CBG is often described as the:
- “stem cell cannabinoid”
- “precursor cannabinoid”
- “mother of cannabinoids” (my personal favorite)
The nicknames alone sparked our curiosity and since most CBG articles are completely outdated with loads of misinformation, it was time for the Cannabidiol Life Team to get our research on and write the BEST FACT-BASED CBG GUIDE TO DATE (June 2020).
WHAT IS CBG?
CBG is short for Cannabigerol and it is a chemical compound naturally found in Cannabis plants. This particular compound is known as a cannabinoid and since it comes from plants, you will also hear it called a phytocannabinoid (Phyto = from plants) as well.
The interesting part about CBG is that it is commonly referred to as the precursor cannabinoid or mother cannabinoid. The reason for this is because Cannabis Sativa plants produce what is called, “cannabigerolic acid” or CBGA for short.
CBGA is now understood to be the first cannabinoid produced by a cannabis plant. This cannabinoid is genetically destined to go through an enzymatic reaction when exposed to either:
- UV rays
Exposure to oxygen and UV rays is inevitable since all cannabis plant’s physically need these elements in order to grow.
In summary, once this exposure occurs, it will push CBGA to go through multiple enzymatic reactions which ultimately, creates all the chemical compounds/cannabinoids we know and love to take.
(CLICK TO EXPAND)
Here are the three note-worthy enzymatic reactions & transformations:
- CBGA will shred its acidic molecule transforming it into CBG
- CBGA will create the acidic forms of CBD, THC & CBC
- The two above allows for the formation of all other major cannabinoids
For this reason, CBG has been dubbed the mother of cannabinoids.
Now, since CBGA always turns into another cannabinoid, how much CBG is actually available per plant?
THE GOLDEN RULE FOR CBG CONSUMERS
Certificates of Analysis (C.O.A.), also referred to as third-party or 3rd party lab tests, are the tests CBD and CBG retailers must have to both validate the authenticity of the product and protect the buyer. C.O.A.’s tell us the potency percentage of each cannabinoid within the product being tested.
Here’s why this test is so important… told in an actual scenario that happens far too often.
You walk into the Cannabidiol Life shop and you’re here to buy CBG isolate.
“Well, friends, I have 10 grams of premium CBG isolate crystalline powder that is just tickled with excitement but waiting patiently for the perfect family to go home with, what do you say?“
First off, we don’t talk that way.
Second (golden rule), YOU MUST REQUEST/LOOK AT THE C.O.A.
If you’re shopping online, or as we see it “walking into our virtual store”, then you would just look at the product picture photo gallery or scan the QR code on the product label.
If you don’t see the C.O.A. on the company’s website, call the company and ask for one. If they don’t have one, or it is more than a year old, it’s probably safe to assume your health is not that company’s number one priority.
In case it was unclear, here is the GOLDEN RULE = Before you buy a cannabis product, you MUST look for the C.O.A.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING THE CBG PERCENTAGE
Hypothetically, let’s say I’m trying to sell you 10 GRAMS OF CBG isolate; 10 grams = 10,000 MG. For educational purposes, let’s say our CBG isolate 95% pure.
Now that we have the CBG percentage, we can accurately find out how many MG’s of CBG is actually inside the 10-gram CBG isolate jar.
Next, take the products’ milligram weight (10 grams = 10,000MG) and multiply it by the CBG percentage (95%) and since we’re dealing with percentages, you have to move the decimal over to the left by two positions.
The equation will look something like this:
10,000MG x 0.95 = 9,500 MG of CBG.
This is VERY important because without knowing the Cannabinoid percentage, you will not be able to compare one CBG isolate product to the next (quality-wise). The only thing you will be able to compare is the price.
Far too often, CBG consumers purchase inferior products or get robbed by false label claims by simply not checking the C.O.A.’s.
The moral of this short story here is don’t assume that the listed weight on the label is an automatic reference to the amount of CBG/CBD within. It’s all about the percentage of cannabinoid purity.
How Much CBG Is Usually Found In Cannabis Plants?
As you could likely assume, it’s not much.
In fact, according to a study completed by Research Gate, individual cannabinoid percentages were tested from five different states in hopes of gaining a better understanding of average cannabinoid percentages found in cannabis plants.
