What is CBG? What are its uses & benefits?

Learn all about CBG, including its benefits and uses and how it compares to other cannabinoids.
What is CBG? What are its uses & benefits?
minute read

Exploring the science of cannabis leads us to many new discoveries. There’s plenty to learn about the two main cannabinoids—CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)—but that’s just scratching the surface. Cannabigerol (CBG) is now getting its time in the spotlight as researchers strive to unlock its secrets and harness its abilities for therapeutic means.*

CBG might sound unfamiliar, but it’s closely connected to the cannabinoids we know well. In this article, we’ll examine the science behind CBG and where it comes from, compared to its cannabinoid cousins. We’ll then discuss the possible benefits of CBG and the best way to take the compound safely and sustainably.*

CBG doesn’t yet get the recognition it deserves, but now is the perfect time to find out more and get ahead of the curve.

What is CBG?

CBG is a cannabinoid that comes from the cannabis plant. It shares a name with cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which is known as the mother of all cannabinoids. That’s because CBGA breaks down into CBD, THC, and other minor compounds over time.

However, CBG has long flown under the radar, even in the early days of medical cannabis research. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the compound was isolated in a lab, and scientists began to piece together its chemistry for meaningful discoveries.

As chemists and cannabis advocates learned more about CBG, interest began to rise, and certain strains were targeted to produce higher concentrations of CBG than usual. The road has proven difficult since CBG percentages are typically low, as it is a minor cannabinoid.* 

Now that CBG is better understood and its potential benefits are coming into focus, researchers and industrialists are looking for safe and smart ways to bring its versatile benefits to the masses.

How does CBG differ from CBD and CBN?

On a molecular level, you’ll find that CBG has a lot in common with CBD, CBN, and other cannabinoids in the same family, and some of the health benefits and effects of CBG are similar to those of CBD and CBN. That’s because each compound is derived from the same source, but sees slight structural changes over time due to reactions from light exposure, oxygenation, and the natural cycle of a cannabis plant’s life.

Zooming in on specific compounds, however, we can see some notable differences in CBG compared to CBD, CBD, and others. 

CBD, for instance, is a far more abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and is, therefore, more easily attainable and administered for therapeutic benefits.* CBD also seems to have a broader impact on the endocannabinoid system, while CBG appears to target specific systems more directly, from key neurotransmitters to the digestive system.*

CBN, on the other hand, may have more in common with CBG, as both play supporting roles in the entourage effect of cannabis’s many active compounds. 

As we go deeper into the function of CBG and its results, you’ll see why researchers and doctors have a particular interest in this compound and why it may be best used in conjunction with other familiar cannabinoids.

When might you choose CBG over CBD or CBN?

Although research on CBG is still in its early stages, there are some promising findings about the compound that may compel users to try it over CBD products or CBN products.

Firstly, some research shows that CBG may have soothing effects on the nervous system and other aspects of human physiology.* Early clinical studies have shown that CBG interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning its therapeutic benefits might be more comprehensive than the usual array of cannabinoids.* 

As we’ll find out soon, CBG and CBG oil offer unique wellness benefits that may not be provided by standard CBD formulations since CBG tends to take a backseat to more prominent compounds.

It’s also worth repeating that everyone responds differently to cannabinoids, and trying out CBG may unlock a positive response from your body that CBD or even THC didn’t achieve. Conscious experimentation and self-reflection are part of the CBD lifestyle, and trying out a new variant can often be the golden ticket you’ve been looking for.

With that in mind, you may choose CBG over CBD or CBN just for the sake of trying something new, but this might lead to a discovery that benefits you in unexpected ways long term.

What are the benefits of CBG?

Much of our knowledge about CBG needs more research and support, but there are certainly some benefits worth reporting from early clinical trials. If you’re interested in CBG or just curious about the science of the compound, here are some benefits to consider:

Can soothe feelings of discomfort

Discomfort happens—that’s just a fact of life. We may not be able to control where or when it occurs, but we can use compounds like CBG to address it in a smart, targeted way.*

For some people, discomfort means feelings of tension in the neck and shoulders. CBG is known to help relax tense muscles in these areas, letting us move more freely and confidently.* 

In other cases, discomfort can happen mentally, and CBG might provide the calming effects you desire to conquer your day. Whether it’s physical tension or emotional tension, there is reason to believe CBG can benefit the body and mind.*

Helps support energy levels

We could all use more energy to navigate our days, and we’re not talking about loading up on sugar and stimulants for a short-lived buzz. Sustained and healthy energy is a powerful resource for all walks of life, and the chemistry of CBG can help us get there.

This idea is supported by findings that suggest a link between CBG and the function of anandamide, which supports our emotional response to stress. By helping this neurotransmitter stay active and healthy, CBG might offer a pathway to natural and sustained energy that can’t be achieved with a third cup of coffee.*

You might not feel a rush of high-octane energy from your first dose of CBG, but gradually introducing the compound to your routine—along with other healthy habits–may be a building block for energy for your daily pursuits.

Helps support digestive health

Many recent discoveries about the human body’s endocannabinoid system have established links between the ECS and the digestive systems of the body. Just as users have reported improved gastrointestinal health with CBD, studies have also shown CBG to have a positive effect on the regulation of the gut and associated functions.* 

CBG is, therefore, a possible avenue to help relieve discomfort in the gut or soothe the irritation that results from poor digestion or absorption.* Other reports suggest that CBG and similar cannabinoids may influence mechanisms like hunger signaling and interactions with gut microbiota.

While lifestyle changes and optimal diet are typically your best bet for improving the function of the gut, targeting this aspect of the body with CBG might be a promising alternative approach as more research comes to the forefront.

Is CBG legal?

Because CBG is a naturally occurring cannabinoid like CBD, it has the same legal status on a federal level. The one caveat is that CBG products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, or else they must be labeled as a cannabis product and taken off shelves in certain regions.

The good news is that CBG products are finally making their way to storefronts and online retailers, and this wider availability means more people can access its benefits.

You may not see CBG products marketed as readily as CBD or THC products, but trusted retailers are already ahead of the game. Check out Sunmed’s broad spectrum rise gummies to try your first CBG-focused product, or a full spectrum sativa water soluble with a higher-than-average concentration of CBG.

Does CBG have side effects?

No side effects of CBG have been reported thus far, but more research is needed to confirm this from a clinical standpoint.* 

Still, looking at the chemical structure of CBG compared with more heavily researched compounds, there’s little reason to believe that CBG would introduce unexpected side effects or downsides worth noting.

Regardless, always start small when taking a new type of cannabis product, even with a naturally occurring compound like CBG. Keep a journal of effects, both good and bad, and gradually ramp up your dose to achieve desired effects.

The bottom line

It’s always exciting to peek into the world of cutting-edge cannabis research and discover more about lesser-known compounds. 

CBG is definitely a hidden gem of the cannabis plant, and you can expect to see a lot more in the years to come. We’ve only scratched the surface of what CBG can do, and the future is looking bright!

Meanwhile, stay on top of the latest cannabis discoveries and put yourself in the driver’s seat to get the most from your favorite products. Sunmed is here every step of the way to keep you informed and in control with high-quality CBG products and more. 


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