CBG (Cannabigerol): Effects, Benefits & More

Cannabigerol (CBG) Header

This post is part of a series on cannabis compounds. For more information and a listing of all other cannabinoids, see our Cannabis Compounds overview.

Cannabigerol or CBG is one of the lesser known phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, this compound is non-psychoactive and does not produce the high associated with marijuana use. This molecule is found in only small amounts in most marijuana and hemp strain. Despite its low yield and lesser-known status, CBG carries some important therapeutic benefits that make it well worth discussing.

CBG Molecule

Activity: Non-psychoactive
Formula: C21H32O2 
Molecular Mass: 314.2246 g/mol 
Melting Point: 52 °C (126 °F) 
Boiling Point: N/A 

The synthesis for CBG begins with the acid-form CBGA. This raw phytocannabinoid is known as the stem-cell cannabinoid because it is the starting point for the synthesis of most major cannabinoids in cannabis. CBGA is primarily converted to THCA, CBDA, or CBCA when the cannabis plant matures, leaving only a small amount of the source compound. When the remaining CBGA is heated through a process called decarboxylation, CBG is formed.

What Are the Effects of CBG?

Cannabigerol has been observed to have one of the widest ranging impacts of any of the naturally occurring cannabinoids. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid has been shown via research to activate α2-adrenoceptors, bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors, and block CB1 and 5-HT1A receptors. Additional research shows that CBG blocks transient receptor potential (TRP) M8 (TRPM8), activates TRPA1, TRPV1, and TRPV2 channels and inhibits the reuptake of endocannabinoids.

This wide range of effects on various systems in the body results in a long list of potential medicinal benefits which we outline below. One notable synergy is CBG's interaction with the endocannabinoid system. By acting as a mild CB1 receptor antagonist, it acts to help reduce the less desirable effects of ingesting psychoactive amounts of THC.

What Are the Medical Benefits of CBG?

Though appearing in much lesser quantities when compared to cannabinoids like THC or CBD, cannabigerol offers a list of therapeutic medicinal benefits to rival any other cannabinoid. Research continues to point to a wide variety of potential uses in the treatment of a wide range of conditions. This has sparked significant interest from the medical community, and new studies are underway.

  • Bone growth and healing - A 2007 study pointed to CBG and other cannabinoids as being effective in the healing of bone fractures by promoting new bone growth.
  • Cancer-fighting - In a 2014 study focused on colorectal cancer (CRC) noted that this cannabinoid "inhibited the growth of xenograft tumors as well as chemically induced colon carcinogenesis" and "should be considered translationally in CRC prevention and cure."
  • Pain relief - CBG among other cannabinoids have been shown as effective in reducing pain from a wide range of sources including being caused by multiple sclerosis and cancer. The study also shows that these cannabis-based medicines could be combined with other pharmaceuticals in the treatment of pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory + Anti-Oxidant - A wide range of studies point to this and other phytocannabinoids as being effective in reducing inflammation.
  • Reduces intraocular pressure - Among the range of available cannabinoids, cannabigerol has shown to be particularly effective in treating glaucoma.
  • Antibacterial and antifungal - The major cannabinoids all exhibit antibacterial and antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Specifically, CBG has been shown to be highly effective against MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • Depression and anxiety - A 2016 report cites CBG as 'a neglected phytocannabinoid' going on to suggest that this and other phytocannabinoids could provide effective non-psychoactive alternatives for treating anxiety and depression.
  • Neuroprotective - A 2015 animal-based study cited cannabigerol as being "extremely active as neuroprotectant". The conclusion of the research points to phytocannabinoids being used alone or in tandem with other therapies in the treatment of diseases like Huntington's, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's, disease.
  • Overactive bladder treatment - Both CBG and THCV were observed in a 2015 study to have the strongest ability to reduce bladder contractions when compared across all phytocannabinoids.
  • Appetite stimulant - Observed in animal models, this cannabinoid was studied in 2016 an effective appetite stimulant. This points to a non-psychoactive application for the treatment of eating conditions and managing weight.
  • Psoriasis treatment - Endocannabinoid receptors present in the skin allow for the use of topical cannabinoid applications as a possible treatment for psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Where Can You Find CBG?

Marijuana and hemp growers focused on higher CBG production will often cultivate younger plants where less CBGA has been converted. These strains result in higher CBG levels when decarboxylated. In the medical marijuana space, there are some strains known to carry high levels of this cannabinoid including Holy Grail Kush, LSD, and SAGE.

In the non-psychoactive hemp-derived space, you'll be hard pressed to find minor-phytocannabinoid specific products being produced. When setting out to find lesser known cannabinoids like cannabigerol, your best bet is to search for concentrated full and broad spectrum offerings. As always, looking for high-quality brands that provide batch-level lab reports is your best place to start. It shouldn't take long to find a product that contains measurable amounts of CBG.

Originally Published: September 19, 2018 | Last Updated: September 27, 2018

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