CBG, what can you offer us?

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Cannabigerol as the perspective cannabinoids expansion?

Cannabinoids. We have already heard this word so many times that it’s a great moment now to sort out what it is and dive into the cannabinoids’ benefits. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. They are responsible for a wide range of different medical and psychoactive effects we can get from cannabis. Studies of the cannabis are continuing, revealing new molecular structures of the plant and extending the range of the cannabinoids discovered. For the moment, more than 100 cannabinoids have been discovered.

Of course, the main feature of cannabinoids, making them so popular worldwide is their impact on our health. Let’s puzzle out how these guys work. All the cannabinoids interact with our organism through the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a set of receptors regulating our health and promoting homeostasis throughout the human body. The ECS has two primary receptors:

  • CB1 receptors;
  • CB2 receptors.

CB1 receptors bind to the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors interact with our immune system. The main effect of cannabinoids lies in their binding to both types of these receptors. As a result, they produce a range of impacts and benefits for our health. Each cannabinoid binds uniquely, thereby providing its unique advantages.

Historically, many of us have been familiar with the cannabinoid called THC. It is well known for its ability to cause euphoric intoxication, or, frankly speaking, make you high. Due to such a doubtful benefit, THC remains stigmatized and considered as a “bad part of cannabis” despite its healing properties. Nevertheless, THC is only one compound of the cannabis plant that can intoxicate — all other cannabinoids show promising results and have a “clean” status.

Recently, a new player of the marijuana game has appeared on a stage — cannabigerol (CBG). Cannabigerol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that plays one of the decisive roles in biochemistry of the whole cannabis plant. For other cannabinoids, including the most well known CBD and THC, CBG acts as a chemical precursor. In some sources, it is mentioned as a “stem cell.” Why? Let’s puzzle out the mechanism of its action. The acidic, inactive form of CBG — CBGA changes and broken down. After this, it becomes the base molecule from which other cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, are formed. The process of such conversion typically lasts from six to eight weeks in the flowering cycle. In most cannabis strains, CBG is present only in trace amounts, although some new hemp strains have begun to be cultivated to generate much higher yields of cannabigerol.

What about the benefits? Like other cannabinoids, CBG causes a positive impact on our health. Otherwise, it would hardly be of any interest for modern medicine. Among the potential benefits of cannabigerol are:

  • antioxidant properties;
  • work as a neuroprotectant;
  • antibacterial and antifungal properties;
  • appetite stimulation;
  • treatment of various gastrointestinal disorders;
  • inflammation reduction.

In addition to this, CBG shows promising results in fighting different types of cancer and lowering intraocular pressure, that in the future may significantly benefit patients with glaucoma diagnosis.

The next logical question occurs — what is the difference between CBG and so popular CBD? As it was mentioned above, CBG is a precursor to CBD. They both are cannabinoids, although show different benefits and may serve different purposes. Both CBD and CBG don’t cause any psychoactive effect and will not influence your state of mind after (and during) the regular use. Nevertheless, they can change our mind but only in a beneficial way — both of them can decrease anxiety and depression. So, it will be more accurate to say that these cannabinoids don’t cause intoxication and make you high, unlike THC. Another critical moment is that CBD and CBG may counteract the intoxicating effects of tetrahydrocannabinol. It is achieved by binding to the CB1 receptors, which significantly decreases psycho-activation.

Ok, it is more or less clear with the ECS and CB1 and CB2 receptors. It’s time to sort out how does CBG work. Unlike other cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, CBG interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabigerol can also increase the level of anandamide — endocannabinoid boosting the level of dopamine. Also, anandamide is responsible for regulating health functions such as sleep, mood, and appetite. The absorption of the acidic CBG form — GABA in the brain may be obstructed by cannabigerol, thereby allowing it to reduce anxiety and to serve as a muscle relaxant. In addition to this, cannabigerol blocks serotonin receptors showing potential antidepressant effects.

CBG is a highly perspective cannabinoid and holds promise to become a key player among other cannabinoids if considering the medical benefits. With the continuously evolving research, CBG may turn into one of the most therapeutically beneficial cannabinoids offering a wide range of possible remedies for our health.

Wait a minute! THC, CBD, cannabis, marijuana, hemp, and CBG — what is the difference?

Cannabis is one of the buzziest trends of the 21st century. It is quite difficult today to find a person who has never heard about CBD and its benefits. Although cannabidiol is only gaining momentum preparing for future growth, it has already managed to get popularity all over the world. Nevertheless, besides CBD, other cannabinoids are also gaining popularity, revealing more and more new benefits with minimum side effects. With so much attention given to CBD and THC nowadays, it’s quite challenging to sort out all other existing cannabinoids. And that’s not to mention their effects, advantages, and disadvantages. Let’s try to puzzle out this marijuana family and understand what the role of each cannabinoid in this system is.

