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  • Alternative Cannabinoids

April 24, 2023

What is CBG and Its Benefits?

Estimated Read Time: 11 min

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By Valerie Orta on April 24, 2023

CBG, also known as the mother cannabinoid, is gaining popularity in the hemp scene as researchers continue to uncover its potential benefits. Here's what you need to know.

Are you feeling confused by all the new hemp compounds popping up? CBG is the latest cannabinoid to make waves within the hemp scene. If it's your first time hearing about CBG and you want to learn more, you're in the right place.

Recently, CBG has been creating a buzz within the hemp community and anyone interested in getting more focused work done during the day. But, if you're unfamiliar with this latest cannabinoid, don't worry - you're not alone. To help you get up to speed, we've put together some key points about CBG that you should know.

  • CBG stands for cannabigerol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp plants.
  • CBG is often called the "mother cannabinoid" because it is the precursor to other cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
  • Like other cannabinoids, CBG has potential natural health benefits, such as promoting a better mood and encouraging a sense of calm focus.
  • CBG is still being studied, and more research is needed to fully understand its effects on the body.

You may have more questions about CBG. Here we break down what CBG is and its benefits so you can explore whether it's right for you.

What is CBG?

Have you heard of CBG? It is short for Cannabigerol, one of the more than 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plants -- both hemp and marijuana. However, CBG is only present in significant amounts in young plants.

Unlike THC, CBG won't give you a euphoric feeling. Instead, its influence on the body's endocannabinoid system encourages a sense of focus and calm.

Recently, CBG has been making waves in the natural health world, and for a good reason. It's often called the "mother cannabinoid" because it's the starting point for other cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Essentially, every cannabinoid starts as CBG.

CBG is produced by cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which later gets converted into other cannabinoids like THCA and CBDA through decarboxylation.

How is CBG Made?

CBG is derived from young cannabis plants, particularly hemp, as they tend to contain higher amounts of CBG compared to fully developed plants.

Hemp strains can be specifically cultivated to produce higher levels of CBG. For example, white CBG, super glue CBG, and jack frost CBG deliver a higher CBG yield than other hemp strains.

CBG only appears in low concentrations in mature hemp plants. This is because the CBG has already been converted to other cannabinoids like CBD and THC as the plant develops.

Getting CBG can be complicated due to these factors, so experts have been experimenting with cross-breeding and genetic manipulation to help cannabis plants produce more CBG. However, most of the CBG in the market is natural and harvested from suitable hemp plants.

How CBG Works

Explaining CBG and its benefits starts with the body's endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS comprises molecules and receptors that help maintain balance and homeostasis in the body, regardless of external factors. Inside the body, CBG functions like the body's own endocannabinoids, which are the natural compounds made inside the body.

Cannabinoid receptors in the body

CBG works by binding to the two types of cannabinoid receptors in the body - CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are located in the body's immune system and other areas.

Experts also believe that CBG helps to strengthen the function of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that enhances pleasure, motivation, sleep, appetite, and more. CBG has no uplifting effects like THC, so it does not cause a high.

Is CBG Legal?

CBG is federally legal and regulated under the same laws as other hemp-derived cannabinoids. The most applicable law is the 2018 Farm Bill. According to this bill, CBG and CBG products are legal if derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.

However, like CBD regulations, CBG regulations may vary by state and change over time. Therefore, it is essential to research the legality of CBG products in your local jurisdiction before purchasing them. Additionally, stay engaged with any legal changes that may occur in the future.

The Benefits of CBG

Although the research on CBG is ongoing, early evidence and plenty of anecdotal reports highlight some of the benefits that CBG offers. These include:

Better focus

According to a study by the University of Aberdeen in 2009, CBG may encourage memory and learning. The study explored CBG's potential healthy brain benefits and found that CBG blocks the brain-based 5HT1A receptor involved in regulating and producing serotonin levels. When serotonin levels are at healthy levels, you feel more focused.

Mood support

CBG may also help you feel more hopeful and motivated. Evidence suggests that CBG positively influences anandamide levels by preventing enzymes from breaking it down. Anandamide is known as the "bliss" molecule because of its mood-enhancing properties.

Encourage better gut health

CBG is also widely used for promoting better digestive health. CBG encourages balance in a wide range of functions through its influence on the body's endocannabinoid system. This includes potential bacteria-fighting properties and the support of many functions related to a healthy digestive system and improved gut health.


Many people report feeling a sense of calm after using CBG. This is because studies show that CBG may naturally promote GABA levels. GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is the brain's most important neurotransmitter. Having it at adequate levels helps your muscles and mind relax.

CBG may even impact GABA levels more than CBD and THC. By inhibiting GABA's uptake, CBG may help you and your body better deal with stress and promote relaxation and peace.

Enhance muscle recovery

CBG may also help your muscles recover faster after a challenging workout. Its influence on GABA receptors may help soothe your tense, tired, and sore muscles. After a physically strenuous day, taking CBG might help you better deal with any tightness or soreness so you can bounce back faster.

Promote healthier skin

CBG's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties also help improve the appearance and feel of your skin. By interacting with receptors near the skin's surface, CBG may help address dry skin and make your skin feel softer and smoother.

Other Potential Benefits of CBG

Most of the research on CBG is in its initial stages, but there's a lot of promise for CBG and its benefits. Researchers and experts believe CBG might offer other potential benefits, including helping with bladder challenges.

