What is CBG?
CBG was first discovered in Israel in 1964. At this time, marijuana researchers Yehiel Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam had just managed to isolate CBG, along with THC and CBD, from the cannabis plant itself. At the time they didn’t realise how important this was, but it was this discovery which went on to become the entire basis of our understanding of the herb today.
CBG is found in lower concentrations than THC and CBD, and it differs from these compounds in several ways. Unlike THC, CBG has no psychoactive properties, and therefore is not intoxicating. It can be found in a variety of industrial hemp as well as other, more potent, marijuana strains.
Despite often being overlooked in favour of THC and CBD, it seems that CBG could provide a wealth of benefits of its own. However, CBG research is still in its infancy, and it is true that we still have much to learn about this compound.
However, thanks to scientists like Gaoni and Mechoulam, what we do know is how CBG and other cannabinoids have such a remarkable effect on the human body.
How does CBG Work?
Just like all other cannabinoids, CBG works by influencing our endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a complex collection of receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors), chemicals called endocannabinoids, and enzymes. Endocannabinoids are compounds produced by our bodies that bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors to help regulate many of our physiological functions and maintain a state of internal balance.
CB1 receptors are found within our nervous systems and brain, while CB2 receptors are found elsewhere throughout the body, mainly in the cells of the immune system. Many different endocannabinoids bind with these receptors, but the most well-known are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). AEA binds primarily with CB1 receptors and acts very much like a neurotransmitter, affecting our cognitive function and mood. On the other hand, 2-AG binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
The cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant also have the ability to and will bind with these receptors due to their similar shape. THC binds with CB1 receptors, altering the way you think and producing the intoxicating ‘high’ we know.
CBD doesn’t bind with these receptors easily but does influence the way that they react with other cannabinoids.
Research has shown that CBG binds primarily with CB2 receptors and that, in high doses, it could block other compounds from binding with CB1 receptors. However, CBG does not appear to alter the effects of THC as CBD has proven to do.
This complex interaction between the plant cannabinoids and the human bodies endocannabinoid system is known as the ‘entourage effect.’ Scientists are beginning to comprehend the full implications of this, some have even suggested that using these cannabinoids in combination is more beneficial than using any one alone.
What is CBG Used for?
The health benefits of CBG are still not fully understood. However, initial research suggests that it may be a useful tool in the treatment of a wide range of physical and psychological conditions. Keep an eye out for late research regarding this particular cannabinoid and its potential benefits for consumers.
Other Uses for CBG
CBG is just beginning to emerge from under the shadow of THC and CBD in terms of its potential advantages for health. It has been suggested that, as well as influencing the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBG may affect α2-adrenoceptors and 5-HT1A, the serotonin receptors in the nervous system. This indicates that it is entirely possible that CBG could block the reuptake of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline by cells. If this proves to be true, then CBG could also be useful in combating the symptoms of depression, as commonly prescribed anti-depressants have this exact process/ effect.
Final Thoughts on CBG
Although CBG isn’t the most well-known of all cannabinoids, it appears to have a dramatic influence over many of the body’s vital systems. There is still a lot more to learn about this cannabinoid and how it affects us, I am glad to say the initial research is extremely promising.
It is clear that far more needs to be done in order to fully understand the endocannabinoid system and the role that cannabis plays in human health and disease management. However, we are getting closer and closer every day with each study and I hope that in the near future, we will be able to see the full potential of how this fascinating herb and its components which can positively impact our health and well-being.