Cannabis alas, remained under heavy fire for decades before people finally started to realise what they’re missing on. The “Cannabis use stigma” that has surrounded the plant ever since its discovery has long overshadowed all its therapeutic and medical benefits, but not anymore.
Times have changed and Cannabis continues to make its impact on people from across the globe whether they are consumers, doctors, researchers or pharmacologists. The advent of technology has also played a part in spreading information and awareness about what could be the next billion dollar industry.
It is no longer looked at as the most common drug of abuse (even though it is and we highly stand against drug abuse), but as the source of some of the most beneficial compounds and natural solutions to many modern problems of mankind.
Documented evidence dating back to 2700 BC at the time of the Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung suggests that the king used cannabis infused tea to assist with a variety of common diseases in that era. Diseases such as malaria, rheumatism and gout were only some of the ailments that were treated using cannabis or hemp.
It is also believed that Queen Victoria, at the time of the British Raj used hemp imported from the Indian Subcontinent to alleviate the symptoms of menstrual cramps during her reign. Her reign ended in 1901.
Throughout the shared history of mankind, cannabis has been used in one way or another to treat different diseases. As research techniques advanced, cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant were discovered, one after the other.
The three main classifications of Cannabis are; Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis. Sativa and Indica are the most commonly found and used cannabis plants for medicinal as well as recreational purposes. Hemp, which has been cherished by everyone from various Asian monks to modern American Presidents, is a type of Cannabis Sativa which is naturally low in THC.
Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers and ex-president of the United States of America not only drafted the Declaration of Independence on paper made from hemp but was also a strong advocate of hemp. He said, and we quote;
“ Hemp is of the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country. ”
CBG: Another Cannabinoid?
We’re pretty sure you’ve only recently discovered that a cannabinoid by the name CBG exists. You must be wondering by now how a new cannabinoid pops up every other day. But trust us you’re not the only ones curious.
Researchers and pharmacologists are taking a keen interest in the plant and it’s actually getting quite tricky, keeping up with all the latest developments in this area. In case you’ve never heard about CBG; no problem, this is the CBG 101 course, and if you have, great ! We’ll try to add to the knowledge base you have already established about this cannabinoid.
Let’s take a look at what exactly CBG is..
What is CBG?
Chemical Formula: C21H32O2
Cannabigerol is not a very well known cannabinoid among Cannabis consumers. Partly because it does not have any direct inclusion in Cannabis derived products out there in the market and partly because it is not as widely researched as compared to THC or even CBD for that matter.
Discovered originally in 1964 by two scientists, namely; Yehiel Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam, this cannabinoid is being studied and researched on extensively just now. The function of CBG, what it’s responsible for and how it does what it does is somewhat clear to scientists. Loopholes still remain, however, because research is a ceaseless process that will keep evolving and enlightening us with new facts of MotherNature.
Does CBG get you high?
CBG, like CBD and CBN is neither psychotropic nor psychoactive. The euphoric bliss and high associated with the recreational use of marijuana is attributed to THC and THC alone which is a compound totally separate from the CBG.
Therefore, CBG cannot and will not get you high in any way.
Are CBG & CBD different?
This is without any doubt, one of the most important questions that need to be addressed in this article. Don’t worry, we got you covered. To understand the newly found cannabinoid (CBG), you will need to dive in the chemistry of this cannabinoid.
We have done our best to make this as comprehensive as we could so that anyone can understand the chemical terms and procedures, be it a layman or a chemist aware of how chemicals work.
As we’ve discussed above, both CBG and CBD are cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. But how do they differ? Well, think of CBG as a parent molecule through which the plant is able to synthesize or further create cannabinoids which include THC, CBD, CBN and many others. Let’s take a look at how this happens.
Cannabigerol (CBG) itself is actually synthesized from Cannabigerolic Acid (CBG-A). Not only is CBG referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids, it also plays a sacrificial role in the plant. It means, as CBG-A converts into other cannabinoids, the concentration of CBG-A and CBG drop notably and thus these extremely low levels create significant extraction problems and limited research.
