Cannabinoids 101: CBG

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are partly responsible for the wide array of medicinal and psychoactive effects cannabis may provide. Currently there are over 110 known cannabinoids with more likely to be discovered as studies continue to reveal the complex molecular structures of the cannabis plant.

Cannabinoids interact with human physiology through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the set of receptors that function to regulate health and promote homeostasis throughout the body. The ECS has two primary receptors, the CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor binds primarily to the brain and nervous system, while the CB2 receptor interacts largely with the immune system. The cannabis plant relies on cannabinoids binding to these receptors to produce the array of potential benefits and effects. Each cannabinoid holds unique characteristics of their own that are worth noting in order to maximize desired effects from medicating with cannabis.

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that plays an important role in the biochemistry of the cannabis plant. CBG acts as a chemical precursor to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. This conversion typically takes place 6-8 weeks in the flowering cycle. CBG is present only in trace amounts in most cannabis strains, however some hemp strains are specifically cultivated to generate higher yields of this cannabinoid.

CBG displays a multitude of potential health benefits including working as a neuroprotectant, having antioxidant properties, aiding with skin ailments as an antibacterial and antifungal agent, appetite stimulation, treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation reduction, shows promise in fighting cancer, and lowering intraocular pressure, which may benefit glaucoma patients.

How does CBG work?

CBG interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, acting as a possible inhibitor to the psychoactive effects of THC. CBG is also thought to boost anandamide, an endocannabinoid that naturally increases dopamine levels and responsible for regulating various health functions such as mood, sleep, and appetite. GABA uptake in the brain may be obstructed by CBG, making this cannabinoid a possible anti-anxiety agent and muscle relaxant. CBG may also block serotonin receptors, showing potential antidepressant traits.

CBG holds promise to be a key constituent in the overall medicinal benefits cannabis may provide. As cannabis research continues to rapidly evolve, CBG may emerge as one of the most therapeutically applicable and diverse cannabinoids to offer a wide range of possible remedies. Feel free to ask any of our knowledgeable patient consultants with any questions you may have.

The Research

CBG was examined for lowering intraocular pressure in a 1990 study, making it a possible glaucoma treatment. In a 2008 study CBG was found to be possibly beneficial in the treatment of MRSA due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. A December 2014 study explored CBG as a possible agent to combat colorectal cancer. The neuroprotective properties of CBG were the subject of a January 2015 study, suggesting therapeutic potential for Huntington’s disease. CBG showed to be a particularly effective cannabinoid in a June 2015 study that focused on bladder dysfunction treatment options. An October 2016 study showed CBG to be potentially effective for inducing appetite.

What Is CBG Oil? The Complete Guide to Benefits, Uses & More

What is CBG oil and what benefits does it offer you? Learn everything you need to know here!

Table of contents:
What is CBG oil?
What does CBG oil do?
CBG oil benefits and uses.
CBG vs CBD.

You may be familiar with CBD oil—after all, practically every media outlet in the country seems to be extolling its many virtues at the moment. But amidst all the hype, many people are overlooking CBD’s remarkable little cousin: CBG.

CBG may not get as much attention as CBD, but a growing body of research suggests it offers many of the same benefits—and then some. Here’s the low-down on what CBG is, how it acts in the body, CBG oil’s benefits and uses, and exactly what distinguishes CBG from CBD.

What is CBG Oil?

Like CBD, CBG is a cannabinoid, or a naturally occurring compound that is present in hemp and cannabis plants. There are more than a hundred cannabinoids in these plants.

Currently, the cannabinoids attracting the most public attention are THC and CBD. Here’s a lightning-quick overview of these better-known cannabinoids:

  • THC is responsible for the psychoactive properties in cannabis and may boast a number of possible health benefits, including relief from pain and nausea and assistance in the management of serious health conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cancer.
  • CBD is non-psychoactive (meaning it won’t get you “high”) and also offers a number of possible benefits including anxiety and pain relief, decreased inflammation, improved mood, and better cognitive health.

Even though CBG hasn’t been getting as much attention as THC and CBD, it’s starting to show up on the radar of researchers and people who are seeking natural management options for a variety of conditions. We’ll touch on the possible benefits of CBG oil in following sections.

CBG is sometimes referred to as the “mother of cannabinoids,” because it’s thought that many cannabinoids actually start out as a form of CBG. Within the hemp or cannabis plant, CBG starts out in the form of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which provides the original material for other cannabinoids. CBGA is synthesized into the likes of THCA, CBDA, and so on. When these compounds are heated up, they drop the “A” (acid) and become the THC and CBD with which we’re all familiar.

This synthesis process happens as the cannabis or hemp plant matures, which helps explain why the amount of CBG in a plant declines as the plant ages—it’s being used up to synthesize other types of cannabinoids.

CBG oil is derived via extraction from a hemp or cannabis plant. This extraction is often mixed with a carrier oil (such as MCT oil) in order to produce an edible or topical product.

What does CBG stand for?

There’s a reason people use abbreviations for cannabinoids including CBD, THC, and CBG: Their real names can be hard to remember and pronounce!