So, THC, CBD, cannabis, marijuana, hemp, and CBG — how not to get lost in these terms? Let’s start at the very beginning.

Cannabinoids are the main compounds in the cannabis plant. For the moment, over one hundred components have been revealed in the cannabis plant. Depending on the cannabinoid type, it is either a chemical compound in the plant or a neurotransmitter in a human body, being the part of our endocannabinoid system. Most popular cannabinoids that have caused such a boom in modern medicine are known as phytocannabinoids. Their two main representatives are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). At the same time, cannabinoids existing in our body (endocannabinoid system) are called endocannabinoids.

CBD or cannabidiol. It refers to the phytocannabinoid type and is a compound found in the cannabis plant. The main hype around CBD is based on its abilities to alleviate anxiety and pain, as well as reduce inflammation. Also, the cannabidiol benefits include the absence of addiction, like some of the prescription medications, to achieve the desired effects. Millions of people all over the world are looking to use cannabis (CBD in particular) for medical purposes, and get the benefit without any psychoactive effects.

Various clinical studies have been held to prove CBD benefits and to extend the list of its positive effects on our health. Several successful research revealed and confirmed the ability of CBD to treat different types of pain, including the chronic type. Cannabidiol may also be useful in the treatment of neuropathic pain, basing on the studies held among cancer patients suffering from pain associated with chemotherapy.

According to the World Health Organization, CBD can potentially treat a comparably extensive list of diseases and conditions. Nevertheless, lots of research is needed. The one thing that CBD can treat for sure and enough research has been held to prove it is Alzheimer’s disease. Among the diseases and conditions that cannabidiol can potentially treat are:

  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Huntington’s disease,
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • anxiety;
  • psychosis;
  • pain;
  • depression;
  • cancer;
  • hypoxia-ischemia injury;
  • nausea;
  • inflammatory disease;
  • IBD;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • infection;
  • cardiovascular diseases;
  • diabetic complications.

It is quite an impressive list of various possibilities to use CBD products in medical purposes. Moreover, this list is still expanding with other conditions or diseases that can be treated or reduced by using cannabidiol.

With such a wide spectrum of CBD benefits, range of cannabidiol products available today also doesn’t fall behind. To date, you can find such CBD products as:

  • CBD oils;
  • tinctures (for under-the-tongue delivery);
  • candies;
  • CBD gummies;
  • beverages.

In addition to this, faster relief can be achieved by vaporizing the CBD oil. Although there is no current research, some patients also find that CBD can provide an anti-inflammatory effect for skin ailments while using it topically.

For the moment, CBD is a newcomer in the world of modern medications. There aren’t clear recommendations of how to use it properly or what is the milligram-specific dosage for different cases. Currently, the CBD dose varies depending on the ailment and the individual. It will take time until cannabidiol be prescribed in the way the doctors do with the classic medication. However, it has enough chances to reach this level and even to substitute some drugs, causing less harmful effects on our health. The World Health Organization stated that there aren’t any CBD side effects, although some patients noted that cannabidiol might influence blood pressure and cause dry mouth. It is also contraindicated to use CBD with several chemotherapy medications, so it is highly important to talk to your doctor before starting to use any CBD products.

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC also refers to the group of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. As well as CBD, THC is also well known for its ability to treat different diseases. However, the main difference between them is that THC is the only cannabis component that makes you high. Among the main benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol are:

  • anxiety control;
  • ability to relieve pain;
  • appetite stimulation;
  • insomnia treatment.

In the majority of cases, THC doesn’t work alone. Its “collaboration” with other marijuana compounds that allows to achieve the desired result is called an entourage effect. Nevertheless, not only THC works better in a team, CBD provides us with the best results in combination with THC, although it may be helpful on its own. It concerns all the marijuana compounds. Several studies proved that synergy of all the chemicals found in the whole plant could deliver enhanced therapeutic benefits in comparison with effect from using them solo. For the moment, CBD is most frequently used solo, while THC is more often used for therapy in its whole flower state without extraction. The main recommendation from doctors prescribing THC for various conditions is to start from low doses and increase them very slowly. We shouldn’t forget that THC is a psychoactive compound and may cause euphoria, head high, or even intense anxiety among patients. The reaction for this cannabinoid differs significantly from one patient to another. A specific dose may give no effect for one patient, but cause a psychoactive response for another.

What about legalization? This question disturbs everyone who is already familiar with the THC benefits. The laws regarding use of marijuana and all its compounds for medical purposes are continually changing. Currently, THC is entirely legal in ten states, while in twenty-three other states you can use it with a prescription from your doctor.

