Exactly… What Is CBG?

Move over CBD. It’s now CBG’s turn to take the spotlight!

It seems like the hemp plant has more than to offer. Aside from the known health & wellness favorite CBD and, of course, the ill-famed THC, other cannabinoids have shown potential for your health. Specifically, we’re referring to the new player in town, the CBG. Nowadays, you may find CBG gummies or CBG oils filling the shelf. Exactly what is CBG? And why is there a growing demand for it in the CBD market lately?

Getting To Know the New Cannabinoid, CBG

Well, CBG may be new to a typical consumer, per se. But did you know CBG has been already discovered over 60 years ago? Yes, CBG was accidentally discovered by scientists when they were determining the active components of hashish.

CBG, alongside other cannabinoids, has already been enjoyed centuries ago. Various parts from the Cannabis sativa plant, aka industrial hemp plant or cannabis plant, have been used in different ways, including therapeutic and medicinal uses, based on old to recent pieces of evidence. Yes, from relieving pain to reducing inflammation to helping with stress and even to improving overall disposition, the Cannabis plant seemed to be an all-in-one herbaceous plant used from generation to generation.

What is a CBG?

Out of over 100 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant, our fingers won’t be enough to count the potential benefits we can enumerate. We can, however, concentrate on the root of it all—the mother of all the cannabinoids, the CBG. So, what does CBG stand for? CBG is simply short for cannabigerol. Cannabigerol (CBG) is the short-life precursor to cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabichromene (CBC). It is termed as the mother of cannabinoids because of its pivotal role in the synthesis of the other cannabinoids and the overall chemical composition of the Cannabis plant. CBG is non-psychotropic, just like CBD—meaning CBG does not make you high.

CBG is the most special cannabinoid

Besides being the principal precursor of cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant, every CBG extract is highly valued. CBG is only extracted in limited amounts since CBG is rapidly metabolized to cannabinoids by certain enzymes (i.e., synthase). CBG composition is only about ~10% of the cannabinoid fraction, according to a study, to be exact. Sometimes, where the hemp plant doesn’t contain much synthase, the CBG concentration is significantly higher, at around 94%.

CBG vs. CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?

CBG is pretty special—more than what we think it is, or what it’s going to be. If we were to rank cannabinoids according to abundance, the fast-selling CBD is just the third most abundant in the Cannabis plant, following THC and CBG. Because of CBG’s brief life, however, only a few hemp companies choose to extract it from the hemp plant. So, consider every pop of your CBG gummies special! And bearing in mind that CBG was only discovered in 1964, CBG’s the least researched compound found in Cannabis as compared to the other two. But that doesn’t mean that its potential can’t compete.

CBG and the ECS

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprises cellular receptor sites that act as neurotransmitters. Its function is to maintain homeostasis and health. Sometimes, the endocannabinoids (cannabinoids in our body) need help. And the best way to improve overall body system functions is to get some supplements—supplements through CBG, CBD, and other phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants).

How Does CBG Interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptor?

CB1 receptors are the most common cannabinoid receptor in the ECS, found mostly in the brain and the central nervous system. Meanwhile, the CB2 receptors are mostly found in tissues and organs of the immune system. According to a 2018 study, CBG binds with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This makes CBG a more viable, as compared to CBD, option to extract and be infused into hemp products. Effective endocannabinoid signaling may mean higher efficacy.

CBG and The Entourage Effect

Besides how easy it is for CBG and other phytocannabinoids to mimic their way in the ECS, the Cannabis compounds are quite special. They work better together, compared to one cannabinoid alone. Have you heard of the entourage effect? The entourage effect is when the cannabinoids and terpenes act synergistically to boost each other’s potential. That’s right. Through full-spectrum CBG products, you may enjoy the wonders of the phytocannabinoids fully.

CBG’s Potential Health and Wellness Benefits

Just like CBD and THC, CBG has its unique potential effect on an individual’s health and way of living. Even with relatively fewer researches available for this cannabinoid, it’s enough to prove that the hype is real and worth hopping into. According to recent studies, CBG has possible therapeutic applications to:

  • Analgesia and Inflammation – During the 14th World Congress on Pain, CBG was emphasized because of its promising therapeutic effects on pain. CBG may work as an anti-inflammatory agent by the inhibition of the (1) PGE2 production, (2) the upstream enzyme PLA2, and (3) COX enzymes. Inhibition of COX is one mechanism of how nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work. Lifted data from in vivo experiments showed CBG is more potent to peripheral inflammatory pain, as compared to THC and aspirin.
  • Dysregulated immune response – Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are mainly characterized by dysregulated immune responses. This happens for a lot of reasons. But to name one, bacteria cause reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which then impacts homeostasis in the system. CBG may help in the reduction of ROS formation in intestinal epithelial cells, according to a study conducted for IBD patients—besides its potential for reduced nitric oxide production in macrophages, aka immune sentinels.
  • Neuroinflammation – CBG and its quinone derivative have neuroprotective action effective for neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is mostly observed in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. In a study using the chronic model of MS, the CBG quinone VCE-003 was found to improve motor functions and reduce microglia reactivity in the spinal cord. Chronic activation of microglia may cause serious neuronal damage.
  • Cancer Cell Proliferation – Two synthetic THC drugs are already approved to treat nausea and vomiting of patients undergoing chemotherapy. Cancer remains to be very difficult to cure. As with how CBG may help with the treatments. As concluded from various peer-reviewed studies, CBG has the potential to counteract cell proliferation in human breast cancer cells, prostate, and colorectal, to name a few.
  • Mood Disorders – It may be minimal and quite weak, but CBG may possess an anti-depressant effect. According to a study conducted in rats, CBG has the effect of slightly enhancing saccharin palatability, an indicator of a change in anxiety/depression behavior.