But for those who are curious, CBG stands for “cannabigerol,” which is simply the official name for this cannabinoid.

What does CBG Oil Do?

Like other cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, it’s thought that CBG interacts with the human body’s own endocannabinoid system.

Researchers are still working to understand exactly how cannabinoids in general affect the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. It seems that CBG mostly binds with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. The science here can get really complicated, but the main takeaway is that the way CBG interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system helps explain why it may have several therapeutic effects for humans.

CBG is non-psychoactive—meaning it doesn’t produce the “high” associated with THC. Thus, CBG may yield therapeutic benefits without any mind-altering effects.

CBG Oil Benefits and Uses

Now that you understand what CBG is and how it works in the body, let’s talk about why this substance might be beneficial. While research into CBG’s benefits is still in its infancy (and most clinical trials have been conducted on animals), here’s an overview of some of the most promising research so far:

  • CBG may offer pain relief. According to a 2010 review, CBG may have pain-relieving properties. This is true for other cannabinoids including CBD and THC, but there’s some evidence that CBG may have even more pain-relieving properties than THC.
  • CBG may function as a natural muscle relaxant. Per the same 2010 review, CBG may also help relax muscles. For this reason, CBG may be useful for the management of sports injuries or chronic pain.
  • CBG may have antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. Based on the 2010 review cited above, CBG may offer relief from depressive symptoms. There’s also some evidence that CBG may increase natural levels of anandamide (also known as the “bliss molecule”) in the brain, thereby offering anxiety relief.
  • CBG may have antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. A number of studies have found that CBG may possess both antifungal and antimicrobial properties. These properties are so potent that CBG can even help fight off MRSA.
  • CBG may have a neuroprotective effect. That’s a fancy way of saying CBG may help keep the brain healthy by protecting against cognitive decline. A 2015 study suggests this may be true for people dealing with serious neurological conditions such as Huntington’s disease. These same properties may also prove helpful for people with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • CBG may assist in the management of bladder dysfunction. A 2015 study (which was conducted on mice) found that CBG and other cannabinoids may reduce bladder contractions, which could help people with overactive bladder.
  • CBG may help strengthen bones. Per a 2007 study, it’s possible that CBG may play a role in stimulating bone marrow growth. While more research is needed, this suggests CBG might be able to assist in the healing of bone fractures and possibly protect against osteoporosis.
  • CBG may have anti-tumor effects. A few animal studies have suggested that CBG may slow the progression of certain cancers, including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Additionally, CBG may stimulate appetite, thereby helping to counteract one of the effects of chemotherapy.
  • CBG may assist in the management of psoriasis. There’s some evidence that the way CBG interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system might make it a viable treatment option for psoriasis.
  • CBG may soothe inflammatory bowel disease. A 2013 study (which was conducted on mice) suggested CBG may reduce inflammation in the lower bowel. Meanwhile, a 2018 study found that cannabinoids in general may help turn off the body’s inflammatory response in the gut.
  • CBG may assist in the treatment of glaucoma. CBG and other cannabinoids have been shown to reduce intraocular pressure in the eye, which may be useful for people coping with glaucoma.

CBG vs. CBD

As we’ve noted, CBG shares a lot in common with CBD (though they’re two distinct compounds). Here are some of the ways in which CBG and CBD are fairly similar:

  • Both CBG and CBD are cannabinoids. They are both naturally occurring compounds derived from the cannabis or hemp plant.
  • Both CBG and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. While researchers are still working to understand the intricate workings of the endocannabinoid system, they do know that both CBD and CBG affect the human body by interacting with this system.
  • Both CBG and CBD may have a number of therapeutic effects. Both CBG and CBD have therapeutic effects that are distinct to those compounds, but there is also some overlap. For instance, CBG and CBD have been shown to assist in alleviating pain, relieving anxiety and depression, improving skin health, offering neuroprotective benefits, and assisting in the management of cancer and other health conditions.
  • Both CBG and CBD are non-psychoactive. That means neither compound provokes a “high” or mind-altering effect.

Even though there are a lot of similarities between CBG and CBD, it’s important to remember that these are two different compounds with slightly different effects on the human body. There’s some evidence that the beneficial effects of these cannabinoids may be magnified when taken together as opposed to in isolation. This phenomenon is called the “entourage effect.”

Summary

While research into CBG is relatively new, so far studies suggest this non-psychoactive cannabinoid may offer a number of benefits.

Those possible benefits include pain relief, muscle relaxation, relief from anxiety and depression, neuroprotective effects, improvements in skin and bone health, and assistance in the management of a number of conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, overactive bladder, and even cancer. CBG also has demonstrated antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.

If you want to give CBG a try, it’s important to vet companies carefully. As with any supplement, CBG isn’t regulated, which means it’s up to brands to be accountable for quality control—and some brands take this responsibility more seriously than others.

Our broad-spectrum, THC-free CBD oil with CBG is one of the only consistently stable CBD + CBG oils on the market. Our extra-strength formula is extracted from genetically registered hemp plants grown by U.S.-based farmers who pass our rigorous quality control testing, and our CBG oil is processed and bottled in the U.S. in an FDA-certified and GMP-compliant facility.

