Scientists are discovering new cannabinoids as the research into cannabis grows. Cannabigerol (CBG) and Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8-THC) are two of the latest cannabinoids to be identified by researchers in cannabis plants.
The compounds are in many products in the cannabis and beauty industries. Research studies continue to produce novel ways to use these agents by taking advantage of their benefits and treating people using their medicinal properties.
But what are CBG and Delta-8-THC?
CBG: The Mother of all Cannabinoids
CBG is the mother of all cannabinoids, according to Hemp Town USA. That’s because CBD is a precursor for different cannabinoids, including: CBD, THC, CBDA, THCA, CBGA, etc. This means that, depending on certain factors like lighting and temperature, CBG can convert to different cannabinoids.
CBG was first discovered in 1964 by two Israeli chemists and professors, Yehiel Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam — aka the grandfathers of cannabis. Although scientist discovered it nearly 60 years ago, they are still uncovering more about CBG’s medicinal properties.
CBG is one of the most common cannabinoids in the hemp plant. It is non-psychoactive, which means it does not produce a high.
CBG stood out among the 144 cannabinoids studied by researchers because of its potential benefits.
In fact, Potential Medical Uses of Cannabigerol stated that CBG has the ability to fight off any pain, nausea, inflammation, and even cancer side effects.
How CBG Reacts with Cannabinoid Receptors in Our System
The human body has cannabinoid receptors that interact whenever any cannabinoid is present in any form. According to research published in the journal Neuroendocrinology, the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is found in the nervous system located in the brain, while the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is found in the immune system.
When CBG enters the body, it activates the two receptors forming endocannabinoids which are molecules that imitate the natural biological compounds found in the body. They help internal functions in our bodies to work smoothly.
Additionally, it strengthens the purpose of anandamide according to the journal, Acta Pharmacologica Sinica. Anandamide, aka the bliss molecule, stimulates pleasure, appetite, and pain relief. Our bodies create it to regulate homeostasis and prevent any dysfunctions, such as inflammation.
CBG Potential Benefits
Studies show that CBG has a wide range of therapeutic benefits that range from fighting inflammation, to fighting cancer.
In 2008, a research published in the Journal of Natural products tested CBG to observe how it reacts against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), a type of bacteria living on the surface of skin and in noses. MRSA causes a common disease called staph infection. It can spread in hospitals through the touch of contaminated items and is stubborn to treat because it is resistant to antibodies.
The study showed that CBG acts as an anti-bacterial cannabinoid that can defeat MRSA.
According to research published in Neurotherapeutics, CBG was used to treat Huntington’s disease, a genetic disorder that affects the nerve cells in the brain. Researchers learned that the cannabinoid acted as a neuroprotectant. This means it developed the ability to preserve the nervous system to protect the human body from getting a stroke, spinal cord injury, and other illnesses. Moreover, it enhances movement skills and prevents cell damage.
A 2015 study tested The Effect of Non-psychotropic Plant-derived Cannabinoids on Bladder Contractility. Researchers found that CBG demonstrated the best results in their experiment. It strengthened the defense mechanism, in turn, improved bladder functions. Results showed that CBG activated CB1 and CB2 receptors in the subject’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a biological system that sustains a balance in our bodies and keeps our internal functions in check.
THC Analog: Delta-8- THC
While CBG is non-psychoactive, Delta-8-THC is.
Delta-8-THC is an analog of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which means it has a similar structure, and similar effects to THC. However, Delta-8-THC has some key differences from THC that are important to consider.
According to The National Cancer Institute, Delta-8- THC stimulates appetite and reduces pain. It also has neuroprotective properties.
Cannabis does not produce a large amount of Delta-8-THC, making it rarer than THC. Although it is naturally uncommon, it can be man-made through breeding and processing methods, increasing its uses for its applications. Because it exhibits a slight variation in its chemical bond structure to THC, its psychoactive effects are unique and noteworthy.
Although Delta-8-THC-infused products can give off similar euphoric effects as THC, the intensity it contains is low. Therefore its psychotropic potency is not as high, which generates a less anxious feeling for users.
The Medical Effect Delta-8 has on its Users
To determine Delta-8-THC’s effects, an experiment was conducted in 1995 by Dr. Raphael Mecoulam on eight kids who had cancer ranging from ages three to 13.
Patients consumed Delta-8-THC, and took a total of 480 treatments as part of their chemotherapy process. Doctors realized that the cannabinoid helped reduce vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Not only that, but side effects of chemo were not present due to the consumption of the cannabinoid.
Another study, this one in 2004, was done on sabra mice who consumed 0.001 mg of Delta-8-THC to test their food intake, weight loss, and cognitive ability. There were two groups present — sabra mice intaking the compound every 150 minutes for either nine or 50 days, and the control group which did not consume anything.
Results showed a 16% increase in food consumption and a 10% to 20% weight loss in mice who ingested the cannabinoid. Additionally, the scientists observed that the mices’ cognitive levels improved by demonstrating stronger memory skills.
In a more recent study published in the journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2018, scientists investigated Delta-8-THC’s potential role in treating corneal hyperalgesia — or inflammation of the eyes. Researchers found that the cannabinoid reduced sufferers’ pain. Furthermore, CB1, the receptor found in the nervous system, was responsible for blocking the pain.
CBG and Delta-8-THC have captured the attention of researchers worldwide — and for good reason. Based on early research, scientists have started to understand how both cannabinoids can treat and control various symptoms. However, the research into these cannabinoids, and others, is still in its infancy. That said, more clinical research is needed to fully grasp their complete benefits and efficacies. While scientists continue to learn more about the potential of each compound in cannabis, new applications will emerge.