Updated: Jun 13
Welcome to "Science of Cannabinoids"! We're glad you're here. This blog series will break down the recent scientific (peer-reviewed) research regarding the medicinal value of cannabinoids. We know there are a plethora of medical cannabis products on the market. It can be overwhelming and difficult for patients to find the right option. Understanding the role minor cannabinoids play will help you determine which products to purchase with confidence. Let's get started!
What is a cannabinoid? Most define cannabinoids as chemicals produced by the Cannabis sativa plant. These chemicals interact with the endocannabinoid system, specifically receptors CBR1 and CBR2. The endocannabinoid system has a significant role in the regulation of immunity. In turn, cannabinoids play a key role in overall health. While more research is vital, there are a few studies that touch the surface of what these cannabinoids are capable of medicinally.
A study published in 2021 from the University of Northern Colorado examined CBG's effects on two types of breast cancer tissue cells (E3 luminal and EWD8 basal). It was found CBG slowed proliferation (cancer cell growth) and induced necroptosis (cancer cell death). The increased dose of CBG had a direct correlation to decreased growth and increased death of breast cancer cells.
In 2020, Penn State College of Medicine released The Pharmacological Case For Cannabigerol. Rats doubled their food intake after oral consumption of a 100mg CBG dose. This finding suggests the prominent role of CBG in fighting loss of appetite. Research supports CBG improves motor skills and antioxidant defense in mice. Regarding therapeutic use as a neuroprotectant and neuromodulation, the author notes "A number of studies have shown that CBG...has neuroprotective potential in vitro and in animal models to reduce the severity of neurological illnesses such as Huntington’s disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and multiple sclerosis (MS).". Gastrointestinal diseases such as colorectal cancer and colitis are effected by CBG. Consumed orally, there was an observed reduction of colon cancer cells in mice. Colonic inflammation was reduced after oral consumption of CBG as well, and it's noted continued use of CBG can prevent associated damage from colitis.
The scientific journal Microorganisms published an article in 2021 discussing the anti-biofilm activity of CBG. Cannabigerol behaves as an anti-bacterial agent by directly acting on the metabolic pathways regulating biofilms. CBG reduces the expression of essential biofilm-regulating genes while suppressing the metabolic activity of bacteria. This dual action suggests CBG can be used to prevent tooth decay. It can also aid in gum repair.
The Journal of Cannabis Research conducted a study in 2021 evaluating the potential therapeutic effects of CBC in an experimental model of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, ARDS has the potential to become one of the most grievous challenges of the healthcare system. This study analyzed the results of inhaled CBC (a dose of 5mg) once daily for eight days in mice. Hypoxia was reversed after the treatment, showing an increased blood oxygen saturation of 8%. Pro-inflammatory cytokines were reduced by 50% in the lung and blood, improving the symptoms caused by ARDS. Also, the treatment of CBC prevented further destruction of lung tissue. How? CBC downregulates the inflammation response and induces tissue homeostasis.
Anticonvulsant potential of CBC was evaluated in a study published by the American Chemical Society. The anticonvulsant potential was tested using hypothermia-induced seizures in mice. The author states "anticonvulsant efficacy was evident with CBC, CBCA, and CBCVA, each significantly increasing the temperature threshold at which Scn1a+/– mice had a generalized tonic–clonic seizure.". This study shows promising support that CBC has therapeutic value as an anticonvulsant.
The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a study on the antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties of CBC. Anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated by using the carrageenan-induced paw edema method. When compared to Phenylbutazone, CBC was superior. The author also noted CBC had strong antibacterial activity and moderate antifungal activity.
Thanks for reading! We hope this information helps in your cannabis wellness journey. Stay tuned for Part 2!
Aqawi, M.; Sionov, R.V.; Gallily, R.; Friedman, M.; Steinberg, D. Anti-Biofilm Activity of Cannabigerol against Streptococcus mutans. Microorganisms2021, 9, 2031. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102031
Khodadadi, H., Salles, É.L., Shin, E. et al. A potential role for cannabichromene in modulating TRP channels during acute respiratory distress syndrome. J Cannabis Res 3, 45 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-021-00101-0
Lyndsey L. Anderson, Adam Ametovski, Jia Lin Luo, Declan Everett-Morgan, Iain S. McGregor, Samuel D. Banister, and Jonathon C. Arnold
ACS Chemical Neuroscience 2021 12 (2), 330-339
Nachnani, R., Raup-Konsavage, W. and Vrana, K., 2022. THE PHARMACOLOGICAL CASE FOR CANNABIGEROL (CBG). [online] Jpet.aspetjournals.org. Available at: <https://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/jpet/early/2020/11/09/jpet.120.000340.full.pdf>
TURNER, C.E. and ELSOHLY, M.A. (1981), Biological Activity of Cannabichromene, its Homologs and Isomers. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 21: 283S-291S. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1552-4604.1981.tb02606.x