Here are the results:
- roughly 1.4% – 1.6% of CBG
- about 9% – 12% of CBD
Please keep in mind, this is choosing random cannabis plants and not CBG-rich specific plants. Nonetheless, you can tell why CBG is just now becoming popular in comparison to CBD. It’s a lot easier to get and vastly cheaper to produce!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MAKE A KILO OF CBG?
On September 11, 2019, Forbes posted an article that mentioned it could take up to 20 times more biomass to produce CBG in comparison to CBD. They used a 20% to 1% C.P.P.R. (Cannabis Plant Percentage Ratio) comparison of CBD to CBG to get the “20 times more biomass” figure.
Three months later on January 24, 2020, ACS Laboratory posted an article that states the average retail cost of CBG appears to be about $30,000 – $50,000 per kilo.
THESE PRICES ARE VERY INACCURATE.
The reason we were very specific about when the above articles were posted is to show you how fast things can change in the hemp industry. January 2020 was only 5-6 months ago yet those prices are considered ANCIENT facts.
While bulk CBG products can vary due to supply and demand, as of June 2020, prices for a kilo of CBG isolate can range between $4,000 – $8,500.
We wanted to offer various prices from different companies so below we will share the best prices for kilo’s of CBG isolate that is for sale online:
- CANNABIDIOL LIFE: Offered price = $4,000.00 – $5,000 per kilo of CBG isolate (BEST PRICE)
- THE HEMP COLLECTIVE: Offered price = $8,500.00 per kilo of CBG isolate
- THE FRESH BRO’S: Offered price = $7,599.99 per kilo of CBG isolate
MOST POPULAR CBG PRODUCTS ONLINE
As you may very well know, product innovation in the Cannabis industry is seriously TOP-NOTCH. Some of the most creative minds are working overtime in hopes to get a piece of the CBG pie.
Luckily, for all of us right now, CBG is still pretty new to the industry so deciding which CBG product is right for you won’t be as difficult as if you were purchasing CBD for the first time.
SERIOUSLY! Try and think of any edible, topical, or smokable product and I’m so confident that I’ll go on record that there is 90%+ chance it’s already been infused with CBD and it’s readily available for purchase online.
Nonetheless, based on the number of times these particular CBG products get searched for online, here are the top 3 most popular CBG products on the market (listed in descending order from most popular to least popular).
#3: CBG Gummies
Coming in third place, CBG gummies. It’s hard to believe since CBD gummies are a top seller for us! CBG is just too brand new… we hope this CBG article changes that.
AVERAGE MONTHLY SEARCHES:
50 – 200
WHAT DOES CBG ACTUALLY DO?
CBG, like other cannabinoids, interacts with the brain and nervous system via the two main cannabinoid receptors in the body, specifically CB1 and CB2. CB1 is commonly associated with the nervous system and CB2 is more commonly associated with inflammation and the systems that handle that response.
This study stated that CBG significantly modulates CB2R- or CB1R/CB2R-mediated endocannabinoid action, while the effects are weak in CB1R-expressing cells and that this reveals that CBG may exert beneficial actions with therapeutic potential via cannabinoid receptors.
CBG is mainly known to function as a GABA reuptake inhibitor. This means CBG could potentially help with muscle relaxation, and relieve tension by promoting a peaceful sensation throughout the body, brain, and nervous system. Historically, GABA uptake inhibitors are already used to treat anxiety, and because of this fact, it implies that CBG could just possibly decrease anxiety symptoms. This is not a fact, just promising.
Cannabinoids are found naturally present in the human body and these are known as Endocannabinoids. Endo means, internal or coming from within. Therefore, when phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids work together promoting better communication via these receptors, homeostasis is promoted from within.
This entire receptor and communication management system within our bodies is known as the ECS (Endocannabinoid System), which helps regulate a variety of functions including pain, appetite, and inflammation. Phytocannabinoids like CBG, CBD, THC, and CBN interact easily with this system as they share extremely similar molecular structures.
This heightened effectiveness is the result of all cannabinoids working together as a synergistic cannabinoid team effect and can only be experienced with full-spectrum CBD products or full-spectrum CBG products. This experience or more commonly referred to as an effect is known as the “entourage effect.”
We wrote a really in-depth article on this topic but for CBD! “WHAT DOES CBD DO?” You absolutely should check it out and watch the video!
IS CBG A FULL SPECTRUM PRODUCT?
In order for a specific industrial hemp extract to be considered “full-spectrum”, the cannabinoids CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN, & THC need to be detectable. Thus, CBG alone is NOT full-spectrum.
