The hemp plant continues to amaze the population with all of the unique benefits and uses it has to offer. It is used for food, textile, and most notably, for medicine. The benefits of CBD have become well known, and countless individuals are benefiting from CBD. Another cannabinoid that is gaining popularity is cannabigerol, or CBG for short. The effects of CBG are slightly different than those of CBD, but also retain many of the same qualities. CBG also offers unique benefits when used alone, or better yet in conjunction to a CBD product.
To better understand the effects of CBG on the mind and body, it is important to understand some basic information related to cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a large network of receptor sites throughout the body. This system is responsible for regulating different functions throughout the body including appetite, mood, pain, and many other basic functions. Cannabinoids are compound found in the cannabis plant that bind to these receptors. It can be imagined the same way as when a key fits into a lock. Each cannabinoid has its own unique function, therefore can be used to help with a variety of imbalances. CBG in particular binds to the CB2 receptors found throughout the body. The specific functions CBG has is relieving anxiety, pain, and depression.
Studies performed by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam from Israel have also shown CBG helps substantially with reducing intraocular pressure. Intraocular pressure is partially responsible for glaucoma, and reducing brings relief to those afflicted. Medical marijuana has been used to treat glaucoma for decades, however with information on the specific functions of cannabinoids, treatments can be improved substantially.
Many people associate the use of cannabis with the “high” that certain varieties induce. CBG is considered nonpsychoactive, and does not create a high. The high from cannabis is due to large concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is present in particular varieties. By using plant enzymes, THC is biosynthesized by CBG during the flowering period of plant growth. CBG has unique benefits, however it was not until recent years it was very accessible. Farmers have since created a variety of CBG flower which produces a product containing over 15% CBG.
The endocannabinoid system is a large network of receptors throughout the body. Some of the functions of this system is regulating sleep, appetite, and pain. Because of the specific function CBG has, it is able to provide relief for particular ailments. The fact that CBG is not psychoactive makes it a much more appealing option than THC to many people. Although THC does have a huge potential for benefit, many people do not wish to be impaired. This can be related to work, religious, or any other reason. CBG is a great option because it contains many of the same benefits of THC, however does not create the high. Chemically speaking, the two compounds are structured similarly. This allows them both to bind to the receptors in a particular way. As mentioned previously, CBG predominately binds to the CB2 receptor, and partially to the CB1 receptor. It is believed by many that the preference for CB2 receptors is what makes some cannabinoids non-psychoactive. The partial binding that occurs from CBG to the CB1 receptor is believed to be responsible for the strong anti anxiety and anti-depressant qualities. It acts on the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter. This is sometimes called the break system of the brain, and promotes relaxation. Many popular medications currently on the market target the GABA neurotransmitter, but often come with harsh side effects. CBG is believed to act on this neurotransmitter in a more effective manner, with less reported side affects. Much of this evidence is anecdotal, however a good amount of research was conducted by a doctor in Israel. This study on the effects of CBG was conducted by Raphael Mechoulam, and has pioneered cannabinoid research and served as a foundation for future research.
CBG for Glaucoma
It has long been believed that cannabis had a profound effect on glaucoma. Glaucoma was one of the original ailments that states considered a qualifying issue for medical marijuana. It is caused by a large amount of intraocular pressure(IOP) . What this means is people suffering from glaucoma experience a large increase in intraocular pressure.
Although cannabis has been used for decades to ease the symptoms of glaucoma, it has recently been more understood why this works. The National Institute of Health (NIH) stated “In 1971, Hepler and Frank reported a 25–30% IOP lowering effect of smoking marijuana in a small number of subjects.28 The duration of action of marijuana after smoking was relatively short, about 3–4 hours, and there seemed to be a dose-response relation.28,29 Other ocular effects were observed such as conjunctival hyperaemia, reduced tear production, and change in pupil size”
This is promising news for those suffering from glaucoma. What this means is the quality of life of people suffering from glaucoma can be improved. Even more important, many believe this could help prevent the chances of blindness from glaucoma. CBG is believed to be a major contributing factor in helping with glaucoma. The effects of CBG pertaining to glaucoma offer a promising sigh of relief for those suffering and their loved ones.
CBG for Depression
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 16.2 million U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2016. This staggering figure represents 6.7% of the adult population. With these numbers rising, it is crucial that we find a solution. Medications such as SSRI’s are often prescribed, but many times do not work or have unbearable side effects.
The stigma behind mental health has began to fade in recent years, but it is important to talk about it in order to reach a solution. One proposed idea that is being used by many is using different cannabinoids to ease symptoms of depression. With over 47,000 suicides occurring annually, this option has been tried by many.
Anecdotal evidence and accounts are astonishing when it pertains to the success of using cannabinoids to help depression. CBG in particular is a relatively newer cannabinoid that is proving to provide a huge impact. By acting on the endocannabinoid system, the body and brain are able to restore themselves to homeostasis, without any dangerous chemicals. This is important to many who do not wish to become dependent on medication and temporarily cover up the issue. By using CBG, the quality of life is often improved to the point the subject can naturally help themselves. The effects of CBG on depression are becoming more well known, and are worth exploring.
CBG has also been shown to act on the neurotransmitter GABA, which regulates mood and levels of anxiety. When CBG binds to these receptors, it is reported to lower anxiety levels. High levels of anxiety can often be a huge contributing factor to depressed mood.
CBG for Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue, with an estimated 40 million in the United States alone affected by it. Some estimates are even higher, stating 40% of Americans claim increasing levels of anxiety. The U.S. also has a growing dependency on anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines. Long term use of benzodiazepines is one of the most dangerous due to the chance of dependency.
With so many Americans dealing with anxiety, the effects of CBG and other cannabinoids are becoming more common knowledge. As mentioned previously, using CBG for anxiety has been reported to work. By binding to the GABA receptors, people are able to become more relaxed. CBG acts on the same receptors as many popular pharmaceutical medications, but far less side effects have been reported by those consuming cannabis products. As we dive deeper into the understanding of cannabis and our endocannabinoid systems, we unravel a wealth of information on why this plant has traditionally been used as medicine.
The phenomenon known as the “entourage effect” is achieved when different cannabinoids and terpenes found within the cannabis plant work in conjunction with each other to create a synergistic effect. For example, CBD isolate is effective on its own, but mixing it with other products can be more effective. This creates the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.
The entourage effect can help benefit a wider variety of ailments. It is important to understand how the individual cannabinoids interact with each other. For example, with full spectrum CBD products, the trace amount of THC is just enough to help the other cannabinoids bind to the receptors. It also allows a wider range of specific receptor sites with specific functions. The binding affinity of certain cannabinoids varies from one to the other, and have different courses of action.
This phenomenon relates to CBG because on its own, CBG has many different benefits. However, when CBG is consumed in the form of flower, the other cannabinoids and strain specific terpenes create a synergistic effect on the mind and body. This whole plant experience is thought by many to be the most beneficial. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, and it has traditionally been whole plant extracts that have been consumed.
The effects of CBG can have a large positive impact for many different people. CBG is believed to help with anxiety, depression, glaucoma, and many other ailments. The effects of CBG can vary, and it is always important to check what works best for you. Because of the entourage effect, using CBG flower is thought by many to be the most effective. As cannabinoid research continues, we will learn more applications for this fascinating plant.