Cannabinoids Explained (Part 3): Cannabigerol (CBG)

Cannabigerol (CBG) is less popular than cannabidiol CBD or THC, but this cannabinoids deserves our attention as well, as studies suggest that the compound might poses some interesting properties, with potential medical applications.

CBG tends to occur in higher amounts in industrial hemp plants and in lower concentrations in the Cannabis plants grown for medical purposes. If the plant is harvested earlier, the amount of CBG present in the extracts can be higher, but the concentration of cannabidiol CBD and THC will be lower.

Cannabigerol is a phytocannabinoid, just like cannabidiol and THC, and is non-psychoactiv, which means it does not cause one to get high. Although it occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, CBG is not produced within the human body, so it’s not part of the endocannabinoids family. What’s interesting about this compound is that cannabugerol is actually the chemical that makes the formation of cannabidiol  CBD and THC possible.

Enzymes in the Cannabis plant convert CBG to other cannabinoids, including cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabidiol. CBGa (CBG-acid) is the precursor of CBDa and THCa; when these acid compounds are exposed to heat or UV light for a longer period, they are converted to their neutral forms (cannabidiol CBD, THC).

Proven health effects of cannabigerol (CBG)

Italian researchers have tested the effects of cannabigerol in patients with inflammatory bowel syndrome, concluding that CBG exerts anti-inflammatory properties and may benefit people affected by this condition. Another study published in the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics showed that cannabigerol can increase fluid drainage from the eyes and reduce internal pressure, being useful in the treatment of glaucoma.

CBG has also been found to exert anti-emetic effects (anti-vomiting) and to be effective in reducing nausea; moreover, this compound has been shown to slow the proliferation of skin tumor cells. According to Italian researchers, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid could inhibit colon cancer progression; other studies have shown that, whole plant extract with naturally occurring cannabidiol CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

CBG has been classified as an antagonist of the CB1 receptor, being able to partially counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.

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