CBGV is the abbreviation for Cannabigerivarin, another phytocannabinoid from the cannabis plant. Its particular feature is attaching to the CB1 receptors of cells in the peripheral and central nervous system in humans and mammals.
Individual receptors are distributed across our organs, throughout our organism and in our brain, for example, to ensure a properly-functioning metabolism. CB2 receptors are primarily found in our immune system. This means they are critical when dealing with neuronal diseases with symptoms of inflammation or neuropathic pain.
Other type 2 receptors are found in the digestive tract, the immune system, the bones, the lungs and our largest organ: the skin. Even the eyes and hormone glands have CB2 receptors. The new discovery has been made by an international team of researchers who were able to decode the molecular structure of CB2 receptors. So, today we know that CB1 and CB2 receptors work closely together. If one cannabinoid receptor is stimulated by certain active ingredients, the other is weakened, sometimes even completely blocked. This finding is a big breakthrough, especially for medicine and the development of new, more effective medications.
CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the endocannabinoid system and perform different functions. These include regulating appetite, the need for sleep and physical sensations such as pain. Therefore, phytocannabinoids could be significant for many diseases that have been resistant to other methods.
Like most of its relatives, pure CBGV has no psychoactive effects.
Even with this cannabis genome, which is classified as cannabinoid acid, researchers have found possible areas of use for CBGV in medical procedures with cannabis. Marijuana strains with an increased CBGV content, for example, have an anticonvulsant effect and are therefore of interest for various methods for dealing with epilepsy. But more on that later in this article.
However, the most crucial task of CBGV seems to be to support other cannabinoids. Apparently, it is possible for CBGV to increase the effects of the well-known cannabinoid CBD and to help with binding to receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
Naturally higher levels of CBGV are found in cannabis plants in northwest India and Nepal. In most plants, CBGV only occurs in small quantities.
So far, we can only speculate as to the benefits of phytocannabinoids in plants. We think that CBGV has vital effects, for example, acting as an insecticide and an increase in resistance to various diseases.
As a little-known cannabinoid, current meaningful research on the effects of CBGV are limited. In general, it is thought of as analogous to cannabigerol or CBG for short. This means that both phytocannabinoids are similar in their chemical connection, but differ in one area. When it comes to CBGV and CBG, this difference lies in the different carbon rings.
The cannabinoid CBGV, attracting growing interest, is a derivative of cannabigerol, or CBG for short. In recent years, this cannabis plant molecule has earned a reputation for being the source of all cannabinoids. Of course, this is metaphorical. At the moment, CBD and THC are not only top priorities in cannabinoid research, but they also come from the molecular source CBG. CBGV is the base chemical for a wide range of cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabichromevarin (CBCV).
Like many phytocannabinoids, CBGV only takes full effect after being heated. This is called the decarboxylation process. By applying heat and light, CBGV can convert to CBD. One big advantage is that the cannabinoid is easier to absorb and works within the body more easily.
The concentration of CBGV plays a major role in its method of action. Also, the cannabinoid clearly works hard to assist CBD in binding to the receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Therefore, many new insights are emerging for possible uses of both cannabinoids. So far, these have not been researched.
When looking at the effect of CBGV on other phytocannabinoids in the ECS (endocannabinoid system), in general, CBGV relates to CBD in the same way that THCV relates to THC.
This non-psychoactive cannabinoid does not produce an intoxicating effect. However, CBGV seems to help the psychoactive phytocannabinoid THC to more easily bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system. In addition, CBGV supports its relative, cannabidiol. It plays a key role in the use of CBD and binding to the corresponding ECS receptors.
This means that cannabigerivarin can support the effects of medicinal cannabis or even boost
these. This new finding is beneficial for growing cannabis plants. If CBGV manages to increase or prolong the intoxicating effect of THC, the CBGV levels available in plants could be increased through targeted cultivation.
