What is CBG?
Many have heard about CBD, but are you familiar with CBG?
Yeah, you read that right, CBG, or in long-form, Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), is an all-essential aspect of any cannabis plant. A cannabinoid in it’s own right, CBGA serves as the mother to all other cannabinoids. Meaning, CBGA is the very first cannabinoid produced by a cannabis plant (done before the plant’s flowering stage). From it stems the creation of all 100+ other cannabinoids, including our dear friends: THCA and CBDA, the acidic forms of THC and CBD. Unbeknownst to most, THCA and CBDA, which appear in raw cannabis, won’t react the same way you would expect their non-acidic counterparts would. (Hence why eating raw cannabis won’t get you high). It takes a process called decarboxylation, which is a fancy way of saying “drying in heat,” to get you to your desired effects. This is why cannabis is smoked or vaporized, to lose the ‘A’ at the end of THC, CBD, and CBG!
As the cannabis plant matures, you begin to see a significant loss of CBG and a drastic increase of THC and or CBD. While CBG may only account for up to 1% of the cannabinoids present in a cannabis flower in its final form, it’s importance, and growing research, is undeniable.
If you think that 1% is hardly significant as far as contributing to any bodily affects goes, you would be right. However, researchers are beginning to isolate plants with higher concentrations of CBG through cross-breeding and premature cultivation. Products are now being made and sold with high traces of CBG. The results are very interesting.
First discovered back in 1964, CBG is found to be non-psychoactive, like CBD. Where it differs from CBD and THC however, is in the receptors that it binds (and doesn’t bind) to in the human body. Whereas CBD and THC work directly with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CGB takes a slightly different approach, working within the more encompassing endocannabinoidome. For this reason, CBG may provide some pretty unique benefits (but also some drawbacks). More specifically, benefits that may help individuals struggling with neurodegenerative, inflammatory, and metabolic conditions. Alas, research on CBG is still in its infancy.
The endocannabinoid system, if you are not aware, is crucial to our body maintaining homeostasis. It is tied to our central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as our digestive and immune system. It helps regulate functions such as: mood, appetite, sleep, motor control, memory, digestion, pleasure, inflammation, body temperature, and immune function among others. This important body system was discovered incidentally through cannabis research in the 90’s, hence it’s cannabis sounding name! Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-the-endocannabinoid-system-4171855
How Does CBG Interact With The Body?
Within the endocannabinoidome are various receptors that all can be impacted by CBG. One set of these receptors are PPARs (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors.) Despite the long confusing name, PPARs are crucial to having a well-functioning nervous system. CGB serves as an activator of these specific receptors, which may play a role in treating conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Disease and diabetes to name a few. On the downside, prior pharmaceutical drugs that have activated these receptors have had not-so-nice side effects.
Research is also pointing to CBG being an activator of the alpha-2 adrenoceptor. This specific receptor has significant ties to your prefrontal cortex, and may help improve functioning if it’s impaired. Individuals with conditions such as tics, ADHD, PTSD and dementia may benefit from CBG’s impact on this particular receptor. Those with hypertension may benefit as well, but more research must be done to truly understand CBG’s efficacy and safety.
While CBG may activate some receptors, it also has the potential to block others. This can be both a good and bad thing. Such negative instances revolve around CBG blocking a serotonin receptor, 5-HT1a. Serotonin, of course, is important in controlling one’s mood as well as motor functions. Due to CBG’s influence on serotonin, researchers are afraid that such an interaction may not mix well with other medications. It is important to take precaution and talk with a medical profession profressional before trying CBG for reasons such as this. Although there are plenty of potential benefits with CBG, we must continue to follow the science before we blindly throw our faith.
No matter how you chalk it, there is no denying that CBG is a very intriguing cannabinoid. It very well could become the next hot cannabis product. Even a potential lifesaver. However, questions remain. Is it worth our time and effort to cultivate plants with high amounts of CBG? Will research show CBG to be safe, or better left at low levels, like it occurs naturally?