Is CBG Good For Pain Management?

by Haley Mills · October 19, 2022

CBG is an effective natural remedy for pain management. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

The medical community is beginning to recognize cannabis as a means to help relieve and control chronic pain. While there are many studies regarding CBD and pain, CBG is a cannabinoid that often gets overlooked. It doesn’t produce a high, but many believe it has the properties to offer therapeutic potential for many diseases and ailments. Let’s take a look at CBG and its medicinal benefits below.

What is CBG? 

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid obtained from young cannabis plants. All other cannabinoids are derivatives of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which is an acidic form of CBG. Commonly seen cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

CBG is found in smaller quantities, and in most strains, just one percent of CBG can be seen compared to twenty to thirty percent of CBD or THC content. Cannabis products derived from Cannabigerol cannabinoids are hard to come by and are usually very expensive. However, CBG is becoming more popular recently due to its medically researched health benefits. 

What is a Cannabinoid? 

Cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant and are produced naturally by the human body. We have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that internally produces cannabinoids. These compounds are quite crucial to maintaining internal balance through many different body systems.

Cannabinoids interact with our ECS to help maintain functional balance through a system of messenger molecules and receptors. Sleep, energy, cardiovascular function, reproduction, stress, chronic pain, motivation, appetite, digestion, and more are some of the body functions that cannabinoids impact.  

The two most commonly known cannabinoids found in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The word cannabinoid can refer to THC or any chemical that acts on cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabinoids vs. Terpenes

Cannabinoids and terpenes are both active chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. While cannabinoids are considered primarily responsible for the euphoric effects and medicinal benefits associated with cannabis Sativa, terpenes remain the source of the cannabis plant’s aroma and taste.

However, when cannabinoids and terpenes combine, they create a synergistic effect on the human endocannabinoid system. The two complement and enhance the sum of their therapeutic or euphoric properties.

How is CBG made? 

CBG is derived from younger cannabis plants because they contain the highest amounts of this particular cannabinoid. The levels drop significantly as the cannabis plant gets older. Some specific strains have higher CBG content than others and are specifically cultivated to produce higher quantities than other cannabinoids.

Both CBD and THC begin as CBGA, an acidic form of CBG. In fully developed cannabis plants, you’ll typically find lower concentrations of CBG because most of the CBG is converted to CBD and THC as the plant matures. Due to the difficulty of getting CBG, cultivators are cross-breeding and genetically modifying marijuana plants to help produce more CBG. 

What are the effects of CBG? 

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids essentially mimic the body’s endocannabinoid system, such as anandamide. Anandamide is a fatty acid that activates the receptors. Cannabinoids bind themselves to fat-soluble molecules to enter a cell’s lipid bilayer.

Cannabinoids attach themselves to CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

CB1 receptors are found in the areas of the brain that control pain perception, movement, memory, cognition, emotion, and autonomic functions. CB2 receptors are typically found in immune system cells. When the proper connection between cannabinoid and receptor is made, the body is stimulated to have a specific response.

CBG works by binding to both cannabinoid receptors, where it’s thought to strengthen the function of anandamide. This neurotransmitter enhances pleasure and motivation, regulates appetite and sleep, and alleviates pain. 

Can it get you High?

No, the CBG that cannabis plants produce won’t get you high. CBG is a non-psychoactive minor cannabinoid. CBG interacts with the psychoactive compound (THC) to offset its effects.

Is CBG Legal? 

Per the Federal Controlled Substances Act, CBG sourced from marijuana is federally prohibited. Still, CBG from hemp is legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized all hemp plant derivatives. As hemp-derived products contain 0.3% or less THC, retailers can legally sell them in licensed dispensaries.

Is CBG organic?

CBG is a natural compound produced in the early stages of cannabis plant growth. Since CBG occurs in low concentrations, CBG producers typically utilize extraction technology involving CO2 or ethanol to extract more significant amounts of CBG from the plant.

CBG vs. CBD

Both CBG and CBD interact differently with the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBG interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, while CBD engages with them indirectly.

The two cannabinoids have similar effects. CBD oils are generally better for physical ailments such as chronic pain and inflammation, while CBG works better for cerebral issues like stress, anxiety, focus, and attention span. There is a significant amount of research to support claims of medicinal benefits for CBD; however, CBG studies are still scarce.

Producing CBD takes exponentially less cannabis plant matter than creating the same amount of CBG, lowering CBD prices. Until a breakthrough in CBG production, it likely won’t reach the popularity levels of full-spectrum CBD oils.

Research has shown CBD to affect different forms of anxiety disorders positively. It has been shown to reduce stress. CBD benefits general anxiety disorder and other severe anxiety conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Studies in mice and rats showed lower heart rates and less stress with CBD.

A recent study that used a simulated public speaking test to show anxiety levels in speakers showed significant promise that CBD can help reduce fears and anxiety associated with speaking in front of a group. Continued research is being done to see how CBD can manage various forms of stress.  

CBD has been shown in research studies to help people fall asleep, stay asleep, and improve sleep quality. The endocannabinoid system has a part in maintaining several body functions, including sleep and regulation of circadian rhythms. CBD can offer a night of better sleep and thus a healthy lifestyle to follow.

