CBG stands for Cannabigerol, and it is one of over 140 known cannabinoids found in cannabis sativa plants. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system when consumed. (More on this below.)
CBG is commonly referred to as “the mother of all cannabinoids” because all cannabinoids start off as CBGa, but then, biosynthesize into other cannabinoids such as: THCa, CBDa, CBGa, CBCa, CBNa, CBDVa, etc.
CBG was one of the first 10 cannabinoids to be identified and isolated in a lab by Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam in 1964. Other cannabinoids isolated at that time include THC, CBD, CBC, CBN.
What does the “a” stand for in CBGa?
The “a” stands for “acid” and it indicates that the cannabis flower has not been heated yet, or is still very fresh, and it is considered to be in its acidic state. For CBGa to convert to CBG, the hemp flower needs to be heated or exposed to UV light for the molecule to biosynthesize into its neutral state. The process of heating the hemp flower and causing it to biosynthesize is called decarboxylation.
Is CBG natural or something created in a lab?
CBGa is naturally occurring during the early growing cycle of all cannabis plants. But around 6 weeks before full maturity, the CBGa starts to biosynthesize to the plants’ final cannabinoid profile.
Up until recently, cannabis farmers had to harvest their cannabis plants 6 weeks early to try and capture CBGa. For this reason, CBG was known as the “Cadillac of Cannabis” because it was hard to capture, and it was worth a lot more money than the other cannabinoids. But now, breeders can produce high CBG strains that can grow full term, like any other strain.
CBG can be extracted from the hemp plant in a lab (see more below), but again, the cannabinoid itself is found naturally in cannabis plants.
Is hemp and CBG the same thing?
CBG falls into the hemp side of the cannabis spectrum. A cannabis strain with under .3% THC, no matter what it is grown for (e.g., fiber, seed, flower), is considered “hemp”, while a cannabis strain that has over .3% THC is considered “marijuana”. Although CBD is generally considered “hemp,” CBD strains can easily exceed the .3% THC limit and find themselves in the “marijuana” category. This was ultimately why we decided to grow CBG, as we were informed that CBG strains are unable to produce CBG and THC at the same time. Our CBG strain has tested below .1% THC every year at harvest.
How is CBG derived from hemp?
The simplest way to extract CBG from hemp is to infuse it into oil or alcohol. By doing this, expect to get around 150 milligrams for every 1 oz of oil (when following the ratio of 10 grams hemp flower to 1 cup of oil). First, the hemp flower is decarboxylated, and then, time and/or heat are used to infuse the decarboxylated hemp flower into the oil.
(Never use heat to infuse into alcohol. Simply saturate the decarboxylated hemp flower with alcohol and shake it regularly for 1-2 weeks and then strain it – being sure to stay away from any open flames. Infusing oil is way less dangerous!)
To get high milligram levels of CBG, you would need to use CBG crude oil, distillate, or isolate to add to your oil-based recipe. We don’t dabble
in the extraction side of the cannabis business. We send our hemp flower to a lab in Wisconsin where they use closed-loop extraction with liquid solvents like CO2 to extract the cannabinoids from the flower for us. They send us our CBG isolate because it has no THC, and it’s legal to possess in Iowa. But our CBG distillate is considered “hot” and is over the legal limit of .3% THC. The lab holds onto it for us until we are ready for them to infuse more CBG Full Spectrum Oil or to manufacture our CBG Full Spectrum Gummies for us.
What is an endocannabinoid?
Endocannabinoids are produced naturally, within our bodies, all the time. They are signaling molecules, produced within our bodies, that help regulate various processes, such as pain, memory, mood, immunity, sleep, stress, and reproduction. Two endocannabinoids known to be released within all mammals are anandamide and 2-AG. The endogenous cannabinoid system was discovered in 1992 in Dr. Mechoulam’s lab in Israel. At this time the endocannabinoid, anandamide, was discovered. Ananda in Sanskrit means, “bliss” and anandamide is known to make people feel happy, relaxed, and more motivated.
