Over the past few decades, the narrative surrounding cannabis was primarily focused on marijuana and its psychoactive cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). However, a newly emerging player known as CBD (cannabidiol) has caused quite a stir thanks to promising research demonstrating its efficacy as a holistic alternative for several mental and health issues. And, if trends continue, the sky is the limit for this billion-dollar industry.
The many potential applications for CBD—combined with the fact that it doesn’t get you high— has helped shed the negative connotation that once clung to the topic of cannabis. As a result, the public is far more open to discussions and research on newer, emerging cannabinoids. One such relatively unknown and lesser studied compound, CBG (cannabigerol), has the medical researcher community abuzz over its potential to support overall wellness.
But what is CBG oil? Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about it.
What are Phytocannabinoids?
Every plant on earth is composed of a variety of molecule-sized compounds—some plants are simpler and others more complex. The cannabis plant falls into that latter category. As one study on the subject notes:
Cannabis is a complex plant with over 400 chemical entities of which more than 60 of them are cannabinoid compounds… with major compounds such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, which have opposing effects. The discovery of its compounds has led to the further discovery of an important neurotransmitter system called the endocannabinoid system. This system is widely distributed in the brain and in the body, and is considered to be responsible for numerous significant functions.
The most common compounds within cannabis are:
For the sake of brevity, today, the conversation will focus in on cannabinoids, such as:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
Generally speaking, 99% of phytocannabinoids are non-intoxicating. The only one of these microscopic compounds with psychoactive components is THC and it just so happens it also has the largest cannabinoid presence (by percentage) within the marijuana plant. That said, if you want to fully understand the CBG cannabinoid and its potential benefits, it’s crucial to briefly discuss how your endocannabinoid system works.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Compared to many other bodily functions and systems, the study of the endocannabinoid system is a nascent field of research since the ECS wasn’t identified until the ‘90s. As a result, further research and studies are being conducted, and each new revelation helps flesh out our knowledge on the ECS and its function in relation to the body.
We know for certain is that the ECS plays a critical role in the regulation of various bodily functions such as:
Your body naturally produces molecules known as endogenous cannabinoids, the two primary ones being anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These interact with and bind to receptors that are located throughout your body. Once the bonding occurs, a message or command is sent to the cells, tissues, and/or organs to act. Naturally, the unlocking of the cannabinoid receptor creates reactive changes in the body, many of which could produce significant benefits for both the brain and body.
What is Cannabigerol? CBG Oil Benefits & Uses
One of the reasons why CBG is not widely known outside of the industry is due to the fact that only a small percentage of it is present in most cannabis strains by the time they reach maturation. Typically, there is less than 1% CBG in any given plant, which is why CBG is classified as a minor cannabinoid. As one 2018 study states:
Cannabigerol was isolated, characterized and synthetized by the same researchers that reported the structure of the main psychotropic agent of Cannabis, Δ9-THC. Few years later in vivo assays showed that CBG was non-psychoactive. The lower concentration and the lack of psychoactivity was probably the cause that CBG was shadowed by Δ9-THC. In fact, CBG has attracted less attention than Δ9-THC and even more than CBD, but nowadays is gaining interest among the scientific community.
Throughout the various growth stages, the cannabis plant is primarily composed of what’s known as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). In the later stages, CBGA is eventually broken down by natural enzymes and turned into one of three cannabinoid lines:
- Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
- Cannabichromenic acid (CBA)
- Tetrahydrocannbinolic acid (THCA)
Once these are exposed to ultraviolet light or heat, they primarily turn into either THC or CBD, with a small portion converting into CBG. And, for the vast majority of strains, the CBGA is instantly turned into either CBDA or THCA. As a result, a higher percentage of THC indicates the presence of smaller quantities of CBG and CBD, and a higher percentage of CBD indicates the presence of smaller quantities of CBG and THC.
