What is CBG?
The cannabis plant constitutes many cannabinoid compounds, the most abundant of which are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these cannabinoids have shown great medicinal benefits in treating many medical conditions. Therefore, they have received great attention from researchers in the past few decades. On the other hand, there are many other cannabinoids that are also derived from cannabis, such as cannabigerol (CBG).
Unlike both THC and CBD, CBG has not gained much attention because it is present in cannabis in very scarce amounts. However, this does not take away its potential therapeutic benefits in many medical conditions. This has been highlighted in recent studies that were published in the past few years.
The Therapeutic Potential of CBG
Researchers have focused on investigating the medicinal uses of cannabis in a wide variety of diseases; however, CBG has gained particular interest recently for its potential therapeutic applications. Fortunately, the body of evidence that highlights the effectiveness of CBG in medical disorders is increasing day by day. Herein, we will mention some of the promising effects of CBG in preclinical and clinical research.
Pain and Inflammation
Pain and inflammation are the hallmarks of many medical problems, including joint diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, and many others. In the majority of cases, alleviating the pain and inflammation could dramatically improve the quality of life of affected individuals and make them able to continue their activities of daily living.
A growing body of evidence highlights that CBG is effective in reducing the degree of pain. More importantly, during the 14th World Congress on Pain in 2012, it was concluded that CBG is of great benefit in alleviating pain in many health conditions that are associated with pain.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease is categorized into two main disease entities: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both of these diseases are characterized by the inflammation of certain parts of the colon and are often associated with bleeding per rectum and abdominal pain. Recent research, based on animal studies, indicates that CBG might become a therapeutic option for treating inflammatory bowel diseases through the alleviation of colon inflammation and pain reduction.
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disorder characterized by neuroinflammation. This disorder occurs all of a sudden and is often initiated by a stimulus that can range from a head injury to infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders.
CBG has been shown to provide neuroprotection in animals with multiple sclerosis. This indicates that CBG could be an effective alternative option to standard care for treating multiple sclerosis.
Tumors and Cancer
Cannabinoids, in general, have shown great benefit in targeting the pathways that lead to the development of cancer. At the same time, cannabinoids, such as CBD help in treating cancer-related nausea and vomiting.
Recent research indicates that CBG is one of the cannabinoids that could potentially prevent the occurrence and the progression of different kinds of cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, gastric cancer, brain tumors (such as glioma), leukemia, and thyroid cancer. However, this field still requires more research to be able to conclude the effectiveness of CBG in various types of cancer.
Psychological and Mood Disorders
There is a high prevalence rate of mood disorders among the general population, including anxiety and depression. Preclinical research showed that the endocannabinoid system, through which cannabinoids exert their effects, is involved in the occurrence of depression and anxiety. Meanwhile, recent research has shown that CBG can effectively treat anxiety and depression through the antagonism (inactivation) of certain cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
Other Applications for CBG
Based on preclinical, animal, and human research, CBG has shown great therapeutic potential in treating the following conditions:
- Weight loss: by increasing food intake and the number of meals
- Prostate cancer: by inhibiting the synthesis of testosterone, which promotes the development and progression of prostate cancer
- Inflammatory and allergic skin disorders
- Glaucoma: by reducing the amount of intraocular pressure (the pressure inside the eye)
- Bacterial infections: It has been shown that CBG has superior therapeutic benefits in fighting against bacterial infections compared to CBD and THC. CBG has also shown great benefit in fighting against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is known as one of the most dangerous infections that hospitalized patients get during their hospital stay. This type of infection is resistant to regular and standard antibiotics; however, CBG acts as a promising alternative in treating this kind of infection
Is CBG Similar to CBD in Therapeutic Efficacy?
Despite the fact that CBD is given more attention for its therapeutic uses in various diseases as compared to CBG, the medicinal properties of CBG are somewhat similar to that of CBD. In the following graph, we will highlight the most common uses of CBD and CBG in clinical practice.