CBG – a compound with promising benefits!
Consumers now have access to many hemp and cannabis products because of the wide range of products they can find on the market. While we are very familiar with CBD and its benefits, consumers are starting to learn more about other cannabinoids. One of the newest cannabinoids to be creating a buzz with health-conscious cannabis users is Cannabigerol or CBG.
What we know so far is that CBG is known as the “mother of all cannabinoids” because it is derived from the acidic precursor CBGA. CBGA is known to be where tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabinoids are derived from. When the hemp plant begins to mature, CBGA slowly converts to other molecules which leave very low levels of CBG in the dried flower – about 1% dry weight. Farmers are beginning to breed special strains that can produce close to 20% CBG (with little THC) and that is a great breakthrough for the medical cannabis community.
CBG can be found in different types of products like oils, capsules, topicals, and edibles. Learning more about CBG will help to understand whether CBG can be right for you.
History of CBG
Scientists have been working with CBG since the 60’s and synthesized in 1971 by the “godfather of cannabis research” Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Goani. Little studies were done throughout the decades, and it was found to be unheard of because it was readily accessible. Fortunately, with the shift of mindset on the benefits of cannabinoids, CBG studies are emerging and showing promising results. Preclinical research is starting to show that CBG is a nonintoxicating compound with many versatile actions in the body. CBG can connect with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and nervous system. It can also interact with the serotonin 1A receptors and neurotransmitter GABA receptors.
Despite its promising pharmacology, there is still little research related to the use of CBG in humans. Thankfully, researchers understand cannabinoids more than they did in the 70s and want to pursue further studies to support their positive benefits.
Experts like physician Dustin Sulak are strong believers in the potential of CBG. Dr. Sulak has been using CBG to treat his patients for a year now. Sulak sees, “strong signals of efficacy in anxiety, pain, and sleep disturbance, usually at doses lower than those required when treating similar symptoms with CBD.” He also mentions that “adverse effects are mild and infrequent, with tiredness begin the most common.” Many of his patients have noted that they are receiving calming effects and relief from sleeplessness and physical nervousness.
An article found on Dr. Sulak’s website outlines the potential benefits of CBG based on what is known through cell and animal studies. Sulak states, “the compound shows promise for improving conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, other inflammatory conditions, glaucoma, mood disorders, and nerve pain.”
Sulak suggests starting with low doses of CBG products that contain at least 30-50% concentration of CBG compared to other cannabinoids in the product. The higher the concentration of CBG, the better and this will help to understand its effectiveness when comparing to CBD.
Link to Article: https://healer.com/blog/guide-to-cbg-benefits/
Physician opinion on pediatric patients
Cannabis physician Bonni Goldstein is also a strong believer in CBG and occasionally prescribes CBG to her pediatric patients who are suffering from autism-related symptoms. Some of the symptoms associated with autism include anxiety, hyperactivity, digestive issues, and speech problems. CBG is introduced by combining CBD and THC in low doses and monitored for effects.
Dr. Goldstein believes that the main reason why she is seeing positive results is because of CBG’s anti-inflammatory properties. She acknowledges using cannabinoids together may also be the result of its positive benefits. This leads to believe that other cannabinoids could have helped to increase the effectiveness. She also mentions that not all her patients have the same results from using CBG and some have negative effects. Those who have negative effects with CBG refrain from using the product right away. And if some are hesitant to use CBG, Goldstein notes to always consult with your practitioner before starting to dose. There is still plenty of research that needs to be completed before knowing for sure CBG can be beneficial in children.
Lastly, Goldstein does mention that she has seen effective results in adults with helping to treat anxiety and pain and helpful for those who did not get the effects they wanted from CBD.
The latest research
Both Sulak and Goldstein’s opinions can be reflected in the recent findings of a survey conducted on 127 CBG adult users in the October 2022 issue of the Journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid research. The research was conducted by medical cannabis expert Ethan Russo and a team of medical researchers at Washington State University and the University of California. This is the first patient survey that is focused on the use of CBG to date.
The test subjects reported that CBG helps with their anxiety, chronic pain, depression and insomnia. Some reported that CBG helped more than prescription medication helped and they were left with little to no side effects. Dr. Russo mentioned, “People were using it for a wide variety of conditions and almost uniformly found it helpful.”
It is worth noting that this is a survey, not a trial and researchers were not able to delegate dosing or how often the patients were taking the CBG. The survey was based on patients using CBG as 50% of the total cannabinoid content in the product they were using. This also means that patients were allowed to use CBD, THC, CBN and other cannabinoids.
There are now trials being conducted to support this survey. Experts predict that CBG will be successful in the process because of its safety, low dosing profile, and efficacy. The evolution of cannabinoids started with CBD breaking those barriers and now CBG is going to follow in CBD’s footsteps because of its promising therapeutic benefits.
Source: Russo, Ethan B et al. “Survey of Patients Employing Cannabigerol-Predominant Cannabis Preparations: Perceived Medical Effects, Adverse Events, and Withdrawal Symptoms.” Cannabis and cannabinoid research vol. 7,5 (2022): 706-716. doi:10.1089/can.2021.0058
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