Cannabigerol (CBG) has become increasingly popular over the last few years for its therapeutic potential. Yet, it’s still not as well-known as other cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, which have already taken the world by storm.
Beyond its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, CBG plays a very important role within the cannabis plant. In its raw form, cannabigerolic-acid (CBGa), it’s the precursor to all other cannabinoids.
Essentially, cannabis plants produce a large quantity of CBGa, which is then converted into other cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, and cannabichromene (CBC).
Simply put, CBGa is the “mother of all cannabinoids.”
The Science Behind CBG
CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that doesn’t really bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. However, it still plays an important role in the ECS because it can inhibit anandamide uptake.
Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that’s naturally produced by your body, and “uptake” is the process of absorbing a substance or compound. Therefore, CBG prevents your body from using up its supply of anandamide, keeping the endocannabinoid in your body longer.
CBG also appears to moderately block serotonin receptor 5-HT1A, and it interacts with the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. TRP channels are implicated in detecting pH levels, temperature, pain perception, and your sense of smell.
CBG & Plant Biology: The Mother of All Cannabinoids
CBG in its raw form, CBGa, is “the mother of all cannabinoids.” As cannabis plants grow, they begin producing large amounts of CBGa, a study in the Journal of Pharmacology explains. Then, as the plants mature, CBGa quantities decrease because it’s converted into other major cannabinoids.
It’s worth noting CBGa won’t convert to THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids once in the human body. This conversion process only happens within the cannabis plant.
In short, CBGa is essential for the production of other cannabinoids. Without it, there likely wouldn’t be any THC or CBD!
What Are the Benefits of CBG?
According to the Journal of Pharmacology study, CBG’s interactions with TRP channels, 5-HT1A receptors, PPARγ receptors, and α-2 adrenoceptors give way to a variety of potential therapeutic properties, including:
- Neuroprotection and neuromodulation.
- Protection from gastrointestinal diseases.
- Protection from metabolic syndrome, which is a condition that can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
- Antibacterial — while several other cannabinoids display antibacterial activity, the authors say “CBG was found to be among the most potent cannabinoids tested against antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus.” S. aureus, better known as staph, becomes MRSA when it’s resistant to certain antibiotics. If left untreated, MRSA can have severe, adverse health consequences.
In addition to its potency against MRSA, CBG displays anti-bacterial activity against Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium associated with tooth decay and cavities. Who would’ve thought a cannabinoid could benefit your dental care routine!
Like many other cannabinoids, CBG displays anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. A separate study on mouse cells demonstrated that CBG may exhibit neuroprotective properties by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Additionally, CBGa has made headlines recently for its ability to prevent COVID-19 infections in monkey cells when dosed in high quantities. However, there is a need for further research in clinical trials to confirm these effects are observed in humans, as well.
How to Find CBG Products
Although CBGa is abundant during the growth phase of cannabis plants, it’s often found in very small quantities in mature plants. Thus, it can be tricky (and costly) to find CBG isolate tinctures or gummies.
However, you may be able to find CBG as a trace cannabinoid in broad or full spectrum hemp oil. CBG is also sometimes found as a trace cannabinoid in products at cannabis dispensaries.
Key Takeaway: Getting the Most Out of CBG for Your Health
CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid believed to have neuroprotective, gastroprotective, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. In its raw form, CBGa, it serves as a vital precursor for other major cannabinoids, earning it the title the “mother of all cannabinoids.”
While it can be difficult to locate CBG tinctures or gummies, you may be able to find it as a trace cannabinoid in other hemp and cannabis products. If you’re unsure of whether a product may have CBG, you can ask the manufacturer for the certificate of analysis (COA). The COA will tell you whether CBG or any other cannabinoids are present in the product.