While many companies have been found to spike their low-grade oils with cheap isolates or synthetic versions from China, we’re committed to making natural, effective products without any useless or dangerous chemicals, fillers, or cheap synthetics.

Finally, our blend of carrier and driver oils enhances absorption up to 15X, which ensures that you enjoy the benefits of CBG (instead of spending your money on a product that doesn’t work). All signs suggest CBG is a safe, non-psychoactive tool for enjoying a number of physical and mental benefits.

TRY CBG OIL

CBG Oil Gold 9% – 10ml

CBG GOLD OIL – 9% natural synergy

Discover our unique novelty – CBG GOLD 9% OIL, which is an extremely valuable blend of 500 mg CBD and 400 mg CBG along with a full spectrum of other cannabinoids (CBD, CBDA, CBDV, CBG, CBC, CBN, CBGA, THCA, THCV, THC) .

It is a product rich in naturally occurring cannabis phenols, flavonoids and terpenes. Its characteristic feature is the perfect synergy between fatty acids: omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9.

Our CBG GOLD 9% is a completely organic product that is not subject to genetic modification, is 100% natural and not subjected to chemical treatments. Hemp, from which we create our products, come from organic farming.

One drop of oil will give your body 2.5 mg of CBG and 2 mg of CBD – the combination and synergy of the two components of cannabis makes their joint action much more effective compared to supplementation with only one component.

It is enough that after setting the dose you apply drops under the tongue. Wait 30 seconds and swallow the rest. Remember to maintain continuity and regularity when using.

Capacity: 10 ml.

CBG GOLD OIL 9% – what is cannabigerol?

CBG is cannabigerol – a cannabis component found in very small amounts (about 1% in relation to the content of the rest of the substance in hemp).
However, it is one of the most important cannabinoids, because it is the foundation for other compounds formed throughout the plant and shows a number of beneficial health properties.

CBG OIL GOLD 9% – properties

The incredible, often underestimated by its small amount of cannabigerol throughout the cannabis surprises with its health properties.

The proven scientific action of CBG covers the areas of:

  • Pain – CBG has pain relief properties, especially neuropathic pain.
  • Anxiety – cannabigerol reduces muscle anxiety and tension and acts as an antidepressant.
  • Inflammation and digestive problems – supports the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Leśniowski-Crohn’s disease
  • Skin activity – CBG has moisturizing properties and actively supports the treatment of skin diseases .
  • Glaucoma – CBG has been shown to relieve intraocular pressure, which may be beneficial in the treatment of glaucoma.
  • Neuroprotective effects – CBG has been shown to have neuroprotective properties and may be promising in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis .
  • Antiseptic – CBG has antiseptic properties, and research suggests that it can be effective in fighting superb MRSA.
  • Antineoplastic activity – CBG shows promising properties for the potential treatment of a wide range of cancers, including breast, liver, lung, pancreatic, skin, ovarian, kidney, bladder and colon cancer.
CBG GOLD OIL – (INCI)

Extract of CO2 from hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and CO2 extract from hemp seed, terpenes, flavonoids, phenols *
* from organic crops

What Is CBG and How Is It Different from CBD?

Photo: Francesco Carta fotografo/Getty Images

By now everyone and their grandmother (especially their grandmother, TBH) is well aware of CBD and its purported-borderline miraculous-healing properties. And while the research is slowly validating these claims, anecdotes of CBD’s power have been pouring out en masse. Your neighbor’s dog no longer has arthritis and your best friend’s insomnia and anxiety are suddenly quelled.

But in the corner comes a dark horse: CBG. That’s right, there’s another cannabis compound on the block, and it’s high time you got to know it. We know, it’s a lot to take in, so let’s break it down.

Phytocannabinoids 101

The cannabis plant, like all plants, is made up of several chemical compounds. Within cannabis specifically, these compounds are called cannabinoids. (There are also terpenes, flavonoids, and more, but for the purpose of today’s lesson, let’s focus on cannabinoids). The human body actually has an endocannabinoid system designed to receive these compounds and use them to achieve a healthy equilibrium.

Historically, most people have been familiar with the cannabinoid THC: The compound notoriously known for creating a euphoric intoxication. (Read: It gets you high.) Despite the fact that THC has profound healing powers similar to CBD, it remains stigmatized as the “bad” part of cannabis. That said, of the 120+ cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, THC is the only compound with the ability to intoxicate. (Keep reading: The Difference Between CBD, THC, Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana)

So, What Is CBG?

CBG stands for cannabigerol and is currently being studied for its potential pharmacological properties but hasn’t been in any clinical trials (yet!). The plant itself is thousands of years old, and one study dates back to the 60s-but common knowledge of it is still new.

So far, in-vitro and rat studies have shown some indications that CBG may help with colitis, neurodegeneration, and cancer.