Cannabis. Cannabis is a general term for marijuana or hemp. It is a family of plants that include marijuana and hemp plants. The word “cannabis” slowly became a substitute for such terms as weed, pot, etc. Doctors start using this term more often nowadays. Mainly, to decrease the barrier to entry for patients who have been apprehensive when it comes to using hemp or marijuana as an essential part of a wellness routine. Thus, when you hear “cannabis”, you should understand that it could be referring to either marijuana or hemp.

Marijuana. Marijuana is a variety of hemp with a high THC level. Also well known as “cannabis Sativa”, it typically consists of high amounts of THC and comparably moderate amounts of CBD. However, the level of these cannabinoids always depends on strains. Marijuana has been stigmatized for decades, mainly due to the numerous government efforts to prohibit its use. The main “negative” effect of marijuana use, causing so much noise and problems is the intoxication after its use.

Nevertheless, for some patients, this side effect may serve as a bonus, relaxing them and alleviating anxiety. However, smoking marijuana, like all other types of smoking, could have negative implications for our health. Unlike its edible form or tincture, marijuana smoke contains a range of chemicals, and each of them is harmful for health and could lead to respiratory disease.

Although CBD is found in marijuana, they are not the same things. Cannabidiol can come from either a hemp or marijuana plant. If you want to use marijuana instead of CBD on its own for getting its therapeutic benefits, it is highly recommended to consult with your doctor to determine the most appropriate combination for your needs. Only in such case, you will get the maximum benefits from the abovementioned entourage effect.

Hemp. Hemp is a variety of cannabis plants with high CBD content. The main difference between marijuana and hemp is the percentage of CBD and THC content in it. Unlike marijuana, hemp contains high level of cannabidiol and less than 0.3% THC. The significant part of the commercial CBD on the modern market comes from hemp. The main reason for this is that it is much easier to grow hemp in comparison with marijuana which has to be grown in a more controlled environment.

Although hemp contains a high level of CBD, it takes a lot of plants to create CBD oil, tincture, or other CBD products. Among the most important things you should note when purchasing CBD products online is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil — it is not necessarily the same thing. Moreover, when making purchases in the CBD shop, it is essential to know where the hemp was grown. We all know that the FDA does not currently regulate CBD. Thus, ordering cannabidiol products where CBD was extracted from the hemp grown overseas, you risk causing harm to your health. Sound ridiculous? Let’s take a closer look.

Hemp is a kind of a “bio-accumulator” — it absorbs everything the soil has. Some people even plant hemp to cleanse the soil from pesticides, toxins, fertilizers, and insecticides. A lot of hemp nowadays is grown overseas, and we have no idea whether it was grown safely and cleanly or not. Hemp grown in America, especially in states producing it legally for both medical and recreational purposes, tends to be much safer due to the strict quality standards.

To ensure you are purchasing clean and safe for your health product, we highly recommend checking the COA-certificate of analysis on the website of the company you chose. Brands with the proven quality of their CBD products willingly provide the COA so all the consumers can ensure they are buying safe marijuana- or hemp-derived medications.

CBG benefits — False hopes or real effects?

Perry Solomon, M.D., a medical cannabis expert and board-certified anesthesiologist, said CBG is not a common cannabinoid and we don’t know much about the full spectrum of its benefits. The main reason for this is the fact that this cannabinoid can’t be extracted in large quantities from the cannabis plant. Getting the CBG in amount enough for the tests and studies will require much time and efforts. Thus, almost a century of the cannabis prohibition, together with the deficit of this cannabinoid has slowed the research. However, studies and clinical trials have been resumed recently and continue developing with tremendous speed. The range of the declared CBG benefits became the main driver of research growth as, when clinically proven, this cannabinoid may become a promising treatment for different diseases and conditions.

Among the most promising CBG effects are:

  • Glaucoma treatment and intraocular pressure relief. This benefit is featured

first on purpose, as if trials give the proof, it could be a huge deal because CBD isn’t helpful in glaucoma treatment. Although THC may treat this disease, in the case with CBG, you can get the same effect but without any intoxication. The first study mentioned using CBG for glaucoma treatment was held in 1990. During the research, it was found that both cannabigerol and related cannabinoids may be useful for patients with glaucoma diagnosis. Anyway, to date, clinical trials are continuing, so it is highly recommended to take CBG as an addition to the prescribed medications and only after consultation with the doctor.

