With the popularity of THC and CBD, it’s easy to forget that the hemp plant alone contains hundreds of other healing cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that each offer unique, therapeutic benefits. Despite their potent and soothing effects, it’s quite rare to hear about these lesser-known compounds that could be better suited to support your relief. Here we highlight one of our favorite underrated cannabinoid for inflammation, immunity, and brain health: cannabigerol (CBG).
What is CBG?
CBG is known as the “stem cell” or “mother” of all cannabinoids as its acidic form (CBGA) is known to be the precursor molecule of all other major cannabinoids. Hemp and cannabis plants all start off with a great abundance of CBGA, which largely becomes CBD and THC as the plant develops. A small percentage of CBGA also results in the formation of ‘minor cannabinoids,’ which includes CBG among a few others such as CBC, CBN, etc. Although very similar to CBD, there are some notable differences on how CBG interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), as well as its effect on our bodies.
CBD vs CBG
As you might have guessed, these two cannabinoids share many things in common. Both are non-intoxicating compounds that naturally form in the hemp plant from which they are derived. They both influence our ECS to support biological systems such as mood, sleep, immunity, etc. to ease the impact of everyday pain and stress.
It’s important to note that while CBD indirectly interacts with our ECS, research shows that CBG directly binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors – suggesting that CBG has the potential to deliver impactful benefits with more success. Another big difference between these two cannabinoids is that most cannabis plants only contain around 1% CBG compared to a hefty 25% CBD. Meaning that although CBG may provide greater benefits, it can be much more troublesome and expensive to isolate.
CBG for Pain and Inflammation
Though CBG has numerous soothing effects, it is best known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic capabilities. Inflammation is a natural response of the body’s immune system to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to a variety of health problems. These make CBG a popular cannabinoid amongst those with arthritis, gut inflammation, neurodegenerative disease, and even certain cancers.
By directly binding to our CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBG can help regulate the production and release of certain immune cells, cytokines, and certain enzymes that are all involved in the inflammatory response. On top of cell mediation, CBG has been shown to also have antioxidant properties and help neutralize free radicals in the body. Inflammation and oxidative stress are closely linked, and antioxidants such as CBG can help reduce the number of harmful radicals to ultimately reduce inflammation.
Furthermore, our CB1 and CB2 receptors are also closely involved in our perception of pain – meaning that this cannabinoid can reduce pain associated with inflammatory diseases. CBG has been shown to interact with other pain receptors as well (such as TRPV1 and serotonin receptors) to reduce pain sensitivity and improve overall pain management.
Besides helping with inflammation and pain, CBG has also been reported to help appease nausea, increase appetite, and inhibit certain cancers.
Incorporating CBG in Your Routine
Hearing about CBG’s powerful healing properties may make you question why it isn’t more frequently used or easier to find on the market. As mentioned above, CBG exists in relatively low abundance – only making up around 1% of the entire hemp plant. Though there are plants being engineered to produce a higher percentage of CBG, these strains are still in their preliminary stages and CBG remains difficult to isolate as of now.
It may be challenging to find a CBG isolate product, however CBG can be easily found with CBD in any hemp extract labelled ‘Full Spectrum’ or ‘Broad Spectrum.’ Using these two cannabinoids together not only allows you to get benefits from each compound but elevates your experience entirely by working synergistically to boost effects.
While research on CBG is still in the early stages, these initial findings suggest that CBG may be a promising natural remedy for reducing inflammation and managing inflammatory conditions. As more research uncovers how CBG works in the body, we’re eager to see its future implications on inflammatory disease treatment and natural pain management!