Ashley Reynolds is the Co Founder of EMTCBD. Working with those ready to make the transition to plan based medicine is the driver behind Ashley’s ambitions to marry education with safe consumption of cannabis. A mom, dental hygienist, wife, and Vermonter, Ashley brings a unique story sharing perspective to the everyday women just trying to be well in a life of ups and downs.
From CBD to THC to now CBG and more—every cannabinoid we delve further into researching proves to offer so much more value than we initially thought. In total, there are over 120 cannabinoids known to man, and many are present in cannabis in high concentrations. One cannabinoid in particular is quickly edging its way into the spotlight: CBG (cannabigerol). So, what is this lesser-known cannabinoid, and why should we pay attention? Let’s dive right in to get you formally introduced.
What is CBG?
CBG is another cannabinoid like CBD that is found in plants belonging to the cannabis family. CBG was initially isolated from cannabis in 1964 by Israeli scientists around the same time that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) was first isolated. CBG is sometimes referred to as “the mother of all cannabinoids” or even “the stem cell cannabinoid.” This is because the acidic precursor CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) is the primary building block required for all other cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Through the synthesis process as the plant grows, about 99 percent of the CBGA is converted to other cannabinoids. What’s left becomes CBG.
What is CBGA?
CBGA is a compound called cannabigerolic acid. It is the raw, acidic form of CBG. It’s a unique compound that helps make THC, CBD, CBC, and other cannabinoids. CBGa is made when two organic compounds found in the cannabis plant (olivetolic acid and geranyl pyrophosphate) mix together to form a new substance. Scientists are hopeful that CBGA and other cannabinoids with similar properties may even be an effective treatment for COVID-19, but further research is necessary:
“…scientists found that both CBDA and CBGA contained physical properties that allowed them to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. When CBDA and CBGA were introduced to a system containing healthy cells and the virus, the cannabinoids competed with the epithelial cells to bind with the spike protein, effectively blocking SARS-CoV-2 from infecting the cells.” – Forbes
CBG vs CBD: Understanding the Difference
The main differences between these cannabinoids lie in their molecular structure, pharmacology, and therapeutic effects. CBG may have a greater impact on appetite stimulation, and CBG has been shown to act in different ways than CBD when compared on a therapeutic level.
When it comes to therapeutic action, CBD has a more indirect effect on the endocannabinoid system and is thought to act as a stabilizer that helps the ECS reach a state of homeostasis. On the other hand, CBG does interact with cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, even though those mechanisms are not completely understood.
CBG and CBD are two separate cannabinoids, which means they are similar in some ways and different in others. A good way to think about cannabinoids in this sense is to compare them to citrus fruits. Take oranges, for example. Rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamins B1 & B2, high in calories & carbs, etc. The orange is a delicious fruit that comes with loads of nutritional benefits. So, yes, oranges are great. But so are lemons! Since when do you have to decide on one? Adding lemons to your diet will assist your nutrition in ways that oranges will not. Why not have an orange when you feel like it, and have a nice glass of lemon water when you feel like it?
Each fruit comes with it’s own unique benefits; just like cannabinoids
Lemons naturally have more fiber & protein than oranges. Freshly squeezed lemon juice also has more vitamin C than orange juice. And similarly, limes come with their own unique benefits. Cannabinoids are no different, they all have their similarities as well as their differences.
What are the benefits of CBG?
CBG is one of the lesser-studied cannabinoids, but the preliminary efforts have brought forth some promising information. This cannabinoid is primarily noted for its neuroprotective properties. However, CBG may also boast other therapeutic actions, such as acting as:
- An analgesic to help with pain
- An antibacterial agent to help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- An anti-pressure agent to help with certain eye conditions
- An anti-inflammatory that could promote gut health
These benefits may be perceivable by ingesting CBD or using it in a systematic way to get it into your bloodstream. Therefore, CBG oil and other CBG-infused ingestible products are the most common. However, CBG also works well as a topical agent, especially when targeting certain parts of the body that are in pain. For example, our CBG Balm is great for targeting sore muscles.
CBD vs CBG FAQs
First of all, what is CBG?
