CBG – short for cannabigerol – is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. CBG appears along with the better known cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol THC. At the end of the day, you’re probably wondering what is CBG? Let’s get you two acquainted. We want you to know what it can do for you and how to take it. As well as how to get the most bang for your buck.
Is CBG the new CBD?
A lot of people are asking “what is CBG?” Is it the new CBD. But the truth is that technically there would be no CBD without CBG.
CBG is the precursor to CBD and other cannabinoids. When exposed to heat, cannabigerolic acid – the acidic form of CBG – breaks down into a molecule that other cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBC form from.
Compared to CBD, research on CBG is quite limited. So there’s still a lot to learn about this minor cannabinoid and the benefits it offers. That’s partially because CBG is a bit of hot commodity compared to CBD and THC. This is due to the low concentration of it in most cannabis plants. We’re talking only 1% of CBG in most strains compared to a whopping 20 to 25% CBD and 25 to 30% THC. This makes it harder to produce, which explains the gap in availability and price between CBG and CBD.
How it works
CBG binds to your body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, making it potentially more effective than CBD in delivering its effects to the body. Like CBD, it also appears to inhibit the intoxicating effects produced by THC.
CBG also increases the amount of anandamide, a naturally occurring cannabinoid that helps with the regulation of bodily functions like sleep, mood, and appetite, as well as immune response.
What the science says so far
The research available on CBG so far is promising. It appears to have several therapeutic properties, including:
· Anti-inflammatory: CBG and other cannabinoids have been shown to potentially have anti-inflammatory properties. Animal studies have found cannabinoids, including CBG, have the potential to treat inflammatory conditions, including psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
· Neuroprotective: In a 2014 study conducted on mice with Huntington’s disease, CBG was found to have powerful neuroprotective effects and the ability to increase antioxidant defense. Although, according to our Dr. Neil Shah, we should be wary of some of these studies: “The mice in the study on Huntington received intraperitoneal injections of 10 mg/kg of body weight. So that’s 700 mg for a 70 kg person except the bioavailability is terrible so it’s more like 5-7 g which would be 10+ large pills and certain to have some side effects.”
· Appetite stimulation. CBG appears to increase appetite, according to a 2017 study on rats. The results suggest that could offer a non-intoxicating treatment for cachexia, wasting, and loss of appetite.
How much CBG to take
CBG isn’t currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That combined with the lack of human clinical trials and slim pickings of CBG products on the market means there are no official dosing guidelines. This is the case for CBD and THC, too.
Like with those main cannabinoids, experts recommend treading carefully by starting low and going slow unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider.
Quality pure CBG can be hard to find so you may have better luck opting for a full-spectrum CBD extract.
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Full-spectrum CBD extract contains small amounts of other cannabinoids, including CBG, but without the psychoactive effects. In other words, it won’t make you high.
There are benefits to using full-spectrum CBD for your foray into CBG. CBD products are easier to find and cost way less. Also, you’ve got loads of options as far as different forms. More selection also included more products that have been through third-party testing—a must when choosing any supplement. (More on that below)
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Start off with the lowest dose as directed on the packaging and gradually increase your dose if needed.
The same goes for pure CBG if you happen to find it/are willing to pay for it. Start with the lowest dose and increase it gradually.
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How to take CBG
- How you take CBG depends on the product you’re using.
- If getting it by way of a full-spectrum CBD product, you can:
- Ingest it if you get gummies, or use powder or oil in your food and drinks.
- Take it sublingually by using spray or tincture under the tongue.
- Take it in pill or capsule form.
- You can add pure CBG oil or isolate to food or dissolved in a drink.
Is CBG Safe?
Research is limited, so we don’t know much about its the potential side effects. Same goes for any potential interactions with over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
Studies show that rats tolerate it quite well. There don’t appear to be any reports of adverse effects from cannabinoids. Some people may experience some unpleasant side effects like diarrhea, cramps, and fatigue at high doses.
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Along with starting with a low dose, choosing a high-quality product from a trusted brand can also help ensure a safe experience.
Choose products that have undergone third-party testing. Just because a product is labeled “lab-tested” doesn’t necessarily mean it was tested by a third party. These products should be tested by an independent lab – not tested in-house.
Third-party testing provides an unbiased analysis of quality and purity to ensure that it meets product specification. The certificates of analysis (COAs) should be available online or via email upon request.
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance health and lifestyle writer that has written for Healthline, Medical News Today and Verily Magazine just to name a few.