The FDA approved a prescription-strength dose of CBD for severe epilepsy, Epidiolex oral solution, from GW Pharmaceuticals. Preclinical evidence proves that CBD oil has been shown to reduce seizures by activating the CB1 receptors. More research is currently being done on CBD oil for conditions like dravet syndrome and Lennox gastaut syndrome. 

CBD for Chronic pain

Chronic pain lasts for an extended period and can occur in many body parts simultaneously. It typically interferes with a person’s daily routine and can lead to anxiety or depression. 

These are the most common types of chronic pain:

  • Back pain
  • Cancer-related pain
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain 
  • Neck Pain
  • Nerve-related pain
  • Neurogenic pain
  • Scar Tissue Pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Testicular pain 

CBD and chronic pain management

CBD has anti-inflammatory qualities, can reduce pain, and even fully treat pain in some patients. It is also an antioxidant and can help reduce long-term inflammation. CBD contains cannabinoid receptors that can block chronic pain signals in the brain and trigger an increased immune response.  

The Medical Benefits of CBG

CBG helps with inflammation, chronic pain, nausea, depression, and anxiety and works to slow the growth of cancer cells. Research has shown it also significantly reduces eye pressure caused by glaucoma and can help patients live a pain-free life.

Strains high in CBG can treat medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. Read on below to dive deeper into CBG research and findings. 

CBG has shown promising effects on specific inflammatory channels in mice related to the response of chronic inflammation in the bodies. The study concluded that CBG helped to support a normal inflammatory response.

Another experimental study from 2013 observed the benefits of CBG on inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). Researchers induced colon inflammation in mice and then gave them CBG, reducing the inflammation and nitric oxide production. It also reduced the reactive oxygen species (ROS) in their intestines. 

CBG seems to share the appetite-stimulating trait well-known by THC users and produces what is commonly referred to as the munchies. Appetite stimulation can help certain people obtain proper nutrients when they do not want to eat. In a recent study with rats, CBG increased their appetites without producing harmful side effects.

Here are the many ways in which CBG can potentially help people:

  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Inflammation
  • Discomfort
  • Metabolism
  • Eyesight
  • Focus
  • Stress
  • Appetite

Potential Side Effects

There currently isn’t enough research to determine the potential side effects of CBG. However, CBG, like other minor cannabinoids, has very low toxicity and is well tolerated by humans. There were no significant adverse effects in recent clinical trials with rats with high doses of CBG.

What is CBG Oil?

CBG oil is the purest Cannabigerol with no other cannabinoids or compounds from the hemp plant. You can use CBG extract by taking it sublingually, topically, or orally.

three categories to check when looking for high-quality CBG oils: sourcing, testing, and labeling.

Sourcing

Reputable cannabis brands take pride in where they get their hemp because they know a high-quality product begins at the source. Nutrient-rich soil, proper sunlight, and pH-balanced water contribute to the cannabinoid quality and content.

Because cannabis plants are so efficient at absorbing nutrients, they’re also susceptible to absorbing environmental contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals, and radiation. Be sure to purchase CBG products from clean and trusted industrial hemp sources.

Testing 

While it’s not a mandatory industry practice yet, third-party lab testing has become a standard among cannabis cultivators. Companies send samples to unbiased third-party labs to test for cannabinoid potency and potential contaminants.

Labeling

When it comes to cannabis labels, you want to choose a brand that you trust first and foremost. Next, you’ll want to make sure there is safety and dosage information along with cultivation dates, license information, quantity, cannabinoid content, and location.

Where can I find CBG products? 

Many online and brick-and-mortar dispensaries sell CBG extracts and gummies. Here are a few of the top brands below:

  • Lazarus Naturals, High Potency Full Spectrum 1:1 CBG:CBD Tincture, 4oz, 3000mg CBD + 3000mg CBG
  • NuLeaf Naturals, Full Spectrum CBG oil, 30mL, 1800mg CBG
  • CBDistillery, Daytime Synergy CBG and CBD Tincture, Full Spectrum, 1oz, 1000mg CBD and 1000mg CBG
  • Wyld CBD, Pear Gummies, Broad Spectrum THC-Free, 40ct, 400mg CBG + 800mg CBD
  • CBDfx, CBD and CBG Morning Capsules For Energy + Focus, Broad Spectrum THC-Free, 60ct, 150mg CBG + 900mg CBD

Here are some popular methods for using CBG: 

  • CBG tincture is liquid, potent, and effective. You can consume it under the tongue or mixed with food and beverages. 
  • CBG crystals come in powder form that can be melted under the tongue or blended into a smoothie as a supplement.
  • CBG supplements can be added to your daily supplement regimen in a convenient tablet format. 
  • Topical CBG products are applied directly to the affected area or as a general treatment to heal the skin. 

10 High CBG Cannabis Strains

  1. White Whale
  2. John Snow
  3. Jack Frost CBG
  4. Cosmic Diesel
  5. Frost Cake CBG
  6. Plain Jane CBG
  7. Lemon Cream Diesel
  8. Green Dream
  9. Sour D CBG
  10. Superglue

Final Thoughts

CBG is not a newly discovered cannabinoid; however, it is beginning to become more mainstream as production methods are being established and enhanced by technology. Like CBD, CBG may help with chronic pain conditions by reducing inflammation and calming the nervous system. More research is needed, but we can be sure to see more CBG products among the medical cannabis community within the next few years.

Last Updated: October 21, 2022

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