What is CBG?

Of all the cannabinoids, CBG (cannabigerol) is perhaps the most intriguing.

Here’s why…

It’s been called “the stem cell of cannabis.” The stem cells in the human body are nothing short of miraculous. They can generate new cell types with specialized functions such as blood, brain, heart muscle, and bone cells.

CBG has been called “the stem cell of cannabis” because it has a similar power. CBG is the first cannabinoid produced by a cannabis plant. It then “gives birth” to the cannabinoids THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), and CBC (cannabichromene) that go on to produce the other estimated 120 cannabinoids a cannabis plant contains. (Like CBD, CBG produces no psychoactive effects in the people who take it.)

But here’s the rub. After CBG gives birth to the other cannabinoids, there is usually less than one percent of CBG left in the cannabis plant. What this means for consumers is that because it takes a lot more cannabis to produce CBG it costs more to produce and is usually more expensive than the equivalent amount of CBD. However, a breeder can harvest their crop early (before the “giving birth process” is complete) to capture a greater amount of CBG.

The good news is that because of the growing interest in CBG, breeders via cross-breeding and genetic manipulation have been busy developing cannabis strains that are high in CBG. Although because of the amount of cannabis required to produce CBG, most cannabis cultivators are choosing to focus on producing CBD. That said, alternative methods of cultivation and extraction are being developed, which should make CBG more affordable down the road.

Various forms of cannabis oil contain CBG. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains a small percentage of CBG (and other minor cannabinoids) which gives you the benefit of the entourage effect. Cannabis oil with a higher percentage of CBG is also available—often packaged at a one-to-one ratio with CBD. Plus, some companies sell CBG isolate (98% to 100% pure CBG) but it is extremely expensive. Plus, CBG is also available in gummies and in capsule form.

Here are four potential medicinal benefits of CBG

Reduce Pain Due to Exercise

More study is needed, but like CBD, CBG is thought to provide immediate relief of joint and muscle discomfort from exercise.

Promote Calmness/Healthy Sleep

The Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain study notes that CBG “also exhibits GABA uptake inhibition to a greater extent than THC or CBD…” A higher level of GABA in your brain means you feel more relaxed and your ability to enjoy a healthy sleep is heightened.

Act as an Antioxidant

Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation, a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can cause illness and aging by damaging your cells. A 2017 study published on the National Library of Medicine website concluded that “Based on its antioxidant activities, CBG may hold great promise as an anti-oxidant agent and therefore used in clinical practice as a new approach in oxidative-stress-related disorders.”

Promote Healthy Skin

While there do not appear to be many (if any) studies that focus on CBG and its benefits to our skin, we know this… for a product to be effective in maintaining healthy skin it must be highly anti-inflammatory and function as an antioxidant. CBG fits the bill. So, while there’s no conclusive scientific proof, many people are hailing CBG as being extremely beneficial to maintaining healthy skin.

Among other things, CBG is also suspected of aiding healthy vision, promoting bone growth, stimulating one’s appetite, and serving as a muscle relaxant. Of all the minor cannabinoids, because of CBG’s stem-cell-like qualities, it would appear to have the most potential to be a wellness game-changer down the road.