What Is CBG And What Does It Do?

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Added 01 May 2022

CBG bud

Cannabigerol, also called CBG, is touted as the mother of all the cannabinoids present in cannabis.

If you've used cannabis for medicinal purposes or have researched cannabis, you probably already know that the herb produces almost a hundred cannabinoids. Out of these, THC and CBD have become super popular. 

However, there's one cannabinoid — CBG — gaining a lot of attention. This is because it serves as the precursor to all other cannabinoids produced by the herb.

To put it simply, cannabinoids like CBD and even THC are actually CBG at the beginning. However, CBG transforms to other forms slowly when the plant grows and matures.

CBG, like CBD, is non-psychoactive. Researchers now say that CBG has many benefits.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about CBG.

What is CBG?

What is CBG

You probably haven't heard of CBG. And we don't blame you — the research is scant, and very few manufacturers include it in their list of products or seeds (if you want to grow it at home). Also, CBG is primarily found in younger plants, making it challenging for companies to extract it. In addition, it's not as abundant as THC or CBD.

CBG is one of the many other cannabinoids the plant produces. Although smoking and vaping are popular, many companies offer oils, gummies, and other edibles, making it easy to consume cannabinoids. Of course, CBD is a trendy supplement found in most online and local stores. However, companies are now selling CBG oils and gummies, thanks to consumer interest.

A few years ago, the medical cannabis industry focused only on CBD. But, of course, THC has always received its fair share of attention. There are numerous studies published on both cannabinoids. However, we must remember that cannabis is not just about CBD and THC. Thankfully, researchers are now turning their attention to other cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, and many more. 

As these cannabinoids are harnessed, we will also know how they work individually on the human body. In particular, researchers are primarily interested in how they interact with the ECS or endocannabinoid system, which is nothing but a vast system of neurotransmitters present in various parts of our body. So, how does CBG interact with the ECS? We will get to that in just a bit, but first, what exactly is CBG?

CBG is also known as the stem cell cannabinoid since other cannabinoids originate from it. It functions as the mothership or base for different cannabinoids. The plant initially produces CBGA or cannabigerolic acid —the acidic form of CBG and other cannabinoids is extracted from it. 

But, as mentioned earlier, despite being the mother of other cannabinoids, CBG is not found abundantly in the plant. For instance, you've probably used many strains with high concentrations of THC and CBD. And, it's not surprising that the strain can consist of almost 20% THC, and strains rich in CBD may also contain 20% CBD. However, those very strains may contain about 1% CBG, making it very difficult to obtain it. 

The extraction methods coupled with its limited presence make CBG expensive. That said, it's immensely growing in popularity, so it's not challenging to purchase the cannabinoid. 

Breeders are creating hybrid strains with high amounts of CBG, so you can expect the prices to stop in just a few years. On Growdiaries, you can take a look at several strains with high amounts of CBG, including CBG Force, Royal CBG automatic, and Exotic Pure CBG, to name just a few. 

Also, remember that CBG is present in higher quantities in young, immature plants, and the harvesting period may differ for these plants. As always, check instructions from the manufacturer to know more about the morphology and harvesting period for these strains. 

Cannabigerolic acid forms during the 3rd or 4th week of the plant's flowering stage. This doesn't mean you should harvest the plants so early since it reaches peak concentrations only during the 6th week. 

The enzymes of the plant get to work and break down CBGA into other cannabinoids like CBCA, CBDA, THCA, etc. Small amounts of CBG are also produced. CBDA and THCA are later broken down to CBD and THC, respectively, when the plant is exposed to UV rays. Thus, THC and other cannabinoids exist due to CBG. 

As you can see, CBG is the mother cannabinoid that produces other cannabinoids. 

Is CBG psychoactive?

CBG buds

Since CBG is the precursor molecule that leads to the formation of a psychoactive substance like THC, you're probably wondering if CBG can also get you high. Well, CBG is not psychoactive. Once it enters the human body, it doesn't convert to THC or CBD, or other cannabinoids since we don't have the ability to convert it. 

What are the benefits of CBG?

benefits of CBG

The importance of any cannabinoid depends on how it interacts with the endocannabinoids produced in the human body. In short, researchers look for cannabinoids that react with the ECS. For example, CBG has shown extreme potential by binding with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, according to research

CB1 and CB2 are important endocannabinoid receptors located in various body parts. Typically, CB1 is found in the human brain and the nervous system. On the other hand, CB2 is densely present in several immune system areas and other organs. 

As CBG binds with both receptors, it's believed to amplify the efficacy of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, like anandamide, regulate several critical bodily functions, including mood, behavior, pain, appetite, and more. 

THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the nervous system and brain, producing the euphoric high it's famous for. CBD, on the other hand, binds very weakly to CB1 receptors. CBD also negates the psychoactive effects of THC to a certain extent. Similarly, CBG can also reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. 

