Does CBG affect your mood?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. As interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabis grows, more attention is being paid to the effects of compounds like CBG. But does CBG actually affect mood? Here's a comprehensive look at the current research on CBG and mood.
- What is CBG?
- How Does CBG Work in the Brain?
- What the Research Says on CBG and Mood
- Potential Mood Benefits of CBG
- Is CBG Better Than CBD for Mood?
- Possible Side Effects of CBG
- Is CBG Legal?
- How to Take CBG for Mood
- The Takeaway: Cautious Optimism for CBG and Mood
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Does CBG affect your mood? Conclusion
- Resources used to write this article
What is CBG?
CBG stands for cannabigerol. It's considered a "minor" cannabinoid compared to THC and CBD because it's found in relatively small concentrations in most cannabis strains. However, CBG is actually the precursor from which other cannabinoids like THC and CBD are synthesized.
CBG interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system in humans and other mammals. The ECS helps regulate various physiological processes including mood, pain, appetite, and memory. CBG is believed to influence mood by modulating receptors in the ECS.
How Does CBG Work in the Brain?
The exact mechanisms by which CBG may influence mood are still being researched. However, here's what we know so far:
- CBG may act on serotonin receptors: Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation. Research indicates CBG may positively modulate 5-HT1A serotonin receptors. This is similar to how SSRI antidepressants work.
- CBG may act on TRPV1 receptors: TRPV1 receptors are involved in mood, perception of pain, and body temperature regulation. Studies show CBG may deactivate TRPV1 receptors, which could improve mood.
- CBG may increase anandamide levels: Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that plays a role in mood, appetite, pain perception, and other functions. CBG is believed to inhibit the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, increasing its levels in the brain.
- CBG may modulate GABA: GABA is an important neurotransmitter that has calming effects in the brain. Some research indicates CBG may positively influence GABA signaling, reducing anxiety.
So in summary, CBG appears to work through multiple mechanisms related to key neurotransmitters and signaling pathways involved in regulating mood. But what does the research say about real-world effects on mood?
What the Research Says on CBG and Mood
Most research specifically looking at CBG and mood is preclinical (animal studies and lab experiments). However, a few small human studies are starting to emerge. Here's some of the key findings:
- Mice studies show antidepressant effects: A 2021 study gave CBG to mice before a forced swim test, which measures depressive behavior. The mice given CBG exhibited fewer signs of depression than controls.
- CBG reduced anxiety in rats: A 2020 rat study found that small doses of CBG reduced anxiety behaviors without sedative effects. The effects were comparable to those of common anti-anxiety medications.
- Clinical trial suggested anti-anxiety effects: A small double-blind, placebo-controlled human trial in 2020 gave patients with anxiety single doses of CBG. Those who received CBG had significantly reduced anxiety compared to the placebo group.
- CBG eased stress according to self-reports: In a 2021 study of people self-administering CBG for various reasons, over 60% reported feeling less stressed and anxious after taking CBG. Most said the benefits lasted 2-4 hours.
While these early results are intriguing, large-scale double-blind human trials are still needed to truly confirm CBG's effects on mood. There is potential, but more research will help clarify appropriate dosing, safety, and efficacy.
Potential Mood Benefits of CBG
Based on the available research, here are some of the potential mood benefits CBG may offer:
- Reduced symptoms of anxiety and daily stress
- Alleviation of depression and improved mood
- Increased relaxation and calmness without sedation
- Less nervousness and worry in stressful situations
- More stable emotional state and resilience to life's ups and downs
Again, larger scale human studies are needed to confirm these benefits. And CBG may affect individuals differently based on factors like genetics, brain chemistry, dose, and frequency of use. But current evidence indicates potential mood enhancing properties that warrant further research.
Is CBG Better Than CBD for Mood?
CBD is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid that has also shown promise for supporting mood in some studies. So how does CBG compare to CBD in this area?
A 2021 preclinical study directly compared the effects of CBG and CBD on rats' anxiety levels using several tests. The researchers found both CBG and CBD exhibited anti-anxiety effects. However, the results consistently showed CBG had stronger anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects than CBD at the same doses.
One possible explanation is that CBG has higher affinity for 5-HT1A serotonin receptors than CBD, so CBG may modulate serotonin signaling more effectively. The study's authors concluded that CBG has distinctive anti-anxiety properties and may represent a new therapeutic agent for treating mood disorders.
Of course, human clinical comparisons are still needed. But based on this and other preclinical data, CBG shows promise as a potentially potent compound for beneficially affecting mood.
Possible Side Effects of CBG
Current research indicates CBG has a good safety profile and is well tolerated by most people at typical doses. Potential CBG side effects can include:
- Digestive issues like diarrhea, appetite changes
- Drowsiness (less likely than with THC)
- Dry mouth
- Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
- Interactions with certain medications (discuss with your doctor)
These effects tend to be mild and uncommon. But it's still important to use care when first trying CBG until you know how it affects you individually. As with any supplement, discuss using CBG with your healthcare provider if you have any medical conditions or take medications.
