What does CBG oil do?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a trendy new cannabinoid that people are using for various health and wellness purposes. But what exactly is CBG oil and what does it do?
- An Introduction to CBG
- Potential Benefits and Effects of CBG Oil
- Other Potential CBG Benefits Under Investigation
- How Does CBG Work? CBG’s Mechanisms of Action
- How To Take CBG Oil and Other CBG Products
- What to Look For in a High-Quality CBG Product
- Is CBG Legal?
- Potential Side Effects and Safety Concerns of CBG Products
- Should You Try CBG Oil?
- Frequently Asked Questions About CBG Oil
- What does CBG oil do? Conclusion
- Resources used to write this article
An Introduction to CBG
CBG stands for cannabigerol, which is a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. Unlike the more well-known cannabinoids THC and CBD, CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid because it is found in very low levels in most cannabis strains.
However, interest in CBG has been growing recently as breeders have started developing specialized CBG-rich strains. When these plants are extracted into oils, concentrates, and other products, the result is what we call CBG oil and other CBG products.
So while CBG may not be as abundant as CBD and THC, high-CBG products are making this intriguing cannabinoid more accessible for people to try. And the early research on CBG suggests it may offer some unique effects and benefits.
Potential Benefits and Effects of CBG Oil
Most of the evidence on CBG so far comes from preclinical research on cell cultures and animals. But the results are promising and indicate CBG may offer the following benefits:
May Support Nervous System Function
Some of the most exciting research on CBG focuses on its potential effects on the nervous system. Studies have found CBG may act as:
- A neuroprotectant that protects nerve cells from damage and degeneration.
- An antioxidant that scrubs away damaging free radicals in the brain.
- An analgesic that blocks pathways involved in pain perception.
- A potential treatment for Huntington’s disease by blocking nerve cell degeneration.
- An inhibitor of GABA uptake, which could produce muscle-relaxing effects.
These nervous system effects suggest CBG could help protect the brain and body from degenerative conditions while also alleviating pain and muscle spasms. More research is still needed, but the initial findings around CBG and the nervous system are promising.
May Promote Digestive Health
CBG’s apparent ability to relax muscles extends beyond the brain and may also apply to the digestive tract. Studies have found evidence that CBG may:
- Reduce inflammation in the colon.
- Relax intestinal muscles, potentially relieving cramps and spasms.
- Reduce the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut while sparing beneficial bacteria.
These digestive effects could make CBG oils and other CBG products helpful for managing inflammatory bowel diseases like colitis and Crohn’s disease. The antibacterial properties also suggest CBG may help restore balance to the gut microbiome.
May Support Bladder and Urinary Function
The muscle-relaxing powers of CBG may also extend to the bladder. Animal studies have shown CBG may be able to:
- Reduce bladder contractions, helping control incontinence
- Relax bladder smooth muscle
- Reduce bladder inflammation
Researchers think these properties could make CBG beneficial for bladder disorders, although more studies are needed. The findings do suggest CBG may help relax bladder muscles though, potentially reducing urges and frequency.
Contains Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties
In addition to fighting harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, early lab research suggests CBG has antibacterial and antifungal properties. For example, CBG has shown an ability to:
- Inhibit the growth of MRSA, a bacterium responsible for difficult-to-treat staph infections.
- Fight certain drug-resistant bacteria.
- Reduce the growth of a fungus responsible for skin infections.
- May help treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
These unique antimicrobial properties suggest CBG may offer some protective effects against certain bacterial and fungal infections. However, most of this research is still preliminary.
May Support Healthy Inflammatory Response
Chronic excessive inflammation is tied to practically every major disease, including autoimmune disorders, heart disease, and neurodegeneration. Compounds that help balance the body’s inflammatory response are therefore always of interest.
Early research suggests CBG may be one such anti-inflammatory compound. Studies have found CBG may:
- Reduce neuroinflammation involved in Huntington’s disease.
- Decrease intestinal inflammation associated with colitis.
- Reduce eye inflammation.
By regulating inflammatory cytokines and other signaling molecules, CBG may be able to short-circuit excessive inflammation before it damages tissues and organs. More research is still needed, but the initial findings around CBG and inflammation are intriguing.
Other Potential CBG Benefits Under Investigation
In addition to the benefits above, early cell, animal and human studies suggest CBG may also:
- Stimulate appetite – This could make CBG oils helpful for managing eating disorders, weight loss, and side effects of other medications/treatments.
- Protect eye health – Via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the eyes.
- Improve concentration and focus – By modulating neurotransmitter activity in ways that may reduce anxiety and increase alertness and attention.
- Reduce IOP and provide neuroprotection – CBG reduced intraocular pressure (IOP) in animal studies which may protect vision and eye health. The neuroprotective properties could further protect the eyes.