However, unlike CBD and THC, which have had all the attention of researchers for decades, CBG is relatively new. Many studies are now being published about its efficacy, but we need more clinical evidence to determine how it can surpass the other cannabinoids individually. 

CBG is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It has shown great promise in studies associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. A study had the researchers observe mice with a condition similar to IBD. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a chronic condition that results in abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, and more. 

The scientists noted that CBG reduced nitric oxide production in the mice. In addition, it decreased inflammation, which serves as the primary cause of the disease. It also blocked inflammatory channels that could have the potential to develop IBD. 

Finally, CBG increased the production of superoxide dismutase, which functions as a critical antioxidant produced by the human body to defend itself against inflammation. The researchers weighed the colon of the affected mice and found a significant decrease in inflammation. In conclusion, the researchers noted that CBG has the potential to be considered for clinical trials conducted on humans suffering with IBD. 

Since CBG can bind with both receptors, it has fantastic potential in terms of efficacy. Therefore, it's certainly of more interest than several other cannabinoids with the tendency to bind to only CB1 or CB2 receptors. 

This further means that CBG may have significant benefits in reducing stress and relieving pain. Many studies, including a study conducted on mice, showed that CBG works exceptionally well as a neuroprotectant. It's also known to have antispasmodic properties. 

CBG is becoming popular primarily due to its anti-psychotropic nature. For example, THC has shown immense benefits, but its psychoactive properties may not be desirable for everyone, especially cancer patients who may be undergoing rigorous chemotherapy. CBG offers its full benefits in the form of full-spectrum oils. Full-spectrum oils are great for enhancing the entourage effect, which means the cannabinoids work synergistically to increase the benefits and effects of the whole plant. 

But CBD is also non-psychoactive, so what makes CBG so unique, you ask?



CBG and CBD aren't called sister cannabinoids for no reason. They both offer similar effects. But, there are a few differences.

The first one is self-explanatory — popularity. Although CBG was isolated way back in 1964, it didn't become as famous as CBD, whereas CBD is so popular that you now have every product from face masks to oils to coffee infused with it.

Another difference between CBD and CBG lies in their molecular structures. We don't want to turn this into a boring chemistry lesson, so just know that the way the oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen atoms are arranged is different. But, the molecular structures play a crucial role in how specific cannabinoids bind with various receptors. In addition, there will be changes in bioavailability or the way your body absorbs the cannabinoid.

Due to a difference in their molecular structures, they bind to receptors in different ways — you already know that. But there's a difference in how they activate specific receptors too. For instance, a study conducted on the interaction of both cannabinoids with a serotonin receptor (5-HT1A) found that CBD functioned as an agonist, whereas CBG served as an antagonist.

Some studies indicate that while CBG effectively reduces anxiety, the effects decrease when the doses are higher. Therefore, until it's clear with more research, it's best to stick to CBD for now if you're looking to relieve anxiety.

Another significant difference between the two cannabinoids is how they affect the appetite. CBG can be compared to THC for recreational users since it increases the appetite or gives you the "munchies." One particular study found that CBG had the mice eating double their regular intake, whereas CBD has the opposite effect and works to reduce your appetite. 

Perhaps it's why CBD is preferred sometimes to lose weight. However, CBG can be useful for those suffering from appetite problems. THC is very popular for increasing appetite for those suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy, but CBG can be a great alternative since it isn't psychoactive.

Coming to their therapeutic effects, both cannabinoids are similar. For instance, both CBG and CBD can be used to relieve pain. However, since CBD is slightly less psychotropic than CBG, people may prefer CBD. But, CBG is touted to be more effective in treating glaucoma and migraines.

In addition, both cannabinoids seem to be good for reducing inflammation. However, CBG has shown more promise in treating conditions like IBD.

Since the way CBG and CBD affect you is slightly different, it's easy to surmise that there will be differences in the side effects. CBG, like THC, can make your mouth dry and decrease your blood pressure. CBD, in high doses, can make you sluggish and tired at times. Of course, you may not have experienced these side effects, or you may experience other side effects since everyone's body reacts differently.

Finally, if you want to try any of the cannabinoids to treat any condition, it's best to consult your physician since both cannabinoids aren't FDA-approved currently. However, you can try growing them at home if you have an MMJ card to experience how these cannabinoids affect you. But, again, talk to your doctor to understand how you can include these cannabinoids in your daily routine.

Summary: What Is CBG And What Does It Do?

CBG is the mother cannabinoid since it is the primary cannabinoid that gives birth to other cannabinoids. CBG holds promise in treating various conditions, but we need more studies to confirm that. 


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Great article! 👏
Cool. Any double blind studies?
Thank you! 👌
Nice read