What is CBG? A Deep Dive Into Cannabigerol

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. CBG is often referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids because other cannabinoids are derived from its acidic form. 

 

What are cannabinoids? 

Cannabinoids are naturally-occurring plant compounds that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). These compounds are most prevalent in cannabis plants. 

Every animal with vertebrae has an ECS that maintains “homeostasis,” or balance in the body. The system is composed of receptors that interact with cannabinoids and other compounds to promote optimal wellness. 

Each cannabinoid has a different chemical makeup, which means they all serve different purposes in the body. It’s important to understand the function of the cannabinoids you choose, including CBG. There are over 100 identified cannabinoids, though some of them are rare.

 

How does CBG work?

Cannabinoids can be the catalysts for beneficial reactions in the body. The ECS contains two primary receptors, CB1 and CB2. Each type of cannabinoid binds to receptors in a unique way depending on its molecular composition. 

CB1 receptors are found primarily in the central and peripheral nervous system, which engages neurotransmitters in the brain. CB2 receptors are abundant in the immune system and various organs. 

CBG binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors but doesn’t activate them. This makes CBG different from its well-known cousin, THC, which binds and activates receptors. Interestingly, CBD doesn’t bind directly to either receptor. 

 

What are the benefits of CBG? 

The FDA doesn’t allow cannabis companies to claim that any cannabinoids can be used to treat specific medical conditions. But several recent studies have taken an in-depth look into the benefits of CBG. 

Some promising research includes benefits for mood, pain relief, eye health, appetite stimulation, and antibacterial properties.

A 2021 survey found that the most common reasons patients used CBG include the following:

  • Stress (51.2%)
  • Pain (40.9%)
  • Depression (33.1%)
  • Disturbed sleep (30.7%)

Though the survey size was small, it’s worth noting that most participants reported high efficacy. 

CBG supports focus and reduces stress

Both CBG and CBD can influence the expression of genes involved in glutamate, gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), and dopamine signaling, all of which impact mood and focus. 

CBG and CBD also have the ability to inhibit the enzyme FAAH, which controls the amount of anandamide that can exist in the body. 

Anandamide is an endocannabinoid (a cannabinoid produced by the body) sometimes called the “bliss molecule,” because it’s known to promote a happy feeling. Anandamide is also found in chocolate, which makes sense why chocolate is a comfort food for many people.  

 

CBG has neuroprotection benefits

CBD was actually patented as a neuroprotectant by the U.S. government over 20 years ago. Neuroprotection refers to defending the nervous system from damage and injury, much of which occurs in the brain. 

Research conducted in 2020 found the neuroprotective benefits of CBD and CBG equally effective. Interestingly, when hydrogen peroxide toxicity impacted the brain and spinal cord cells, CBG was significantly more effective. 

 

CBG reduces discomfort and inflammation

Relieving pain and discomfort are some of the primary reasons that people use cannabinoids like CBD and THC. 

The same government patent that touted the neuroprotectant benefits of CBD also called it out as an antioxidant. These antioxidant properties are also present in CBG. Antioxidants are known to combat free radicals, which cause inflammation and discomfort. CBG’s antioxidant properties may help reduce pain caused by inflammation. 

The ECS function that allows CBG to generate more anandamide in the body is also beneficial for mitigating discomfort. 

 

CBG stimulates appetite

There are a number of cannabinoids, including CBG, that have been touted for appetite stimulation. This mechanism operates through the activation of CB1 receptors responsible for regulating smell, taste, and appetite. 

 

The difference between CBG and CBD

Both CBG and CBD are considered non-psychoactive cannabinoids, which means they won’t get you high. Both can boost mood, but you won’t experience the euphoric feeling commonly associated with cannabis. CBG and CBD have many of the same benefits but not to the same degree. 

Molecular structure

CBG and CBD have the same molecular formula (C21 H30 O2) but are arranged differently. For the science nerd, COOH groups for CBD are attached in a way that creates a cyclohexene ring. In CBD, two of the hydrogen atoms are replaced by hydroxyl groups. CBD and CBG don’t interact with endocannabinoids in the same way because of their molecular structure. 

Growth and harvest

CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in hemp throughout the growth cycle, but CBG is more difficult to obtain. CBD is generally harvested in the later phases of plant growth through various extraction methods. 

During the early growth phases, hemp produces the acidic precursor CBGA. This is where the “mother cannabinoid” concept becomes more clear. Throughout the growth cycle, CBGA breaks down and the majority of the compound converts to the precursors to THC and CBD. The remaining trace amounts of CBGA can be decarboxylated to create CBG. 

Harvesting hemp during the blooming phase is one strategy for obtaining higher quantities of CBG. It’s considered a rare cannabinoid because quantities may only amount to 1% of the plant’s cannabinoid profile.  

Using CBG and CBD together

Consuming CBG and CBD at the same time could enhance the benefits of each compound. CBG directly stimulates endocannabinoid receptors, while CBD works indirectly in the system. CBG can be added to your CBD tincture, CBD capsules, CBD edibles, or other preferred methods of intake. 

 

Should you use CBG?

If you’re looking to use CBG for a specific benefit, consider searching antidotal reviews from current consumers. Or, contact the Drops of Life customer service team for more information. We’re happy to help you understand what great things you can expect from CBG.

Our CBG and CBD gummies are blood orange-flavored and contain 10mg of each of these cannabinoids in every gummy. 

Our CBG and CBD tincture contains 1000mg of each cannabinoid and is formulated to energize your day.

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