A good rule of thumb here is that if any hemp product or cannabinoid-specific product is labeled “full-spectrum”, ALWAYS VERIFY THIS LABEL CLAIM by looking at the C.O.A. to ensure you’re getting what you are paying for!
Another tip to help you verify quality is that if CBG products or even a CBD product has the name “isolate” attached to it, it simply means that the specific cannabinoid in question has been ISOLATED from all the other phytocannabinoids and is usually sold in powder form.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CBG?
(BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON SPECIFIC MEDICAL CONDITIONS)
For this next part, we want everyone to understand one thing, we are providing you educational resources based on real scientific studies. In no way shape or form should you consider the studies below as any type of medical claim. We offer this as a service so you can make smart, educated decisions concerning your diet and health.
You are more than welcome to copy, paste, & print these resources for later use and consider showing them to your primary care physician if you have further questions about what CBG could potentially do for you. It’s important to understand that while all of these studies show promise, they are not considered medical facts and are currently deemed “unfounded” until more tests are completed to verify these preliminary study results.
CBG FOR ACNE & DRY SKIN Syndrome
- We found this study to be very interesting and learned something new as well! The conclusions stated that their data suggests CBG and CBGV may have potential in the treatment of dry skin syndrome.This is where we got excited (even if its not specifically concerning CBG). The study further states that CBC, CBDV, and especially THCV showed to be highly efficient, novel anti-acne agents.
*We are now in formulating a cannabinoid-specific acne product after stumbling upon this gem!*
CBG AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY
Eisohly HN, Turner CE, Clark AM, Eisohly MA. Synthesis and antimicrobial activities of certain cannabichromene and cannabigerol related compounds. J Pharm Sci. 1982;71(12):1319‐1323. doi:10.1002/jps.2600711204
CBG As An Appetite Stimulant
- This 2016 study states that CBG is a well-tolerated appetite stimulant as well as that more investigation is warranted as CBG elicits hyperphagia by reducing the time it took to begin eating as well as increasing meal frequency. The same can be said with THC, but CBG offers the same promising results without producing psychotropic effects.
CBG FOR BLADDER CONTRACTILITY
- In this study, it explains the effects of CBG specifically on acetylcholine-induced contractions and states that the contractions weren’t affected by CB1 or CB2 receptor antagonists, as well as it reduced acetylcholine-induced contractions in the human bladder.
CBG FOR Blood Pressure & Hypertension
- This study showed evidence that CBG is a highly potent α2-adrenoceptor agonist and moderately potent 5HT1A receptor antagonist.
- This study explains the importance of the above sharing that any compound that enhances a2-adrenoceptor activity can significantly lower one’s blood pressure and is considered effective in the long-term control of hypertension.
CBG FOR CANCER
- In this study, completed in 2014, CBG inhibited tumor growth in colon cancer
- This study stated that the data from this test of CBD and CBD-rich extracts (CBC & CBG), supports the need for more testing to be used as a potential treatment of cancer.
CBG FOR COLITIS & INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
- In this study, the use of CBG for colitis had positive results, concluding that CBG reduced the effects of colitis and that it may potentially help with inflammatory bowel disease.
CBG FOR DEPRESSION
- This study showed evidence that CBG could inhibit noradrenaline reuptake and if this proves to be true, it would be considered to be consistent with a preliminary report indicating that it may possess antidepressant activity.
CBG FOR GLAUCOMA
- In this study of cannabinoids in general, CBG has also shown promising results to relieve intraocular pressure. This is considered great news for those suffering from glaucoma.
CBG FOR HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE
- This study directly states that CBG appears to have a promising neuroprotective profile for the treatment of Huntington’s Disease. Followed by this quote, “a fact already investigated with other phytocannabinoids separately or in combination”.
- Supporting investigative studies:
CBG FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE
- This study showed evidence that a CBG quinone derivative could be a useful neuroprotective agent in Parkinson’s Disease based on its multi-target properties.
CBG FOR MRSA (ANTIBIOTIC RESISTENCE)
- A 2020 study showed extreme evidence that cannabinoids as well as a direct reference to CBG for exhibiting antibacterial activity against MRSA, which is an antibiotic-resistance infection.
- Supporting evidence can be found in this 2008 study as well.
