From cannabidiol (CBD) to cannabinol (CBN), there are over 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are active compounds that have their own unique effects and benefits. Cannabigerol (CBG) is an up-and-comer in the cannabinoid market, and its use is slowly gaining traction. Similar to its companion CBD, CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid believed to potentially offer a range of benefits for overall wellness. (1)
How does CBG work:
CBG is sometimes referred to as “the mother” of cannabinoids because it plays a key role in the production of CBD and other cannabinoids. It’s the primary phytocannabinoid synthesized in hemp that changes into other cannabinoids. CBG works by linking to the CB1, found in the brain and the nervous system, and CB2 receptors, found in the immune system, that make up the endocannabinoid system. (2) CBG communicates with these receptors to help in regulating a wide range of functions such as:
- Blood pressure
CBG’s ability to offer potential benefits exists because of this process. (3)
How CBG is made and measured
CBG is produced in the hemp plant’s natural growth cycle. When heated, the acidic form of CBG (CBGA) breaks down to form CBG, CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabichromene (CBC). (3) UV and light exposure also break down CBGA from its acidic form to its neutral form, causing most strains to have low concentrations of CBG.
One method to try to grow a crop with more CBG is to cross-breed different cannabis varieties. This selective breeding, or genetic engineering, makes it possible for cultivators to create strains with higher levels of CBG. This process can help to potentially bring more CBG products to the market since there‘s already a low supply. Until more research is conducted on other CBG processes, this method of experimenting with different seeds is so far the best way to produce high CBG hemp.
The same potency tests that are used to measure CBD, THC and other cannabinoids are used to measure CBG. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) machines are used to measure CBG potency in flower, edibles, and extracts. HPLC is preferred because it‘s able to test samples without heat and at room temperatures. Furthermore, heat could possibly alter the potency data and HPLC is able to precisely measure CBGA and CBG results. (4)
How CBG is extracted
Under a chromatographic process, CBG is extracted through superfluid liquid solvents such as CO2 or ethanol. Chromatography is the process of separating components of a mixture. During the process, the hemp is dissolved and the cannabinoids and terpenes are drawn out of the plant. Next, the solution evaporates with heat under a vacuum to separate the gas. This leaves behind a high–purity CBG.
To preserve potency after extraction, CBG products should be stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. (4)
Ways to use CBG
Similar to CBD, CBG comes in a variety of forms that do not cause psychoactive effects. CBG can be smoked or vaped in the form of a flower, vape, oil, or wax. (4)
CBG also comes in the form of an oil tincture that can be added to food, beverages, patches and topical forms. Since CBG has distinct attributes, some may prefer CBG in its topical form due to its alleged skin–healing and antibacterial properties. (5)
CBG can also come in the form of gummies.
CBG properties and potential benefits
Although studies and research on CBG are not as extensive as for other cannabinoids like CBD, there is research that paints CBG as a possible neuroprotective agent that can promote bone health and pain relief. CBG has also been known to carry anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antibacterial properties.
Additional research and studies are required to know the full extent of CBG’s alleged benefits—however, CBG demonstrates the potential to help with a lot of medical conditions. CBG allegedly works to slow the spread of cancer cells, and research also shows that it may significantly reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma. High CBG strains may also potentially help with conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease. (3)
Other potential benefits include:
- Sleep: Because CBG is a cannabinoid, it interacts with the CB1 receptors which can help to increase or decrease the creation of mood-regulating hormones that can induce sleep and stimulate wakefulness. When combined with CBD, CBG can enhance CBD’s potential sleep-inducing properties due to the entourage effect.
- Physical ailments: Many patients utilize CBG to take advantage of its alleged pain management and inflammation reduction. CBG can potentially provide relief to common physical and emotional ailments. Studies have shown that CBG may ease PTSD and OCD by working against stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Huntington’s disease: CBG is believed to have neuroprotective properties. A 2015 study that looked at mice with Huntington’s disease concluded that CBG might show potential in treating other neurodegenerative conditions.
- Bacterial infections: Research has shown that CBG may help to kill bacteria, specifically that which causes drug-resistant staph infections, which are hard to treat and can be dangerous.
- Cancer: CBG can possibly reduce the spread of cancer cells and other tumors, according to a 2014 study which looked at colon cancer in rats.
- Appetite loss: Research has shown that CBG may help to stimulate appetite, which can be useful for those with conditions that cause a lack of appetite, such as HIV or cancer. (3)
Limited research is available on CBG, but it‘s easy to draw parallels based on how other cannabinoids, such as CBD, react to the endocannabinoid system. While research shows CBG’s promising effects, it is important to know that it doesn’t confirm any of CBG’s benefits. More conclusive research is needed to understand in detail how CBG works in the body.
As CBG continues to gain traction in the cannabinoid market, it could mean that more research will be available at an extensive level. In 2018, The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCIH) stated plans on researching the lesser-known cannabinoids like CBG for pain management. (4)
As of now, because little is still known about CBG, associated products are in short supply. However, current research and studies indicate that this cannabinoid is slowly gaining a reputation as a potent compound, with the potential to help with various conditions. (3)
Disclaimer: This article is based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state, such as the FDA.
1) “How Many Different Cannabinoids Are There In Marijuana?”, Source: https://theweedblog.com/marijuana-science/how-many-different-cannabinoids-are-there-in-marijuana
2) “Cannabigerol Action at Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 Receptors and at CB1–CB2 Heteroreceptor Complexes”, Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6021502/
3) “Meet CBG, the New Cannabinoid on the Block”, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/cbg-oil
4) “A GUIDE TO CBG: EXTRACTION, STORAGE, PRICE, CONSUMPTION AND MORE” Source: https://acslabcannabis.com/blog/education/a-guide-to-cbg-extraction-storage-price-consumption-and-more/
5) “What Is Cannabigerol (CBG)?” Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/cannabigerol-cbg-uses-and-benefits-5085266