Researchers think that CBGV can increase the ability of cellular receptors in the ECS. There is no final clarification yet as to whether CBGV can stimulate the metabolic process of CBD and be more effective when part of a combined preparation.
However, the ability of the cannabinoid to relieve pain is already known. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of CBGV can benefit patients who are struggling with the rheumatic disease lupus, arthritis or the painful syndrome, fibromyalgia.
Although many cannabinoids in classic oil form are already used in skin care and for chronic and symptomatic skin diseases, CBGV is the only known phytocannabinoid (along with CBG) that has the rare property of soothing, improving and even healing dry skin. This insight was gained through experiments with sebocytes, sebaceous glands.In cases of acne, a common skin disease, scientists have tried to investigate an anti-acne procedure through non-psychotropic medication. While all phytocannabinoids tested have amazing anti-inflammatory effects, the data obtained suggests that CBGV and CBG can be used to deal with dry skin (a classic symptom of neurodermatitis).
The explanation is simple: CBGV has the ability to increase basal sebum lipid production. As people age or due to cold weather, this lipid production can come to a halt. Cold temperatures also slow down our metabolism, causing blood vessels to contract and restrict blood flow. This is a defense reaction by the body to falling temperatures to minimise heat loss. The sebum glands in our skin react in a similar way. They curb lipid production to a great extent, which is why the natural skin barrier in the uppermost layer of the skin, the horny layer, becomes more susceptible. Just like a brick wall, insufficient or even no production of lipids in the sebaceous glands causes the protective wall to tear. From this point, skin defects can occur. Through this process, our skin loses moisture, becomes brittle, rough or cracked and is more sensitive to the environment. Germs can also penetrate the skin more easily.
An increasing lipid production is like replacing missing bricks. The result is that our skin feels healthier and less dry and our natural skin moisture is boosted.
Patients suffering from inflammatory skin diseases, for example due to dermatitis, could benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of CBGV in the future. Inflammatory symptoms are often seen in dermatological disorders and can manifest as itching, blotchy reddening of the skin or pustules. They can appear as acute inflammation due to external influences such as UV radiation or caustic irritants or they can be chronic diseases, often with sudden outbreaks. This includes, for example, widespread dermatitis. Many types of inflammation can be remedied by tissue destruction. As part of the study, CBGV, along with other phytocannabinoids, was tested for its healing ability in dermatological diseases. Special attention has been given as to whether cannabinoids can reduce skin inflammation. CBGV has revealed that despite its anti-inflammatory properties, it influences the inflammation marker interleukin-6, IL6 for short, but only at high concentrations (above three μM). Through the Toll-Like-Receptor-3, it finally triggers an increased release of IL6. Researchers also found out in the same study that CBGV and CBDV work together at precisely coordinated but usually low concentrations to significantly suppress the expression of cytokines, i.e. the growth and differentiation proteins of cells. These proteins are responsible for the message delivery among the cells and for signal transmission. The immune cells also use cytokines to act on the brain and hormone glands.
Blocking excessive cytokines therefore helps the overworked immune system to return to a natural level. Inflammatory reactions stop and the associated pain and inflammatory skin swelling can decrease.
Therefore, CBGV could presumably also be used as a drug in immunotherapy and as a natural remedy without serious side effects to protect the body from shortcomings and help to protect against inflammatory messenger substances.
In 2013, scientists from the University of St. George's London published findings on research into non-hallucinogenic cannabinoids as drugs to help cancer patients (people suffering with leukaemia).After the cancer inhibitory properties of THC were investigated and recognised, the research team at London University, under the direction of Dr. Wai Liu, obtained a number of other cannabinoids from the hemp plant. They examined six cannabinoids individually and together as a combination to test for potential anti-cancer effects. The examination included two forms of CBD, two forms of CBG and two forms of CBGV. The result was astounding. Each of the tested cannabinoids had the same effects as THC. When applied together in combination, they even displayed an increased influence on blood cancer cells. CBGV showed itself to be a cytostatic and caused a concurrent standstill in all phases of the cell cycle.
