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Complete Guide to CBG

CBG is starting to receive its fair share of attention after being overshadowed by CBD and THC for too long. While it isn’t like either cannabinoid, CBG has deep ties to both CBD and THC, and many users consider its effects to be a mix between these two more-famous cannabinoids.

 

Why does CBG deserve just as much attention as CBD or THC? We’ll cover all the pertinent details regarding CBG in this guide, arriving at a satisfying answer to that important question.

What Is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) plays a major role in the chemical development process of other cannabinoids. When exposed to various enzymes that naturally occur in cannabis, the chemical precursor to CBG (CBGA) can transform into a wide variety of different cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.

 

It’s only non-enzymatic CBGA (which doesn't bond with cannabis synthesis enzymes) that ends up becoming CBG through the process of decarboxylation. Strains of cannabis with low levels of synthesis enzymes tend to contain higher concentrations on CBG, and vice versa.

What Does CBG Do?

CBG acts similarly to both CBD and THC to deliver an experience that isn’t quite like either cannabinoid. This cannabinoid has a remarkably wide range of activity, which is what medical scientists say when a substance affects many different parts of the body at the same time. CBG also passes through the blood-brain barrier easily, delivering powerful neurological effects.

 

Interacting with CB1 and CB2, the most prominent components of the endocannabinoid system, CBG also affects cell signaling in various other ways. This cannabinoid doesn’t strongly activate your intoxicating CB1 receptors, but it activates them more than CBD. CBG also demonstrates stronger activity at CB2 than CBD.

 

Perhaps most intriguingly, CBG appears to strengthen the function of anandamide1, a body-generated endocannabinoid that has a massive impact on mood while also affecting appetite, sleep, and pain. What medical scientists are currently focusing on, however, is the incredible potential CBG may have to help the human body fight back against cancer.

How Does CBG Make You Feel?

CBG doesn’t make you feel high like THC, but it isn’t exactly non-intoxicating like CBD either. Even though you won’t feel stoned with CBG, this cannabinoid’s potent effects on your endocannabinoid system might lead to a powerful sense of emotional uplift. CBG is also commonly reported to offer pain-relieving properties on par with or even exceeding those of CBD.

Is CBG Intoxicating?

It would be a stretch to call CBG “intoxicating.” It also wouldn’t be exactly true, though, to say that this cannabinoid is just as non-intoxicating as CBD. The best way to imagine the experience CBG provides is to take your memories of the effects of CBD and THC and overlap them. Even then, though, CBG has unique properties that you need to experience to truly understand.

Does CBG Have Medicinal Properties?

Research indicates that CBG has considerable medicinal properties. By affecting the endocannabinoid system, CBG is believed to augment immune responses, fight back against cancer, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce pain perception.

 

Both CBG itself and synthetic derivatives are currently under examination for their ability to reduce chemotherapy side effects, manage mood disorders (depression, anxiety, etc.), and mitigate neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In addition, CBG may prove useful against inflammatory bowel disease and show use as an antibacterial and antiviral agent.

 

These apparent antimicrobial effects also extend to fungal infections, and they seem to stem from CBG’s overall ability to prevent cell proliferation. With wide-ranging activities, CBG is promising as a treatment for conditions that respond best to various different kinds of pharmacotherapy being used at once.

 

Medical scientists are especially intrigued by the apparent utility of CBG against cancer. So far, this cannabinoid has resulted in reduced cell proliferation in a surprising number of different kinds of cancers.

 

Some examples include: human breast, prostate, colorectal carcinoma, gastric adenocarcinoma, C6-rat glioma, rat basophilic leukemia, and transformed thyroid cells. Certain forms of cancer cells, including prostate, appear to respond best to a combination of CBD and CBG.

CBG Studies

To better understand CBG and its incredible potential, let’s take a look at two important, recent studies that have been conducted on the subject:

2022: Cannabigerol Is a Potential Therapeutic Agent in a Novel Combined Therapy for Glioblastoma

The authors of this study2 sought to determine if previous findings regarding the potential anti-cancer effects of CBG were accurate. Specifically, the researchers evaluated the effects of CBG on glioblastoma, a common form of brain cancer. In addition to reporting on the evidenced utility of CBG on other cancers, the authors concluded that CBG should also be investigated further as a therapy for glioblastoma.

2021: Survey of Patients Employing Cannabigerol-Predominant Cannabis Preparations

Seeking to determine the perceived usefulness of CBG, the authors of this study3 surveyed 127 American adults who reported using predominantly CBG-dominant cannabis for at least the last 6 months. Common reasons for using CBG included anxiety, pain, depression, and insomnia. The majority of respondents indicated that CBG had considerably improved their condition with roughly three-quarters indicating that CBG works better than conventional treatments available for their conditions.

CBG vs. CBD vs. CBN vs. THC

How does CBG compare to other cannabinoids? In contrast to CBD, CBG has considerably more activity at conventional cannabinoid receptors. However, it isn’t nearly as intoxicating as THC, to the point it is generally considered non-intoxicating.

 

Research suggests that CBG has just as much analgesic potential as THC and CBD, with some users reporting that it’s more effective than either. CBG may also be more effective than both cannabinoids at preventing or treating an incredibly wide array of common conditions.

 

While cannabinol (CBN) is a derivative cannabinoid of THC, CBD is the originator of THC — making it the “grandmother” of CBN. CBG is quite a bit different from its “grandchild:” while CBN has soporific effects, CBG is usually described as energy-imparting. Still, CBG and CBN are similar in that they both offer a very small amount of intoxication while not quite getting you “high.”

When to Use CBG

If you’re like most users, you’ll find that the uplifting, energizing properties of CBG make it a cannabinoid that’s best-used during the daytime. Try taking CBG at the start of a long day or at the trailhead of a steep hike. Rely on CBG whenever you need a reliable surge of energy that also dulls pain and makes you feel better about life overall.

CBG: The Bottom Line

CBG should not be mistaken for CBD — the two cannabinoids are quite different, both in their origin and their effects. Carving its own niche within the pantheon of cannabis compounds, CBG resists categorization.

 

While it may not have received as much attention as CBD and THC so far, expect that to change. Already, major international pharmaceutical interests are exploring how CBG might be developed into therapeutic drugs. Everywhere you look, this once-fringe cannabinoid is rising to prominence.

 

As research into CBG continues, expect this cannabinoid’s full-suite approach to the symptoms of cancer to receive increased attention. Already, scientists are amazed by CBG’s ability to bolster and boost the body’s innate defenses — it’s starting to look like CBG could be a “stem cell cannabinoid” in more ways than one.

 

Sources

  1. Jastrząb, A., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2022). The origin and biomedical relevance of cannabigerol. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(14), 7929. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23147929

  2. Lah, T. T., Novak, M., Almidon, M. a. P., Marinelli, O., Baškovič, B. Ž., Majc, B., Mlinar, M., Bošnjak, R., Breznik, B., Zomer, R., & Nabissi, M. (2021). Cannabigerol is a potential therapeutic agent in a novel combined therapy for glioblastoma. Cells, 10(2), 340. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10020340

  3. Russo, E. B., Cuttler, C., Cooper, Z. D., Stueber, A., Whiteley, V. L., & Sexton, M. (2022). Survey of patients employing Cannabigerol-Predominant cannabis preparations: perceived medical effects, adverse events, and withdrawal symptoms. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 7(5), 706–716. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2021.0058

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