Cannabigerol (CBG) Overview, Uses & Benefits
Cannabigerol, CBG in short, is another cannabinoid that is well represented in the plant Cannabis Sativa. There are more than a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, most of which are still unidentified. We know a whole lot about tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and are becoming very fond of cannabidiol (CBD). But there are a handful of minor cannabinoids which are about to bust the door open into the market.
The first in the line is CBG! CBG is already being sold in the same forms as we can find CBD. CBG drops, CBG sprays, CBG gummies, CBG softgels, CBG mints, CBG skin care, CBG flowers.. It is either found alone or incorporated into CBD formulations in different ratios. What makes CBG different from CBD is a matter of scientific debate. Still, many users already report very positive results with their newfound cannabinoid.
In this topic, we will explore how CBG is made and what the researchers think of it. We will explore which products are the best for CBG applications, what are the CBG benefits, how it stands on the market, and what the future holds for CBG.
What is Cannabigerol (CBG)?
It is quite interesting that CBG started to gain traction just recently, as the cannabis plant actually produces larger quantities of CBG than CBD or THC. It is really important to know how this magic happens!
Where does CBG come from?
Most cannabinoids are biosynthesized by the cannabis plant during its flowering stage. When the buds and trichomes start forming, the chemicals olivetolic acid and geranyl diphosphate react together. The result of synthase is cannabigerol acid, CBG in its acid form. Out of cannabigerol acid (CBGa), several cannabinoids are formed from CBGa. reacting with different catalytic enzymes.
This is also how CBD and THC are formed. Cannabis is always harvested at full maturity, either to produce ripe seeds for oil production or ripe flowers for CBD extraction. Hence, little CBG is present in cannabis at harvest as most CBG was transformed into CBD and other cannabinoids through molecular reaction changes.
Is CBG legal?
Especially in industrial cannabis varieties, suited for legal cultivation, we can find high levels of CBG even at harvest. This was achieved by selective breeding of cannabis varieties in which the enzyme responsible for catalyzing the formation of THCA from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is almost absent.
The result is a cannabis variety with all the traits needed for commercial cultivation but without detectable levels of THC. The breeding to make low THC cannabis available for legal cultivation is what actually brought CBG cannabis varieties to life.
Otherwise, the CBG compound is 100% legal all across the world since it does not fall into internationally controlled narcotic drugs under the 1961 Convention. There are no registered pharmaceutical drugs that contain cannabigerol, which could pose any other restriction on sales and consumption of the CBG compound.
How is CBG made?
These varieties also made the production of CBG possible on a larger scale! After harvesting CBG rich hemp biomass, we dry and cure the plants. To prepare them for extraction we finely mill the plant material. We then transport the ground CBG biomass to our lab facility where we process it using supercritical CO2. We obtain oil that is rich in cannabigerol acid. From here it is a pretty straightforward process to obtain CBG from CBGa via decarboxylation.
How CBG Affects the Human Body
Now we know that CBG is the parent molecule of the cannabinoid family, but how does this mother cannabinoid affect the human body? CBG affects cannabinoid receptors in the human body similar to CBD.
CBG antagonizes the CB1 receptor, meaning it has a blocking effect on the receptor which causes the “high” effect if activated. This makes CBG nonintoxicating. Similar to CBD, the binding on CB1 receptors with no action, produces 0 negative side effects.
On the other hand, by binding and blocking CB1 receptors, we see a positive change in our bodies. As CB1 receptors are spread throughout our system, if they are blocked, they are calmed. This produces a “rest & relaxed” feeling as opposed to “fight or flight” feeling if CB1 receptors are stimulated.
When we are in the “Rest & relaxed” mode, or better in the parasympathetic state, we enable our body to calm, heal and regenerate.
On the second human cannabinoid receptor CB2, CBG has a more significant effect. Since it is a partial agonist on the CB2 receptor is has a clear action. Compared to CB1 receptors, which are located mainly in our central nervous system, we find CB2 receptors all around from hair to toes.
Side effects of CBG
Patients that are using CBG to treat various issues report little negative side effects from its use. In a research survey many recommend it as a better and more effective option when compared to traditional medicine as the latter often presents with more unpleasant and long-term side effects or even addiction.
