CBG, or cannabigerol, is a phytocannabinoid. Unlike endocannabinoids, which are produced by the body, phytocannabinoids are sourced from plants like Cannabis/Hemp. CBG is what's known as a non-psychoactive cannabinoid—it doesn’t get you high.
Contrary to the common belief, CBG is not a minor cannabinoid. In fact CBG is the first cannabinoid acid to develop in the cannabis/hemp plant. As such, it is some time referred to as the “stem cell” of cannabis/hemp. As the plant continues to grow, enzymes convert CBGA into either THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) or CBCA (cannabichromenic acid). Decarboxylation also produces many other cannabinoids (at least 100), all of which originally stem from CBGA.
Most of the cannabis strains on today’s market are bred to be high in THC and/or CBD; and the more THC or CBD present in a plant sample, the less CBG. Hence, strains usually contain only small amounts of CBG.
What are the differences between CBD and CBG?
Despite originating from CBGA, CBD is completely distinct from CBG in both chemical structure and concentration within cannabis plants. Because it is only found in trace amounts in dried plant material, it is only recently that manufacturers have begun to focus more attention on optimising CBG levels in products like CBD oils, supplements, and salves. It’s clear that CBG is an essential cannabinoid, but it’s yet unclear exactly how to use it to our benefit.
What are the Effects of CBG?
Just like any other cannabinoid, CBG does interact with the endocannabinoid system in a variety of ways.
CBG has been shown to increase appetite in two rat-based studies conducted by researchers at the University of Reading (United Kingdom) in 2016 and 2017.
The researchers found that CBG has potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in a study conducted in 2013 at the University of Naples Federico II.
Unfortunately, because CBG has been overshadowed by cannabinoids THC and CBD, not a lot of research has gone into fully understanding this cannabinoid and its effects. However, that is slowly changing as people begin to realise the potential and importance of this compound.