CBG Tincture with CBG Oil and Young Hemp Plants

What is CBG: Benefits, Effects, and More

You've heard of CBD, but have you heard of CBG? Learn everything you need to know about CBG benefits, effects, and more of this lesser known cannabinoid!

Since hemp and its extracts became fully legal in late 2018, wellness experts have embraced cannabis in a big way. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been the star of the show so far, which has caused many consumers to ask, “What is CBD, and what can it do for me?”

But CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa. One other you may not have heard as much about is cannabigerol, or CBG, which has recently started to get more attention for its potential uses for wellness. There are many cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa – around 120 – but cannabigerol (CBG) is probably one of the less-known compounds. However, it does play a rather significant role that involves CBD and many other cannabinoids.

CBD products made with hemp extracts provide consumers with several wellness support options. And you may have seen that CBG is included in a lot of these products. But what is CBG and how does it differ from CBD and other cannabis extracts?

Below, we’ll take a look at CBG’s origins, how it compares to CBD, possible CBG benefits, and where consumers can find it.

    Young Hemp Plant That Produces CBG

    What is CBG?

    Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-intoxicating substance found in plants of the Cannabis genus that may offer a variety of applications for humans. In other words, CBG comes from hemp, doesn’t get you high, and may also provide wellness benefits – much like CBD.

    CBG is referred to as “the mother of all cannabinoids” because every single cannabinoid is derived from the acidic form of CBG: cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). And like every other cannabinoid, CBG functions as a phytocannabinoid and works with your endocannabinoid system to regulate and maintain homeostasis within your body.

    Researchers describe CBG as a minor cannabinoid because cannabis plants produce smaller amounts of the substance compared to major cannabinoids like CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBG typically makes up less than one percent of the cannabis plant by weight. But cannabigerolic acid is an integral part of the plant’s production of CBD, and THC.

    Where Does CBG Come From?

    Although CBG, CBD, and THC are all derived from the same thing – CBGA – the rate at which each of them develops in the Cannabis sativa plant differs. So the reason CBG is less popular and much less well known than its counterparts is that CBGA converts to THC and CBD at a much faster rate, leaving not a lot of CBGA left to become CBG.

    Plant enzymes in maturing cannabis plants convert most of their CBGA into the acidic forms of CBD and THC – CBDA and THCA respectively. A process called decarboxylation, which occurs when the plant matter is exposed to ultraviolet light or heat, converts those acids into CBD and THC. That same decarboxylation process can convert CBGA into CBG, but it happens on a much smaller scale compared to the major cannabinoids.

    When a cannabis plant starts to mature, the CBGA uses particular enzymes to synthesize into cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).

    Once the CBGA converts into those other molecular compounds, there are only low concentrations of the CBGA cannabinoid left inside a mature cannabis plant. And when heat enters into the mix, each of these structures loses a carbon element and converts into its more recognizable form – CBG, CBD, CBC, or THC.

    As this happens, there is less of the CBG left for us to extract and use. This makes the costs of extracting CBG and producing a CBG oil product significantly higher than other cannabinoids. That’s because a specialized chromatography mechanism is needed to precisely isolate and purify CBG extracts without using an increased amount of raw hemp materials.

    Extracting CBG

    Despite the fact that CBG is the source of all cannabinoids, as mentioned, most mature varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant only contain a total of about one percent of CBG. Most of it has already been converted into other cannabinoids. So when it comes to obtaining CBG, manufacturers typically have to harvest it from younger hemp plants or cultivate a large quantity of mature Cannabis sativa plants.

    Some botanists have started work to create strains of hemp that will yield greater amounts of CBG. They’ve also determined that it’s possible to harvest plants earlier in the growing cycle to optimize CBG extraction. But there’s still a lot of work to do on this front.

    Ultimately, this all means that CBG is expensive and hard to extract in meaningful amounts. That’s why wellness formulas with CBG as the main ingredient are extremely rare. CBD is more abundant because as cannabis plants mature, their CBG content converts into other cannabinoids like CBD. This greater abundance of CBD may explain why CBD is more recognizable and popular among users of cannabinoid products.

    Because of the rarity of CBG, there isn’t as much information available to answer “what is CBG oil or CBG products”. Though preliminary studies are promising, there is still a lot for us to learn about this minor cannabinoid.

    Steps have already been taken to synthesize higher amounts of CBG through cross-breeding plants and manipulating plant genetics. Another method that scientists are exploring is pinpointing the perfect extraction time to pull higher CBG content from budding cannabis.

    CBD and CBG Products on Table

    CBG vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

    Now that we’ve answered “what is CBG?” we can better understand how CBG contrasts with CBD.

    Slight molecular differences between the two substances result in significantly different CBD and CBG effects, but also how they work or communicate with your body via the endocannabinoid system, or ECS.

