Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of over 140 similar chemical compounds in cannabis. Its most prominent benefits are anti-anxiety, anti-tumor, neuroprotection, pain, and inflammation, either on its own or with other valuable cannabinoids.
CBG’s effects and benefits are similar to CBGA, CBD, and THC. However, unlike THC, it won’t cause a euphoric high, nor will it impair your thinking, judgment, or memory. Compared to CBD, CBG is marginally better for anxiety, stress, neuroprotection, and MRSA bacteria.
Benefits of CBG
The benefits of CBG are not as well-documented as, say, CBD and THC, but there are enough preclinical and clinical studies for us to dive right into. Based on the research conducted so far, CBG’s benefits include combating anxiety, pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, appetite problems, and psoriasis, as well as providing you with neuroprotective and antibacterial effects.
CBG offers potent anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) benefits and potentially manages anxiety symptoms better than CBD and THC.
Research shows CBG’s anti-anxiety effects directly result from inhibiting the reuptake and eliminating gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). This neurotransmitter binds to GABA receptors and produces a calming effect on your central nervous system.
Like CBD, CBG also prevents enzymes from breaking down anandamide, an endocannabinoid responsible for dopamine production. Dopamine is a hormone and neurotransmitter that positively impacts mood, pleasure, reward, sleep, and appetite.
CBG’s anti-anxiety benefits are best in combination with CBD for anxiety, stress, and depression.
CBG is an effective neuroprotectant. Neuroprotection refers to safeguarding and defending your nervous system from damage and injury. Conditions that could damage or injure your nervous system include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. Neuroprotectives reduce nerve death after injury, protect your nervous system from degeneration, or both.
A recent 2020 research paper comparing the neuroprotective qualities of CBD and CBG. The researchers found CBD and CBG are equally effective but when hydrogen peroxide toxicity impacted the brain and spinal cord cells, CBG was significantly more potent at reducing neurotransmitter depletion, even in lower concentrations.
Researchers at McMaster University in Canada discovered CBG essentially eliminated numerous strains of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a stubborn staph bacteria resistant to most antibacterial agents.
The spread of MRSA commonly occurs in hospitals and healthcare facilities, and infection can cause severe illness or death in worst-case scenarios.
CBG eliminated MRSA bacteria by preventing biofilm formation, a robust protective layer of microorganisms covering its cytoplasmic membrane. The researchers found CBG was the most effective compared to 18 other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC.
Unfortunately, the study lacks real-world application, and the research was limited to rodent test subjects, not human test subjects.
4. Nausea and vomiting
CBG is a weak and ineffective treatment for nausea, sickness, and vomiting, and provides little relief from symptoms.
Researchers studied CBG and CBD’s anti-nausea and vomiting potential in rats and shrews given saccharin solution and lithium chloride (LiCl) to induce sickness. The team studied how CBD’s agonism and CBG’s antagonism of 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A (5-HT1A) receptors affected their anti-emetic potential.
CBD doses of 5mg/kg significantly reduced conditioned gaping in rat test subjects and vomiting in shrew test subjects, indicating CBD’s potential anti-emetic effect. However, CBG doses reversed CBD’s effects,
If you’re experiencing nausea, sickness, or vomiting for whatever reason, don’t suddenly stop taking CBG. The research is preclinical and has not been tested on humans over a long period. However, we suggest taking a break from CBG and trying a pure CBD isolate product instead to see if it helps you.
CBG for cancer (specifically colon cancer) is promising but limited to preclinical conditions on animals and humans.
Research suggests CBG doesn’t just help relieve symptoms of pain caused by cancer; it could also eliminate cancer cells without intoxication or euphoria. In mice test subjects, CBG inhibits the growth of xenograft tumors and chemically induced carcinogenesis.
Recently, researchers in Israel discovered CBG and CBC together could help fight against gastrointestinal cancer.
6. Pain and inflammation
One of CBG’s most promising benefits is its ability to reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation. CBG might even be a better pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory than THC, though more research is needed to be conclusive.
CBG shows some affinity with your CB1 and CB2 receptors and inhibits reuptake and elimination of GABA, meaning it acts as a potential muscle relaxant for patients with spasticity.
A recent survey of 127 patients using CBG-dominant products for medical conditions is interesting. Of the 127, 40.9% use CBG for chronic pain, with most stating it “much improved” or “very much improved” symptoms. Better still, 73.9% of patients using CBG for chronic pain say it’s superior to conventional medicines, assumably opioids.
7. Appetite stimulation
CBG is similar to CBD insofar as it stimulates your appetite and could be a promising treatment for appetite issues associated with eating disorders, AIDS, and cancer.
A recent study discovered purified CBG extract stimulated the appetites of 16 rat test subjects. At 120 mg/kg and 240 mg/kg of CBG, food intake increased to 1.53 and 1.36 grams, respectively. The number of meals consumed also increased significantly.
