What Is CBG & What Is It Good For?

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What is CBG?
January 21, 2022
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Unless you’re new to weed, you know about cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both are cannabinoids you get from cannabis plants. But what is CBG? Cannabigerol, or CBG, is the rising star of the marijuana world.

Join us as we review this cannabinoid that’s gaining recognition and popularity. You’ll learn about what it is and what it does. Find out the benefits of CBG, the promise it offers medical users, and the best strains available.

Cannabis flower
Cannabis flower

What is CBG & what does CBG stand for?

What is CBG? It’s the acronym for cannabigerol, a cannabinoid derived from the marijuana plant. In its acidic form, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), it assists in the production of other compounds like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Here’s a table that shows why CBG is considered the mother of cannabinoids:

Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)

Tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA)

THC

 

CBG

Cannabidiol acid (CBDA)

CBD

When you compare cannabigerol with CBD and THC, cannabis plants only contain a very small quantity of CBG. The compound converts into other substances during flowering. In many cultivars, CBD and THC levels can range from 20 to 25%, while the amount of CBG is minuscule. 

Due to the scarcity of CBG cannabinoids, there are few CBG products on the market compared to CBD. Hemp producers are using genetic engineering or selective breeding processes to create cultivars with a higher CBG content.

The compound is gaining popularity because studies on CBG benefits show that it has therapeutic properties. As more breeders develop strains with a significant amount of cannabigerol, there’ll be more products for users.

Let’s review the benefits of CBG and the potential it offers medical marijuana patients.

CBG benefits: what is CBG good for?

What does CBG do? The compound works by binding to CB1 and CB2, two cannabinoid receptors in our body. The former is in the brain and nervous system, while the latter receptor is in the immune system. 

Binding to the receptors strengthens the role of Anandamide (ANA), a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite and sleep and alleviates pain. It also enhances motivation and pleasure.

CBG medical benefits include:

Inhibiting cancer cell growth

Results of a study on rats with colon cancer were promising. Researchers found that CBG could be effective in preventing the function of the receptors causing cancer cell growth. They also saw evidence that the compound inhibits the development of colorectal cancer cells.

The study suggests considering the potential of CBG effects in preventing colon cancer.

Anti-bacterial effects

In a 2020 study on the potential of CBG as an antibiotic, researchers found that the cannabinoid’s anti-bacterial properties were effective for the purpose. The compound showed impressive results against a bacteria that causes staph infections, called methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

Glaucoma

Another noted CBG benefit is for treating glaucoma. In a study on cats with glaucoma, researchers administered the cannabinoid. They found a reduction in eye pressure and higher aqueous humor outflow, a fluid the eyes produce that nourishes and maintains eye pressure.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Another CBG research was on inflammatory bowel disease, an incurable condition. The animal study involved inducing IBD-type inflammations in the colons of mice and giving them CBG.

Researchers found that the compound alleviated inflammation and reduced nitric oxide production. It also decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in the intestines.

Huntington’s Disease

Studies also show the effects of CBG on Huntington’s disease, which causes nerve cells in the brain to break down. Researchers tested on mice that had an experimental model of the disease they gave them cannabinoids, including CBG, to test the neuroprotective properties of the compounds.

Researchers observed that CBG could protect your brain’s nerve cells from damage, safeguard striatal neurons against 3-nitropropionic acid toxicity, and improve motor deficits.

Bladder dysfunctions

A 2015 CBG research on the effects of five different cannabinoids on the bladder found that some cannabinoids can affect the contractions of the organ. The study also showed how effective CBG was in treating bladder dysfunctions.

Appetite loss

When cannabigerol binds to CB1 and CB2, it boosts the Anandamide (ANA) function, the neurotransmitter that helps stimulate appetite. A 2016 rat study came to the same conclusion.

So far, results showing the benefits of CBG are from animal studies. Researchers need to do more tests on humans to confirm the effects of CBG on medical conditions.

CBG oil
Cannabis oil

Is CBG psychoactive?

No, while THC and CBG react with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the latter is non-psychoactive. Similar to CBD, consuming it won’t cause a mind-altering effect. CBG cannabinoids complement THC’s psychoactivity by helping to reduce the symptoms of paranoia sometimes caused when overusing THC.

CBG cannabinoid: how does it compare to other cannabinoids?

Since CBG is the mother of cannabinoids, it has many similarities to those it creates. There are differences as well. Let’s compare the compounds to understand them better.

CBG vs CBD

Most cannabis plants have very small quantities of cannabigerol compared to CBD. They contain 1% of CBG and up to 25% of CBD. Aside from this difference, the two compounds are alike in many ways, especially because they’re both non-psychoactive. You won’t get high when consuming them.

Users who are familiar with the therapeutic effects of CBD will find that CBG medical benefits are similar. After all, the latter cannabinoid is the “parent” of the former. They interact with the same receptors in the body and have potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Until we have more CBG research, it’s not possible to make a detailed comparison of the health benefits they provide. We hope for more information in the future as the compound gains popularity.

CBG vs. THC

CBG and THC share similarities in the sense they both have medicinal benefits. The ailments they treat, however, are different.

The main difference between CBG vs. THC is that the former doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. While consuming THC can alter your state of mind, CBG won’t

Does cannabigerol cause any side effects?

So far, CBG research on rats showed no animals experiencing any noticeable side effects. There aren’t enough human studies to find out the cannabinoid’s effect on men and women.

Studies on CBD’s effects are many, and the results show that it may influence the metabolism of medications in your body. There aren’t, however, any severe side effects that prescription medicine causes.

Since CBG in weed is natural, there are more benefits than downsides to using it. Until we have more conclusive evidence that there are no serious side effects, though, you should exercise caution because of CBD’s interactions with medication. Consult your doctor if you’re on drugs to treat an ailment.