- Improved thermoregulation – CBG interacted with CB1 receptors in animal studies to influence core body temperature regulation. This may help manage fever.
- Antioxidant effects – The ability of CBG to scavenge free radicals may help prevent oxidative damage throughout the body.
Again, these uses are still speculative and need much more investigation. But the preliminary findings are fueling interest into future therapeutic applications of CBG.
How Does CBG Work? CBG’s Mechanisms of Action
Clearly there is growing excitement around CBG’s health and wellness potential. But how does CBG work to provide these benefits?
The mechanisms behind CBG’s effects are still being elucidated. But here is what researchers understand so far:
Interacts With the Endocannabinoid System
Like other plant cannabinoids, CBG interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) - the complex cell-signaling network that plays a key role in regulating physiology and cognitive functions.
In particular, studies have found CBG may:
- Bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors
- Inhibit the breakdown of the endocannabinoid anandamide
- Stimulate production and movement of endocannabinoids
Through these mechanisms, CBG appears to modulate ECS tone in ways that may contribute to reducing inflammation, relaxing muscles, alleviating pain, improving mood and more.
Contains Antioxidant Properties
CBG has also shown antioxidant properties in lab studies, meaning it may help reduce oxidative damage from free radicals. This antioxidant activity likely contributes to some of its neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects.
Exhibits Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity
Research has found CBG directly inhibits the growth of certain types of bacteria, including staphylococcus aureus and other drug-resistant bacteria. This antibacterial activity gives CBG unique medicinal properties.
CBG has also been shown to reduce the growth of keratinophilic fungi that can infect skin and nails. This antifungal potential expands CBG’s therapeutic possibilities.
Modulates Neurotransmitter Activity
CBG appears to influence levels of key neurotransmitters in the brain like GABA, serotonin, and glutamate. This modulation of neurotransmitters likely underlies some of CBG’s effects on anxiety, pain perception, concentration and more.
The mechanisms behind CBG are complex and still require more study. But it’s clear this plant cannabinoid interacts with the ECS and nervous system in intricate ways that can positively impact health. Continued research will uncover more about precisely how CBG works in the body and brain.
How To Take CBG Oil and Other CBG Products
Since CBG is still a relatively new supplement option, some people aren’t sure how to take and use CBG oil and other CBG products. Here is a quick look at some of the most common ways to take CBG:
CBG Oils and Tinctures
Like CBD oil, CBG oil typically comes in a tincture form made by infusing CBG extract into a carrier oil like MCT or olive oil. The oil is taken by mouth, held under the tongue, and swallowed. Effects may be felt within 30 minutes to an hour. CBG oils offer versatility in dosing - just adjust the number of drops.
For those who don’t like the taste of CBG oil, capsules provide a convenient oral dosage form. Capsules effects also kick in within 60 minutes. Capsules ensure consistent dosing but don’t allow flexibility in adjusting doses.
Vaping CBG Isolate
Inhaling vaporized CBG isolate provides the fastest effects, as easy absorption into the lungs allows CBG to enter the bloodstream quickly. Vaping onset only takes about 5-15 minutes. However, vaping is not recommended for some people due to respiratory concerns.
CBG can also be infused into lotions, balms, creams and other topicals. Applying CBG topically allows it to interact with local CB receptors to provide targeted effects. This can be ideal for managing muscle soreness and skin conditions. Though doses absorbed systemically are low.
For those who enjoy edibles, CBG candies, beverages, baked goods and more provide an alternative to oils. CBG edibles have to pass through digestion so onset is delayed 60-90 minutes, but the effects tend to last longer.
Experiment to find which CBG product and delivery method works best based on your needs and preferences. Many people also enjoy combining multiple CBG consumption methods.
What to Look For in a High-Quality CBG Product
Since the CBG market is still developing, it’s important you choose your product carefully by looking for these markers of quality:
- Organic hemp source - CBG products should be made from organically grown hemp to avoid contaminants.
- CO2 extraction - CO2 extraction is the gold standard for drawing out cannabinoids like CBG safely and efficiently.
- Independent lab testing - Any reputable CBG company will have its products tested by an outside lab to verify purity and potency. Check for up-to-date Certificates of Analysis (COA).
- USA-grown hemp - Hemp grown in the United States is held to higher farming standards than international sources.
- No artificial ingredients - Watch for additives like flavors, fillers and preservatives that can indicate an inferior product.
Stick to CBG oils, capsules and other products that meet the above criteria to ensure the highest quality experience from this exciting new cannabinoid.
Is CBG Legal?
In the United States, CBG is legal on a federal level because it is derived from hemp. By definition, legal hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis, a level far too low to cause psychoactive effects.
CBG products like oils and edibles fall under the same legal umbrella as CBD products, which were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. As long as the final product adheres to that 0.3% THC limit and follows state laws, CBG is authorized on a federal level and in most states.