“We don’t know much about CBG,” says Perry Solomon, M.D., a board-certified anesthesiologist and medical cannabis expert. “It’s not a common cannabinoid,” he explained, noting that it’s not found in large quantities within the cannabis plant, “and you have to get enough to be able to test it and study it.” Due to nearly a century of cannabis prohibition and scarcity of this novel phytocannabinoid, many of the claims about its efficacy are yet to be proven-but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

“CBG is the precursor to CBD, CBC, and THC,” says Dr. Solomon. It’s sometimes referred to as the stem cell. What does this mean? “CBGA (the acidic, inactive form of CBG) changes, is broken down, and becomes the base molecule that other cannabinoids form from,” including THC, CBD, and CBC.

What’s the Difference Between CBD and CBG?

As mentioned, CBG helps make CBD, so while they’re both cannabinoids, they’re different compounds within the cannabis plant. Additionally, they serve different purposes and may help treat different ailments, despite some potential pharmacological overlap. (Related: How to Buy Safe and Effective CBD Products)

Both CBG and CBD are currently considered non-psychotropic, meaning they won’t alter your state of mind in a way that would inhibit your day-to-day function and mental clarity. They can, however, alter your mind in a way that could potentially relieve anxiety and depression. So perhaps a better description of this would be “non-intoxicating”-it won’t get you high in the way THC can.

Another important note: Like CBD, CBG may counteract the intoxicating effects of THC, says Dr. Solomon. “Studies of CBG seem to show that it activates the CB1 receptor just as CBD does, which essentially decreases psycho-activation,” he says.

This means if you consume cannabis that has a high concentration of CBD and CBG, or consume an isolate of CBG in addition to consuming (read: smoking or eating) cannabis, you could potentially counterbalance the “high” or intoxication. There is CBG naturally found in the cannabis you’re already consuming, but likely not in a large enough quantity to make any difference.

CBG may also increase your appetite. CBG made “lab animals like rats” hungrier, which is not the school of thought with CBD (as far as we know), according to Dr. Solomon. It’s also different from another phytocannabinoid, THCV, which inhibits appetite and may lead to weight loss.

What Are the (Potential) Benefits of CBG?

All of this has yet to be proven in clinical trials, but there are some early studies showing that CBG may be a promising treatment for several conditions. Keep in mind, this isn’t definitive proof, and while some studies show promise, the assertations are “unfounded as of now,” says Dr. Solomon.

  • May treat glaucoma and relieve intraocular pressure. This could be a huge deal because CBD on its own does not help with glaucoma, but THC does-so for patients who want to treat glaucoma using cannabis, this may be a way to do so without the intoxication effect. A 1990 study looked at the use of CBG for glaucoma and found that “cannabigerol and related cannabinoids may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of glaucoma.” However, you should continue to take doctor-prescribed glaucoma medication, and only take CBG or cannabis as an addition to your Rx meds and after consulting your doctor, says Dr. Solomon.
  • Have antibacterial properties, particularly for MRSA. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or “MRSA” is a type of staph infection that is resistant to methicillin (a common type of antibiotic), rendering it a particularly threatening or even fatal bacterial infection. In a 2008 study, CBG showed promise for treating MRSA as an antibacterial agent. Dr. Solomon said this is an area where CBG shows real promise. “It’s thought to help with MRSA,” he said. “CBG has potential to treat bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics.”
  • Contributes to GABA reuptake inhibition. CBG inhibits GABA uptake, which could lead to muscle relaxation, tension relief, and sensation of calm and peace in the body and brain, according to Bonni Goldstein, M.D., a physician with a distinguished background in pediatrics and a current specialty in cannabis medicine, as she noted in a recent video. A 1975 study corroborated this. Pharmacologically, GABA uptake inhibitors are already used to treat anxiety. Dr. Solomon adds that because of this decreased “GABA uptake,” CBG could “potentially decrease anxiety.”
  • Could help inflammatory bowel disease and colitis. Rats were studied in 2013 for the use of CBG for colitis, and the results were positive, concluding that CBG reduced the effect of colitis. According to the study, IBD patients have been experiencing “successful management of abdominal pain, joint pain, cramping, diarrhea, poor appetite, weight loss, and nausea” with the use of cannabis, but there are not many studies just yet exploring CBG as an isolated compound.
  • May work for Huntington’s and neurodegenerative diseases. A 2015 study on mice found that “the use of CBG, alone or in combination with other phytocannabinoids or therapies, treatment of neurodegenerative diseases,” such as Huntington’s disease. “CBG normalized expression of abnormal genes linked to brain degeneration, showing that it’s a neuroprotective compound,” says Dr. Goldstein to Shape.
  • Potentially fights cancer. “CBG is also proven in laboratory studies to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells,” says Dr. Goldstein. A review article in 2009 showed that CBG could potentially slow tumor growth. Another study from 2016 concluded that “the preclinical data strongly support the notion that non-psychoactive plant-derived CBs can act as direct inhibitors of tumor progression as well as enhance the activity of first-line therapies.” A 2014 study found similar results, reporting that CBG inhibited tumor growth in colon cancer, and 2006 study including cannabigerol noted it may help with breast cancer. In 2016, it was shown to be an appetite stimulant in rats, which could help patients undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Showing major promise for inflammation, including of the skin. A 2007 study looked at CBG’s ability to treat eczema and psoriasis, and as mentioned, it may help reduce the inflammation caused by IBD.

