About CBD & Health

Cannabigerol (CBG): What to Know

By Josh Hall

We’ve all seen the CBD craze that’s taken off over the past few years, but what about other cannabinoids like CBG? Cannabis plants contain over 100 cannabinoids, and CBD (cannabidiol) is only one of them. CBG is another, and this compound is starting to get a little more notoriety for its own set of wellness benefits, some of which are different than CBD.

What is CBG?

CBG stands for cannabigerol, and it’s a very unique cannabinoid because it’s essentially the stem cell or “chemical parent” that produces other phytocannabinoids. Within the hemp plant, CBG transforms to create minor cannabinoids like CBN and CBC, as well as more well-known compounds like CBD and THC (the latter of which is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis).

Exactly how this transformation process takes place is somewhat complicated, so without getting too deep into the science behind it, here’s a brief explanation of how it works:

  • The cannabis plant produces what’s known as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).
  • Enzymes held within the plant take that CBGA and break it down into different cannabinoid acids, specifically cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).
  • As a result of aging or a heating process called decarboxylation, those acids convert to CBD and THC.

Essentially, without CBG, some of the most popular cannabinoids like CBD and THC would not exist. And with the increased popularity of cannabis products, more people are starting to learn about the many potential benefits of full spectrum hemp extracts that contain CBD, CBG, and various other phytocannabinoids.

Full Spectrum vs CBD Isolate horizontal business infographic illustration about cannabis as herbal alternative medicine and chemical therapy, healthcare and medical science vector.

What Benefits Does CBG Have?

We’ve all heard story after story about the miraculous benefits of CBD oil, but speaking honestly, there’s a lot more research that needs to take place before we can fully understand the impact of CBD on the human body. Now when it comes to CBG, there are even fewer studies and scientific evidence to grasp the full breadth of CBG’s benefits. However, there have been studies that illustrate the positive effects it may have.

Reduces Inflammation

Much like CBD, there are indications that CBG has anti-inflammatory properties, especially when it comes to the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). One particular clinical study used mice as part of its experiment, and found that CBG diminished inflammatory markers in the test subjects and may be considered for clinical trials in human patients.

Treats Glaucoma

A unique trait of CBG may be its ability to help treat glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure, according to one study published in 2008. In fact, glaucoma is one of the most common reasons for using prescribed medical marijuana strains that have adequate CBG content, which may be a key reason why cannabis helps treat this condition.

Stimulates Appetite

Marijuana is known for giving users the “munchies,” and CBG is one cannabinoid that may also elicit these effects but without the high. A more recent animal study suggested that CBG may be an appetite stimulant, which can benefit those who struggle to get enough food intake naturally due to underlying health conditions like cancer or hypothyroidism.

Kills Bacteria

CBG has shown to have certain antibacterial effects, particularly when studied on methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This kind of bacteria is responsible for different types of staph or skin infections, and is resistant to traditional drugs and antibiotics. CBG’s ability to kill existing drug-resistant bacteria and prevent more from forming may prove to be helpful in future treatments of MRSA infections.

How Does CBG Work?

Just like CBD, CBG elicits its beneficial effects through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps us regulate many other systems to help us maintain homeostasis (the state of stability and optimal functioning).

CBG works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors (also known as CB1 and CB2), endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes that form the ECS. Our cannabinoid receptors play a pivotal role in normalizing physiological processes like our mood, pain sensation, and hunger signals. The intense reaction that occurs when CBG meets these receptors is what produces its wellness benefits.

CBG also increases a naturally occurring endocannabinoid in our system called anandamide that helps to regulate functions critical to survival, including sleep and memory. And similar to CBD, CBG also has little to no negative side effects when taken in appropriate dosages.

CBG vs CBD

CBG and CBD are similar cannabinoids found within cannabis plants, but the primary differentiator between the two comes from how they interact with cannabinoid receptors. CBG binds directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors within the nervous system, while CBD interacts indirectly with these same receptors. Because of this, CBG may have a greater potential to impact a person’s health.

It’s important to add that one trait CBG shares with CBD is that it is non-intoxicating. Unlike THC, those who use CBG (or CBD, for that matter) won’t receive a mind-altering high—in fact, it’s one of the benefits that users most appreciate about the experience.

Best CBG Oils

While CBG is quickly on the rise, there aren’t nearly as many CBG oils as their are CBD products on the market. However, we did some digging to find the best hemp oils on the market that contain high levels of both CBD and CBG so you can reap the benefits of both of these compounds. To determine which products were the best, our team personally tried several CBG oils, read hundreds of customer reviews, and considered lab testing and hemp source as a part of our review process, and determined the top three CBG oils, listed below:

Seabedee

This tincture contains 350mg of CBG, CBC, and CBN, as well as 1500mg of CBD for a truly full spectrum of cannabinoids. I personally love this brand and all of their CBD oils, including their condition specific blends for anxiety, sleep, or inflammation, which also incorporate healthy doses of CBG and various terpenes.

CBDistillery

For the best price on a CBG oil, CBDistillery is well-known for their affordable products and full spectrum formulations. They offer a CBG tincture with a 1:1 ratio of CBD to CBG, with 500mg of each, and 1000 milligrams of cannabinoids in total to promote relief and relaxation.

Medterra

With a citrus flavor and the highest available option for CBG content, the Medterra CBG+CBD oil tinctures are something you don’t want to miss out on. They are available in either a 1,000 mg or 2,000mg CBD oil, and have a 1:1 ratio just like the CBDistillery option.

Is CBG Better than CBD?

CBG has yet to achieve the critical acclaim of CBD, but that’s not to say it doesn’t pack a punch—or that its time isn’t coming. CBG products actually supply much of the same benefits that CBD offers, and they allow you to stack the two cannabinoids together for more potential benefits. Therefore, it’s not necessarily that “one is better than the other,” but that you should look for hemp oil products that feature both compounds and a full spectrum of other phytocannabinoids in order to get the best effects.

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