What early research on the health benefits of CBN, CBG, CBDA and CBGA has to say
CANNABINOIDS ARE AMONG THE MOST STUDIED COMPOUNDS IN SCIENCE, with tens of millions of dollars spent on research at major universities like Harvard and Stanford, and at major research institutions like the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic.
There are over 115 different cannabinoids in the hemp plant. Extensive publicity has surrounded the most famous cannabinoids THC and CBD, primarily due to their significant therapeutic prospects. These compounds, derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, have been celebrated for providing possible solutions to various health complaints.
However, the noise around THC and CBD has somewhat overshadowed other equally significant but lesser-known cannabinoids gradually coming to light. In the spectrum of the many cannabinoids found in hemp, a few “superstar” cannabinoids show promise with unique health benefits. Those superstar compounds include cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), each of which is being studied for its unique potential health benefits.
According to Psychology Today, “There are indications that CBN is a powerful sedative. Research in mice has shown that CBN can prolong sleep time. Some research indicates CBN’s sedative effects are amplified when combined with THC.”
In addition, a recent Salk Institute study indicates that, “CBN can protect nerve cells from oxidative damage, a major pathway to cell death. The findings, published online Jan. 6, 2022, in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, suggest CBN has the potential to treat age-related neurodegenerative diseases which affect millions of Americans.
Although CBN is present in hemp in small amounts, recent research suggests potential health benefits such as promoting sleep, supporting immune function and aiding in pain management. While preliminary, these findings suggest CBN may have a promising role in the natural treatment of sleep disorders and immune system strengthening. Further studies are needed to validate these potential health benefits, but the early results are very positive.
CBG, sometimes called the “stem cell” of cannabinoids, is a nonintoxicating compound that serves as the precursor from which other cannabinoids are synthesized. Initial studies hint toward a plethora of potential health benefits of CBG, including aiding in mood management, inflammation reduction and neuroprotection. What makes CBG notable is its observed potential to combat inflammation and oxidative stress, conditions associated with many chronic diseases.
While more comprehensive studies are required, the preliminary data is quite encouraging and underscores the potential of CBG as a versatile cannabinoid in health care. Harvard Medical School notes, “Experiments in mice have shown that it can decrease inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease.” It also reduces the growth of abnormally fast-growing cells. More studies on humans are currently being conducted, and it will be interesting to see how those studies correlate with the fantastic results seen in other mammals.
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
CBDA is the acidic precursor to CBD that transforms into CBD under heat in a process known as decarboxylation. Researchers are particularly interested in CBDA due to its potential for managing inflammation, reducing nausea and vomiting, and other benefits.
The National Institutes of Health states, “In recent studies, CBDA exhibited anti-hyperalgesia and anti-inflammatory effects. THCA also showed anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects that may be beneficial for treating neurodegenerative diseases. CBDA and THCA can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and affect the central nervous system.”
In recent years, studies have suggested CBDA could be more effective than CBD in managing specific symptoms because it interacts directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system, unlike CBD. Given the early stage of research, the true efficacy and potential benefits of CBDA are still being fully explored, but these early indications are indeed positive.
Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)
Often called the “mother of all cannabinoids,” CBGA is the chemical precursor to both THC and CBD. Because CBGA converts into other cannabinoids, it’s typically present in very low levels in mature cannabis plants.
Early studies suggest potential benefits of CBGA in reducing inflammation, managing metabolic disorders and possibly even fighting fast-growing cells. Specific research is focusing on CBGA’s potential role in treating chronic colorectal abnormalities. These early-stage studies herald a keen interest in CBGA, making it another potentially powerful player in the realm of cannabinoid health care.
The increased focus on the health benefits of these minor cannabinoids signals a key shift in science’s understanding of the hemp plant. As research continues to progress, it is becoming apparent that the hemp plant’s power extends beyond THC and CBD.
Today, efforts to unlock the potential of CBN, CBG, CBDA,and CBGA are yielding intriguing results, suggesting a more holistic approach to understanding the potential therapeutic applications of the hemp plant. Meanwhile, as science uncovers the potential of these lesser-known compounds, it is clear that the hemp plant’s health-promoting properties are far broader and more complex than we have imagined.
It is important to note that while these minor cannabinoids show potential, more research is being conducted and new studies will soon be published. With this said, early indications are that CBN/CBG/CBDA and CBGA will be game changers for the overall health of Americans. These cannabinoids, like DCs, are on the cutting edge of improving the sorry state of the U.S. health system.
JOE KRYSZAK, MBA, is president of Stirling Professional CBD, the brand built by and for chiropractors and professional offices, giving back to the chiropractic industry. Since 2014, Stirling has grown, extracted and produced the purest CBD available. Stirling Professional brings amazing CBD/CBN/CBA/CBDA+ products to patients with the industry-leading lineup of 2,500-mg CBD lotions, THC and THC-free capsules and gels, and four great solutions for better sleep, bringing affordable solutions to patients. For more information go to stirlingprofessional.com.