As mentioned, if you’re consuming cannabis in its entirety (whether that’s smoked, delivered in a tincture, or eaten), you’ll be getting a little bit of CBG in its natural form. So far, there haven’t been reports of adverse side-effects to CBG on its own, but to reiterate, there’s not nearly enough research on it yet. So (as always!) check with your doctor before adding any medication or supplement-OTC, natural, or otherwise-to your regimen. (PSA: Supplements can interfere with your Rx meds.)

  • By By Dominique Astorino

Why CBG (Cannabigerol) Is One Of The Most Expensive Cannabinoids To Produce

As CBD continues to explode in popularity, brands are beginning to take notice. Innovative companies are already beginning to offer products centered around one of the other 100+ cannabinoids found in the plant.

One of those cannabinoids is Cannabigerol, or CBG. First discovered by researchers in the 1960’s, CBG is the precursor from which all other cannabinoids are synthesized, which is why it’s often referred to as the “mother” or “stem cell” of cannabinoids. This unique property imbues CBG with enormous therapeutic promise, making it a subject of great interest for researchers and consumers alike.

“It’s definitely gaining momentum,” says James Rowland, CEO of Steve’s Goods, a Colorado based brand that specializes in producing CBG goods. “We have personally administered CBG to thousands of people at over 50 events. It’s the most requested product on our website and we provide education to thousands of receptive people both in person and online every month.”

CBG (Cannabigerol) being made

Photos courtesy of Steve’s Goods

The US government is also keen on learning more about CBG. In 2018 The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) announced an intent to research minor cannabinoids including CBG that could help manage pain.

So how exactly does CBG work?

“CBG works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Together, CB1 and CB2 receptors regulate neurohormones which actively affect physiological processes including mood, metabolism, pain response, and appetite,” begins Derek Du Chesne, Chief Growth Officer at EcoGen Laboratories. “When cannabinoids like CBG interact with these receptors, it activates a response and produces physiological changes.”

While the research conducted on CBG is still in its infancy, what we do know about CBG is very promising.

“We know that CBG shows promise as an antibacterial agent and an anti-inflammatory,” says John Huemoeller, CEO of AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc.

The potential health benefits of CBG are extensive. A non-intoxicating compound, it’s thought to help regulate mood thanks to its ability to boost anandamide, the body’s native “bliss” molecule, as well as act as a GABA reuptake inhibitor. CBG is also a potent neuroprotectant and is currently being evaluated for its ability to combat ailments like Huntington’s Disease. It also has cancer fighting properties and is a potent antibacterial that can even treat MRSA.

Despite the medical appeal and consumer demand there’s one big hurdle to face, though: CBG is notoriously expensive to produce, so much so it’s been dubbed the “the Rolls Royce of cannabinoids.”

“It takes thousands of pounds of biomass to create small amounts of CBG isolate,” continues Rowland. “That’s because most hemp only contains minute percentages of CBG, where as there are now hemp strains that contain 20% CBD in the crop. If the CBG content of the same crop is only 1%, that means you need to extract 20 times the amount of biomass to get the same amount of CBG out.”

CBG Production

Photos courtesy of Steve’s Goods

CBG also comes with its own “Sophie’s Choice.”

“Either you give up your entire crop to process and produce pure CBG prior to the conversion into other cannabinoids, or you wait until it’s time to harvest the hemp plant, says Floyd Landis, founder of the retail outlet Floyd’s of Leadville. “By that time most of the CBG has been converted into other cannabinoids so there’s very little left to extract.”

This is only part one of a layered and complex problem. Part of the biomass problem is the genetics of cannabis plants. Cannabis plants have been bred to produce as much THC and/or CBD as possible thanks to consumer demand. And since plants can only produce a finite amount of cannabinoids, many cannabis plants today contain less than 2% CBG by volume.

“Nobody had been breeding cannabis strains high in CBG until recently,” notes Rowland.

It seems CBG first came onto the consumer market in 2015 when AXIM Biotechnologies announced the world’s first retail-ready CBG cannabis products. These included a variety of oral care products like toothpaste as well as cosmetic beauty creams. Quickly on its heels was Steve’s Goods, who began to produce the first consumer facing CBG tincture in 2016. Few other producers make it today, with Hemptown USA claiming that they’re one of four producers in the US. Other CBG brands include Flower Child and Plant People.

Genetics is one factor in CBG’s extortionate production cost. Another is—surprisingly enough—a surge in consumer demand.

“Demand has consistently outpaced our internal production of hemp,” says Joseph Nunez, President and COO of EcoGen Laboratories.

Nunez continues, “Accordingly, each year to-date, we have had difficulty obtaining a large enough volume of hemp biomass to meet our production demands. Every summer, prior to the new harvest, the quantity and quality of biomass available has materially decreased. We believe that the amount of hemp being grown this year across the US, however, will greatly surpass that of previous years.”

Cannabis farm

Photo by jay stonne on Unsplash

Adding on to the existing chaos is the fact that CBG requires highly specialized and often pricey equipment to produce.