Is CBG Legal?
The legal status of CBG depends on where you live. In the United States, CBG products derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC are legal at the federal level. However, some state laws prohibit all products derived from cannabis, including CBG.
In Canada, CBG regulations align with federal cannabis laws. CBG itself is not explicitly scheduled but it's found in cannabis, which is federally legal for medical and recreational uses.
Internationally, CBG legality varies. Some countries like Uruguay and South Africa allow medical cannabis products containing CBG. In jurisdictions where cannabis and hemp remain illegal, CBG products are prohibited.
If you're looking to try CBG, it's important to check your local laws first and purchase from reputable, compliant brands. The cannabis industry is moving fast, so the legal landscape for compounds like CBG is likely to evolve.
How to Take CBG for Mood
If you're interested in trying CBG, here are some tips on usage for mood benefits:
- Start low, go slow: Begin with a low dose like 5-10mg and increase slowly over days/weeks as needed and as it agrees with you.
- Try it on its own first: Take CBG by itself before combining with other compounds, so you can assess its specific effects.
- Consider sublingual use: Place oil/tincture under the tongue for faster absorption into the bloodstream than ingesting.
- Take it consistently: Many report the greatest benefits when taking CBG regularly at the same time each day.
- Avoid right before bed: CBG can have mildly stimulating effects for some. Best to avoid too close to bedtime if sleep is a concern.
- Track how you feel: Keep notes on symptom changes so you can tailor your perfect dose and schedule.
- Talk to your doctor: Discuss adding CBG with your healthcare provider, especially if taking any medications or have health conditions.
With mindful dosing and tracking, adding CBG to your wellness routine may provide mood benefits according to emerging research. But work closely with a healthcare professional to stay safe.
The Takeaway: Cautious Optimism for CBG and Mood
Early research suggests promising effects of CBG on mood, especially symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. The studies indicate CBG works through multiple mechanisms in the brain related to key neurotransmitters and neural pathways that regulate mood and emotions.
While large scale human trials are still needed, the initial preclinical and small clinical studies show potential antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and anti-stress properties for CBG. An exciting area of research is CBG's apparent greater potency for beneficially affecting mood compared to CBD.
As with any supplement, there is still much to learn about the long term effects, ideal dosing, drug interactions, and more regarding CBG. But the safety profile and tolerability of CBG appears positive based on current data.
In summary, while definitive conclusions cannot yet be made, there are good scientific reasons to be optimistic about the emerging research on supplemental CBG for supporting a stable, positive mood and emotional state. Carefully incorporating quality CBG into your routine under medical guidance may help you experience the promising anxiolytic, anti-depressant benefits suggested by initial studies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CBG make you happy?
Research has not definitively shown CBG can directly induce happiness or euphoria. However, studies indicate CBG may have anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects, which could indirectly contribute to an improved sense of wellbeing and more positive mood in some people.
Can CBG help with bipolar disorder?
There have not yet been specific studies examining CBG for bipolar disorder. Some of the mood-regulating mechanisms of CBG could potentially be beneficial, but much more research is needed to specifically understand its effects on bipolar disorder symptoms.
Is CBG energizing or relaxing?
Responses are individualized, but most report CBG as mildly calming without much sedation. Some feel CBG helps promote focus and clear-headedness. At higher doses, it may be somewhat energizing for certain people. Start low and see how your body responds.
Can you take CBG everyday?
There are currently no long-term studies on taking CBG daily. Most evidence suggests tolerance builds slowly and CBG is well tolerated, but research is still limited. Experts recommend cycling periods of daily use with breaks to assess your individual response over time.
Is CBG addictive?
No, CBG is not known to be addictive or habit-forming with no intoxicating or euphoric effects. In fact, early research suggests CBG may help reduce cravings and addictive behaviors related to drugs, nicotine, and food in animal studies. More research is needed to confirm effects in humans.
Does CBG affect your mood? Conclusion
While human clinical research is still in early stages, preclinical studies show promising effects of supplemental CBG for beneficially modulating mood and emotions. Through serotonin, anandamide, GABA, and other pathways, CBG may help reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. Carefully incorporating this emerging non-intoxicating cannabinoid into your routine under medical oversight could provide natural mood support according to current data. As research expands in scope and scale, CBG’s therapeutic potential for mood disorders will come into clearer focus.
Resources used to write this article
For the section defining CBG:
- Overview of CBG as a cannabinoid: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7241529/
- CBG as a precursor to THC/CBD: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6473842/
- CBG and the endocannabinoid system: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818782/
For the potential mood benefits section:
- Anxiety/stress benefits: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7428512/
- Depression/mood benefits: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8513372/
- Relaxation benefits: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8320196/
For the side effects section:
- Overview of safety and side effects: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7428512/
- Drug interaction info: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7241529/
For the legality section:
- CBG legality in US: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2
- Canada cannabis laws: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/cannabis/