So by now you’re well, well aware of CBD and all it’s incredible pharmacological uses. From remedying anxiety to helping people addicted to opioid pain relief safely transition into something healthier, anecdotes in the news, personal stories, and science journals alike are all singing the praises of this cannabis-based medicine.
But CBD’s not the only cannabinoid in town! Did you know that there are over one hundred known phytocannabinoids? Before we get ahead of ourselves, we’ll break this down quickly — stay with us!
Phytocannabinoids: plant compounds from the cannabis plant. These compounds interact with our own human endocannabinoid system to help your body maintain a healthy homeostasis. Oh yes, you have a system in your body that interacts with cannabis compounds! But thanks to prohibition and government red tape, medical schools (for the most part) haven’t taught this system to burgeoning doctors. Pretty crazy, right?
So back to these plant compounds, or phytocannabinoids. There are tons! And the most popular, most-well known (or infamous, we should say) has been THC. But then came — as you may have guessed — its cousin, CBD. Because CBD doesn’t cause an intoxication or high, the world has flocked to it, all in hopes that this phytocannabinoid will help ease some of their mental and physical woes.
But what about those other cannabinoids? Well, unfortunately not much has been studied yet (thanks again, prohibition!). However, there are some studies on one more compound in particular that we should look at: CBG, or Cannabigerol.
Cannabigerol is an exciting compound because it’s quite similar to CBD in that it’s non-intoxicating. However, there are only trace amounts in hemp and cannabis plants (depending on the strain, but this is generally speaking!). As such, to get enough CBG isolated to then test it has been difficult. However, in the research that has been conducted, CBG has shown serious promise on rat-specific and in vitro studies.
The biggest points? It may help with glaucoma, cancer, anxiety, and could be a serious antibacterial agent — think: alternative to antibiotics, and can potentially fight MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). That would be huge.
CBG is the precursor or “parent” to both CBD and THC, which means it makes both compounds as the marijuana plant is growing and changing. It’s non-intoxicating like CBD (in fact, THC so far is the only phytocannabinoid that has been shown to be intoxicating!), but may treat glaucoma like THC can. This is exciting, because CBD does not show promise in relieving intraocular pressure, so patients who want to use cannabis medicine for this particular ailment don’t have the option to not feel a bit of a high (or a lot of a high!).
Until more research comes out, we don’t have any hard claims or proof that this definitively cures these woes, but it’ll be exciting to see what happens. And seeing as how people who use the whole cannabis plant (and not extracted compounds) are already getting doses of CBG, it’s a safe bet to say that this doesn’t have crazy side-effects.