The Next Generation of Medicinal Cannabis: High-CBG Strains
Cannabigerol (CBG) happens to be responsible for most of marijuana’s medical effects, CBG works behind the scenes, which scientists have only recently started to investigate.
Cannabigerol, a small non-psychoactive component of cannabis, shows significant promise as a treatment for glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, colon cancer, Huntington’s Disease, skin diseases, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, antidepressant, etc, etc, but its mostly unavailable in the medical marijuana market.
All the major cannabinoids in marijuana come from cannabigerol (CBG); THC and CBD – the two most common chemicals in marijuana – and other minor cannabinoids all begin as CBG. CBG is non-psychoactive and is quickly converted to other cannabinoids by enzymes in the cannabis plant, which explains the low concentration of CBG in most strains. CBG gets turned into THC, CBD or CBC almost soon as it gets made. Since it’s the precursor for the major compounds, very little of is left over in mature flowers.
Besides its role in forming other cannabinoids, CBG has a number of important medical effects of its own.
CBG inhibits the uptake of a chemical in our brain called GABA – something CBD also does. “When GABA [uptake] is inhibited, you actually have muscle relaxation and you have anti-anxiety effects, so it appears to promote similar effects that CBD has. It also appears to have anti-depressant and some modest anti-fungal properties.”
Just recently in January 2015,
( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25252936 ) researchers discovered that CBG had neuroprotective effects in mice with Huntington’s Disease, a disease characterized by the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. CBG improved motor skill deficiencies significantly and preserved neurons against toxicity.
In 2014, a study was conducted into the effect of CBG on cancer. The study revealed that cannabigerol can prevent the progression of cancer cells formed in the colon. CBG slowed down progression of colon cancer in mice. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25269802 ). Another new study published in a recent issue of the journal Phytomedicine, and published online by the National Institute of Health, has found that cannabis-based medicines may provide a cure for colon cancer.
Evidence also suggests it has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects as well. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2823359/ Cannabigerol is perhaps most widely recognized as an anti-inflammatory cannabinoid.
It’s been known since at least the ‘80s that CBG can help treat glaucoma by relieving interocular pressure. Researchers writing for Experimental Eye Research gave rats and cats CBN and CBG, finding that chronic administration of these cannabinoids lowers ocular tension considerably.
Medical marijuana patients have access to high-THC and high-CBD cannabis, but what about high-CBG strains? They are rare, but they exist. Narrow-leafleted drug strains from the Indian-subcontinent, were found to have slightly higher levels of CBG than others. Relatively high amounts of CBG can be extracted from budding plants about three-quarters of the way through flowering. Testing of industrial hemp has found much higher levels of cannabigerol (CBG) than most strains of cannabis.
CBG-only strains will soon be as available is CBD cannabis. Hybridization between different types of strains will allow patients to use medicinal cannabis tailored to their needs and preferences in a way people only can dream of today.
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