What Are Phytocannabinoids and Endocannabinoids?
The cannabis plant, like any other plan, is made up of a wide variety of chemical compounds, which differ in structure and function. Specifically, within the cannabis plant, there are many compounds that are collectively called cannabinoids. Within the human body, there’s a system that interacts with these compounds, which is called the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). This ECS uses these outside cannabinoids in order to achieve a healthy equilibrium inside our bodies. The ECS is also composed of cannabinoids that are produced inside our bodies, which are called ‘endocannabinoids’. In order to function, these cannabinoids (endocannabinoids or phytocannabinoids) mainly attach themselves to two different types of receptors: cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2.
Historically, the majority of people have been familiar with the cannabinoid compounds Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is known to produce the euphoric sensations related to its consumption. On the other hand, Cannabidiol (CBD) does not exhibit any of the psychoactive properties of THC and thus does not get you high. Both CBD and THC are being globally recognized for their profound healing and medicinal potential. However, THC remains recognized as the ‘bad’ part of cannabis. That being said, there are more than 120 cannabinoid compounds within the cannabis plant other than CBD and THC.
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What is Cannabigerol ?
Cannabigerol, known as CBG, is the cannabinoid precursor for other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. One can say that CBG is the stem cell of all other cannabinoids. That said, CBG is not a common cannabinoid and is not present in the cannabis plant in large quantities. Lately, CBG has been studied for its potential medicinal properties. Yet, not a single clinical trial has been conducted to confirm its effects in treating various medical illnesses. CBG has been studied ever since 1960s but the research studies conducted till our current time are still very limited.
So far, some in-vitro and animal studies have noted a potential benefit of CBG in helping patients with colitis, neurodegeneration, and cancer.
As a consequence of the prohibition of cannabis for nearly a century and scarcity of this novel phytocannabinoid compound, the majority of the claims about its efficacy are yet to be proven, however, this doesn’t mean it’s not of great importance.
What is the Difference between CBD and CBG?
Like mentioned before, CBG acts as the stem cell for making CBD, so while they are both phytocannabinoids, they are different cannabinoids within the cannabis plant. Moreover, these two cannabinoids serve different purposes and may help treat different medical conditions, even though some potential pharmacological overlap may be present.
Both CBD and CBG don’t have any of the psychoactive properties that THC has, which causes high sensation and euphoria. Therefore, they will not change your state of mind in any way that would negatively impact your day-to-day function as well as your mental clarity. That being said, CBG and CBD can alter your mind in a way that would potentially help relieve and alleviate pain perception, anxiety, and depression. All of this is through the interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
Like CBD, cannabigerol may counteract the effects of THC by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) in the brain and therefore help overcome the intoxicating effects of THC.
CBG may also increase your appetite. CBG has been studied in rat studies and was found to make them hungrier, which is not the case with CBD according to the recently published studies.
What Are the Potential Medicinal Benefits of CBG?
All of this has yet to be thoroughly proven in many observational and human clinical trials, however, there are some early studies (in the past century) showing that CBG may be a promising treatment option for several medical conditions. Keep in mind, this does not provide definitive proof, even though some studies show promise.
Here are some of the reported therapeutically-beneficial effects of CBG:
- May treat glaucoma and relieve increased intraocular pressure (a risk factor of Glaucoma).
- Have antibacterial properties, particularly for MRSA
- Contributes to GABA reuptake inhibition (relieves psychosis).
- Could help inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.
- May work for Huntington’s and neurodegenerative diseases.
- Potentially fights cancer.
Showing major promise for inflammation-resolution, including inflammatory skin disorders.
So far, there haven’t been reports of adverse side-effects or negative reactions to CBG on its own due to the scarcity of relevant research. Basically, there’s not enough research on it yet. So make sure to always check with your doctor before adding any medications or supplementations, natural, or otherwise-to your regimen.
|Therapeutic Uses||Cannabidiol (CBD)||Cannabigerol (CBG)|
|Anti-ischemic (treats atherosclerosis)||Yes||No|
|Treats Anorexia nervosa/ Stimulates Appetite||Yes||No|