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Is CBG the New CBD?

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Written by Lydia Kariuki

Cannabigerol (CBG) has been on the radar lately, with claims that it is the new cannabidiol (CBD). Some may be referring to CBG as the latest fad, while others may be thinking that it could replace CBD. Here, we dive further into this issue.

CBG is one of the numerous chemical compounds found in cannabis.[1] It belongs to a group of compounds known as cannabinoids. The most well known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.

Just like CBD, CBG is non-intoxicating.[1] This means that it does not cause that “high” feeling associated with THC use.

Cannabis in its raw form contains the acidic form of CBG, which is cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Under certain conditions, CBGA is broken down into CBG and CBD (as well as other cannabinoids).[2]

Science is only beginning to catch up with the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids due to many years of prohibition. CBG is also found in very small amounts in cannabis (less than 1%), making it expensive to study. So far, studies on CBG are limited to the lab; there are no clinical trials as of yet.

Let’s review some preliminary investigations of this hot new compound:

  • One study showed that CBG is an α2-adrenergic receptor agonist.[3] This means that it may have potential as an analgesic or antidepressant, and may also provide benefits for psoriasis.
  • In another study, it was shown that CBG has appetite-stimulating properties; however, it appears that CBG may work on a different pathway to produce these effects compared to THC.[4]
  • CBG has also shown potential in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease based on results from a pre-clinical model of colitis.[5]
  • Lastly, CBG may offer neuroprotective benefits as demonstrated in some pre-clinical Huntington’s disease models.[6]

So, is CBG really the new CBG?

Based on preliminary findings showing some differences in therapeutic potential between the two compounds, it is highly unlikely that one can replace the other. What can be argued is the fact that both compounds have significant therapeutic potential that should be investigated further.

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Bu6BSErSL_M

References

  1. Navarro G, et al. Cannabigerol action at cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and at CB1-CB2 heteroreceptor complexes. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9(632):1-14.
  2. Aizpurua-Olaizola O, et al. Evolution of the cannabinoid and terpene content during the growth of cannabis sativa plants from different chemotypes. J Nat Prod. 2016;79(2):324-331.
  3. Cascio MG, et al. Evidence that the plant cannabinoid cannabigerol is a highly potent α2-adrenoceptor agonist and moderately potent 5HT1A receptor antagonist. Br J Pharmacol. 2010; 159(1):129-141.
  4. Brierley D, et al. Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016;233(19):3603-3613.
  5. Borrelli F, et al. Beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease. Biochem Pharmacol. 2013;85(9):1306-1316.
  6. Valdeolivas S, et al. Neuroprotective properties of cannabigerol in Huntington’s disease: Studies in R6/2 mice and 3-nitropropionate-lesioned mice. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(1):185-199.

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Lydia Kariuki

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