CBG uses: how to consume it?

As CBG weed is relatively new in the marijuana circle compared to CBD, limited products are currently available. However, you can consume it the same way you use CBD.

Sublingually

You may enjoy the benefits of CBG by ingesting oils under the tongue. These products are currently rare and expensive because of the shortage of the cannabinoid, but you can get CBG from consuming broad-spectrum CBD oils. These oils contain all cannabinoids except THC.

Edibles

CBG cannabinoids are also available as edibles. You can enjoy the gummies wherever you are, making them very convenient for people on the go.

Smoking or vaping

It’s difficult to find CBG strains at the moment, but you can tap into its benefits by smoking or vaping buds rich with the cannabinoid.

Topically

You can apply CBG creams, lotions, and salves directly on the affected part of your body. They typically provide quick pain relief.

Cannabis CBG cream
Cannabis cream

3 high-CBG strains

If you’re looking for a CBG strain, it’s hard to find at the moment because most cannabis plants have very little CBG. As the cannabinoid gains popularity among recreational and medical users, more hemp growers are learning to breed cultivars with high-CBG content.

Although CBG weed strains aren’t commonplace, many growers are breeding these cultivars to produce more CBG. Below, we share three of our favorite strains popular among breeders looking to create CBG cultivars.

White Widow

An indica-dominant strain, White Widow produces high-potency buds. It’s perfect for beginners as it’s easy to cultivate. With landrace indica and sativa parents from South India and Brazil, respectively, this potential CBG strain inherited amazing genetics that helped it win multiple awards. 

When growing White Widow indoors, you get bountiful yields of 15–17 oz./m2. Outdoors, expect up to 24 oz per plant.

White Widow
White Widow

White Rhino

Another cultivar used to create CBG strains is White Rhino. The offspring of White Widow and an unknown South American indica, it’s a hardy cultivar that can withstand harsh conditions. First-time cultivators can grow this strain as it can thrive in cold and warm climates without much attention.

White Rhino will make an excellent CBG strain as it’s a potent cultivar that rewards indoor growers with 32 oz./m2 of buds. If you cultivate it outdoors, each plant gives you up to 42 oz. of delicious nugs.

White Rhino
White Rhino

Sour Diesel

There’s a reason why Sour Diesel is popular among breeders who want to create a CBG strain. Also known as Sour D, the plants offer growers shiny buds when harvest time comes around.

The Sour Diesel thrives in a warm Mediterranean climate and produces an abundant yield. When you grow it indoors, expect a harvest of about 18 oz./m2. Outdoor cultivation gives you an average of 25 oz. per plant.

Sour Diesel
Sour Diesel

FAQs

Below, we answer the questions we often hear in the community to give you more information on CBG.

Is CBG better than CBD?

As CBG cannabinoid produces CBD, it’s not surprising that it offers similar medicinal benefits as the latter. Neither is better than the other, and they both shine in different ways. Research shows CBG is superior when it comes to neurological effects, but CBD responds to the physical body best.

Does CBG really do anything?

What is CBG good for is a common question. The way it interacts with our body’s receptors offers many potential therapeutic benefits. Animal studies show that CBG may help with glaucoma, Huntington disease, inflammatory bowel disease, bladder dysfunction, and appetite loss. The cannabinoid also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and may inhibit cancer cell growth.

Is CBD or CBG better for anxiety?

Studies show that cannabigerol is better than CBD for anxiety. The cannabinoid binds to endocannabinoid receptors in the brain responsible for stress and pain relief. It also boosts levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine that eases anxiety levels. Its ability to alleviate ADHD symptoms and improve focus gives it a stronger effect in helping the condition.

CBG pills
CBG pills

Can you fail a drug test from CBG?

There are currently no reports of people who failed a drug test after using cannabigerol. While studying how cannabinoids react to immunoassays, University of Utah Health Science Center researchers found that CBG is less likely to fail the drug test.

Does CBG help sleep?

One of the benefits of CBG is that it increases Anandamide production. This endocannabinoid, which is known as ‘The Bliss Molecule,’ naturally boosts dopamine levels. The neurotransmitter regulates sleep cycles, helping you slumber better.

Does CBG help with depression?

Yes, CBG helps people with depression by interacting with endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors in the nervous system and near the brain. As the ECS relieves anxiety and stress, when the CBG cannabinoid binds with the receptors, it increases the system’s function. The release of the ‘happy chemical,’ serotonin, in the brain helps alleviate the symptoms of depression.

How quickly does CBG work?

How long it takes to experience the effects of CBG depends on the way you administer it. Tinctures are very effective as they provide relief within 15–45 minutes because they enter the bloodstream quickly. Edibles and CBG oil capsules can take at least an hour to pass through the digestive tract for absorption. Smoking and vaping take effect almost right away.

Can you take CBD and CBG together?

You can consume cannabigerol and CBD together. When the two cannabinoids interact, you achieve the entourage effect, which is more than what you get when taking them separately. There’s a higher likelihood of experiencing the therapeutic benefits such as pain and anxiety relief and anti-inflammatory effects.

CBG formula
CBG formula

The future of CBG

There aren’t currently many cannabigerol products on the market because CBG is scarce. Manufacturers prefer to produce cannabinoids like CBD because it’s easier and has similar properties to CBG. As such, CBG-derived items are very costly.

CBG research findings show many promising medical benefits, such as fighting cancer and relieving inflammatory bowel disease. With more people showing interest in CBG, thanks to those results, more breeders are looking into cultivating strains with a higher content of the cannabinoid. It won’t be long before CBG cultivars and products are available.

Don’t forget to check our website regularly if you want to stay abreast of CBG strain availability and get the best seeds.