There’s a good chance you know all about two specific cannabinoids: THC and CBD. Cannabinoids are a family of chemical compounds that are found in cannabis plants, such as marijuana and hemp. Each of the cannabinoids have similar properties, since they come from the same source.
However, there are some important differences. For example, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is psychoactive, which is the element from mairjuana that makes you high, but it is the only psychoactive component from cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second well known compound. It is not psychoactive at all, which makes it safer and legal to use, which is why it has become so popular as a supplement in recent years.
There are the lesser known cannabinoids that can also be useful, but don’t have the same popular appeal. However, they each have some slight but important differences to know about, in case those differences are better able to help you. Cannabigerol (CBG) is one such cannabinoid that can be very useful for some people. Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to CBG, what it is, and how it can help.
What is CBG?
CBG is a very rare compound, as it is only found in around 1% of cannabis strains. That makes it a “minor” cannabinoid, which also explains why it isn’t that widely known. Each cannabis plant has a type of acid that gets broken down by enzymes and directs it to turn into either THC, CBD, or a third compound. Most plants will be predominantly THC or CBD, which is how you wind up with marijuana or hemp. In rare cases, it turns into CBG.
However, there have been attempts to use genetic manipulation and lab experimentation to increase the frequency that a cannabis plant has CBG and produces more of it. For now, the best way to get large enough amounts of it is by extracting it from budding plants at a precise time, between six and eight weeks of its flowering cycle. This is how you get CBG extract, which can be turned into different kinds of products along the same lines as THC and CBD.
Benefits of CBG
There are some common benefits that all cannabinoids share, but there are some important differences as well. This is also true for CBG. Like the others, its effects primarily come from how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is found in our brains and nervous system. The ECS regulates several important bodily functions. When it comes to CBG, it interacts with the ECS to produce the following benefits:
- It is the best cannabinoid at treating glaucoma for how it interacts with our eye structures
- Effective at reducing inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease
- May protect neurons from nerve cell degeneration caused by Huntington’s disease
- Found to block receptors that cause cancer cell growth, showing potential for cancer treatments
- Effective for antibacterial use
- Proved the best of five tested cannabinoids to prevent muscle contractions caused by bladder dysfunction
It’s worth noting that the research into CBG is even more sparse than those into THC and CBD. As a result, most of these benefits have been found in lab research and animal trials. While the potential exists, there still has to be a lot more in-depth medical trials and scientific research into how it affects humans.