    Researchers observe that CBG appears to bind well to the cell receptors in the ECS. As a result, CBG may cause a direct response.

    Research indicates that CBG molecules can partially bind to CB1 receptors – cannabinoid connectors located in the brain that make up half of the endocannabinoid system – which may be the primary reason why it works against THC effects. This action of CBG to diminish the effects of THC makes it one of the most interesting qualities of this minor cannabinoid.

    Other evidence suggests that CBG could also affect CB2 receptors; however, the results couldn’t pinpoint how, exactly. Researchers have also said that CBG contributes to the “entourage effect” by working in synergy with other cannabinoids and terpenes. This combined effect is often discussed in cannabis and CBD communities, and it is interesting to know that CBG plays a role not only in the formation of the cannabinoids themselves but also in how they work together.

    By contrast, CBD appears to have a lower affinity, but can still affect these receptors in another way. Instead of binding with the receptors, it may instead block them from interacting with other substances.

    Furthermore, CBD molecules typically communicate with CB2 cannabinoid receptors, while CBG is thought to attach to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. The two types of receptors each reach different biological systems throughout your body. Naturally, maximizing this activity by including more than one type of cannabinoid in CBD products can help you to get greater benefit from cannabinoid use. This is due to greater interaction at the binding sites, but also because of the entourage effect.

    So, while the two cannabinoids of CBG and CBD work a little differently due to their molecular makeup, the benefits differ a little as well, due to the binding sites they use within the ECS.

    What are the Benefits of CBG?

    Medical scientists have completed a few studies to discover various CBG benefits. Those experiments focused on CBG oil and its effect on the human body. Their outcomes provide plenty of reasons to get excited about the possible health benefits of CBG, but it’s important to understand that these are only preliminary results.

    Since these studies used large doses of isolated CBG in non-human test subjects, they do not provide conclusive evidence that CBG oil benefits are useful to treat or prevent any disease in humans. Consumers can’t expect the same effects from the supplemental servings found in today’s wellness products.

    Researchers still have a lot of work to do on the subject, but the early evidence certainly has many medical experts intrigued.

    So what does CBG do? It’s best to think of CBG’s benefits as a way to support good health practices such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and good sleep habits. Studies are still being conducted, but researchers anticipate finding similar health benefits as CBD to help with pain relief, better sleep, and stress management.

    The benefits of CBG possess some considerable potential, according to preliminary scientific investigations and findings. And it may solidify a promising future within the cannabis industry if there ever comes a time when manufacturers can solely extract the cannabinoid for CBG oil more easily and in a more cost-effective manner.

    And with all the positive results from initial studies, scientists are pushing forward with promising future research utilizing CBG or expanding its abilities by combining it with other cannabinoids to establish more safe and natural alternatives for maintaining general wellness.

    High-Quality Hemp Growing on US Farm

    The Key to Buying High-Quality CBG

    Just like when you purchase anything else, you’ll want to make sure you’re being as smart as possible before buying CBD online or in person, especially since there can be a lot of misinformation out there. And unless you know what red flags to look for, you could be caught off guard.

    In order to find the best CBG products for you, there are a few key steps you can take to sort through any possible misinformation: find the source of their hemp products, take a look at their third-party testing results, and verify any remaining questions with their certificate of analysis. And if all else fails, contact their customer service.

    We want you to be as safe as possible when you buy CBD, which means learning how to spot red flags and weeding through fake and untrustworthy CBD oil products. A high-quality CBD company will have a straightforward website with transparent information on all of their products and will be eager to answer any questions you may have.

    The Source of Hemp Products Matters

    In the US, the easiest way to make sure that the product you’re using complies with US federal regulations is to find where the hemp was manufactured. Because not all hemp or hemp-based products are grown the same, and buying a US-sourced hemp product is the only way to be sure that you’re abiding by US regulations. Because otherwise you may receive more or less than you bargained for.

    Consumers can find small amounts of CBG alongside dozens of other cannabinoids in all full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp products. The amount of CBG present in these products reflects what’s typically found in hemp plants. The hemp strains grown for wellness products presently contain high amounts of CBD and very little CBG – generally less than 1 percent.

    There are a few CBG-heavy hemp extract products on the market, but they are quite expensive. A hemp product’s label should accurately describe its contents, but that’s not always the case. Hemp companies frequently play fast and loose with ingredient lists.

    Understanding CBG Product Labels

    Look for whether a hemp product is broad spectrum, full spectrum, made from CBD isolate, or developed using pure hemp seed oil. And how much CBD each product and suggested serving size contains. Because not all CBD oil products are made the same.