CBG FOR NAUSEA
- This study wasn’t necessarily on whether CBG could help with nausea but more so if CBG and CBD will work together or against each other as both communicate with 5-HT(1A) receptors. The findings were expected, they may oppose each other.
CBG FOR NEUROINFLAMMATION
- A 2018 study stated that their results indicated that the neuroprotective effects of CBG and how it may be a potential treatment against neuroinflammation and oxidative stress.
CBG FOR PAIN
- This 2008 study mentions directly that CBG has more potent analgesic, anti-erythema, and lipooxygenase blocking activity than THC
- The above study confirms similar findings from another study completed by the University of London
- According to this 2009 review article on Science Direct, CBG’s potent action at TRPA1 and TRPM8 might makes it a new and attractive tool for pain management
CBG FOR PSORIASIS
- In this study, it states that cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, and therefore support a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis.
CBG SIDE EFFECTS
There is currently not enough completed research to answer this question in confidence, however, in this study, it seems as though CBG is well-tolerated by animals. We look forward to obtaining more data in order to properly answer this question for you.
HIGHEST-QUALITY CBG STRAINS (CULTIVARS)
CBG dominant strains have jumped through the roof in popularity once the 2018 Farm Bill was put into effect. Farmers nationwide were cleared to begin growing industrial hemp. This led to industry innovators pushing for the cultivation of high CBG strains. Fast forward to today, we now have industrial hemp CBG strains reaching upwards into the high teens! And the buck doesn’t stop there!
According to Oregon Seeds, their manicured CBG hemp flower batches have tested as high as almost 20% in CBG and the highest claim we’ve seen is 22% from
This is all record-breaking CBG percentages right here people! It’s all unfolding before our eyes!
The world is pushing for a more organic lifestyle and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Best CBG Strains List:
It sort of bothers me that the cannabis industry refuses to give up the word “strain” in reference to the different species of cannabis plants. This prompts a “Cannabis Fast Fact” moment.
CANNABIS FAST FACT: STRAINS are used in virology to describe genetic variants of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. CULTIVARS, however, is short for “cultivated variety” and should be considered the go-to term when referencing cannabis plant varieties. Another word that could replace strains is, “SUBSPECIES“. This can be verified by leading industry news outlets such as Leafly, Plant Law, & Cannabis Now.
I’ve been wanting to get that off my chest for a while. Without further ado…
List of the best CBG strains offering the highest CBG percentages:
- SUPER GLUE: 22%
- WHITE CBG: 20%
- LEMON CREAM DIESEL CBG: 20%
- JACK FROST CBG: 17% – 18%
- CBGamit: 14-18% (NATURALLY BRED)
- THE CBG BLEND: 16%
- MATTERHORN CBG: 15%
- CBG FLOWER: 15%
We saved the best for last…
The CBG strain with the absolute highest CBG percentage we found online is called STEM CELL! Testing at an unbelievable 99.5% CBG percentage.
The reason we saved this monster CBG cultivar for last is that we simply had to comment on the process of how CBG strains could even reach these levels of potency. It was time to, PHONE A PRO!
I interviewed 5-year United States Navy Veteran Austin Rhodes, CEO of DREEM Nutrition due to his substantial knowledge and vast experience working with top tier breeders in the cannabis space.
I asked Austin, “How is 99.5% CBG even possible?”
This was his response:
“What’s happening is these breeders are using genetic marker-assisted breeding and they removed the THCA synthase process. It might get them what they claim percentage-wise, but it comes at a cost because it affects the plants’ immune system in a large way.”
I FOUND THIS TO BE INCREDIBLY INTERESTING!
Unfortunately, due to unclear possible side effects and the fact that I couldn’t find a COA anywhere for it, I couldn’t feature it in the Best CBG Strains List above. I would like to give them a HUGE high-five for innovation though (social distancing for COVID permitting, of course).
HOW IS CBG MADE?
Organically, CBG is created naturally during hemp plants’ natural growing lifecycle. More specifically, it is created when CBGA transforms into CBG. And this enzymatic acid breakdown occurs as the plants’ chemical compounds interact with heat, oxygen, and UV light exposure.
Now, in reference to create a CBG product, there are a few steps that must be taken. A CBG-rich hemp plant must go through an extraction process, a purification process, and then a final process to remove any remaining solvents left behind. The specific details of this process are explained in the next section.
