Does Cannabigerol (CBG) Help With Glaucoma?

CBD has been hogging the spotlight for a while now, but there are other big players in the cannabinoid world. Cannabigerol has been shown in research to have just the same potency in the body as CBD, and in some cases more so! You may be wondering why you haven’t heard so much about CBG if it’s so great, and there’s a good reason for that!

The Background On CBG

CBG is a product of the molecule CBGA – the precursor for all the major cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBGA is the startpoint, and is responsible for converting into the cannabinoids you’ve probably heard of: Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid – THCA, Cannabidiolic acid – CBDA and Cannabichromenic acid – CBCA (okay maybe not that one – it’s lesser known). These are the acid variants that are less chemically active than the compounds you find in your CBD oils and tinctures.

From this point, through exposure to UV light (we know this generally as sunlight) or heat, the ‘A’ part of these compounds is removed forming the active cannabinoids THC, CBD and CBC, and this is all part of the flowering process of the plant.

The reason why CBG isn’t so talked about is because after CBGA has been used to create all the dominant cannabinoids, there is little CBGA left to simply convert down into CBG, as as such the overall concentration of CBG in the cannabinoid profile of the plant is very low – less than 1%! As such it’s hard to come by in large amounts and more expensive.

Here’s A Rundown On Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition characterised by damage to the optic nerve – the connection between the eye and the brain. Glaucoma doesn’t occur overnight, it’s a gradual development over the years, and it’s usually caused by fluid build-up in the eye. The resulting pressure overtime can damage the optic nerve and if it isn’t treated it can lead to vision loss.

There are multiple type of glaucoma – the most common is the one that develops slowly over many years, and it’s mainly due to the drainage channels in the eye gradually clogging up over time. This kind of glaucoma is commonly found during opticians visits.

There are other forms such as secondary glaucoma caused by eye inflammation and childhood glaucoma. One other kind that is faster to develop, acute angle closure glaucoma, is caused by a sudden block in the drainage systems which can result in an increase in pressure very quickly. These symptoms include:

  • Intense eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red eye
  • Headaches
  • Tenderness around the eyes
  • Seeing rings around lights
  • Blurred vision

CBD & Intraocular Pressure

Back in 1990 research conducted by Brenda Colasanti aimed to look at the effect of applying cannabinoids CBG and Δ9-THC in drops to the eyes of cats. The study found that intraocular pressure was reduced significantly. Further studies using rats found that administration of Δ9-THC was associated with psychoactive effects in the brain, however CBG produced no such effects! (CBG is non-psychoactive just like CBD). The study also concluded that application of CBD produced a two-to three-fold increase in the aqueous outflow facility (basically this means the fluid can move around easier in the eye – potentially relieving the pressure).

While the paper is older, cannabinoids have for many years been used to help relieve symptoms associated with glaucoma. Just another benefit to the exciting compound CBG, a compound we’ll surely hear more about in the future with the surge of research on cannabinoids!

Like with everything we talk about here at Nordic Botanics, if you are considering using cannabinoids to treat glaucoma symptoms, or if you believe you are suffering with glaucoma, always consult your physician before to assess any interactions with medications.

References

COLASANTI, B.K., 1990. A comparison of the ocular and central effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabigerol. Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics6(4), pp.259-269.

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