Can CBG Help Build Muscle and Stop Muscle Wasting in Disease?

Dragana Komnenov PhD October 8, 2018 0 comments

In the animal model, CBG was a very successful candidate for muscle building with cannabis.

The cannabis plant contains over 100 compounds, known as cannabinoids. Relatively has ben researched outside of the well known THC and CBD. Importantly, non-psychotropic compounds, such as cannabigerol (CBG), may contribute to several therapeutic benefits of cannabis. One that is of particular interest for the health industry is muscle building with cannabis. This may be achieve by accessing the benefits of CBG. (CBD REDUCING RECOVERY TIME)

Most clinical trials focus on one particular cannabinoid (such as THC) or a combination of THC and CBD. However, in the real world, medical cannabis consumers are exposed to many compounds and their associated benefits. Further, the medicinal benefits they experience are likely a result of the synergy of the Entourage Effect. This also explains why isolates may not be as effective as whole plant medicine, for some conditions.

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a minor cannabinoid, but is the third most concentrated in the cannabis plant, after THC and CBD. Still, it only occurs as ab average at one percent in flower. CBG binds weakly to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, and is non-intoxicating.

Importantly, CBG is a precursor to both THC and CBD. In fact, CBG is often called ‘the mother of all cannabinoids.’ This means there is only a small amount of CBG left in the cured flower. Interestingly, the CBG present in cannabis is the result of a natural degradation process, where CBGa converts to CBG.

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CBG and Research

CBG is relatively new to the research scene. It is, however, already known to help multiple sclerosis symptoms in the mouse model. This minor cannabinoid was found to provide neuronal protection, anti-inflammatory benefit, and restored motor function. Importantly, MS, like many other debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, that impact motor function, often leads to muscle atrophy. This is why CBD was tapped for further investigation into its muscle building potential.

While the science behind how CBG may prevent muscle wasting is still under investigation, looking at the effect CBG has on CB-receptors offers some clues.

Muscle Building with Cannabis

Cannabinoid signaling is involved in making new muscles and increasing muscle size. This means that the endocannabinoid system is involved. Namely, muscle growth is associated with the down-regulation of CB1 in human skeletal muscle. This down-regulation is caused by the receptors becoming less responsive. Interestingly, as proof of this interaction, when researchers prevent binding of cannabinoids to the CB1 receptor, greater muscle growth occurs.

In a study published in Peptides (2015),[1]Satu Pekkala, Petri Wiklund, Juha J Hulmi, Eija Pöllänen, Varpu Marjomäki, Eveliina Munukka, Philippe Pierre, Vincent Mouly, Antti Mero, Markku Alén, Sulin Cheng. Cannabinoid Receptor 1 … Continue readingmuscle growth was established through increased protein synthesis. CBG may participate in this process.

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Can CBG Help Muscle Wasting?

Recently, it was shown that CBG activates α2-adrenoreceptors and blocks CB1receptors. There is evidence that muscle synthesis requires down-regulation of CB1 receptors and that CBG inhibits CB1 receptors. Thus, it is likely CBG promotes muscle synthesis.

Muscle wasting (cachexia) is a characteristic of neurodegenerative disorders. This is often a consequence of lack of appetite and results in diminished overall strength. CBG has been shown to be a potent appetite stimulator in a pre-clinical studies using rats. Additionally, the study demonstrated that CBG, at a dose of 120 mg/kg, did not have any detrimental effects on balance, fine motor control and muscular strength.

Given that CBG acts as an inhibitor of CB1, it is possible that appetite-stimulating effects are affected through orexigenic endocannabinoid tone. Essentially, the health and efficiency of the endocannabinoid system influences appetite stimulation.

Alternatively, CBG may cause an increase in appetite by stimulating α2-adrenoceptors. In support of this, it has been shown that stimulation of α2-adrenoceptors in the region of the brain, called hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, increases appetite in well-fed rats.

The possibility that CBG’s ability to stimulate appetite and build muscle through direct or indirect interaction with t receptors in the endocannabinoid system needs further study. This non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid may represent a novel therapeutic option for patients with muscle wasting, and it may even have benefit for muscle training.