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The Minor Cannabinoids: Understanding CBG

There are approximately 113 different cannabinoids that have been isolated from cannabis, and those that have been studied exhibit a variety of effects. In the marketplace, we have access to about six: THC, CBD, THCa, CBDa, CBN, and CBG. As technology improves and companies mature, new products featuring additional cannabinoids are beginning to become available, including products with delta-8 THC, THCv, and CBC. This blog will focus on CBG.


Currently, there is little research exploring the effects of CBG—research is currently limited to in vitro (tests done in test tubes, culture dishes, or anywhere outside a living organism) and in rodent models—and there exists no clinical research in humans. One reason that so little research exists is that CBG is not typically found in high concentrations in dried or cured cannabis plants, except in industrial hemp varieties.[1]


The data that is available suggests that CBG might be effective at treating the following conditions:

  • Inflammation: A study published in 2013 [2] stated that CBG has anti-inflammatory properties and that it could be considered for clinical experimentation in patients suffering from intestinal bowel disease.

  • Glaucoma: A 2009 study [3] demonstrated that CBG might have therapeutic potential for the treatment of glaucoma as it might increase fluid drainage and decrease pressure in the eye.

  • Neurological disorders: In a study completed in early 2015, [4] CBG demonstrated neuroprotective effects (it protects and preserves the nerves of the brain from injury, disease, and degeneration) in mice with Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is characterized by the death of nerve cells in the brain and for which there is currently no effective treatment. In this study, CBG inhibited nerve damage and prevented further deterioration. In addition to Huntington’s disease, CBG might provide neuroprotection in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke patients.

  • Cancer: A study from 2014 [5] demonstrated that CBG inhibited the progression of colon cancer in mice.[6] One study [7] suggests that CBG’s anti-cancer properties are due to its influence on the TRP channels (which mediate temperature, pressure, and pain sensation) and this influence might also help protect from prostate cancer. A very old study [8] done on mice suggested that CBG might be effective at treating skin melanoma cells.

  • Bladder dysfunction: A study [9] done in vitro suggested that CGB was the most effective cannabinoid for treating bladder dysfunctions because it decreased bladder contractions.

  • Appetite issues: CBG has been shown to increase appetite in two rat-based studies conducted by researchers at the University of Reading (UK) in 2016 [10] and 2017.[11]

  • Anxiety: Dr. Bonni Goldstein has suggested that CBG inhibits the uptake of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which can decrease anxiety and muscle tension. “When GABA [uptake] is inhibited, you actually have muscle relaxation and you have anti-anxiety effects, so it [CBG] appears to promote similar effects that CBD has. It also appears to have antidepressant and some modest antifungal properties,” Dr. Goldstein stated.

  • Erectile dysfunction: CBG is an antagonist at the 5HT1A receptor (it reduces activation). Some research suggests [12] that activation of the 5-HT1A receptor contributes to erectile dysfunction, suggesting that 5HT1A antagonists (such as CBG) might be a treatment for sexual dysfunction in men. Of course, reasons for sexual dysfunction are complex, and the current research is very limited.

Additionally, Radicle Health patients have reported success when using CBG to help treat anxiety, migraines, mild pain, and hot flashes.


Overall, CBG is very safe. It has no impairing effects, no toxic dose, no withdrawal effects, and no risk of addiction. CBG can be a safe option for use in pediatric and geriatric populations and in patients with a history of psychosis or schizophrenia.


Timothy Byars is a co-founder and the CEO of Radicle Health. Have a question or a response? Leave a comment or email him at info@radiclehealthcare.com.


References:

[1] https://www.medicaljane.com/2013/08/03/cannabigerol-cbg-is-a-minor-cannabinoid-with-major-impact/

[2] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006295213000543

[3] http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jop.1990.6.259

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25252936

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25269802

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570006/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570006/

[8] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02976895

[9] http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/26197538

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27503475

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28125508

[12] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24420990_5-HT1A_receptor_antagonism_reverses_and_prevents_fluoxetine-induced_sexual_dysfunction_in_rats

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