A lot of public attention and research has been directed toward the cannabis plant lately. More and more people have become curious about the seemingly endless potential of this plant and its unique chemical compounds, and now, thanks to the contributions of cannabis researchers and medical professionals around the world, we have a growing understanding of the therapeutic potential of hemp.
In particular, oils, tinctures, patches, creams, and vapes containing cannabidiol (CBD) have become wildly popular for treating everything from anxiety to chronic pain. CBD is the most common non-intoxicating cannabinoid in standard cannabis strains, making it easy to cultivate, isolate, and utilize in the production of a variety of products. (There are actually more than 100 non-intoxicating cannabinoids found in hemp plants.)
Recently, a different cannabinoid has been making headlines and taking some of the spotlight away from THC and CBD: Cannabigerol (CBG). CBG is found in less natural abundance in the hemp plant than CBD, but it has been shown to elicit the similar beneficial effects on the human body -- with some possible advantages. Although CBG is considered a “minor” cannabinoid due to the small quantities of it found in individual plants, research is starting to show that it may have a major role to play in advanced health in wellness products.
CBG VS CBD
CBD and CBG are both cannabinoids, and as such they have similar effects on the body through impacting the endocannabinoid system. This system permeates the entire body and influences numerous factors: sleep, heart rate, body temperature, pain sensation, hunger, and more. Cannabinoids influence this natural system by interacting with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body and brain.
CBD actually has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors and acts mostly through indirect interactions with the endocannabinoid system. On the other hand, CBG is thought to elicit its therapeutic effects directly through interaction with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. This is why research suggests that the effects of CBG may actually be stronger.
This is similar to the way in which the cannabinoid THC creates its psychoactive effects through direct interaction with receptors in the brain. Because CBG can block those receptors, it works like an antagonist reducing THC’s psychoactivity.
Comprehensive research on CBG has only just begun and is stark in comparison to the amount of studies that have been conducted on THC and CBD over the past several decades. Even so, the cannabis community considers CBG to be a very promising cannabinoid with a host of therapeutic potential.
WHERE DOES CBG COME FROM?
CBG goes through a life cycle in which it progresses through several different forms. Such chemical transformations are common in botany and biology. Under varying light, heat, and oxidation conditions, molecules change. Compounds change, sometimes gaining or losing atoms, and then they change again.
In this case, the process begins with the acidic form of CBG: CBGA. This compound is converted by plant enzymes into three major cannabinoid precursors: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).
CBG is actually formed from any leftover CBGA that is not transformed into these precursors. Since most of the CBGA is actually converted, CBG is typically only found in small quantities in hemp plants. The amount of CBG is often less than 1% by weight, which is why CBG is currently considered a “rare” cannabinoid, and is often priced accordingly.
Plant breeders are trying to obtain higher yields of CBG through genetic manipulation and crossbreeding of the cannabis plant.
HOW CBG IS EXTRACTED
Before CBG can actually be used by consumers, the cannabinoid-rich oil must be extracted from the plant.
For full-spectrum hemp extracts which contain small amounts of CBG and high levels of CBD, CO2 extraction is the best option. A series of pressure and temperature-controlled chambers separate the oil from the plant matter without the use of harsh chemicals. Once extracted, the crude oil is ready for additional processing so that individual plant components can be collected separately or removed.
Like CBD, CBG can be isolated into a crystalline powder that is nearly 100 percent pure cannabigerol. With current plant breeds, this process takes nearly 20 times more plant matter to obtain the same amount of CBG as one would get when isolating CBD. Needless to say, this makes CBG isolate relatively expensive to produce.
IS CBG THE NEXT CBD?
It seems unlikely that CBG will replace CBD as the go-to therapeutic cannabinoid -- at least not any time soon. With the cost of production as a factor, it would take major advances in CBG cultivation to see CBD passing the mantle.
These days, CBD users are turning to full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products that contain all the plant-based cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These products also contain the plant’s natural level of CBG, which allows users to leverage the “entourage effect” of stacking the full complement of nutrients and compounds.
Some companies, King Buddha included, offer CBD products that are enriched with additional CBG as well. For example, our CBD + CBG tinctures give all of the benefits of full or broad spectrum CBD oil with an added CBG boost and all of the potential benefits that come with it.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CBG?
CBG mimics the effects of two key endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body to the cannabinoid receptors. As we mentioned before, the endocannabinoid system regulates everything from mood and hunger to pain and pleasure sensation, plant-based cannabinoids can be used to modify or balance a number of natural functions.
- Glaucoma. A study published in 2008 suggests that CBG might be effective in treating glaucoma by helping to reduce intraocular pressure.
- Bladder dysfunctions. A 2015 study concluded that CBG shows the most promise at treating bladder dysfunctions among several different cannabinoids.
- Cancer. A 2014 study examined colon cancer in rats and concluded that CBG might impede the growth of cancer cells.
- Inflammatory bowel disease. A 2013 study shows that CBG seems to reduce the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative issues. CBG might have neuroprotective properties, according to a 2015 study.
- Bacterial infections and MRSA. A 2008 study suggests that CBG can kill bacteria, particularly the dangerous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
WILL CBG MAKE YOU HIGH?
CBG is non-psychoactive, much like CBD, so it has no mind-altering or intoxicating effects. THC actually starts out as Cannabigerol (as a precursor of a precursor) but the multiple chemical changes bring about the psychoactive properties of THC.
WHERE TO BUY CBG OIL?
Even though hemp contains considerably more CBD than CBG, the potential of CBG should not be understated. Current evidence suggests that CBG has a bright future in the world of health and wellness, and it’s likely that many manufacturers will follow King Buddha’s lead in boosting the CBG content of their full-spectrum CBD products.
When looking for CBG products, be sure to use the same type of scrutiny that you would use when searching for CBD oils, creams, and other products. Look for trusted manufacturers who are transparent about their growing and processing methods. Make sure you’re able to see independent lab testing of the product to ensure its potency and purity.
Regardless of where you live, King Buddha provides low prices and fast shipping right to your door. As one of the largest and most dedicated cannabinoid producers in the nation, we put the satisfaction of our customers above all else.
If you’re ready to get started with CBG products, we recommend taking a look at our full spectrum CBD + CBG tincture and our broad spectrum CBG + CBD tincture. Both are made to the highest King Buddha standards and are CBG boosted to give you the most out of that powerful entourage effect!