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Cannabigerol (CBG for short) is a phytocannabinoid found in the hemp plant. As many positive therapeutic effects are reported regularly regarding this cannabinoid, it has also become a focus of research. So, let’s take a closer look at this interesting substance and summarise the results to date.
What is CBG?
CBG, i.e. cannabigerol, occurs naturally in the hemp plant, with its concentration varying between the different species of cannabis. The concentration found in Cannabis indica, also known as Indian hemp, is particularly high.
CBGa, i.e. cannabigerolic acid, is the precursor of CBG and at the same time the parent molecule of many other cannabinoids. All plants contain some quantity of cannabigerolic acid. During the plant’s ripening process, enzymes convert this acid into various other cannabinoid acids. These include THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBDa (cannabidiolic acid) and others. THC, CBD and CBG are then obtained by means of additional processes.
Cannabigerol was first discovered in 1964, when it was found to be a component of hashish, the resin of the female cannabis plant.
In contrast to THC, the intoxicating component of the hemp plant, CBG is non-psychotropic, i.e. it does not alter one’s state of consciousness. For this reason it is not subject to the legal restrictions which apply to narcotics in the UK and is therefore freely available for sale.
The effects of cannabigerol (CBG)
The effects of CBG have not yet been fully researched. The active ingredient is considered to be anti-inflammatory and effective against oxidative stress. Furthermore, appetite-suppressing properties have been observed during experiments.
It is currently understood that CBG interacts with the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor of the human endocannabinoid system. CBG is believed to block the action of THC and other cannabinoids at the CB1 receptor.
The precise effect of CBG on the CB2 receptor has not yet been conclusively clarified. The fact that it binds to this receptor, however, is clear. A lot of research is currently underway on this topic.
In Italy, a 2013 study on cannabigerol  carried out at the University of Naples indicated that it has anti-inflammatory properties in the intestine. CBG was administered as a concentrate under controlled conditions to patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The results showed that the patients benefitted from the anti-inflammatory properties of CBG.
Various publications in the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics  have suggested that cannabigerol may reduce pressure in the eyes (intraocular pressure) and increase fluid drainage. This is especially important in the case of glaucoma, an eye disease which, if left untreated, leads to blindness.
In the case of cannabis and hashish, this pressure-reducing effect has been known about for a long time. Here, too, the CBG component is presumably involved in the effect.
The difference between cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG)
Biochemically, CBD and CBG are both formed from cannabigerolic acid (CBGa). This takes place during the ripening process of the hemp plant under the influence of enzymes, followed by additional processing.
CBD is particularly effective against feelings of pain and anxiety. Its anti-inflammatory properties are not as strong as those of CBG. Contrastingly, CBG’s anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce intraocular pressure are its defining characteristics.
Buying CBG – What kinds of CBG products are there?
There are various forms in which cannabigerol (CBG) can now be bought. In its pure form (where CBG is the only active substance present) it can be purchased as CBG oil and as CBG capsules.
CBG is also found in many full-spectrum oils, as well as in full-spectrum CBD capsules.
Tips on using CBG the right way
The cannabinoid CBG can be taken in various ways. Application by means of inhalation with a vaporiser or inhaler is particularly effective and fast. The active substance reaches the bloodstream directly via the mechanism of gas exchange within the lungs. However, those with asthma and people with other vulnerabilities should refrain from this mode of application if possible.
The active ingredient also enters the bloodstream very quickly by being administered sublingually. To do so, one simply drips a couple of drops of the CBG oil in question under the tongue. The mucous membranes then ensure that the active substance quickly enters the bloodstream.
Those who suffer from gastrointestinal complaints and wish to use CBG for this purpose should take it in the form of capsules (which are swallowed). Capsules are usually resistant against gastric acid and deliver the active substance straight to the intestine. This is the point at which the capsule then starts to dissolve, allowing the active substance to take effect. CBG oil can also be swallowed. However, this approach means that significantly less of the anti-inflammatory active substance actually ends up reaching the intestine.
CBG can also be applied to the surface of the skin. This is done by putting one or two drops of oil on the affected area and gently rubbing it in.
- CBG is often referred to as the mother of the cannabinoids because of its role in cannabinoid production. CBG also has numerous health benefits. CBG oil should not be used as eye drops, injected or administered intravenously.
Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.