  • Antibacterial effect for MRSA treatment. MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a particular type of staph infection that is resistant to the most common antibiotic — methicillin. Because of this, the disease is considered as a threatening and can even become fatal. In a study held in 2008, CBG showed promising results for this condition treatment as an antibacterial agent. MRSA treatment is one of the cases where CBG shows real promise. This cannabidiol has a high potential to cope with bacteria that don’t respond to treatment with the traditional antibiotics.
  • Contribution to GABA reuptake inhibition. According to Bonni Goldstein, a physician with the pediatric practice and currently specializing in cannabis medicine, CBG may inhibit GABA uptake, causing such conditions as muscle relaxation, a sensation of peace and calm in the brain and body, as well as the tension relief. For the moment, GABA inhibitors are already used for anxiety treatment. CBG has all the chances to stand in one row with these medications, and even become a substitute for several of them due to its ability to decrease GABA inhibition.
  • CBG for inflammatory bowel disease and colitis treatment. According to the 2013 study on rats, CBG may reduce the effect of colitis. During the research, IBD patients using cannabis experienced abdominal and joint pain relief, management of cramping, poor appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, and weight loss. Despite the positive results, more studies needed to explore CBG as an isolated compound and either confirm or disprove this theory.
  • CBG for Huntington’s and neurodegenerative diseases treatment. A 2015 study on mice showed promising results regarding the use of either isolated CBG or its combination with other cannabinoids for the neurodegenerative diseases treatment. CBG normalize the expression of abnormal genes that are linked to brain degeneration, thereby working as the neuroprotective compound.
  • Cancer treatment. According to the WHO data, almost ten million people all over the world died because of cancer in 2018. Despite a comparably wide choice of different means to treat this disease, the maximally efficient drug remains unknown. Several laboratory studies have shown that CBG may inhibit the growth of specific cancer cells, while a review published in 2009 showed that cannabigerol might potentially slow down the tumour growth. A study conducted in 2016 showed that preclinical data support the theory that non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including CBG, may serve as direct inhibitors of tumour progression. In addition to this, it was concluded that cannabinoids could enhance the activity of first-line therapies. The results have also been proved during the 2014 study. It was reported that CBG inhibits the growth of the tumour in case of colon cancer, while 2006 research shown it may also be helpful in case of breast cancer which ranks first in the world nowadays (more than two million deaths in 2018 according to the WHO data). Besides this, CBG may also be helpful for patients undergoing chemotherapy due to its effect of appetite stimulation.
  • Inflammation treatment. A 2007 study proved the ability of CBG to treat psoriasis and eczema. In addition to this, as it was already mentioned, CBG may help to reduce the inflammations caused by IBD.

The CBG benefits look very promising and have all the chances to change modern medicine one day significantly. Nevertheless, much additional research, preclinical and clinical studies are needed to confirm the existing effects and possibly find new ones.

Growth perspectives and barriers in the way of CBG

As with everything new, there are still a lot of hurdles and obstacles when it comes to bringing cannabigerol to masses.

The first and most crucial issue is government regulation. To date, the only way to intensively start research is to take cannabis substances like CBD and CBG out of the “Schedule 1” category. For the moment, only one CBD-based medication is approved by the FDA — it is called Epidiolex. The drug is aimed at treatment epilepsy among children. Human studies are needed to consider other conditions and make a conclusion about the CBG influence on our health.

The second problem is the quality and quantity. When something new enters the world market, you risk getting one of the fakes because of the hype around the novelty. In the case of CBG, besides the problem of quality and originality, there is also a problem of availability. Most of the cannabis plants can produce only a small amount of CBG as it converts into THC and CBD. As a result, we don’t have a lot of cannabigerol available for distribution even in states where it is legal. And, of course, even if you find enough CBG for regular use, its quality is still suspect.

The next problem arises from the previous one. Availability hurdles lead to higher prices. CBG content constitutes around 1% of a standard cannabis plant, so it’s not a surprise that CBG products can’t boast of the reasonable prices. To extract just a tiny bottle of pure CBG oil, manufacturers usually have to go through thousands of pounds of hemp biomass. However, when CBG is blended with CBD or other cannabinoids, the price tag becomes more affordable.

Bottom line

The main goal for scientists all over the world is to offer a maximally wide variety of diverse chemical profiles of cannabis products. Research is spreading with increasing speed due to government approval and provide us with perspective promising results. Heylo Cannabis’ founder and lead chemist, Lo Friesen, said the world industry is shifting to value the genetics and the interest in products like CBG is growing every day. Also, people using cannabis products are evolving to focus on how this plant can help them get the maximum of their lives.

Humanity is developing, and new medications and methods appear regularly. Cannabinoids have become a breakthrough in the world of medicine. They can irrevocably change the modern pharmacology leading to more benefits and less side effects. Studies are continuing, new results and potential benefits are being revealed. The situation with cannabis is changing dramatically, converting it from just the product used to get high to the powerful medication able to treat severe diseases. What will change in the future? We’ll see.


Continue at: https://medium.com/alphagreen/cannabigerol-as-the-new-player-of-cannabinoids-team-cbg-what-can-you-offer-us-91a702774293

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