It's long overdue but now
Philly is slammin'
Boyz II Men, CBD, CBG
The east coast family
(Boyz II Men, slightly augmented to fit my narrative)
Try getting that song out of your head for the rest of the day dear reader — I suggest “The Girl From Ipanema,” and specifically the Stan Getz version, better known as the lemon sorbet of music. Half of you will know exactly what I’m talking about, and the other half will have no idea what I’m talking about. But, uh, back to the lecture at hand...
Just when I thought I was all in-the-know, dropping my knowledge about cannabidiol (CBD) everywhere, along comes cannabigerol (CBG). What is CBG? Full disclosure, I have not taken a chemistry class since high school, and the last time I used the term chemistry it was probably more along the lines of how a person on “The Bachelor” would use it in an attempt to get the milk for free, if you know what I’m saying, so bear with me.
What is CBG and What are CBG’s Effects?
CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid as it is present in less than 1% of most cannabis strains. From what I have read, production is seemingly difficult or relatively less attractive in that producers need to actively decide to grow plant varieties with lower THC levels (going against market trends for more THC) and/or harvest plants earlier in the flowering cycle (again going against most other trends). This leaves CBG as the most expensive-to-produce cannabinoid, the “Rolls Royce” of cannabinoids as it were.
A Look at The Endocannabinoid System and What CBG is Helpful for
Your body has its very own built-in endocannabinoid system (ECS) with two flavors of receptors, CB1 and CB2 (not associated with the trendy home store, probably). Think of this as a system of the body like others you know (e.g. immune, endocrine, reproductive). According to Sona Pharmacy + Clinic:
“The ECS impacts physiological processes such as pain modulation, memory, appetite, anti-inflammatory responses, and immune system regulation. Based on current research of the endocannabinoid system, it is believed that its function is to achieve homeostasis or the stability of your internal environment.
The endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating a range of functions and processes in the body. It does so through those cell receptors and corresponding molecules. Cell receptors behave like locks on your cells. The keys to these locks are endocannabinoids. Each time an endocannabinoid binds to a cell receptor, it communicates a message, giving your cells specific directions.”
What CBG is Capable of Doing in the Body
What is CBG’s role in the endocannabinoid system? CBG appears to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors more directly and powerfully than CBD. According to Leafly, potential CBG effects and benefits include:
- Glaucoma (CBG is thought to reduce intraocular pressure)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington’s Disease (a recent study shows promising protection of neurons in mice)
- Cancer (CBG has been shown to block receptors that cause cancer cell growth and specifically has shown promise with colorectal cancer treatment)
- Antibacterial agent
- Bladder dysfunction disorders (CBG has been shown to inhibit muscle contractions)
- Other non-psychotropic applications (analgesic, therapy for psoriasis, antidepressant)
- CBG also appears to prevent side effects such as paranoia in heavy THC users (just something for that next Phish show).
How CBG is Made
CBG is best described as the “parent” cannabinoid. Not in the sense that it isn't here to be your friend but to prepare you best for life, but in the sense that every other cannabinoid starts as CBG and then eventually converts into another, including THC and CBD.
“In terms of how well it connects to CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBG seems to be much more effective and direct than CBD. Similarly to CBD, CBG does not have psychoactive effects (meaning it won’t get you high),” Dr. Torradas, MD, shared while speaking with Women’s Health Magazine.
Did you manage to get Motownphilly out of your head yet? Apologies if you’re right back to where you started in our lesson on “what is CBG?” CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid, but only in the sense that it is found in less than 1% of cannabis strains, whereas other cannabinoids like THC and CBD are considered major, therefore more abundant. CBG interacts with cannabinoid receptors (part of the ECS) located throughout your body to maintain homeostasis. CBG is being studied for a variety of potential therapeutic benefits and uses including pain relief, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antibacterial properties, slowing the proliferation of cancer cells, enhanced energy, and more.
Questions about what CBG is and how CBG’s effects could help? I’ll do my best to answer. Lay ‘em on me.