It is thought that CBG strengthens the function of anandamide, and that by consuming CBG, you can harness anandamide in your system for longer than average periods of time.
In 1995, the 2nd endocannabinoid was discovered in Mechoulam’s lab. This one was named arachidonoylglycerol and is more commonly known as 2-AG. There is far less known about 2-AG, but they do know that it is released after brain injuries.
What is a phytocannabinoid?
Phytocannabinoids are plants that when consumed, bind with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system. Examples: cannabis, echinacea, black pepper, ginseng, clove, maca, kava, broccoli, and carrots.
What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
The ECS produces endogenous cannabinoids (produced internally) and responds to exogenous phytocannabinoids (produced externally), like the ones found in cannabis.
Basically, the receptors in our endocannabinoid system (mainly the CB1 and CB2) are like locks and the cannabinoids are the key that fits perfectly into the lock. When cannabinoids are consumed, they plug into our body’s “electrical system” and help to relay messages to different areas of our bodies – often helping to bring balance and feelings of well-being after consumption. This balance is known as homeostasis. There are studies that suggest that the Placebo Effect works through our bodies’ endocannabinoid system.
More about CB1 and CB2 receptors
Cannabis is mainly received into the body’s endocannabinoid system through the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor is in the brain, and it is activated when cannabis is ingested. The central nervous system is associated with the CB1 receptor, so activating it can bring calming, sedating, and soothing effects from the inside out. When the CB2 receptor is activated (which is associated mostly with the skin and our immune system), topical afflictions can be treated from the outside in.
How does CBG compare to CBD?
A lot of literature states that CBG and CBD have similar actions. Both are said to be helpful in stressful situations in both mind and body. But many of our customers tell us that CBD just didn’t do much for them. We believe that is most likely because it has been hard to be a consumer in the CBD market. Until March of 2021, companies did not have to follow the supplement guidelines from the FDA, and consumers have paid the price. It was hard to know for sure just what you were buying.
We believe another reason that our customers didn’t get the relief they were looking for from CBD is that it’s simply a different cannabinoid – possibly not the right cannabinoid for their needs.
CBG is truly amazing, as it acts like a non-psychoactive THC in many ways. CBD was a break-through cannabinoid. It paved the way for non-psychoactive cannabinoids to go mainstream over 10 years ago when it became known that CBD was helping kids with epilepsy. Families moved their sick children to states like Colorado or California where cannabis was a legal option for them to try, and it opened many people’s eyes to accepting cannabis as a viable option.
What are the benefits of CBG?
When used topically, CBG is a fast-acting option for many bodies’ complaints. So often at our market booth, customers will stop to rub our CBG body salve onto a body part and report that they feel relief almost instantaneously. It never ceases to amaze us.
When you take CBG orally, it has similar effects, but not so quickly noticed. Most people feel the effects of our CBG infused oil supplements within an hour after consumption. Many people report feeling relaxed, calm, at ease, and in no hurry to leave the oftentimes busy and crowded market. We would say that 50% of our CBG Oil supplement customers take the oil for their body’s sake, and the other 50% take our oil for their mind.
What research has been done to support the claims?
Most of the studies on cannabis have been on THC and CBD, and even then, they were performed on mice. We won’t be able to study cannabis on people until our government removes cannabis from the Schedule 1 list of narcotics, where it is listed alongside heroin, LSD, peyote, and ecstasy.
Like one of our country’s leading cannabis doctors, Dr. William Courtney, says about learning from his patients, we are learning about CBG by listening to our customers’ experience with our products. It’s so much fun and very rewarding to see customers get relief right in front of our eyes as they sample our products. It is also disappointing knowing that so many people are unaware of how much cannabis could do for them.
There are plenty of articles online explaining the benefits of CBG, including many from scientists and health care professionals. If you are interested in learning more from professionals in this field, we recommend checking out Dr. William Courtney or Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. There are many informative videos from each of them on YouTube.