Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of the many cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant. It is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, and the one from which other important compounds such as CBD and THC are all derived. As a result, CBG is currently thought to be one of the major building blocks of cannabinoids. If CBG cultivation can be carefully manipulated and controlled, it could result in the facilitation and emergence of newer variants of cannabis with even higher CBD and THC levels.
CBG plays a very significant role in the growth of cannabis. Without CBG, the cannabis plant would be unable to produce its most essential ingredients such as THC and CBD. Since CBG is the main building block for THC and CBD cultivation, less than 1% of it usually remains in the cannabis plant after it has been harvested. With a lot of cannabis varieties, CBG levels are actually below 0.1%. In order for cannabis to contain large amounts of THC and CBD, it must also produce large amounts of CBG. Research also shows that CBG itself has an array of significant health benefits, as well.
At the time of writing, CBG is being actively studied in its potential connection with the alleviating of colitis, with a particular focus on its effects as an anti-inflammatory. According to research published in the Journal of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, CBG was demonstrably the most effective cannabinoid in reducing inflammation. And so this research demonstrates promising results with regards to a positive relationship between CBG and colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Huntington’s disease is a progressive and degenerative disease of the nervous system. The potential role of CBG’s neuro-protective qualities have been investigated, and the research so far has been extremely promising. It shows that the results of testing CBG’s role have been so positive, as to encourage scientists to champion further research into the use of CBG either alone, or in conjunction with other phyto-cannabinoids and therapies for neuro-generative diseases like Huntington’s disease.
CBG, alongside other cannabinoids, have been researched not just for their role in the palliative-care element of treatments for cancers, but also as a potential joint method of treatment to be used alongside existing chemotherapies. This is because it has been shown to slow down the speed and replication of cancer cells, and in some exciting cases, has even been able to remove them entirely. Research conducted in the 1990s was able to demonstrate the inhibition of melanoma cell growth on the skin of laboratory mice. By 2014, a paper published in Carcinogenesis Journal stated that CBG had been found to promote apoptosis – a type of cell death – as well as slowing the growth of cells in colorectal cancer. The study highlights how CBG could be the most effective cannabinoid in treating colorectal cancer, owing to the fact that CBG does not bind itself to CB2 receptors (something which most other cannabinoids do). CB2 receptors have been shown to actually accelerate colorectal cancer, and so CBG’s unique mechanism for blocking that process, could be crucial.
CBG is not psycho-active. What that means is that it does not have the kind of mood-enhancing effect that THC has. However, it is not currently clear how CBG interacts with other cannabinoids; and, whether CBG increases the effects of other types of cannabinoids when used synergistically with them, is also not yet known.
Cannabis experts are actively working towards creating new high-CBG cannabis seeds. If we are lucky, we may only be a year or two away from being able to home-grow such high-CBG cannabis from special feminised seeds. The first indications are promising, and point to the fact that it will soon be possible to cultivate buds that do not contain any THC at all. This means that the first high-CBG varieties will be classified as a new type of “cannabis light” (mild-acting cannabis). CBG would thus end up following in essentially the same footsteps as CBD did – both being cannabinoids, but with little to no psycho-active effects. High-CBD buds with low THC levels have generally become known as “cannabis light”. These buds are very popular in many countries, where they can be purchased legally in tobacconists, herbal and health-food stores as well as drugstores. High-CBD “cannabis light” buds also have the advantage of looking and smelling like “real” cannabis. For others, CBD has shown the aforementioned beneficial effects on their health.
One of the most important issues concerning high-CBG cannabis surrounds its potential medicinal uses. At the current time, it would be premature to accurately predict the answer to this, before and until high-CBG cannabis is researched further and then used more widely in medicine. It is only then that we will begin to fathom how CBG can be most useful. Thus far, the exciting research has been very encouraging. When cannabis rich in CBD was first introduced in the last decade or so, no one would have thought that CBD would be as popular as it has eventually become. And similarly, no one expected CBD to be utilised in so many different areas, both recreational and medicinal. Will cannabigerol follow a similar trajectory? Will we find new cannabinoids in the future that will be as interesting and exciting as CBD? Never before has there been such an elevated level of interest in the medicinal use of cannabis, for both physical and mental health-related illnesses.
It will take some time to work out precisely how CBG can be most effectively utilised. And, should high-CBG feminised seeds become commercially available over the next 12 to 18 months, then life-changing times lie ahead for both the cannabis enthusiast and connoisseur alike, especially as both home and commercial cultivation of cannabis is reaching ever more sophisticated heights.