The main complaints from patients using CBG were dry mouth, sleepiness, hunger, and dry eyes. It is also important to note that just over half of the patients reported any of these side effects and others noticed none at all. The withdrawal symptoms were even less noticeable, with only about 15% reporting any. The most common symptom amongst those who endured any withdrawal was difficulty sleeping.
Although much more research needs to be carried out to conclude anything with certainty, these early results are very promising, showing minimal side effects and negligible withdrawal symptoms.
7 science-backed CBG Benefits
So far, science has proven many beneficial effects of CBG on the human body. The list begins more general and then moves into more specific ones.
- By turning off and easing CB1 receptors, conditions that affect the central nervous system can be alleviated
- By acting on the CB2 receptors, conditions affecting organs can be alleviated
- Antibacterial effect: CBG was found to be effective against Gram-negative organisms like MRSA, by inhibiting the inner membrane of the pathogens
- Appetite stimulation: Cannabis was always an effective treatment for chemotherapy patients who suffered from loss of appetite. The effect was mostly attributed to THC. Now non-psychoactive CBG has been proven to have a massive appetite stimulative effect!
- Anti Inflammatory: CBG shows strong anti-inflammatory effects for patients who suffer inflammatory bowel disease like Chron’s disease. It can also alleviate neuroinflammation in multiple sclerosis patients.
- Intraocular tension relieving: a significant reduction in ocular pressure was seen when administering CBG. The effects of fluid drainage from the eyes are very promising for treating glaucoma.
- Neuroprotective effect: CBG acts extremely active as a neuroprotectant, improving motor deficits and preserving striatal neurons. Great potential for preventing Huntington’s disease.
The stem cell of cannabinoids, CBG, has just begun to integrate into the scientific community. They believe CBG benefits may help to treat many ailments, from cancer to anxiety. While more cannabigerol research is welcome, the substance is non-toxic and non-addictive, even in therapeutic doses, so we welcome you to try it yourself!
CBG compared to CBDa, CBD and CBN
The mentioned substances are different cannabinoids that are either derived from the plant or are the result of the transformation of other substances. As we mentioned before, CBG is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant and is often referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids. But how is it different from other derivatives?
CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) is one of many compounds produced by cannabis and hemp. The molecules are usually found in the plant in their original form which is an acid. It is from this form that the other substances are made when the plant is exposed to heat. CBDA, for example, transforms into CBD. We could also say it is its raw form. It is a bit more difficult to get CBG however, because it is naturally present in smaller quantities. To get larger amounts, breeders need to resort to genetics and cross-breeding.
CBD is the most known and most widely studied cannabinoid. Compared to CBN, it is present in much larger quantities and thus more widely available. This is also their biggest difference. They are both non-intoxicating and possess similar therapeutic effect, binding to the same receptors in the brain.
CBN, also known as cannabinolthe is different in that it is derived from THC and does not come naturally from the plant. We could say it is a degraded version of it and has little to no psychoactive properties. The research around it is very limited but it does suggest that the compound stimulates appetite and reduces nausea, making it a promising help for treating anorexia. It is also said to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This said, we can see that its uses are very different to those of CBG.
Using and Manufacturing CBG Products
If using CBD products is already your domain, like CBD oil, trying CBG is not going to be much different. There are already a lot of CBG products to choose from. We would suggest starting with CBG drops, as it still proves to be the best method of delivery. It contains just two ingredients, the CBG oil, and the carrier oil. CBG drops also provide accurate dose gauging and are available in many different potencies, great for experimenting.
There is also a great rise in the popularity of CBG flowers. CBG Inflorescences contain very low levels of THC (<0.2%) naturally. So the CBG buds offer a great 100% legal alternative to CBD flowers! Vaporising CBG flowers is also an advantageous route of administration since CBG has an extremely low boiling point of 58°C.
At Essentia Pura, the CO2 extraction experts, we have already started CBG production. Although we don’t keep CBG products in regular offers, we are open to prepare any kind of CBG formulation according to your needs:
- full spectrum CBG Oil
- isolate infused CBG Oil
- CBD : CBG full-spectrum oil in various ratios
- CBD : CBG isolate oils in various ratios
- CBG for pets
- Skincare with CBG
- CBG raw ingredients
- And many more…
The Cannabigerol compound proves to be the next big thing in the cannabis industry. And to stay ahead of the market demands, we will add CBG products to our regular offer!