Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid present in hemp plants. CBG is a precursor cannabinoid also known as the mother of all cannabinoids. This is because the acidic form of CBG, CBGA, is the cannabinoid all other cannabinoids are derived from.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are common cannabinoids within the hemp plant that are derived from CBGA.
Unlike the primary cannabinoids we are all familiar with, CBG exists in much smaller amounts in hemp plants. Only about 1% of CBG exists compared to 20-25% of CBD.
These low levels of CBG in hemp plants have contributed to a scarcity of CBG products and high costs in the past, however this is changing quickly as CBG grows in popularity. The host of potential benefits provided by this cannabinoid is drawing consumers in and peaking interest across the market.
How is CBG Made?
CBG has typically been extracted from young hemp plants as they contain higher levels of CBG than fully mature plants.
As growers become more nuanced in breeding higher CBG strains however, this is also changing. White CBG, Super Glue CBG, and Jack Frost CBG are a few high CBG cultivars that have been bred to produce high concentrations of CBG.
As hemp plants mature, CBGA is converted into cannabinoids like CBD and THC. This is why CBG was initially extracted from younger plants in which CBGA hadn’t yet converted into other cannabinoids.
How Does CBG Work?
CBG is processed by our bodies endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of receptors throughout the body that maintain an optimal internal state. CBG binds to the endocannabinoid receptors and imitates the natural endocannabinoids produced by the body.
There are two types of endocannabinoid receptors—CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors can be found in the nervous system and the brain, while CB2 receptors exist in the immune system and other parts of the body.
CBG binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors and it is believed that CBG increases the functioning of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that enhances pleasure and motivation, regulates appetite and sleep, and alleviates pain. CBG does not have psychotropic effects, so it will not cause the intoxicating high associated with THC.
Potential Benefits of CBG
CBG is thought to be more effective at reducing pain than THC without the intoxicating side effects. Some studies have shown CBG to be more effective than THC and CBD combined when it comes to pain relief. Research also indicates that CBG may have therapeutic effects.
Rarity of CBG
Until recently, the difficult and costly production of CBG has made CBG concentrates a rarity in the CBD and hemp market. CBG, not being as readily available in hemp as CBD, has made it harder to produce. Processors and manufacturers have usually just decided to produce CBD instead as it is easier to produce, cheaper to produce, and shares a lot of the same effects as CBG.
All these factors have combined to make CBG products more expensive than CBD products. However, as more consumers show interest in CBG due to its host of potential health benefits, this is changing. Processors and manufactures are working to make the production of CBG cheaper and easier which will lead to lower prices.