Cannabis may be just a plant, but a closer look reveals terpenes, cannabinoids, and other plant constituents that are so valuable to humans. Whether you are using cannabis for pain, stress, or other ailments already, or you are just getting familiar with cannabis, getting to know the phytochemicals involved affords a better understanding of which strains could most benefit you.
While you may know a lot about THC and CBD, minor cannabinoids like CBG are just as worthy of attention. What does CBG stand for, and are there CBG benefits to consider? Here is a closer look.
So, what is CBG exactly?
CBG is cannabigerol, which is a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. CBG is often referred to as the parent cannabinoid or mother of all cannabinoids because it is essentially the precursor to other cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBG is actually considered a minor cannabinoid because of its low concentrations in cannabis. Nevertheless, without the acidic form of CBG, cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), the other top cannabinoids would not exist.
How is CBG produced by the cannabis plant?
While CBGa is a primary phytocannabinoid found in cannabis, levels of CBG remaining at harvest are low. As the parent cannabinoid for all others, the bulk of CBGa is broken down and directed toward other cannabinoid lines, such as cannabidiolic acid (CBDa), cannabichromenic acid (CBCa), and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa). What is remaining as CBGa eventually decarboxylates to become CBG. For this reason, growers have customarily harvested cannabis plants before maturity to obtain higher levels of CBG. However, recent efforts have involved genetic manipulation to create high-CBG cultivars even at maturity.
How much CBG is in weed?
At the beginning of a cannabis plant’s life cycle, CBGa is the most abundant cannabinoid present in cannabis. However, by the time the plant reaches maturity and is harvested, the remaining CBGa levels to be converted into CBG is a relatively small amount for most plants. In fact, the average is about 1 percent of cannabinoids being CBG.
CBG Benefits – What is CBG good for?
CBG has not been so extensively studied as other cannabinoids like CBD or CBG, but this phytochemical shows promise for therapeutic value just the same. The bulk of cannabigerol research has involved animal studies, and the research is in its earliest stages. CBG acts on receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which may propose quite a few physiological benefits. So far, CBG has been shown to:
- Reduce intraocular pressure, which may prove valuable in treating certain eye diseases
- Target inflammation in the bowels in animal studies
- Offer protective properties of neural cells in animal studies
- Inhibit the growth of malignant cells in animal studies
- Offer antibacterial properties effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- Inhibit bladder contractions, which may eventually target bladder dysfunction disorders
- Stimulate appetite in animal studies
CBG vs CBD – What’s the difference?
CBD and CBG are both cannabinoids, neither is psychoactive, and some CBG effects are seemingly similar to CBD. However, the two cannabinoids do have quite a few differences as well.
As noted above, by the time the cannabis plant is fully mature, most strains don’t contain a lot of CBG as most of the CBGa is synthesized into other cannabinoid acids. What does remain is decarboxylated to become CBG. With some cultivars of cannabis such as hemp, CBD levels can be especially high, however—as much as 25 percent.
CBG and CBD also differ because of the way they interact with the endocannabinoid system. While CBD is not known to show an affinity for specific cannabinoid receptors, CBG binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS.
Discover the Role CBG Could Take in Your Wellness Plans
While cannabigerol research is just getting started, this cannabinoid is proving to be just as valuable as some of the better-known cannabinoids like THC and CBD. To ensure you find quality flower with higher CBG content, be sure to work with a dispensary that is well-versed in cannabinoids. Take a look at the Uma Flowers menu to find extracts, flower, and more with CBG.