The growth of the CBD industry is nothing short of spectacular. Just a few short years ago, “cannabidiol” (CBD), was an obscure cannabinoid only known to select groups of cultivators and scientists. In like fashion, hemp was federally illegal and only valued for its fibers and seeds.

Today, things look much different for hemp and CBD. The worldwide CBD market was valued at an astounding $2.8 billion in the year 2020. Even more, global hunger for “everything CBD” has stimulated the growth of a massive hemp industry, including growers, processors, and retail stores. While such amazing growth is exciting, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that CBD helps people.

People from around the world use CBD to treat both physical and mental ailments. Yet, the FDA has only approved a single CBD medicine – that being epidiolex. This drug is made from synthetic CBD and is prescribed exclusively for seizure patients. Beyond epidiolex, our understanding of the cannabinoid from new CBD research and patient testimonials.

While we continue to wait on formal FDA recognition of CBD, there are a myriad of intriguing findings that show great promise for the cannabinoid. High Grade Hemp Seed is excited to see where CBD research studies will lead us in the future.

A Growing Understanding of CBD and the Human Body

The cannabis plant contains over 100 chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. Because hemp has been illegal to grow in the United States for so long, there is precious little research on many of hemp’s medical properties. That is quickly changing.

CBD research studies are revealing a growing list of potential health benefits. The width and breadth of these benefits likely has to do with how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Introducing the Endocannabinoid System

One of the most exciting advances that has come directly from cannabinoid research has been the discovery of a biochemical communication system within the human body known as the endocannabinoid system.

Scientists are just beginning to understand this intricate and complex system, which helps to regulate:

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Fertility

Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body and have been shown to respond to cannabinoids, like CBD. This can help explain why CBD research has shown so many varied effects throughout the body.

What are the health benefits of CBD? Researchers are just starting to answer that question. Here is what we know about the potential medical benefits of CBD.

1. CBD and Pain Research

Many CBD advocates swear that CBD makes their aches and pains disappear, but what does the science actually say on this matter? The available research does seem to support the fact that CBD can offer pain-relieving properties. A double-blind study of 58 patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that patients who took Sativex, a nasal spray that includes both THC and CBD, reported significantly less pain than the placebo group. Additionally, a study on rats found that rodents who received injections of CBD seemed to feel less pain in response to surgical incisions.

What is behind the pain-relieving properties of CBD? It all comes back to the endocannabinoid system. Researchers hypothesize that CBD (and possibly other cannabinoids) may impact endocannabinoid receptor activity and interact with neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for feeling pain. Writing for the Harvard Health blog, Dr. Grinspoon explains that CBD has been shown to impact both inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are the two most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.

Importantly, CBD could offer relief for pain sufferers who have fallen victim to the opioid epidemic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, “In 2019 … 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers.” Unfortunately, many of these people got introduced to painkillers through a legitimate medical need, which eventually led to addiction. If CBD could help a fraction of these people find relief from their pain, it would be a wild success.

2. CBD and Anxiety Research

With a third of Americans now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, it’s more important than ever to understand what treatment options are available, especially for people who prefer natural remedies. In some cases, CBD may be the answer.

A double-blind study of 57 Brazilian men found that those who took 300 mg. of CBD felt significantly less anxiety during a simulated public speaking test than those who took a placebo. What’s interesting is that the same effects were not seen in subjects who took 150 mg. of CBD or 600 mg. of CBD, so dosing is an important consideration.

In a fascinating CBD case study in The Permanente Journal, researchers explain how CBD oil helped a young girl with post-traumatic stress disorder lower her anxiety and improve her sleep. Similarly, in the United States, many military veterans report relief from PTSD symptoms through the use of CBD.

3. CBD and Epilepsy

CBD has long since been proven to be an effective treatment for epilepsy. The only FDA-approved CBD drug in existence, epidiolex, is regularly prescribed to treat cases of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Both severe childhood epilepsy conditions greatly hinder the overall quality of life for sufferers. Due to the fact many of these patients are resistant to anti-seizure medications, CBD has given them a new lease on life through epidiolex.

One of the most well-researched medical benefits of CBD is its ability to effectively treat symptoms of epilepsy. CBD has been used in cases of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, severe childhood epilepsy conditions that are often resistant to anti-seizure medications. In a landmark double-blind study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that an oral solution of CBD was able to lower seizures in children with Dravet syndrome. The median frequency of seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 in the study group, while the decrease in seizures in the control group was minimal. It is studies like these that have made CBD increasingly accepted in the eyes of mainstream medicine.

4. CBD and Multiple Sclerosis

Nearly one million people in the United States over the age of 18 live with multiple sclerosis, a disease where the immune system eats away at nerve coverings, causing disabling nerve damage throughout the body.