Since the hallucinogenic effect is either non-existent or at most very minimal and cancer cells can be disrupted and prevented from growing, doctors and scientists see great potential from this new knowledge. Cancer cells can shrink and the development of metastases can be prevented. Some patterns of dosing used with these phytocannabinoids even enabled the self-destruction of cancer cells. Thanks to the pain-relieving “side effect”, CBGV provides the ideal circumstances for patients undergoing drug exposure, for example, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Another great advantage is the inexpensive methods of producing these new anti-cancer drugs.
These positive effects are leading research groups right across the world to continue to explore the full future potential of cannabinoids.
Since for many decades the cannabis plant has been well-known for its pure 'high' effect as a drug, research into cannabinoids and their powerful effects on the endocannabinoid system is still in its infancy. At present, there is only an initial indication that CBGV could be used as an anti-convulsant and a medication for relieving epileptic seizures. So far, CBD is being more widely used to deal with epilepsy in children, especially in America. This is provided that the individual’s epilepsy has been classed as resistant to other methods. This first scientific trial took place over a year from January 2014 to January 2015 and by a total of eleven different American epilepsy centres. Initial study results showed that CBD was effective and successful in reducing the frequency of epileptic seizures.
Over more than 12 weeks of intake, the seizures reduced by 36.5% on average. The greatest reductions were seen in patients suffering from focal seizures (focused on an area), closely followed by atonic, tonic and tonic-clonic seizures. All these are generalised epileptic seizures and characterised by abnormal electrical activity in the cortex.
If scientists are right in their theory that CBGV can boost the CBD metabolism and, when taken in combination, increases the effects of CBD, epilepsy patients are very likely to benefit.
Thanks to several preclinical studies, we can ascertain that CBDV, an analogue of cannabigerol, also has great potential as an anti-epileptic. The anticonvulsant properties of the cannabinoid seem to even work independently from the CB1 receptors, since CBDV (cannabidivarin) only binds weakly to these. Also, in micromolar concentrations, CBDV can inhibit the cellular uptake of anandamide, one of the body's endocannabinoids.
Although we do not know precisely what function anandamide has in the body, we suspect that this “happiness molecule” assumes a similar role to THC in the control of pain, appetite promotion and generating euphoric feelings.
As yet, there are no conclusive findings whether CBGV has effects that go beyond supporting other cannabinoids and can produce similar effects.
In Germany, around half a million people suffer from glaucoma. One of the causes of this widespread disease is increased intraocular pressure, which results from the impaired drainage of the tear fluid at the corner of the eye chamber. This can even make patients go blind without appropriate actions. The cannabinoid CBG has a good effect in helping to drain aqueous fluid. CBGV has also been successfully used in combination to deal with eye problems, enabling painful intraocular pressure to be relieved.
This happens because CBG and CBGV share anti-inflammatory and antibacterial methods of action.
Since CBGV serves its partner CBG so well through its indispensable loyalty and is therefore a valuable element in medicinal products, CBGV also plays a role in helping patients with bladder disorders.
After discovering the cannabinoid CBG in the 1960s, it was quickly found to have the ability to interact with various other phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
It wasn't until 2015 that a big breakthrough was made for patients suffering from bladder dysfunctions. In particular, studies found that CBG could be useful in helping overactive bladders (known as weak bladders) as it can decrease bladder contraction.
In this study, several non-psychotropic cannabinoids were tested in animal experiments, including CBG, CBD, THCV and CBDV.
CBDV came bottom of the list, which was sorted according to effectiveness, but it still showed contractility effects in hyperactive bladders.
CBG was the undisputed leader. This was no surprise, since CBG has can inhibit muscle contractions. Therefore, it is the ideal candidate for preventive bladder dysfunction procedure.