A few states do prohibit all hemp-derived products including CBG, so it’s important to check your local laws. Some states also restrict how CBG products can be sold. But overall, CBG enjoys the same legal status as CBD which has opened the doors to research and access.
Potential Side Effects and Safety Concerns of CBG Products
According to studies so far, CBG appears to have a strong safety profile without severe adverse effects. Mild side effects can include:
- Digestive upset like diarrhea - Usually due to carrier oils or other ingredients. Can often resolve with adjusted doses.
- Drowsiness - Especially at higher doses due to CBG’s interactions with the nervous system and neurotransmitters. Can often be managed by adjusting dose timing.
- Dizziness - Again typically dose-related. Drinking water and reducing doses often alleviates dizziness.
- Dry mouth - Common with many cannabinoids. Keeping hydrated should manage dry mouth effects.
There is still minimal data on CBG’s long-term safety profile in humans. Researchers have yet to identify any serious health risks, but people with certain medical conditions should use caution with CBG.
For example, CBG may increase the sedation effects of medications used for anxiety, sleep issues, and seizure disorders. Those on blood pressure, blood thinning and hormone medications should also discuss CBG use with their doctor to ensure safety and efficacy.
Pregnant/nursing women and children should avoid CBG until more safety research is conducted. And it’s wise for everyone to start with low CBG doses and increase slowly while monitoring for side effects.
Should You Try CBG Oil?
Research into the health benefits and therapeutic uses of CBG oil is still in the early stages. But the initial lab and animal studies around CBG are incredibly promising and suggest it may offer unique advantages over other cannabinoids.
The apparent ability of CBG to protect nerve cells, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, inhibit bacteria, and exert other positive effects opens many doors in terms of this cannabinoid’s medicinal potential. More rigorous clinical trials will shed light on CBG’s long-term safety along with just how effective it may be for various conditions.
While there is still much to learn, the current evidence suggests CBG is at least mildy effective for most users, and offers very low risk of side effects for healthy adults when used responsibly. For those intrigued by the preliminary research, trying a high-quality CBG oil, capsule or other CBG product could be worthwhile, as long as you carefully monitor your body’s response.
If considering adding CBG to your health and wellness routine, discuss the decision with your doctor, especially if taking medications or managing a chronic condition. But the initial potential shown by CBG research suggests this emerging cannabinoid may soon play a bigger role in plant-based medicine.
Frequently Asked Questions About CBG Oil
Does CBG oil get you high?
No, CBG products including CBG oil will not get you high. CBG is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, meaning it does not produce psychoactive effects. This makes legal CBG safe to use without impacting mental clarity.
What’s the difference between CBD and CBG?
- CBG occurs in much lower natural concentrations than CBD in most cannabis plants.
- CBG appears to have stronger antibacterial properties compared to CBD based on initial research.
- CBG may have more targeted benefits for nervous system conditions like Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- CBD is more researched overall, given it entered the market earlier than CBG.
The two cannabinoids also appear to interact with the endocannabinoid system in slightly different ways. Many people find combining CBD and CBG provides complementary benefits.
What does full spectrum CBG mean?
Full spectrum CBG products contain CBG along with other plant compounds like flavonoids, amino acids, and minor cannabinoids. This creates an “entourage effect” that enhances CBG’s benefits. Broad spectrum CBG is similar but contains zero THC.
Is CBG safe for pets?
Very little research exists on CBG’s safety for animals thus far. While CBG appears gentle based on human and animal studies, pet owners should exercise caution when giving CBG to their pets. Discuss using CBG with your veterinarian first to determine if CBG is appropriate for your pet. Start with very low doses if pursuing CBG for animal use.
Can you take too much CBG? What is the correct CBG dosage?
It is possible to take too much CBG, especially when first starting out. Large doses of CBG may cause unwanted side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, diarrhea and more. Most experts recommend starting with just a few milligrams of CBG per dose - 5 mg or less. Wait to see how your body responds before gradually increasing the dosage if desired and tolerated.
The “correct” CBG dosage can range quite a bit depending on the individual. Take the minimum needed to achieve your desired benefits without major side effects. Consulting a doctor for guidance on CBG dosage for your needs is recommended.
What does CBG oil do? Conclusion
Despite just starting to gain attention recently, CBG already shows intriguing potential thanks to preclinical research indicating benefits for nervous system health, digestive function, bladder regulation, bacterial infections, inflammation and more.
Of course, large scale human trials are still needed to confirm and expand on these preliminary findings around CBG oil and other CBG products. But the promising early results are fueling hope that CBG could soon emerge as a viable therapeutic tool, either on its own or alongside other cannabinoids like CBD.
While more research, regulation, and consumer education is still imperative as the CBG market develops, the future certainly looks bright for this lesser known, but highly promising plant compound.
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