So, to produce higher percentage yields of CBG, plant breeders have recently started to tinker with experiments such as cross-breeding strains or extracting of CBG at its peak point during the flowering cycle.
CBG vs CBD
While both of these compounds are cannabinoids, they have different functions and may be helpful in reducing the symptoms of disparate ailments. Despite this, they share numerous similarities and there appears to be several places where therapeutic overlap can occur.
Both are free of psychoactive compounds, which makes them non-intoxicating. In addition, thanks to their strong interaction with the CB1 receptor, they both work to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. So, if you were to theoretically smoke weed and then consume a CBG isolate, it would likely inhibit the “high,” at least to a degree. Ministry of Hemp writes:
Though the effects of CBD and CBG when combined haven’t been studied, we do know that combining different cannabinoid chemical compounds results in what’s called the entourage effect. This means that each cannabinoid’s effects are enhanced when they’re combined. This effect has been well-studied relating to the relationship between CBD and THC; for example, both CBD and THC are more effective at reducing pain when taken together.
As a result, full-spectrum CBD may often contain CBG in order to magnify its therapeutic properties.
While there haven’t been extensive human studies or trials conducted on CBG, the results of early research and animal studies have been promising. They point to the fact that concentrated CBG could have significant therapeutic benefits, and be used to assuage the following conditions and/or their various symptoms:
- Poor Vision – Your eyes have a significant presence of endocannabinoid receptors, which is why people with glaucoma used to be able to obtain a medical marijuana card. Now, we know that CBG is a powerful vasodilator, which might even be better at reducing intraocular pressure than THC.
- Appetite Stimulant – Similar to THC, CBG isolate may be helpful for eating issues or easing the wasting symptoms of patients on chemo. A 2016 study found: “Here, we demonstrate for the first time that CBG elicits hyperphagia, by reducing latency to feed and increasing meal frequency, without producing negative neuromotor side effects. Investigation of the therapeutic potential of CBG for conditions such as cachexia and other disorders of eating and body weight regulation is thus warranted.”
- Staph – It’s recently come to light that these chemical compounds have antibacterial properties and may present a new means for reducing or eliminating a type of potentially fatal staph infection known as Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A 2008 study stated that CBG had demonstrated special promise in fighting bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics.
- Aches and soreness – A 2010 in-depth study from the British Journal of Pharmacology looked into the entourage effect created by other cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG. It found that these additional compounds magnified a cannabinoids’ ability to help alleviate aches, soreness, and inflammation.
- Anti-inflammatory – A 2013 study on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) concluded that: “CBG attenuated murine colitis, reduced nitric oxide production in macrophages (effect being modulated by the CB2 receptor) and reduced ROS formation in intestinal epithelial cells. CBG could be considered for clinical experimentation in IBD patients.”
So, although there is still plenty of groundwork to be done, medical researchers and scientists are wildly optimistic about the potential uses for CBG going forward.
The information we’re gleaning on CBG’s potentially miraculous uses is growing by the day. All signs indicate that it may end up being as important of a therapeutic cannabinoid as CBD. So if you’re looking for CBG oil for sale, Plant People has the CBD products for you. Their organically-grown, full-spectrum hemp extracts are rich in cannabinoids, including CBG, CBD, and CBN. Each product is vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and lab tested.
NCBI. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/#bibr41-2045125312457586
Healthline. A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System. https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system-2
NCBI. Cannabigerol Action at Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 Receptors and at CB1–CB2 Heteroreceptor Complexes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6021502/
Ministry of Hemp. CBD vs CBG: Comparing The Many Benefits Of CBD & CBG. https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/cbd-vs-cbg/
NCBI. A comparison of the ocular and central effects of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabigerol. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1965836
NCBI. Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27503475
NCBI. Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681481
British Journal of Pharmacology. Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
NCBI. Beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23415610
NCBI. Colon carcinogenesis is inhibited by the TRPM8 antagonist cannabigerol, a Cannabis-derived non-psychotropic cannabinoid. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25269802