The cannabis herb contains more than 113 special medicinal molecules called cannabinoids. These chemicals are categorized as phytocannabinoids because they are derived from a plant. The human body produces similar molecules called endocannabinoids that interact with a specialized system of receptors found in the brain, central nervous system, and immune system that compose the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Like most cannabinoids other than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabigerol (CBG) is non-psychoactive and has been found to act on very specific physiological systems. Through research studies and anecdotal evidence, this cannabinoid has demonstrated significant health and lifestyle benefits, especially in diseases involving inflammation and neurological damage.
The Details on CBG
The acidic precursor to CBG, CBGA, is considered to be the mother of all cannabinoids due to the fact that the plant transforms this special molecule into all other cannabinoids.
A 2015 study entitled “Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabigerol in Huntington’s Disease” published in the journal Neurotherapeutics demonstrated CBG’s neuroprotective powers based on its ability to protect neurons in mice with Huntington’s disease. This special chemical may also help fight cancer and has been shown to act as an antibacterial agent. CBG may inhibit muscle contractions and serve as a therapy to prevent bladder dysfunction disorders. This cannabinoid has also been shown to help treat depression.
Scientists have learned some tricks for obtaining more potent levels of CBG from cannabis plants during cultivation and harvest. In particular strains, an optimum extraction period of about six weeks into an eight-week flowering cycle has been identified. Some examples of the strain Bediol are purported to be rich in CBG.
CBG has been found to be a valuable and effective treatment for glaucoma due to the fact that it reduces intraocular pressure in the eye. This cannabinoid also demonstrates neuroprotective properties and, in experiments involving mice, was found to be effective in decreasing the systemic inflammation that characterizes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and related conditions.
Research studies have been conducted into the efficacy of CBG for IBD — an umbrella category that includes Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other gastrointestinal diseases involving inflammation within the intestines. IBD afflicts more than three million people in the United States alone.
One such study published in 2013 and entitled “Beneficial Effect of the Non-psychotropic Plant Cannabinoid Cannabigerol on Experimental Inflammatory Bowel Disease” published in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology found CBG to be helpful for IBD patients. The study’s researchers concluded and the promise of this special cannabinoid as a future therapy “could be considered for clinical experimentation in IBD patients.”
A 2008 study entitled “Possibilities of Applying Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Glaucoma” that was published in the Polish journal Klinika Oczna concluded that cannabinoids like CBG “are able to decrease intraocular pressure. What is more, these compounds are characterized by neuroprotection and vasodilatation properties that additionally substantiate its therapeutic utility in conservative treatment of glaucoma.”