THC is also a decent appetite stimulant and induces hunger through CB1 receptor activation, specifically in brain regions responsible for regulating smell, taste, and appetite. Combining CBG and THC is a good option here.
Remember, CBG’s ability to stimulate your appetite is largely based on preclinical research on animal test subjects and anecdotal evidence. While we recommend giving it a go, we don’t recommend you replace conventional medications with it.
CBG might tackle symptoms of glaucoma and combat intraocular eye pressure, though research is somewhat limited to older and arguably less relevant preclinical studies.
Glaucoma is a common eye condition. Fluid buildup around the eye’s frontal region damages the optic nerve connecting the eye and the brain, as well as increases pressure inside the eye.
In 1990, researchers applied topical CBG and THC on the eyes of felines. Acute administration of both cannabinoids separately caused only a modest reduction in intraocular eye pressure. However, chronic administration of both cannabinoids combined over a longer period significantly reduced ocular tension by 4 to 7 mm Hg.
How does CBG make you feel? Is it psychoactive?
CBG feels uplifting and energizing but also calming and soothing, especially when taken with CBD. Some users report noticeable physical sensations and slight mental euphoria in high doses. These feelings and sensations are because CBG is a psychoactive cannabinoid capable of activating cannabinoid receptors in your brain and nervous system.
CBG’s psychoactivity doesn’t induce psychotropic or intoxicating effects like THC or delta-8. Instead, it influences brain activity and alters mood and perception, which causes anxiety and stress reduction without your mental or physical state becoming impaired.
CBG or CBD: Which is more effective for anxiety, pain, and sleep?
CBD and CBG are best used together as a power duo. However, many consider CBG better for anxiety, depression, and sleep, while CBD is generally better for pain. Taken together, CBD and CBG are excellent sleep aids, especially when mixed with THC or delta-8, both known as the best cannabinoids for sleep.
CBD is better for nausea and vomiting than CBG. Studies indicate CBD acts as a serotonin agonist (activator) to reduce nausea, sickness, and vomiting in rodent test subjects. However, CBG does the opposite and acts as a serotonin receptor antagonist (blocker), reversing CBD’s anti-nausea and vomiting effects.
Does CBG have any side effects?
Yes, CBG can cause mild short-term side effects, but none are severe, life-threatening, or permanent. There are no reports of short or long-term health problems from consuming CBG products.
Many side effects of CBG are similar to CBD, including:
CBG vs CBGA: what’s the difference?
CBG is the decarboxylated form of its precursor acid, CBGA. CBGA is “The “Mother of All Cannabinoids” due to decarboxylating into other major and minor cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, and CBC. Since they’re closely related, how similar are they?
Not surprisingly, CBG and CBGA have very similar effects and benefits, including:
Research suggests a combination of CBGA, CBDA, and CBG shows promise in tackling metabolic disorders.
A metabolic disorder happens when abnormal chemical reactions disrupt your metabolism, altering the body’s way of processing and distributing proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and other macronutrients. Symptoms include increased blood pressure, reduced “good” cholesterol levels, and excess fat around your waistline. Left untreated, metabolic disorders can lead to heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes.
When CBGA, CBDA, and CBG are consumed, they act as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α/γ agonists.
PPAR-α/γ is a receptor located in adipose tissue (body fat) and the lower intestine. It’s responsible for enhancing glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as reducing inflammation. Activation of this receptor regulates metabolic function.
CBG vs CBD: What’s the difference?
CBD and CBG are non-intoxicating cannabinoids synthesized from CBG’s precursor acid, CBGA.
As a general rule, CBG energizes your body and reinvigorates your mood, while CBD is more of a relaxant capable of calming your mind and balancing your internal functions. They also share similar benefits such as pain relief, anti-inflammation, and sleep promotion. However, both also have different molecular structures and interact within your body separately from each other.
One of the most significant differences between CBD and CBG is their ability to combat nausea and vomiting.
Studies indicate CBD acts as a serotonin agonist (activator) to reduce nausea, sickness, and vomiting in rodent test subjects. However, CBG does the opposite and acts as a serotonin receptor antagonist (blocker), reversing CBD’s anti-nausea and vomiting effects.
CBG is significantly more expensive than CBD. Hemp plants contain very little CBG (<1%), which means producers require more plant material to make effective CBG products, thus costing more money to manufacture. On the other hand, CBD is abundant in hemp plants (up to 20%), meaning less plant material is needed to create CBD products.
CBG vs THC: How are they different?
The biggest difference between CBG and THC is intoxication or lack thereof. CBG is non-intoxicating and won’t induce a euphoric high, while THC will cause a significant euphoric high in most doses.
THC is a psychotropic cannabinoid and a partial agonist of your CB1 receptors, meaning it activates them but not on the same level as pure synthetic cannabinoids such as K2 and Spice. THC’s activation of your CB1 receptors triggers the psychological effects of a euphoric high, including mental impairment, excitement, happiness, and amplified pleasure.