HOW TO EXTRACT CBG
Scientists can extract higher levels of CBG from budding plants by harvesting them at the optimal extraction time. This is usually about six weeks into the eight-week cycle when the plant is flowering. Currently, in an attempt to gain higher CBG yields, breeders are experimenting with genetic manipulation and cross-breeding.
CBG is generally extracted via the supercritical CO2, ethanol, or ICP (isopropyl alcohol). If you are unfamiliar with the very extraction processes, please read our blog post on it here. Regardless of the extraction method used, a key rule of thumb here is a solvent must be used in order to reach 98%+ CBG purity.
It looks like this:
- CBG-rich Hemp Plant Biomass will go through a supercritical CO2 extraction process, which will create Crude CBG oil.
- This crude oil will then be purified using either ethanol or ICP solvents to further separate the CBG molecule from any other remaining plant components.
- Once this step is completed, a vacuum oven is used to vaporize any of the remaining solvents.
- Based on the exact equipment the chemist is using, the final product could be a full spectrum CBG distillate or pure CBG isolate.
IS CBG LEGAL?
Yes. CBG is legal at a federal level only if CBG is extracted from hemp plants. If the CBG is extracted from plants that are not Verified Industrial Hemp Plants (hemp plants that contain over 0.3% THC), then it is ILLEGAL.
With that said, each state has its own Department of Agriculture and each state has the option of abiding by the 2018 Farm bill or simply enforce its own rules and regulations as they see fit. Therefore, this question must be answered on a state by state basis. We’ve curated a couple of resources for you to learn more about your particular state’s rules and regulations; they are as followed:
CBG doses or serving sizes vary from 1 person to the next but we’ve found a great way to figure out the formula for each and every person wanting or at least considering adding CBG to their diets.
I spoke with Dr. Rosado, MD, and author of Hope & Healing: A Case For Cannabis, and this is what he advised…
“CBG works best when used in a 1:1 ratio with CBD.”
SHORT AND SWEET! Once we know how much CBD we should take, we’ll know exactly what our CBG dose will be. Now, in order to find the perfect CBD dosage, we must use the following CBD Dosage formula:
BODY WEIGHT X 0.325mg = Most Accurate CBD Dose
I’ll use myself as an example and show you step by step how to calculate your perfect CBG dosage. Since I weigh 200lbs, my specific formula will look like this:
200lbs x 0.325mg = 65mg of CBD
Given the 1:1 ratio (CBD to CBG), this tells me that my perfect CBG dose is 65mg and should be coupled with 65mg of CBD for the best possible results (based on current CBG research).
And that’s all there is to it!
SUGGESTED CBG USE:
A study in 2019 stated that the benefits shared between CBD and CBG are actually ENHANCED when administered together.
This is great news as it confirms with Dr. Rosado’s CBG dosage suggestion above.
Given this wonderful guidance, we recommend two options:
- Buy a pre-formulated CBG oil that is already blended at a 1:1 ratio of CBG to CBD.
- Choose a full-spectrum CBD oil or perhaps even the strongest CBD oil and add/mix in pure CBG isolate. The amount of milligrams of CBG that is added should match the CBD content listed on the CBD product label.
Here is a quick example of how to properly to option 2 since there is a bit of mixing involved.
Let’s say you’ve purchased our USDA Certified Organic full-spectrum CBD oil 1,500mg. The next step would be to grab your CBG isolate and weight out an equal portion of mg of CBG (1,500mg). Mix these two together and you now have a perfect 1 to 1 ratio of CBD to CBG.
Remember to calculate the CBG mg accurately using the GOLDEN RULE every CBG buyer must know in section 2 of this article concerning COA lookups and the importance of cannabinoid potencies.
Always store AWAY of direct sunlight as well as in a cool and dry place. One study showed that failure to properly store your cannabis products could actually drastically affect its quality and the consumer could lose up to 40% of the cannabinoids claimed on the bottle.
CEO of Cannabidiol Life
“CBG IS EXCITING! So is CBN oil, in my opinion. While there is clearly some anecdotal evidence that indicates the potential benefits of CBG, more research, and clinical studies are needed in order to conclusively prove its effectiveness.
Nonetheless, if you consume pure cannabis products in their entirety, you should be getting trace amounts of CBG in its natural form. Currently, there aren’t any reported cases of adverse side-effects to CBG. However, there’s still not enough research to say this definitely. Always check with your doctor before adding cannabinoids to your regimen.”