“To extract CBG you need extremely expensive equipment to carry out a process known as chromatography,” says Rowland. “There are a number of other methods to extract it and they’re all much cheaper to carry out. That said, the genetics of the plant is still the primary price factor. Breed higher CBG hemp strains, and the cost to extract the CBG goes way down as you need much less material to extract it.”

If consumer demand is at an all time high, and CBG’s medical promise equally viable, what are brands doing to lower production costs?

One of the ways to combat production costs is to funnel money into developing plants with a high CBG genetic yield.

“By developing better CBG genetics whereby the CBG is the dominant cannabinoid expressed within the plant, we can apply more traditional and less costly purification processes,” says Nunez.

Hemptown USA, for instance, is currently developing a fully mature plant that has upwards of 10% CBG at full maturity.

“While Hemptown’s cultivation costs do not increase substantially with the use of the CBG genetics, as posed to growing CBD genetics, the genetics themselves are expensive to develop and are very rare,” says Hemptown USA CEO John Cummings. “Development of stable CBG dominant genetics can take as long as 3 years to develop, further increasing costs and barriers to entry.”

Another brand endeavoring to modify CBG’s genetic profile is EcoGen Laboratories. They’ve been working on a particular CBG cultivar since 2017, with a certificate of analysis that currently shows a CBG content of 22% weight by volume. Steve’s, too, are hot on the trail as they currently work to develop strains with higher levels of CBG.

“There are only a few places in the country we know about that are breeding and growing hemp strains to specifically yield higher levels of CBG and we’ve already partnered with one of those farms,” says Rowland.

Cannabis processing

Photo by Terre di Cannabis on Unsplash

Brands that opt to harvest early can potentially access a larger amount of CBG, though it’s still with its issues.

“If you harvested the plant younger where there is a higher % of CBG available, you’re still only talking around 5% which means you need 2 to 3 times the plant mass to equal the same % of CBD,” notes Kevin Quirk, President and CEO of Harvest Connect. “Having said that, we are working on a strain that could maximize CBG but would be without CBD and THC.”

Another issue is quality control. Producers have to take special care to note they use extraction processes that do not employ any solvents as “there is always residual remanence left behind that finds its way into the final product,” says Quirk. “We always test our products through a 3rd party to ensure our consumers get the absolute best product with the best ingredients available.” As such this can boost the prices of CBG even higher for a select few who don’t have local access to their hemp supply. Some, like Steve’s, reduce this consumer cost through carefully cultivated relationships with farms.

“We source 100% of our hemp from local Colorado farms and maintain tight knit relations that allow us to track the product from seed to sale,” says Rowland. “As of this year, we’re now harvesting hemp on our own farm less than an hour away from our headquarters. This ensures we’re delivering the most pure adulterated hemp products available on the market.”

The final hurdle in reducing CBG’s production cost is equipment. As enterprising businesses race to see who can streamline the CBG production first, many are choosing to focus on optimizing their production equipment.

“The equipment is expensive to begin with and the IP for the exact methodology to select out individual components is closely held by each extractor,” says Tim McCarthy, VP of Sales of United Natural Hemp Extracts, LLC.

“A few companies are looking to refine and perfect chromatography to speed up the process of refining plant genetics as the process can be lengthy,” adds Gabe Kennedy, CEO of Plant People. “As the industry is able to scale up chromatography equipment to extract CBG from full-spectrum oils, it should allow larger batches to be produced and reduce costs.”

EcoGen, too, is poised to strike. “EcoGen has developed specialty isolation and purification equipment as well as the related processes to materially lower the cost of CBG production,” says Nunez.

All things considered, it’s a steep and rocky road for CBG to climb until consumer education improves a little.

“It seems to us that CBG still isn’t on most people’s radar yet,” notes Landis. “The general public is still digesting terms like cannabinoid and cannabidiol so when you throw another acronym in the mix, the reaction can be “CB-what?” Most people are still trying to wrap their heads around cannabinoids so once you move past THC and CBD people get confused very quickly.”

CBG crystals

Photo courtesy of Steve’s Goods

Quirk echoes the sentiment, adding that, “We are currently working with Georgia regulators and universities on the effects of different cannabinoids, and other natural compounds in the plant on different ailments and medical conditions…We are trying to bring CBG more heavily into the discussion.”

It seems as though consumer knowledge and demand are the final pieces of the puzzle.

As the availability of CBG increases in the marketplace and the price decreases, we fully “anticipate the momentum to continue – very similar to how CBD isolate used to be $20,000/KG and now we sell it for $2,000/KG,” says Du Chesne.

“The cannabinoid specific markets are going to wildly fluctuate for another few years until the demand evens out,” says Rowland. “I do think it will remain considerably more expensive than CBD for a long time, but if CBD prices drop you’ll see CBG prices drop too.”

Cannabis culture is rife with unique words and abbreviations—from the easy-to-understand grass and weed to the where-in-the-world-did-that-come-from chronic and reefer. Few of these words, though, are as important to your understanding of marijuana as the three- and four-letter terms:

  • THC.
  • THCA.
  • THCV.
  • CBD.
  • CBDA.
  • CBDV.
  • CBC.
  • CBCA.

