You’ve probably heard of CBD and all the potential health benefits it may provide, such as anxiety relief, pain reduction, and alleviation of cancer-related symptoms. Or maybe you’ve heard of THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for giving users of recreational and medicinal marijuana that tell-tale high. THC and CBD are just two of over 100 cannabinoids present in cannabis. CBG, short for cannabigerol, is another much less talked-about cannabinoid. This cannabis compound may hold just as much potential as its cousin, CBD, all without the intoxicating effects of THC. Some researchers believe it holds even more potential than CBD.
CBG is the cannabinoid that is the least plentiful in cannabis plants. That’s why researchers have dubbed it the Rolls Royce of cannabinoids. Though it hasn’t been studied nearly as much as CBD or even THC, the studies that have been conducted so far have been promising. Here are some of the potential benefits of CBG that researchers have been exploring.
Researchers believe that CBG may reduce intraocular pressure. A review published in 2008 looked closely at cannabinoids and how they may be effective in treating glaucoma. The review concluded that the presence of endocannabinoid receptors in the eye are the reason these compounds may be effective at treating intraocular pressure. Of course, more studies need to be done to determine ways to improve the bioavailability of cannabinoids as well as limit any potential side effects.
Inflammation and oxidative stress play a role in many modern ailments, must importantly neurodegeneration. A study published in 1992 looked at CBG and its ability to fight both inflammation and oxidative stress in addition to its potential neuroprotective effects. Researchers found that CBG exerted a protective action in an in vitro neuroinflammation model.
Of course, science has come a long way since 1992. A more recent study in 2013 studied the effects of CBG on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in mice. Researchers found that not only was CBG able to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, but it also reduced the colon weight to colon length ratio and inhibited nitric oxide production, two main factors of the disease.
The authors of a review published in 2008 remarked that CBG may hold more potent analgesic effects than THC. It also exhibits GABA uptake inhibition to a greater extent than THC or CBD. GABA is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for relieving pain, in addition to stabilizing mood, relieving anxiety, and much more.
Killing Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Drug-resistant bacteria cannot be treated with typical antibacterial medication, such as penicillin. For example, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can cause untreatable staph infections. In 2008, a study published in the Journal of Natural Products found that CBG is a powerful antibacterial agent. In fact, the study found it to be especially effective against drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
CBG may also be able to reduce the growth of cancer cells. A 2019 review looked at how each of the cannabinoids affected cancer cells. Researchers found that CBG is a potent antagonist of TRPM8, a receptor in the endocannabinoid system, closing the TRPM8 channel and decreasing cell viability.
Another study, published in 2014, found that CBG inhibited colon cancer in rats. Similar to the study mentioned above, researchers also concluded that cancer cells were inhibited in the colon by CBG’s ability to block the TRPM8 channel.
Many patients with cancer or those who are undergoing chemotherapy find it difficult to eat enough to keep up their strength. CCG may be able to stimulate the appetite, causing minimized risk of muscle loss. A 2016 study found that CBG acted as an appetite stimulant in rats. In fact, CBG more than doubled total food intake and increased the number of meals consumed. Plus, it was well-tolerated by the rats.
Treating Huntington’s Disease
CBG was also studied for its potential ability to treat Huntington’s disease. A 2015 study found that CBG acted as such a powerful neuroprotective that it was able to fight Huntington’s disease in two in vivo models. It was found to improve motor deficits and preserve striatal neurons against 3NP toxicity. Additionally, CBG improved the levels of antioxidant defenses that the body naturally produces to fight off illness and disease.
CBG holds a lot of potential. Of course, more studies need to be completed on its potential health benefits before it can be considered as a potential treatment for these ailments. As more research is conducted and cannabis cultivators look for more ways to isolate this compound, you’ll start to hear more and more about CBG, the Rolls Royce of cannabinoids.