Other Potential Uses of Cannabigerol

Despite the potential of what is CBG used for, remember that the CBG properties are still preliminary and need further research. Regardless, it’s not far in the future that CBG may be approved and used as a therapeutic agent. For everyone’s safety, just take note: CBG products are not to be used as an alternative for your prescription medications.

For improving wellness, however, CBG products may be incorporated into your routine—right after you’ve asked a health practitioner, especially if you’re a patient. Based on reviews, most CBG products users are enjoying the following effects:

  • Long-lasting Focus
  • Enhanced Mood
  • Boosted Energy
  • Soothing Feeling

CBG and Its Legality

Now that we know all the potential therapeutic benefits of CBG, one wonders, is CBG legal? In which the direct answer would be—Yes, CBG is legal, but to some extent. Here are some things to remember regarding its legality in the United States:

  • Under the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabinoids like CBG, as long as extracted from industrial hemp, are federally legal to purchase, use and produce.
  • Marijuana-derived CBG is only legal for recreational use in a few US states. Note: This differs from the hemp-derived CBG.
  • All hemp-derived products, including CBG products, must not contain above the 0.3% required level of THC by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
  • FDA is yet to put out clear-cut regulations regarding CBG products yet. However, they have mentioned CBG and other more emerging cannabinoids in their Cannabis Derived Products Data Acceleration Plan released last October 2021.
  • CBG is not listed as a controlled substance under UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs, so it’s technically legal.

Does CBG Show Up in A Drug Test?

No, CBG shouldn’t show up in a drug test. General drug testing, whether it be performed from hair, urine, or saliva, does not look for cannabigerol. They’re testing for the THC. You can buy and take your pure cannabigerol oil whenever you want with no worries at all. However, stay cautious. There are CBG products that contain traces of THC. Though it’s less likely to get you in trouble, it’s better to stay away from marijuana- or hemp-derived products if you’re expecting workplace drug testing. Another option: consider taking CBG or CBD isolate.

How To Choose and Buy the Best CBG Product

After touching everything about the science and the legalities around the not so minor cannabinoid, CBG, are you ready to make your first purchase? It’s only been a few years since specially concocted CBG products were introduced, so it’s understandable to still be hesitant about what to grab and put in their shopping carts. With hemp-derived products that promise to provide you a certain aid to any of your health issues, then it’s important to ensure they’re meant to do what they promise to do. So, here’s a CBG buying guide to help.

Decide on what type of CBG product are you going to try.

Just like CBD products, there are topicals, tinctures, and edibles. What does CBG does for you in each product will depend on the application, the bioavailability, and even your prior experience in taking any hemp-derived products. As suggested by most, CBG gummies are the best way for the CBG newbies, as it’s easy to take. CBD with CBD topicals is great to target certain sore areas. Lastly, CBG oils, the most versatile of all, may be added to any of your meals or even be sublingually taken to get more out of the product.

Check what’s in the CBG Product.

Sometimes, aside from CBG, there are another one or two hemp-derived compounds that are also the principal component. This is done to boost the effect of CBG or to add another worthy, positive effect to the individual. For example, if you’re looking for increased performance and focus, the blend of CBG and broad-spectrum CBD is perfect for you. If you’d want to elevate your mood and even make it euphoric, the Delta-8 + CBG combination is worth the try.

  • Other Ingredients. Most hemp companies prefer to add other ingredients to improve the products’ consistency, flavor, and even effects. As a consumer, the first most important step to do is to read the product label on the bottle, or if shopping online, the product page. Check if it suits your needs and preferences.

Choose what CBG type is best for you.

For CBD products, there are full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates. These all depend on how the cannabinoid profile was properly prepared upon extraction. This basis may also be applied when purchasing CBG products mixed with CBG. If you want to be careful, and not get any false-positive results from random drug tests, as mentioned above, go for pure CBG. However, you won’t be able to enjoy the entourage effect that the full-spectrum and the broad-spectrum offer.

Only get the best CBG gummies from the best hemp brands.

If you want to maximize the potential effects of CBG, then the product you must purchase must contain CBG! According to a Leafreport study, out of 38 CBG products they tested, only several of them contain the correct amount of CBG and other cannabinoids the product is claiming to have on the label. Reputable hemp and CBD brands value transparency and accountability. VIIA Hemp Company provides the Lab Analysis Results for every batch of hemp-derived products they manufacture.

Summing things up: Is CBG worth trying?

CBG products, including CBG gummies and CBG oils, are now becoming a new trend that’s setting the hemp or Cannabis market ablaze. But, for the starters, is it worth trying? To conclude, CBG seems safe and non-toxic, just like the other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. It also promises a lot of therapeutic benefits to an individual, not just based on anecdotal shreds of evidence, but also based on peer-reviewed studies. However, the FDA and other authorities are yet to put out clear regulations regarding this cannabinoid. So, we advise, as a smart consumer, you should be mindful. Ask an expert and gather more information before your first purchase of any CBG product. It’s also for the reason you may only enjoy the best of CBG if you’re also confident it’s right for you.

Related Stories