Cannabigerol is known as a “parent” cannabinoid to many other minor cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant.
To get a little technical, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is the acidic form of CBG. It’s the chemical precursor for THCA and CBDA, which are the acids that evolve into THC and CBD. These compounds evolve into a usable form when heated by fire (when smoking a bowl, for example) or when turned into vapor.
CBG is formed naturally by cannabis plants. You’ll find more of the cannabinoid in young cannabis plants before they convert into other chemicals. As marijuana plants mature, the amount of CBG they produce decreases. You can also find CBG in hemp plants.
Research is mixed on how CBG interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it appears to improve mood and act as a pain killer without the same psychoactive effects as cannabinoids like THC. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind cannabigerol and how it interacts with cannabinoid receptors.
The body’s endocannabinoid system processes CBG at the same time other cannabinoids interact with the body. That means it doesn’t make you feel intoxicated like products high in THC make you feel.
In fact, the way CBG interacts with the endocannabinoid system may counteract THC’s psychoactive effects as they compete for space at CB1 receptors. However, the presence of CBG may also elongate how long THC is in the system while lessening its effects.
It’s important to note that while non-intoxicating, CBG still interacts with the body to produce physiological effects — many of which show promising health benefits.
Recent clinical research shows that CBG products may have a host of therapeutic effects, though human studies in this corner of cannabis research are sparse.
That said, animal studies have found that CBG benefits may include providing relief for things like nerve pain, cachexia, and anxiety.
CBG may be useful for treating depression and anxiety. CBG is known as a GABA reuptake inhibitor, which increases the amount of GABA (an important brain chemical) available in the body.
Increasing GABA can provide muscle relaxation, tension relief, and a sensation of calm in the body. GABA deficits are associated with anxiety and depression, which is why GABA medications and supplements are already used for generalized anxiety disorder.
Because CBG has been shown to elevate GABA levels, it points to the cannabinoid as a promising treatment for certain mental health conditions or low mood.