. A 2015 study showed that CBG seemed to protect neurons in mice with Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease.
- Cancer-fighting. Specifically, CBG might be able to reduce the growth of cancer cells. A 2014 study showed that CBG slowed the growth of colon cancer cells in mice.
- Anti-bacterial. Research shows that CBG might be able to kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains, which cause staph infections.
- Mood-boosting. CBG seems to increase the production of the “bliss molecule,” anandamide, and it works as a GABA reuptake inhibitor, meaning that it might help us feel soothed.
While we need more studies before we can confirm these benefits, the research is fascinating - and more and more people are looking into the health benefits of CBG. Where can you get CBG?
While CBG isn’t as readily available as CBD or THC products, it’s possible to get your hands on them if you’re in the US. Some companies, such as Steve’s Goods and Axim Biotech, have already created CBG products, and more companies are developing CBG products as we speak.
Forbes called CBG the “most expensive cannabinoid to produce” in a recent article. Because CBG is the “mother cannabinoid” from which other cannabinoids are synthesized, growers have to decide whether they want to extract CBG from the plant when it’s a young plant and lose out on extracting other cannabinoids, or wait until it’s too mature to have most of the CBG and extract the other cannabinoids. Since there’s so little CBG in each plant, you’d have to grow a lot of plants to get a small amount of CBG.
However, researchers and growers are working to produce CBG more efficiently. Hemptown USA, for example, is working on creating a strain that is over 10% CBG.
In the future, we’ll know more about CBG and we’ll probably be able to access them more easily - and hopefully, CBG will help many more people manage health conditions.