    Pure hemp seed oil, for example, actually doesn’t contain any CBD, while CBD isolate contains almost nothing but CBD. Then there’s full spectrum CBD, which contains a variety of terpenes and cannabinoids including CBD, CBG, CBN, and less than the federally legal amount of THC (0.3 percent). And broad spectrum CBD is similar to full spectrum CBD in that it also includes a number of cannabinoids and terpenes, except its THC-free.

    cbdMD’s CBD products contain CBG, including our tinctures, gummies, capsules, topicals, and sleep aids.

    It’s also important to note cbdMD’s hemp extracts provide something other brands can’t – consistent cannabinoid levels across all product batches. Most full and broad-spectrum extracts contain consistent amounts of CBD, but the levels of other cannabinoids, like CBG, fluctuate across different batches. To correct these inconsistencies, cbdMD utilizes third-party testing to ensure quality and batch consistency, so there’s no need to worry that one shipment will be any weaker, or more powerful, than the last.

    It’s All About Third-Party Testing

    The keywords you’re looking for when it comes to transparent testing results are “third-party, ISO-certified lab results.” At the moment, CBD is unregulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meaning that CBD companies can get away with making certain claims or including (or excluding) various ingredients that supplement companies who are regulated by the FDA can’t.

    Thankfully, the reputable companies out there have made your decision a little easier by undergoing third-party, ISO-certified testing and providing you with the results.

    Third-party testing is done as a way to give you the assurance that all ingredients and factors of the product were considered in testing. Opting for a third party to test their products gives you the peace of mind that the data they’re showing you is unbiased and reliable.

    The term ISO refers to the International Organization for Standardization. The ISO is an independent, non-governmental, international organization which creates standards and requirements to ensure the quality, efficiency, and safety of a number of systems, services, and products. So when something is ISO-certified, such as CBG lab results, it means that the testing met every requirement for standardization and quality assurance.

    The Importance of the Certificate of Analysis

    Everything we’ve talked about above can be wrapped up in the Certificate of Analysis (COA), including whether or not a specific cannabinoid, such as CBD or CBG, can be detected and the percentage included in every single batch of CBD. COAs are clearly transparent, and will often tell you both what they did and did not test for, and whether or not the product passed the ISO safety analysis.

    If you want to know if a hemp product contains CBG, an independent lab test can help. On most lab reports and COAs, you can see a full list of which cannabinoids are present, and in what concentrations. This can help you make the most informed decision about which CBD + CBG products you can trust to be safe, efficient, and consistent when adding them to your daily wellness routine.

    At cbdMD, our products are also tested for pesticides, mycotoxins, residual solvents, heavy metals, and foreign materials to ensure that nothing was contaminated during the production process.

    Woman Researching and Testing CBG in Hemp

    CBG + CBD Oil Reviews

    When it comes to quality CBD products that contain CBG and other cannabinoids, it can be helpful to read through the product reviews. Other consumers like you have had the same questions, but after using the products for some time they can offer their experiences. Check out some of the following reviews by our satisfied CBD users.

    Note: The following reviews are for products that contain both CBD and CBG. Please check the full ingredients list for products you are considering to see if they contain CBD or a blend of CBD and other cannabinoids.

    Ray, verified buyer (CBD tinctures)

    “I wish I could give this product more than 5 stars. It has become a daily ritual – it makes me feel calm, grounded, and overall feeling ‘well.’ Great for unwinding after a long day at work! I've tried the berry and orange flavors; they're both amazing but berry is my favorite.”

    Keith, verified buyer (CBD tinctures)

    “LOVE the product! Take 1oz dropper at bedtime. Sleep has tremendously improved. Wake up refreshed. Have used 1oz during the day as well, but for me, the 1oz dropper at night has been very effective for sleep and reduced stress... GREAT product! Both Berry & Orange flavors are great...I prefer the orange for less aftertaste”

    Phoebe, verified buyer (CBD topical balms)

    “I got this to help my dry skin after working long days in the sun as a lifeguard for the summer. I feel like my skin looks more youthful than it did before I started using it. Really think this body balm and everything in it helps make my skin more... rejuvenated. Highly recommend”

    Learning More About CBG Products

    In conclusion, the emergence of cannabigerol (CBG) as a potential wellness supplement has sparked curiosity and interest among consumers, particularly in comparison to the well-known CBD. While CBG is a minor cannabinoid and its extraction is complex and costly, ongoing research is uncovering its unique benefits and potential health applications.

    When purchasing CBG products, it is crucial to prioritize reputable brands that provide transparent information about the source of their hemp, third-party testing results, and certificates of analysis. By prioritizing these factors, you can ensure you are investing in high-quality CBG products that align with your wellness needs and preferences.

    In this article, we addressed the question, “What is CBG?” But did you know there are over 100 cannabinoids found in hemp plants? You can learn more about other cannabinoids, more information on how the CBG, or more specifically how CBG benefits your body and your lifestyle, take a look at our frequently updated blog. Interested in staying up to date on the latest CBD news and cbdMD’s upcoming special offers? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or chat with someone live today!