Why are these abbreviations so important? Because they’re the building blocks—and the cause—of everything that makes the cannabis plant so great. These abbreviations, and their multisyllabic scientific names are known collectively as cannabinoids.

One hundred and thirteen cannabinoids have been identified so far, each with its own distinct effects. Among those 113 different chemical compounds, one cannabinoid stands out as more significant than all the others. That cannabinoid is cannabigerol (CBG).

But what is CBG? Why is it so important? And what are its benefits? The experts at Honest Marijuana will reveal the facts about this little-known cannabinoid and show you why it can be considered the stem cell of the medical-marijuana world. We’ll also investigate the questions:

  • Will CBG get you high?
  • Does CBG have any side effects?
  • Should you try CBG?

Before we address CBG directly, though, it’s essential that we talk briefly about basic cannabis plant biology.

Basic Cannabis Plant Biology

Pretty much everything that happens in the cannabis plant occurs because of biosynthesis. Biosynthesis is the combination of chemical compounds to form new chemical compounds. In the case of the cannabis plant, the important chemicals to remember are:

  • Geranyl pyrophosphate (GPP or sometimes GDP).
  • Olivetolic acid (OLA).

These two chemicals are the building blocks—the parent molecules, if you will—of all 113 cannabinoids we mentioned earlier. When they combine, some pretty cool stuff happens!

We’ll continue tracking the production of CBG in the section CBGA: Where It All Begins. For now, though, it’s vital that we learn a bit about the chemistry of cannabinoids so we fully understand what’s going on.

Cannabinoids Defined

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in your brain. THC is the most well-known cannabinoid because of its psychoactive effects. But other cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, and, yes, CBG are gaining in popularity thanks to their powerful medicinal effects.

For the rest of this article, we’ll focus on a specific class of cannabinoids known as phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are produced naturally in plants and are what you get when you smoke, dab, eat, or in all other ways consume marijuana.

The other classifications of cannabinoids include endocannabinoids (produced in your body), and synthetic cannabinoids (manufactured in a lab).

“Wait, back up,” you say, “did I just read that my body produces cannabinoids all by itself?” Yes, sort of. But it’s not what you think.

You can’t somehow concentrate real hard and produce enough endocannabinoids to get you high or relieve your pain. Your body doesn’t work that way. In fact, there’s really no plausible situation where your endocannabinoids would produce the same results as smoking a joint or ingesting a CBD medication.

“So what is it that my endocannabinoids do?” you ask. Good question. The cannabinoids that your body produces naturally are primarily responsible for keeping your body in homeostasis.

“Homeo-what-sis?” Homeostasis. It’s your body’s natural tendency to remain in equilibrium. “Equi-what-brium?” Ok, last time. The next time you don’t understand a word, crack a dictionary.

Equilibrium is a state of physical balance. Picture a teeter-totter (or see-saw) with really hot on one side and really cold on the other. Your body maintains a balance (an equilibrium) between too hot and too cold so that cells don’t die. That’s homeostasis.

And temperature isn’t the only system kept in homeostasis. You’ve got O2/CO2 (oxygen/carbon dioxide) levels, nutrition and waste, fluid balance, and many more. And what governs this equilibrium — this homeostasis? The endocannabinoid system.

Your body produces just enough endocannabinoids to keep the system running smoothly. It’s only when you flood your system with phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant that you feel any different.

So, really, your body’s cannabinoid system (of which endocannabinoids are a part) is the reason why we’re able to get high or feel relief from a CBD medication in the first place. Without it, the cannabis plant would just be another green, leafy vegetable like spinach — pretty much just good for a salad.

But let’s move our attention away from human biology and back to the phytocannabinoids that we know and love.

In the next two sections, we’ll subdivide the broad class of phytocannabinoids into smaller pieces until we reach the focus of this article, CBG.

Acidic And Non-Acidic Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids come in two distinct types: acids and non-acids. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the non-acidic forms, while THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) are the acidic forms.

For the most part, the acidic form occurs in raw cannabis, while the non-acidic form occurs in heated cannabis. We can illustrate this in the following way:

THCA and CBDA + Heat = THC and CBD

The critical point of all this chemistry talk is that the acidic form of each cannabinoid doesn’t offer the same medical effects as the non-acidic form. To get the most from your marijuana, you have to decarboxylate.

Thankfully, this is no problem if you’re smoking or dabbing. You instantaneously decarboxylate your weed when you light it on fire. For other methods of consuming, though, you first have to bake your raw ganja in the oven.

So we’ve established that the acidic cannabinoids are the precursors of the non-acidic cannabinoids. We’ve also established that those non-acidic cannabinoids are where all the psychoactive and medicinal benefits reside.

Let’s set up another word picture to help us with this and the next section (the > symbol means “yields” or “turns into”):

THCA and CBDA and CBCA > THC and CBD and CBC

Now, let’s turn our attention to CBG and see where it fits into the big picture.

CBGA: Where It All Begins

In the plant biology section of this article, we talked about two chemicals—geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid (GPP and OLA respectively)—and how they combine to create all 113 cannabinoids.