A tragic hallmark of the disease is a muscle spasticity, which happens when the muscles stiffen and can’t be relaxed or stretched. Muscle spasticity can impede movement and speech and even make it difficult or impossible for a person to walk. A study that used Sativex on a group of 276 people with MS found that nearly 75% of the research subjects reported less muscle spasticity, offering needed relief and increased quality of life.

5. CBD and Heart Health

Can CBD health benefits include an improvement in overall health and wellness? One promising study points to the fact that CBD may help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is an indicator of heart disease and can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

This small CBD case study recruited nine healthy men to take a single 600 mg. dose of CBD oil. Even after just one dose, the men showed a lower resting blood pressure when compared to the placebo group. The men who took the CBD oil also showed a lower increase in blood pressure when put under a stress test.

6. CBD and Cancer Treatment Symptoms

For years, doctors and scientists have been searching for ways to help cancer feel better during treatment. Chemotherapy often leaves patients feeling weak, nauseated, and in pain. THC has long been used to help counteract these unpleasant cancer treatment side effects, but can a non-intoxicating cannabinoid like CBD also help?

A small, double-blind study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology recruited patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and gave them a combination of THC and CBD. Patients who received the THC and CBD reported fewer side effects from the chemotherapy than the placebo group.

7. Other Exciting Potential CBD Health Benefits

Many of the most exciting CBD research is still in the early stages. These studies have been conducted on test tube samples or in animals. While these avenues of research have a ways to go until they reach human trials, the results are still worth mentioning. These studies go to show that there is still so much we have to learn about CBD and how it affects the human body.

  • CBD and Cancer

Don’t believe anyone who says that CBD can cure cancer; however, test tube studies and animal studies have found that CBD can inhibit the spread of breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer. Much more research must be done in this area, so keep your eyes peeled for more advanced studies in the future.

  • CBD and Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and addiction are a dark reality for an estimated 22 million Americans. So many struggle and fail to break free of their addictions. CBD may be able to help. A review of 14 studies, including animal studies and pre-clinical human studies, found that CBD may offer therapeutic properties related to addictions to opioids, cocaine, and psychostimulants. Some data even suggests CBD could help with tobacco addiction.

  • CBD and Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects 34.2 million people in the U.S. and can dramatically lower quality of life and lifespan. A promising study of diabetic rats found that CBD treatment lowered the incidence of diabetes by 56% and also reduced inflammation related to diabetes.

  • CBD and Acne

Sebum is an oily substance secreted by the skin. When the skin produces too much sebum, it can block pores and lead to acne. Those with blemished skin can take heart in a test tube study that found CBD oil stopped sebaceous gland cells from creating too much sebum. The CBD also had an anti-inflammatory effect.

What Is the Future of CBD Research?

The CBD industry is here to stay. Yet, while thousands of patients report profound positive impacts from CBD, we are still waiting on formal approval from the FDA. As the CBD continues to gain mainstream acceptance, many hope it will eventually replace harmful pharmaceutical drugs such as painkillers and sleeping pills. However, we must be patient as the medical field works towards eventual approval through its CBD research studies.

Whether you are a medical patient curious about CBD, or a hemp grower interested in CBD seeds, it worthwhile studying the potential applications of the cannabinoid. In doing so, you can make educated decisions on whether to consume CBD or grow CBD hemp.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, you can bet we’ll keep an eye on all the emerging CBD research studies for you. In the meantime, contact us today to learn about our many high CBD strains of hemp.

CBD is the current darling of the wellness industry. Its purported anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have landed it in cosmetics, skin creams, teas, pet treats, and many other products. Now, a cannabinoid newcomer is gaining popularity: What is CBG, and how is it different from CBD? More importantly, should hemp farmers keep an eye on this potential new crop or even consider planting CBG strains of hemp in their fields? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is CBG?

Hemp contains hundreds of active compounds known as cannabinoids. The two most well-known compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As research on cannabinoids has expanded, many researchers and health industry experts also have their eye on cannabigerol (CBG).
CBG has been referred to as “the mother cannabinoid.” When a hemp plant is young, it produces cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). This compound then breaks down into cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) as the plant matures. Without digging too deep into the science, the CBDA and THCA are then converted into CBD and THC, which can be extracted from the buds and resin of the hemp plant after harvest. The leftover amount of CBGA is also converted into CBG.

Understanding the basics of this process is important for farmers because it helps to explain why CBG cannabinoid is more difficult (but also potentially more lucrative) to cultivate.

CBG vs. CBD

How do CBD and CBG compare to each other? First, let’s look at some of the similarities between CBD and CBG. For starters, both CBG and CBD are non-intoxicating, unlike THC. This makes both CBD and CBG popular compounds for those who want the health benefits cannabinoids can offer without the psychoactive side effects of THC.

