Might This Multipurpose Cannabinoid Be the Next Big Thing?
“Does anyone know where I can get some CBG-rich hemp seeds?”
This was a question that I saw a Facebook friend ask just this morning.
To the woke-but-uninformed, this may look like a great moment to correct the gentleman, confidently assuming he meant to type CBD. However, we all know what happens when we assume…
Yes, hemp-derived CBD has been a hot commodity for over a half a decade now and will continue to be for a long, long time.
Long overdue lab-grade research into the cannabis/hemp plant has revealed the importance of not only CBD and THC – the two most abundant cannabinoids in most cannabis cultivars – but of the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes.
CBG is one such cannabinoid that is intriguing researchers as they spend more time analyzing its isolated form and how it interacts with other cannabinoids.
The future of cannabinoid therapy starts now so let’s examine CBG and see if we can determine what, if any, therapeutic or recreational value it may hold now or in the future.
CBG aka CANNABIGEROL
In most cannabis or hemp cultivars, CBG will make up just 1% or less of the total cannabinoid content when testing the harvested buds or flowers of the plant.
Due to this relative scarcity CBG is referred to as a minor cannabinoid, but in its raw or acidic form (CBGa), it actually serves as a crucial building block in the plant’s final cannabinoid expression.
Here’s how it works.
Enzymes in the cannabis or hemp plant, along with environmental factors such as temperature and/or UV light, interact with the plant’s early production of CBGa, directing the majority of those acids into advanced CBDa, THCa, or CBCa production.
The more THC and/or CBD a plant has, the less abundant the CBG will be in the end product.
WHAT DOES CBG DO?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in each one of us has receptors located throughout the body. While flooding that system with a full spectrum of cannabinoids is generally the best practice, we are learning that certain cannabinoids can be targeted at certain regions of the body or at specific ailments.
Such seems to be the case with CBG.
Unlike THC, CBG appears to be non-psychoactive, even in concentrated doses.
So, its recreational ‘value’ is next to none, but the potential therapeutic value of this single cannabinoid is mind blowing.
CBG has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure on the eyes, making it a potentially groundbreaking treatment for glaucoma patients. It should come as no surprise that our eye region is rich in receptors.
A powerful neuroprotectant, CBG has been shown to mitigate the otherwise debilitating effects of Huntington’s Disease. It can also reduce inflammation to combat irritable bowel syndrome, it can treat otherwise untreatable MRSA conditions, and in its isolated/non-psychoactive form it has been shown to improve appetite in test subjects.
Early research shows real promise that CBG specifically may be the cure for colorectal cancer in the not-too-distant future.
What does CBG do? Besides “get you baked…”, what doesn’t it do?
HOW TO INCREASE YIELDS OF CBG
As mentioned, as cannabis or hemp plants flip the switch to start focusing predominantly on either CBD or THC production, the natural balance of CBG content begins to diminish.
As much as peer-reviewed, lab-grade research helps to move the mainstream opinion of the plant, real, respectable research has been happening in sun-soaked fields and well-lit basements for decades and now, as back then, innovation in cannabinoid cultivation is well underway in the grassroots of the cannabis and hemp culture.
Breeders and farmers are working together to develop strains or cultivars that will naturally pump higher levels of CBG to the final harvest and into finished products.
Similarly, cannabis extraction artists have drafted gameplans for concentrating all the most prevalent cannabinoids.
Those plans provide specific details pertaining to exactly when the plants should be harvested (early!), what solvents and processes should be used to perform the extraction, etc. to maximize yields of CBG.
With more focus on this fascinating cannabinoid by both scientists and wooks alike, it is a safe bet that we will soon see useful products boasting natural CBG levels once thought impossible.