CBG stands for cannabigerol. It’s a cannabinoid expressed in hemp plants that is similar to CBD. But it’s less widely known and thus CBG-rich strains are harder to come by & more rarely grown. CBG is, however, becoming more and more popular as more research is conducted to understand it’s true benefits.
What is CBG Used For?
CBG is a cannabinoid found in hemp plants that has been a recent topic of research & discussion due to its similarities to CBD. Using an oil tincture that contains high levels of CBG is a great way to give your endocannabinoid system that extra push when your regular CBD intake isn’t giving you enough relief.
Does CBG get you high?
No. CBG will not get you high. Like CBD, it is non-psychoactive, non-intoxicating, and is mainly touted for its potential therapeutics benefits.
How will CBG make me feel?
CBG reacts with both CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors in the body, just like CBD. So researchers are hopeful that it could have beneficial therapeutic impacts to when used in similar ways to CBD. Since CBG is a non-psychoactive & non-intoxicating cannabinoid, using tinctures, smoking flowers, or using other products infused with CBG will not get you high.
So why should I use CBG oil?
We recommend using CBG oil as an addition to your existing CBD regimen. It’s a great “as-needed” product, for days when your typical daily CBD serving is just not cutting it. For those days when you could use juuust a little more relief.
Is CBG good for those with severe endocannabinoid deficiency?
We also recommend CBG oil for those that may have a more severe endocannabinoid deficiency. Because our CBG oil tincture is very concentrated with such a high level of CBG, you won’t experience any lag or dullness by combining this tincture with your normal daily dose of CBD. Instead, it will help you achieve that balance and stability that you are ultimately striving for.
Why is CBG more expensive?
CBG is much harder to extract than CBD because there is so little of it. Essentially, it takes a lot more plant matter to create CBG. However, the latest research into CBG has shed light on cultivation processes that can garner higher-CBG amounts. Therefore, the price is starting to stabilize.
Growing CBG-rich plants can be difficult
CBG sounds pretty intriguing, and it sounds like it may offer some awesome additional benefits to CBD – so why aren’t more hemp producers growing crops that yield more CBG than CBD. Well, simply put, it’s very difficult to grow.
CBG converts to other cannabinoids
This makes the growing process EVEN MORE difficult. Since CBG is the precursor to other cannabinoids (CBG will eventually convert to CBD or THC), this means you only have a short window of this cannabinoid’s existence within cannabis trichomes before it converts to a new cannabinoid and is no longer present in the plant. The longer your hemp plants grow and mature, the greater the chance for CBG’s conversion and the reduction of overall CBG concentration in your plant. This is why farmers growing hemp for CBG tend to harvest their plants earlier.
CBG is found in much smaller concentrations within hemp plants
Because of the fact that our existing industrial hemp strains have been selectively bred to express higher levels of CBD, other cannabinoids like CBG have been left out of the picture. Your average CBD-rich hemp plant could contain 20 times the CBD compared to the amount of CBG found in the plant. This means you have to extract 20x more hemp plants just to get the same amount of CBG as you would CBD.
CBG is a costly cannabinoid
CBG is an expensive cannabinoid to actively produce & extract. You either need to grow a TON of plants, or you need to buy a large quantity of a very specific hemp seed that is known to express high levels of CBG. These seeds can be hard to come by and are, in turn, inflated in price.
CBG flowers tend to appear more white & frosty
This early harvest time is the main reason for the color (or lack there of) of many CBG flowers. The longer you let cannabis buds mature, the more likely they are to turn amber in color. When you harvest early, they remain a frostier white. CBG buds are typically very frosty and have milky-white trichomes. They are also known to be less sticky, more gritty & sand-like, and thus easier to work with.
Ready to Try CBG?
We may not know a lot about CBG yet, but what we do know is enough to pique interest for sure. If you would like to try the effects of CBG for yourself, check out our CBG Oil Tincture at Elmore Mountain Therapeutics. Our full-spectrum hemp extract gives you 1500mg of CBG and other cannabinoids like CBD to give you the greatest chance of experiencing the full effects.