Early research also seems to indicate that CBG and CBD may possess some overlapping health benefits as well as unique benefits. Both cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating:

  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Reproduction
  • Appetite

In a nutshell, the endocannabinoid system works to stabilize the body’s internal environment, which could be the reason research shows that CBD affects so many different parts of the body and impacts a variety of conditions.
One big difference between CBG and CBD is that CBD garners a far greater amount of research, including research that has reached human trials. The science on the effects of CBD is more established, which is one reason for its huge popularity.

As mentioned, researchers have now been turning their attention to CBG, and early studies have shown promising results. We need to stress that these studies are in the early stages, but these positive results surely mean that more advanced studies on CBG should be in the works.

The Challenge of Growing CBG Cannabinoid

Why is CBD so much more popular than CBG? Why is there so much more research on CBD and so many more CBD products? The answer is simple: CBG has historically been very difficult and cost-intensive to farm (not to mention illegal to grow until the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.)

Remember how we told you that CBG is “the mother cannabinoid” and that CBGA breaks down into THCA and CBDA as a hemp plant matures? The more that CBGA turns into other cannabinoids, the less CBG remains. Farmers who want to cultivate CBG traditionally had to harvest their hemp crop early before the plants could mature very much. This meant that farmers gave up on the chance to cultivate CBD in order to try and extract CBG.

Additionally, until very recently, hemp plants have produced very low amounts of CBG extract. It wasn’t uncommon to extract a measly 1% of CBG from a hemp plant, whereas a typical CBD strain of hemp could produce 10-16% of CBD.

If that weren’t bad enough, levels of CBG were so low in hemp plants that many farmers were forced to invest in specialized production equipment to isolate and purify CBG extract or pay higher prices for third-party extraction.

Of course, these extra investments and added risks do have a pay-off. CBG is known as the “Rolls-Royce of cannabinoids” and sells at a Rolls-Royce price on the open market. A 2019 study suggests that while CBD earns $3,600 per kilogram, the same amount of CBG can bring up to $20,000. That’s over five times the value of CBD.

Even with the promise of such a big potential payday, farmers may still be hesitant to take the risk of trying to cultivate CBG. Fortunately, hemp genetics is advancing at a breakneck pace, and several strains of CBG hemp have recently hit the market.

Introducing CBG Strains of Hemp

Hemp seed companies, including High Grade Hemp Seed, are working hard to breed hemp plants that produce more CBG extract. Here at HG, we have recently launched our Matterhorn CBG strain. Remember how traditional hemp plants could only produce 1% CBG concentrate? With our Matterhorn CBG, we’ve been able to achieve CBG concentrations of 15%. Farmers willing to invest in CBG hemp could be rewarded with a very healthy ROI.

Farmers who are considering cultivating CBG strains need to do their homework. Many of the CBG hemp seeds coming to market are brand new strains, and there are always disreputable companies that make big promises their seeds can’t keep. Do your research on a seed company before making a sizable investment. Work with a hemp seed company that has been around for several years and that has a good reputation for their other hemp seed strains.

It’s also a good idea to invest in feminized CBG seeds. You’ll pay a little more upfront, but you’ll earn that money back with higher yields of CBG. Also, you won’t have to do all the extra work of culling males from your fields, dramatically reducing your crop.
Finally, if you haven’t planted hemp before, or if you don’t have a greenhouse infrastructure on your property, consider choosing CBG hemp starts over seeds. Starts eliminate the risk of seeds that fail to germinate. They also come with a strong taproot that will help your plants stay healthy and strong throughout your growing season.

Should Hemp Farmers Plant CBG Hemp?

Is cultivating CBG worth the extra investment, work, and risk? A different way to think about these questions is to consider the value of diversifying your crop. CBD is a very hot commodity now, but more and more farmers are cultivating CBD extract.
At HG, we believe CBD hemp will always be worth planting and will still give farmers a great ROI, but it never hurts to diversify a crop and to continue experimenting. CBG hemp can both complement and hedge against CBD prices and can also position you at the very forefront of the CBG market. Some of the latest cannabinoid studies have found that CBD and CBG create a stronger, positive health effect when taken together. You can create that same synergy in your field.

If CBG becomes as hot as CBD, farmers who are experienced in growing high-yield CBG strains, like Matterhorn CBG, will be in a great position to feed a growing demand, especially for a previously hard-to-produce product.

Still have CBG cannabinoid questions? We’d love to answer them. Contact us today to learn more about our Matterhorn CBG or any of our CBD hemp strains. Our knowledgeable representatives can tell you all about how to grow Matterhorn CBG and how CBG hemp differs from CBD hemp. (Note: if you can grow CBD, you can likely grow CBG.) Finally, we can help you determine if CBG is the right addition to your farm and how it can fit into your overall hemp crop plan.