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What Is CBG and How Can It Benefit You?

CBG molecule

Of all the cells in the body, stem cells are the most miraculous. No other type of cell has the stem cell’s ability to generate new cell types with specialized functions such as blood, brain, heart muscle and bone cells. 

CBG (cannabigerol) has been given the distinguished nickname by many as being “the stem cell of cannabis.” The reason is, CBG — the first cannabinoid produced by a cannabis plant — “gives birth” to the cannabinoids THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), and CBC (cannabichromene) that go on to produce the other estimated 120 cannabinoids a cannabis plant contains. For this reason, CBG is also referred to as “the mother of all cannabinoids.”

Besides CBG’s potential health benefits, another reason CBG is viewed as holding so much promise by many is, like CBD, it produces no psychoactive effects.

After the “birthing” process is completed, there is little CBG left in a typical cannabis plant — usually less than 1 percent. A cannabis crop containing 20 percent CBD would require at least 20 times the biomass to create the equivalent amount of CBG. However, a breeder can increase the level of CBG by harvesting his crop early.

With the growing interest in CBG, more breeders are developing cannabis strains that are high in CBG via cross-breeding and genetic manipulation. That said, most cannabis cultivators — because of the amount of cannabis required for CBG and its more onerous extraction process — are choosing to focus on producing CBD. For consumers, this means you will pay a premium for CBG. However, alternative methods of cultivation and extraction are being developed, which should make CBG more affordable down the road.

Besides CBG’s potential health benefits, another reason CBG is viewed as holding so much promise by many is, like CBD, it produces no psychoactive effects.

What Is CBG Oil?

The quick answer is that CBG oil is cannabis oil made from CBG. However, various forms of cannabis oil contain CBG. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains a small percentage of CBG (and other minor cannabinoids) which gives you the benefit of the entourage effect. Cannabis oil with a higher percentage of CBG is also available — often packaged at a one-to-one ratio with CBD. Plus, some companies sell CBG isolate (98% to 100% pure CBG) but it is extremely expensive. (We found one websiteselling 500 grams for $2,975!)

Here are six potential medicinal benefits of CBG:

  1. Reducing pain and inflammation – In a 2008 study called “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain” published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management,, they write: “...CBG has more potent analgesic, anti-erythema … than THC mechanisms that merit further investigation.” Analgesic refers to a drug that helps to relieve pain. Erythema is redness of the skin or mucous membranes caused by increased blood flow that occurs with any skin injury, infection, or inflammation.
  2. Serving as a muscle relaxant – People who are in chronic pain are often prescribed a muscle relaxant, especially if the pain prevents them from getting a good night’s sleep. Virtually all muscle relaxants come with side effects such as tiredness, weakness, dizziness, dry mouth, depression, decreased blood pressure, and some even can cause liver damage. In the study mentioned in point #1, they write that “CBG displays sub-micromolar affinity for CB1 and CB2. It also exhibits GABA uptake inhibition to a greater extent than THC or CBD, suggesting possible utilization as a muscle relaxant in spasticity.” GABA stands for “gamma-aminobutyric acid,” which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. When GABA attaches to your GABA receptor (a protein in the brain) it produces a calming effect, which helps you deal with stress and fear. When your body is lacking in GABA because your nervous system can’t send out a message to your muscles to relax, it results in contractions or muscle spasms. The hope is that CBG can act as a natural way to help muscles relax, reducing soreness and pain.
  3. Promoting calmness/healthy sleep – The aforementioned Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management study notes that CBG “also exhibits GABA uptake inhibition to a greater extent than THC or CBD …” A higher level of GABA in your brain means you feel more relaxed and your chances for healthy sleep are heightened.
  4. Acting as an antibiotic – In the summary of a 2020 report from The American Chemical Society published by ScienceDaily, they write: “Public health agencies worldwide have identified antibiotic resistance of disease-causing bacteria as one of humanity's most critical challenges. However, scientists haven't discovered a new class of antibiotics in more than 30 years. Now, researchers reporting in [the journal] ACS Infectious Diseases have uncovered the hidden antibiotic potential of a non-psychoactive cannabis compound called cannabigerol (CBG), which helped control methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in mice.” (MRSA, a bacterium that causes infections, is more difficult to treat than most strains of Staphylococcus aureus because it's resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.) They go on to say that they tested the antibacterial activity of 18 cannabis-derived molecules (including CBD and THC), and CBG performed the best. A 2017 study concluded that “Based on its antioxidant activities, CBG may hold great promise as an antioxidant agent and therefore used in clinical practice as a new approach in oxidative-stress-related disorders.”
  5. Promoting healthy skin – While there do not appear to be many (if any) studies that focus on CBG and its benefits to our skin, we know this: For a product to be effective in maintaining healthy skin, it must be highly anti-inflammatory and function as an antioxidant. CBG fits the bill. So, while there’s no conclusive scientific proof, many people are hailing CBG as being extremely beneficial to maintaining healthy skin.
  6. Stimulating appetite – Like the cannabinoids THC and CBN, CBG is thought to stimulate one’s appetite. A 2016 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology concluded that, “...CBG elicits hyperphagia [an abnormally strong sensation of hunger or desire to eat], by reducing latency to feed and increasing meal frequency, without producing negative neuromotor side effects.” While most people may view appetite stimulation as a bad thing, people with certain conditions such as a psychological disorder, a chronic disease, a slowing metabolism or those on certain medications often need their appetite stimulated.

It’s also suspected that CBG supports healthy vision and promotes bone growth, among other things. Like most cannabinoids, not a lot of study has been done on CBG and its benefits, but of all the minor cannabinoids — because CBG appears to have stem cell-like capabilities — it would appear to have the most potential to be a medicinal game-changer down the road.