Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a cannabinoid that doesn’t always find the spotlight. Scientists have only recently started to investigate its properties. But it’s a key player in the chemical makeup of cannabis.
Scientists believe cannabigerol is responsible for most of the medical effects of cannabis, but many aren’t aware that this cannabinoid even exists.
Although CBG hasn’t been studied nearly as much as CBD and other cannabinoids, a small body of evidence suggests it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well.
Cannabigerol also acts on our brain’s ability to uptake a chemical called GABA, inhibiting it.
“When GABA is inhibited, you actually have muscle relaxation and you have anti-anxiety effects. It also appears to have anti-depressant and some modest anti-fungal properties,” says Dr. Bonni Goldstein, Medical Director of Canna-Centers.
Earlier this year, researchers from Italy observed both of these properties in an experimental model of inflammatory bowel disease, concluding that “CBG may represent a new therapeutic opportunity” for patients with the disorder.
CBG is non-psychoactive, so it itself doesn’t get users “high.” Instead, it’s the original form of many of the other cannabinoids.
The THC and CBD cannabinoids everyone’s talking about? Those chemicals started out as cannabigerol.
CBG is quickly converted to other cannabinoids by enzymes in the cannabis plant, which explains the low concentration of CBG in most strains.
Strains that are the most popular among the medical community often have high levels of cannabigerol. A chemical analysis of the potent sativa strain Sour Diesel shows that it’s CBG concentration is 1%.
That’s extremely high compared to most strains. Fittingly, Sour Diesel is legendary for its ability to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression for medical marijuana users.
More research is definitely necessary to determine CBG’s true medical potential. Doctors also need to understand how to utilize it effectively.
Still, it’s good to hear that other chemicals in cannabis besides THC and CBD could be helping patients, even without their knowledge.
So don’t forget: without CBG, most of these cannabinoids you know and love wouldn’t be around to begin with.