If you’re a cannabis enthusiast, then you probably know a good deal about THC and CBD. THC and CBD are the major active compounds in the cannabis plant. While THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, the effects of CBD are more therapeutic and medicinal.
One lesser-known compound in the cannabis plant that’s deserving of your attention is CBG. CBG or cannabigerol is an active compound in the CBD plant that exists in lesser concentrations than its counterparts. Recently, there has been widespread interest in CBG, and cannabis enthusiasts are rushing to find out what is CBG.
As mentioned earlier, CBD is among the many active compounds in the cannabis plant. Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBG has a host of health benefits that’s we’ll l look at later. In this post, we’ll highlight everything you need to know about CBG, including its chemical composition, its effects on the body, and its many benefits.
What Is CBG?
CBG or cannabigerol is among a class of compounds called cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Despite the recent surge of interest in the compound, marijuana researchers first discovered the CBG way back in 1964. From that time, the prominence and understanding of the compound have increased quite significantly.
CBG exists in very low concentrations, both in hemp and the marijuana plant. The concentration of CBG is usually about 1% in marijuana and 2% in hemp. CBG is a non-intoxicating compound and therefore has no psychoactive effects when consumed.
Chemical Composition of CBG
Before CBG becomes CBG, it first exists as CBGA or cannabigerol acid, which is its foundational compound. The trichomes of the cannabis plant produce CBGA, which then synthesizes into CBG. You can think of CBG as the non-acidic form of CBGA.
CBGA is the foundational compound of many acidic cannabinoids and not just CBG. It’s from CBGA that we get THCA and CBDA. These two compounds then break down to THC and CBD, respectively, after heat synthesis or decarboxylation.
Not a lot of CBGA converts into CBG, hence the lower concentration of CBG in hemp and marijuana. However, cannabis breeders are experimenting with genetic manipulation of the plants so that they can yield more CBG.
How Does CBG Affect the Body?
CBG is a cannabinoid and hence affect the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This system consists of the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors), enzymes, and other chemicals.
The receptors are what make the magic happen because they are responsible for the physiological body changes. CB1 receptors are the receptors in the brains and the nervous system. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mainly in the cells of our immune system.
Studies show that CBG mainly binds with CB2 receptors that you find all over the body. In high quantities, CBG may block other cannabinoids from attaching with CB1 receptors hence mitigating their effects on the body. However, CBG doesn’t reduce the psychoactive effects of THC.
Uses of CBG
CBG, just like other cannabinoids, has many physiological effects on the body. While that much is clear, of what use is CBD for the average cannabis enthusiast? Here are the most prominent uses of CBG.
CBG has anti-inflammatory properties that you can use to treat or mitigate some chronic conditions. Inflammation is a serious concern for people who have arthritis and colitis. Scientists haven’t done much research on the effectiveness of CBG for treating these conditions, but anecdotal evidence seems promising.
Researchers tested CBG and other cannabinoids on their effect on eliminating staphylococcus bacterium. The lab study showed that CBG had the potential of eliminating these bacteria. This goes to show that CBG may have antimicrobial properties that we may benefit from.
Research on the same is very scarce as of now. However, don’t be surprised to find CBG antimicrobial agents on your store shelves soon.
To Protect the Brain and Nervous System
A study that was done on animals conclusively established that CBG may have some neuroprotective effects. These include detoxifying the nervous system and bridging any deficits in motor neurons. The study also demonstrated that CBG could assist in preserving neurons from deterioration from neuro-degenerative diseases.
Solving Bladder Issues
CBG was among the most effective compounds that mitigate bladder dysfunctions as per a recent study. Though the study was done in mice, the effects could also be the same in humans. Another compound in cannabis that can also mitigate bladder issues is THCV.
Loss of appetite is a symptom of many conditions, and greatly hinders the recovery of the affected person. Most people know that marijuana significantly increases your appetite when you use it. This is what most people refer to as the munchies.
CBD was given to two groups of mice, one a placebo group and the other a test group. The test group consumed twice as much food as they usually consumed after ingesting CBG. Feeding habits for the other group of mice remained the same.
This indicates that CBG consumption could have a significant effect on appetite. It means that you can use CBG to treat certain conditions like anorexia and cachexia. These conditions entail a massive loss of appetite and an abnormal unwillingness to eat.
Is CBG Legal?
It’s high time we address the elephant in the room, and that’s the legality of CBG. CBG is legal, for the most part, but only at a federal level.
The Farm Bill in 2018, legalized hem and all hemp products, which include CBG oil. However, because CBG only exists in low concentrations, there’s not much supply for CBG oil.
However, the scarce supply of pure CBG oil shouldn’t discourage you too much. That’s because full-spectrum CBD oils have a considerable amount of CBG in them. Admittedly, it’s not like buying CBG oil separately, but it’s better than nothing.
If you’re so fixated on buying CBG oil, then maybe you should learn a little more about CBG. A tiny disclaimer, because of its scarcity, CBG oil doesn’t come cheap.
CBG Is the Next Big Thing After CBD
Hopefully, after reading this, you can comfortably give a clear answer should anyone ask you, “what is CBG.” As interest in CBG continues to surge, don’t be surprised if CBG oils start giving CBD oils a run for their money. With so many benefits of CBG oil, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t hop on the CBG bandwagon.
The bummer with CBG is that unlike its more exciting cousin THC, it doesn’t get you high. However, if you’d like to get high legally, then check out our other pieces, and we’ll show you how to do so.