What are the Side effects of Taking CBG?

CBG has received overwhelmingly positive responses from those who have tried it, even though it has only recently become popular. It has been around for a while but is now hitting the mainstream.

Most people tolerate CBG quite well, but there are some mild, temporary effects that some users have reported. These side effects include tiredness, dry mouth, and changes in appetite.

You can help avoid these side effects by following a few good practices with your CBG products. Here are a few tips:

  • Start with a low serving of CBG and gradually increase the serving over time.
  • Allow your body to adapt to the CBG products before increasing the serving.
  • If you experience adverse side effects, reduce the serving or stop using CBG products altogether.

It's also important to always talk with your doctor before starting any new cannabinoid routine.

CBG Scarcity

CBG has been around for a while, so why is it only gaining attention now? The reason is that it's much harder to produce than other cannabinoids like THC or CBD, which have been the focus of much of the cannabis industry. CBG is often present in much lower concentrations in cannabis plants, making it more challenging and costly to extract.

However, CBG has many similarities to CBD, which is much easier to produce and has gained more mainstream attention. As a result, many growers and producers have opted to focus on CBD over CBG.

Despite the production challenges, CBG's potential benefits have caught the attention of researchers, who are working to find new and more affordable ways to increase its availability and make CBG products more accessible to consumers. Today, you can find CBG gummies, CBG vapes, and more. While CBG products may be more costly for now, increasing production may ultimately help lower future prices.

Is CBG the Same as CBD?

CBG draws many comparisons with CBD, the most popular hemp cannabinoid. Because of the comparisons, you might be tempted to think that they are identical. However, while the two compounds share similarities, they are bonafide cannabinoids in their own right.

What is CBD?

Anyone that pays the slightest attention to the hemp scene has heard or knows about CBD. It's the most famous cannabinoid that comes from hemp.

Like CBG, CBD doesn't have uplifting effects and is believed to have many health benefits, most of which have been studied, and a few have been confirmed. However, what has made CBD famous is its accessibility. It is the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp plants and the second most prevalent in marijuana plants.

Additionally, CBD is easy to extract and process. The availability of CBD and its resonance with hemp lovers make it the highest-selling cannabinoid.

CBD also works through the endocannabinoid system but doesn't directly bind with CB1 receptors in the brain, hence the lack of psychedelic effects.

On the surface, CBG and CBD look the same. But when you start peeling back the layers, you start seeing the differences and how each of them is a cannabinoid that can offer different benefits for its consumers.

CBG Vs. CBD: The Differences

For first-time hemp fans, choosing between CBD and CBG can feel challenging. There are so many similarities that make you feel like it's pointless choosing between cannabinoids. We've put together some differences that help you distinguish between the two options and help you choose the right one for your needs. Spoiler alert, it could be both!

Chemical structure

CBD and CBG are naturally occurring chemical compounds with largely similar chemical structures. But the chemical formula for each of them is different. For example, CBG has more hydrogen atoms than CBD, and the position of the double bond in both compounds differs.

Although the difference is minute, and most people might even miss it, it sets the stage for all the differences between the two compounds.

Potential benefits

Studies and anecdotal reports show that the potential benefits between CBG and CBD are also different.

CBG primarily promotes focus, mood, and better gut health. On the other hand, CBD is most touted for its overall balancing properties that help with stress, sleep, and much more.


It is much easier to find CBD products than to find CBG products. Additionally, most of the hemp products you purchase only contain about 1% CBG by composition and up to 25% CBD. The scarcity of CBG means CBG products are harder to come by and cost more if you find them.

What To Look For in Quality CBG Products

Finding CBG products can be a challenge, but it is possible. Because they are rare, knowing what to look for when purchasing CBG products is important.

Responsible hemp sourcing

Top CBG brands prioritize responsible sourcing and partner with hemp farms that use organic farming practices. They subject their hemp extract to rigorous testing to ensure it meets high agricultural standards. The hemp used should be grown in nutrient-rich soil with adequate sunlight and clean water to produce high-quality hemp plants that yield substantial amounts of CBG.

Third-party testing

Due to a lack of government regulation in the hemp market, there is a risk of substandard or unstandardized products. Reputable CBG brands ensure the authenticity and quality of their products through independent ISO-certified labs that conduct composition, purity, and contaminant testing. A Certificate of Analysis (CoA) is issued to consumers, verifying the product's potency and composition. Before making a purchase, ensure the CBG brand provides a CoA.

Quality packaging

Pay attention to the packaging of your CBG products. It not only preserves the freshness of the product but also provides insight into its quality. Poor packaging with misspellings and inaccurate information is a red flag for low-quality products and inexperienced manufacturers. Therefore, it's important to consider packaging quality when buying CBG products.

Getting to Know CBG

CBG might have taken its sweet time to go mainstream, but it is here and deserves your attention now.

  • CBG is a cannabinoid that is distinct from CBD and THC.
  • It has potential health benefits and is well-tolerated by most people, with only mild and temporary side effects.
  • CBG is legal if derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.
  • Regulations around CBG vary by state and could change over time, so research its legality in your local jurisdiction before purchasing CBG products.
  • Responsible hemp sourcing, third-party testing, and quality packaging are all important factors when purchasing CBG products.

While CBG products might be hard to find and cost more than other cannabinoids, the potential benefits and positive reviews from CBG lovers make it a worthwhile investment.

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