In the previous section, we talked about how the acidic cannabinoids turn into the non-acidic cannabinoids when heat is applied. But we actually skipped a step in-between, and it’s where CBG becomes so important.

In raw cannabis plants, geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid combine to produce cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBGA then combines with enzymes in the plant to produce the other main acidic cannabinoids (THCA, CBDA, CBCA). Here’s another word picture to help you visualize:

Geranyl pyrophosphate + olivetolic acid > CBGA + enzymes > THCA, CBDA, CBCA

The dried Sour Diesel you buy from the budtender at your local dispensary is made up of CBGA, THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. When you apply heat, all of those acids transform into their non-acidic “children” molecules (CBG, THC, CBD, and CBC).

We know that can be a bit much to keep track of, but the point to remember is that the acidic form of CBG (CBGA) is much like stem cells in the human body—with a little help, it can become a wide variety of chemical compounds. That brings us to the next crucial question.

What Exactly Is CBG?

CBG (cannabigerol) is a non-acidic cannabinoid produced when heat is applied to the CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) molecule. Its close chemical relatives are THC, CBD, and CBC.

CBG is found mainly in hemp products, and strains bred for high THC usually contain very low amounts of CBG (less than 1%). High CBD strains, on the other hand, contain much higher concentrations of this essential cannabinoid.

Will CBG Get You High?

No, CBG will not get you high. CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid much like CBD. In fact, in brain-chemistry terms, CBG is what’s known as an antagonist because it interferes with the trippy high created by THC. That’s not a bad thing.

In fact, it underscores the danger of producing strong weed strains with ultra-high THC concentrations because, without CBG, it’s entirely possible to go from buzzed to bad trip in just one drag.

What Are The Benefits Of CBG?

The benefits that CBG has to offer are closely tied to what it does in the human body. In the right dose, CBG acts as an:

As you can see, CBG has the potential to make many sick people well again.

What Disorders Can CBG Treat?

Because of its long list of benefits, CBG can be used to treat:

  • Glaucoma.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Anti-inflammatory disorders.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Depression.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Insomnia.
  • Huntington’s disease.
  • Cancer.
  • Methicillin-resistant microbial strains such as MRSA.
  • Low appetite (resulting from chemotherapy and other treatments).
  • Bladder dysfunction.
  • Psoriasis.

Research into CBG is still ongoing, so this list will likely grow longer in the future.

Does CBG Have Any Side Effects?

CBG does not have any side effects when taken in therapeutic doses. The key words there are “therapeutic doses.” You can experience negative side effects if you consume too much of any substance…even water.

Thankfully, CBG only becomes a problem when taken in excess of 300 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

For a 180-pound person, that means they would have to consume 54,000 milligrams of CBG for it to become dangerous. To put that in perspective, a 180-pound person suffering from severe pain should take, at the most, 25 milligrams to feel relief.

If it’s hard to visualize milligrams, think of it this way:

  • 25 milligrams = ⅛ of a teaspoon
  • 54,000 milligrams = almost 11 tablespoons

And that 25 milligrams of CBG will likely be administered in a few drops of tincture or a small amount of an edible. So you can see that there’s a huge difference between a “therapeutic dose” and one that would cause side effects.

That’s why we can effectively say that CBG has no side effects.

Should You Try CBG Products?

Yes! With all the benefits you can reap and the extremely low risk of side effects, there’s really no reason not to try CBG products.

If you’re looking for medical benefits or seeking treatment for one of the disorders listed above, talk to your doctor and the fine folks at your local dispensary so see if CBG is right for you.

For more information on all things marijuana and to check out our all-organic strains, blunts, and concentrates, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.

CBG And CBD: What’s The Difference?

“When GABA is inhibited, you actually have muscle relaxation and you have anti-anxiety effects, so it appears to promote similar effects that CBD has. It also appears to have antidepressant and some modest antifungal properties” said Goldstein in a video for WeedMaps.

In 2013, researchers from the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Naples Federico II (Italy) tested the effects of CBG on an experimental model of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The researchers found that CBG has potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Unfortunately, because CBG has been overshadowed by cannabinoids THC and CBD, not a lot of research has gone into fully understanding this cannabinoid and its effects. However, that is slowly changing as people begin to realise the potential and importance of this compound.

What are the differences between CBD and CBG?

Despite originating from CBGA, CBD is completely distinct from CBG in both chemical structure and concentration within cannabis plants.

Because it is only found in trace amounts in dried plant material, it is only recently that manufacturers have begun to focus more attention on optimising CBG levels in products like CBD oils, supplements, and salves. It’s clear that CBG is an essential cannabinoid, but it’s yet unclear exactly how to use it to our benefit.

CBG in Cibdol products

All Cibdol products are made using the full spectrum of compounds found in non-psychoactive hemp plants. That means our oils, creams, and supplements all contain a balanced mix of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, terpenes, and more; this includes CBG.

However, remember that as CBD levels in a plant increase, CBG levels automatically drop. Seeing as our products are made using CBD-rich hemp extracts, CBG concentrations in our products are low, at least for the time being.

What is cbg?

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