You have most likely heard of THC (gets you high) and CBD (doesn’t get you high) and their effects on the body, but did you know there are 100s of other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant with different properties? CBG (doesn’t get you high), is one that you may start to hear more about. It is not the most abundant cannabinoid in the plant but its properties have drawn a lot of attention in the medical community as of late.
A little run down on what cannabis does to your body before we get into CBG:
Our bodies all have a endocannabinoid system (ECS) similar to a digestive system or nervous system. The ECS works to keep the body in its balanced state of homeostasis. While there are specific details about how cannabinoids work, in general the endocannabinoid system performs different functions specific to each area of the body. For example, at an injury site, the ECS can help regulate immune cells to limit inflammation.
CBG, specifically, has been found to act on very specific physiological systems and problems. The results in medical research have been looking good so far:
European research shows evidence that CBG is an effective antibacterial agent, particularly against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) microbial strains resistant to several classes of drugs. CBG prevented the ability of MRSA bacteria to form biofilms, which are communities of microorganisms that attach to each other and to surfaces; and it destroyed pre-formed biofilms and cells resistant to antibiotics. CBG achieved this by targeting the cell membrane of the bacteria.
Since the 1950s, topical formulations of cannabis have been effective in skin infections, but researchers at the time were unaware of the plant’s chemical composition.
CBG + Glaucoma
Endocannabinoid receptors are prevalent in eye structures, and interestingly, CBG is thought to be particularly effective in treating glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure. It is a powerful vasodilator and has neuroprotective effects to boot.
CBG + IBS
In animal experiments involving mice, CBG was found to be effective in decreasing the inflammation characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease.
CBG + Cancer
CBG is showing great promise as a cancer fighter. Specifically, CBG was shown to block receptors that cause cancer cell growth. In one such study, it was shown to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells in mice, thereby slowing colon cancer growth. CBG inhibited tumors and chemically-induced colon carcinogenesis, therefore demonstrating a very exciting possibility for a treatment for colorectal cancer.
In a very recent 2017 study, researchers showed that a form of CBG purified to remove delta-9 THC was a very effective appetite stimulant in rats. This may lead to a novel non-psychotropic therapeutic option for cachexia, the muscle wasting and severe weight loss seen in late stage cancer and other diseases.
Scientists are excited about these initial CBG results and are promoting future research with CBG alone or CBG in combination with other cannabinoids and therapies for the treatment of multiple illnesses. There is a lot more research to be done on CBG and the cannabis plant. In the meantime, we can take these early studies as a testament to the plant as a whole and incorporate it as a supplement in our daily lives.
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