THC is also abundant in cannabis plants, specifically marijuana. You can find up to 35% THC in one single marijuana strain, but the average is roughly 15-20%. On the other hand, cannabis only carries up to 1% CBG in mature plants and up to 5% in younger plants.
What is CBG?
CBG is short for cannabigerol and one of roughly 140 similar chemical compounds (cannabinoids) present in all varieties of cannabis, hemp and marijuana included.
CBG is non-intoxicating and won’t induce a euphoric high, nor will it impair your thinking, judgment, or memory. It’s also a “minor” cannabinoid, meaning the cannabinoid profile of hemp and marijuana consists of up to 1% CBG.
CBG was first discovered simultaneously with CBD and THC in 1964 by two prominent Israeli cannabis researchers, Raphael Mechoulam and Yehiel Gaoni. CBG didn’t catch much attention until the legalization of hemp and hemp-derived compounds in 2018.
How CBG works
CBG works directly and indirectly with your endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Your ECS is a complex biological network of two receptor types, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. Each ECS component regulates core functions such as sleep, mood, stress, appetite, pain, inflammatory response, and immune response, bringing your body to a state of internal equilibrium, also known as homeostasis.
Yes, CBG derived from hemp carrying no more than 0.3% THC is federally legal and protected under the Agriculture Improvement Act (2018 Farm Bill) and is not listed as a controlled substance. This means the use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of CBG is legal in the US.
However, CBG derived from high-THC marijuana is not federally legal but permitted in 36 US states where medical and recreational cannabis is legalized.
Purchasing CBG products
Purchasing high-quality CBG products is simple and easy. All you need is a bit of guidance on what to look out for, especially if you’re looking for something to help treat pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, or any other condition.
Looking for fantastic CBG products but don’t know where to start? Here’s what you should be looking out for.
Third-party testing — When purchasing CBG products, knowing your chosen company conducts third-party testing is vital. Third-party testing refers to products being analyzed by accredited, independent laboratories that ensure your products carry the correct quantities of CBG, CBD, and THC, as well as guarantee no contaminants are present in the extract.
Certifications — Alongside third-party testing, certifications from accredited and legitimate hemp agencies and organizations are essential. The USDA and the US Hemp Authority have the most well-respected, highly sought-after certification programs. Companies certified by these organizations show commitment and dedication to correct safety procedures and proper manufacturing practices, both of which are vital in an industry lacking regulatory oversight.
Hemp source — Hemp source is which location a company sources its hemp from. There are some hemp locations that are way better than others. California, Oregon, Washington, and Kentucky are four of the best US states for hemp cultivation. Each of these states has a long-standing, well-established hemp pilot program and nearly a decade of experience cultivating the finest hemp plants.
Extraction method — The extraction method refers to how manufacturers and producers extract CBG, CBD, THC, terpenes, and other plant compounds from hemp plants. Many consider carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethanol extraction two of the best extraction methods. Specifically, CO2 produces very clean, cannabinoid-rich extracts for all CBG products.
Effective CBG products we recommend
There are many CBG products on the market, but which one should you choose? Our CBG product recommendations are all verified safe, clean, uncontaminated, and highly effective.
We can’t recommend Nuleaf Naturals’ full-spectrum CBG oil enough. Available in 300, 900, and 1800 mg strength options, each product is catered to your daily CBG requirements. The whole-plant extract, which carries an abundance of valuable cannabinoids and terpenes, is sourced from high-quality hemp grown in the US. Each product is third-party tested and verified safe to use. Best used for anxiety, stress, depression, neuroprotection, and pain.
Medterra is a company we always recommend, particularly its broad-spectrum CBG + CBD oil, blending both cannabinoids with other revitalizing plant compounds, terpenes, and flavonoids. Their 1:1 blend is ranked as one of the best CBG oils we’ve tested. The oil comes in two strength options: 1000 mg and 2000 mg. The 1000 mg option is perfect for beginners experiencing mild pain, inflammation, anxiety, and stress, while the 2000 mg is better for moderate symptoms.
Last but certainly not least, Extract Labs’ full-spectrum CBG capsules carrying 33 mg of CBG and 33 mg of CBD per capsule, alongside other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes, including CBC, CBN, and <0.3% THC. The capsules are manufactured in GMP-certified facilities and contain all-natural ingredients. Best used for anxiety, stress, depression, neuroprotection, and general health and wellness.
Conclusion: CBG is a powerhouse cannabinoid
As evidenced above, CBG is a powerhouse cannabinoid on its own or with other cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, and CBGA, particularly for anxiety, pain, inflammation, neuroprotection, and MRSA.
If you’re looking for a product carrying CBG only, high-quality CBG distillates are your best bet, though be aware they’re typically expensive.
We recommend purchasing a CBG oil or capsule product with added CBD. Both cannabinoids work together as a power duo for your health and wellness.