Most know or recognize THC and CBD, but did you know there are over 100 cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant? Cannabigerol, or CBG has been gaining more attention in the media and in scientific literature making it the most studied non-psychoactive cannabinoid along with CBD. Today we are going to take a look at this minor cannabinoid that is starting to be used in major ways.
First isolated in 1964, CBG is the offspring of CBGA , which is also the direct precursor to mothers or acid compounds of CBD, CBC, and THC. During plant growth most of CBGA is converted into other cannabinoids, primarily CBD and THC, leaving less than 1% of CBGA in the plant. However, breeders are now experimenting with genetic mutation cross breeding to yield strains higher in CBGA. One of the first CBG strains, and one of my favorites to hit the market was CBG White cultivated by Oregon CBG. A potent CBG strain with notes of citrus and undertones of pine, testing above 14% CBG.
CBG works by activating A2-adrenoreceptors, binds to CB1 and CB2 and also can block 5HT 1A and CB1 receptors. By attaching to CB1, CBG interacts with our central nervous system which includes the brain and spinal cord. The cannabinoids interaction with CB2 allows the cannabinoid to reach various areas in our bodies including limbs, skin, and other biological systems through our peripheral nervous system. Studies indicate CBG can be utilized for an array of therapeutic benefits including an antibacterial agent, appetite stimulant, and one of it’s most researched benefits, its ability to act as a neuroprotectant.
Health claims may not be made in regards to CBG so let’s take a look at what research has to say as to how CBG can be utilized now and in the future. A study in 2012 demonstrated CBGs neuroprotectant effects in a chronic model of Multiple Sclerosis. CBG reduced neuro inflammation, protected neuronal cells from excitotoxicity, activated PPARy transcriptional activity, and inhibited the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in LPS stimulated microglia cells. When it came to motor function, CBG ameliorated the symptoms associated with MS, decreased microglia re activity, and modulated the genes involved in MS pathology. (1)
Inflammation and oxidative stress play main roles in neurodegeneration leading to neuronal cell death and further amplify degeneration. In 2018, CBG prevented neuronal cell loss and reduced oxidative stress. CBG pretreatment was able to reduce the loss of cell viability, induce the medium of LPS stimulated macrophages in NSC-34 cells, inhibited apoptosis, and counteracted inflammation and reduced neuro inflammation in an in vitro neuro inflammation model. (2) This study demonstrates the therapeutic benefit for not only diseases associated with neuro inflammation, but also those with oxidative stress.
CBG can be great for assisting individuals with appetite, specifically stimulating the appetite. A range of illnesses can cause cachexia including cancer, aids, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstruction pulmonary disease. Cachexia is weight loss and muscle loss due to severe chronic illness. Symptoms include weight loss, muscle loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, and decreased strength. A 2017 study demonstrated CBG holds great value to patients experiencing cachexia. The study was conducted with 16 male lister hooded rats monitored over two hours. Over time food intake increased, as well as the number of meals consumed, and the cumulative size of each meal increased. (3) In 2019, Brierly took a further look at the appetite stimulating properties of CBG, in particular the benefits for those experiencing side effects from cytotoxic chemotherapy, including muscle wasting, anorexia, and metabolic dysregulation directly affecting individuals quality of life and also mortality. The study showed CBG increased food intake and also robustly attenuated cisplatin induced weight loss by 3.7%. (4) CBG may in turn be a novel therapeutic for chemo therapy induced cachexia, thus warranting more investigation into the effects of CBG.
CBG has an array of therapeutic benefits that shows the potential to help numerous conditions. It assists those with appetite support, neurological conditions, inflammatory and oxidative stress, and even has benefits for our teeth! Next time you purchase your hemp flower, reach for a CBG strain like Sour G CBG or CBG white to feel the benefits of this amazing cannabinoid for yourself.
- A cannabigerol quinone alleviates neuroinflammation in a chronic model of multiple sclerosis. Granja et al 2012
- In Vitro Model of Neuroinflammation: Efficacy of Cannabigerol, a Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoid. Gugliandolo et al 2018
- A cannabigerol-rich Cannabis sativa extract, devoid of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol, elicits hyperphagia in rats. Brierly et al 2017
- Chemotherapy‐induced cachexia dysregulates hypothalamic and systemic lipoamines and is attenuated by cannabigerol. Brierly et al 2019