As the plant moves across its life cycle, the majority of the Cannabigerolic Acid (CBG-A) gets converted into other cannabinoids leaving behind no more than 1% of residue. Now even this 1% residue is not complete CBG but is a mixture of CBG and other cannabinoids.
Want to know about CBD more? This article would be helpful: Types of CBD Concentrates.
What benefits does CBG entail?
The use of hemp-derived and cannabis-infused products has been around for centuries and it is only proof that there was something extraordinary about this plant to begin with. From Chinese monks using it for meditation and spiritual enlightenment purposes to achieve a state of consciousness to indigenous tribes of Africa using it as an integral resource in their culture; this herb has been doing wonders for numerous civilizations long before you and I even existed.
As in the case of other cannabinoids, CBG too, has countless medicinal and therapeutic applications. Since scientists and pharmacologists don’t have quantifiable results (in comparison to its daughter cannabinoids THC and CBD), we still don’t know much about how it would take effect
Let’s take a brief look at the miraculous properties this cannabinoid possess;
- Appetite Stimulant
The fact that there is limited research available on the subject can be attributed to a variety of factors. One key factor as mentioned above is that once the plant ages, much of the CBG-A is synthesized into THC and CBD leaving behind only 1% CBG, making it hard to obtain for research. The second factor is the costly equipment and sophisticated machinery that you need to extract the compound for research.
Researchers, overcoming all the financial and natural hurdles in their way of their exploration, have been able to identify some properties that this cannabinoid holds through animal based research models but they still have a long way to go before they can move on to clinical trials.
Scientists and pharmacologists are keenly interested in this particular cannabinoid due to the promising results it has exhibited. They found CBG to be a promising prospect in the treatment of;
- Substance Abuse and Addiction
- Colon Cancer
- Bacterial Infections
- Pain Relief
- Crohn’s Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
Be advised, we do not, in any way whatsoever, claim or suggest, CBG to be the cure of the above mentioned ailments. Always consult a healthcare professional to clarify any ambiguities you might have. Blogs are just meant to inform you on a topic in a general way. Do not practice self-diagnosis merely through the use of the internet.
CBG & The Interaction With The Human Body
The endocannabinoid system is a naturally occurring receptor for cannabinoids. It is as if God made this system to be a part of humans so that they may benefit from cannabinoids. It comprises two main receptors that are called CB1 and CB2. These receptors are responsible for providing us with the relief these cannabinoids provide by acting as neurotransmitters.
All cannabinoids found in the merry plant of marijuana or hemp interact through the same system with the human body that is the endocannabinoid system. There is however a difference in how these unique cannabinoids interact with the same endocannabinoid system.
For example, THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system producing a euphoric effect and inflicting a trance on the user. THC also makes the endocannabinoid system stimulate appetite and give you the red eyes but all these symptoms are absent when you take CBD.
Research suggests that CBD when taken alongside THC may reduce the psychoactive effects that come your way when you take THC in isolation. Not only does CBG act in a very similar manner but in fact is a more powerful player compared to CBD in this case. By serving as a competitive antagonist for the CB1 receptor found in the endocannabinoid system in humans, CBG may help in reducing the psychedelic effects of THC if taken alongside THC.
Why Is It So Expensive?
The price tag on the CBD compound can drop like a bombshell on many, especially if this is the first time you’re coming across the Cannabinoid. CBG being a precursor to many cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant, is like a hard to catch thief. Moving through its lifecycle it is martyred for the sake of its fellow compounds.
We’re sure by now you’ve understood why the compound is so pricey. As mentioned above, CBG present in the cannabis plant converts into other cannabinoids and is left no more than 1% of its total concentration by the time it matures. The second factor that comes into play is the sophisticated equipment that is required to extract the compound, making it difficult (and expensive) to study and use CBG.
CBD and CBG: What Does The Future Hold?
As the smoke clears and sun shines bright in the cannabis realm, as more and more people get rid of the stigma that has sucked this plant like a parasite for decades, keeping us detached from its miraculous therapeutic benefits, we feel confident that the tides are turning and the future seems promising in this space.
Consumers as well as researchers have shown a massive interest in hemp/cannabis derived products (referring to CBD products) and it won’t be long before all of the cannabinoids join the executive popularity club.