Last updated: October 27, 2020

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You might be familiar with THC, the psychotropic (and, in most places, illegal) compound found in cannabis and marijuana. If you’re a fan of cannabinoids, you’re also probably acquainted with CBD, its more “respectable” brother with therapeutic effects and no narcotic properties. But does “CBG” sound familiar to you?

Some consider CBG, or cannabigerol, the father of cannabinoids. This fascinating molecule is required to synthesize CBD and THC. However, when we stop this conversion process midflow, we obtain a product with enormous potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers. If you’re curious about CBG, this is your article!

Key Facts

  • CBG is a molecule found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, it has no psychotropic properties.
  • Researchers are studying the potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects of CBG oil.
  • Check whether your area’s laws allow CBG purchase. If they do, choose a product from a certified manufacturer. Make sure it’s synthesized with high quality standards by checking the method of extraction, THC content, carrier oil, and packaging.

CBG: A Pioneering Product

The products we’re recommending in this guide are genuine discoveries in the cannabinoid field. Their extraction and synthesis was overseen by experts and the cost-effectiveness is simply extraordinary. Following your area’s laws is your responsibility, however, and legislation might limit or prohibit cannabinoid use.

The Best Full Spectrum CBG+CBD Oil (13% Concentration)

This oil from Kiara Naturals is a magnificent CBG-CBD combination. The chemical interaction between these two ingredients creates an “entourage effect”, strengthening their properties without increasing the risk of side effects.

The Kiara Naturals brand is known for distributing products which follow Good Manufacturing Practice standards. The CBG in this particular product, for example, was grown naturally in Switzerland.

The Best CBG+CBD Oil (15% Concentration)

This CBG-CBD oil offers stronger potency thanks to its higher concentration. Kiara Naturals’ manufacturing process uses rigorous quality standards, including ultrasound technology used to extract CBG.

As a result of this process, active ingredients make up 15% – a superior concentration compared to similar products. This product can heighten the beneficial effects offered by these types of oil.

Buyer’s Guide: What You Need to Know About CBG

Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a cannabinoid molecule with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects (as shown in vitro). CBG’s acid form is a precursor for other, better-known cannabinoids like THC and CBD. It has no narcotic properties. Researchers are exhaustively studying its benefits and side effects.

CBG is derived from the cannabis plant.
(Source: Stokkete: 48739553/ 123rf.com)

What Is CBG?

Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a molecule belonging to the cannabinoid group. Cannabinoid compounds are extracted from hemp plants in the Cannabis genus (C. sativa, C. indica y C. ruderalis). The most famous cannabinoid, of course, is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Unlike THC, however, CBG appears to have no psychoactive effects and cannot be used for recreational purposes. Also unlike THC, it has medicinal potential (1, 2).

Studies show that CBG molecules are used to synthesize other cannabinoids like THC or CBD (for which we also provide a buyer’s guide). In other words, cannabigerol exists first, and through a series of chemical reactions, it “matures” into THC, CBD, and other compounds (3).

What Do We Know About CBG’s Effects?

CBG can be utilized as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, or neuroprotector, according to experts and researchers. CBG joins up with receptors in our endocannabinoid system, a complex network in our body involved in processes like hunger, pleasure, and pain (1, 4).

Because it lacks psychoactive properties, CBG cannot produce the intoxicating feelings which THC can. Its effects are more like CBD; its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties may treat certain illnesses. Let’s look at the possible benefits:

Potential Benefit Type of Study Results Found
 Potential treatment for glaucoma. Animals (5). Can potentially reduce pressure inside the eye. Requires further study.

Antibacterial effects and potential antiseptic effects. In vitro (6). CBG and other cannabinoids stop the growth of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
 Cancer-preventative potential. In vitro and in animals (7). CBG stopped the growth of tumor cells in vitro and in animals .
Potential pain treatment.

¿Potencial tratamiento para el dolor?

Hypothesis under study (8). CBG has analgesic potential. It may be more effective than THC at reducing certain inflammation markers, but requires further study for confirmation.
Neuroprotective effects. Potential for degenerative brain conditions like Huntington’s. Animals (9). In experiments, CBG protected rats’ brains when they were exposed to toxins.

Appetite stimulant.

Animals (10). In studies, CBG made rats eat twice as much as normal.
Potential muscle relaxant. In vitro and in animals (11). CBG could have better muscle relaxant potential than THC or CBD, but this requires further study.
Potential psoriasis treatment. In vitro (12). CBG and other cannabinoids inhibit the uncontrolled multiplying and growth of skin cells (which is what causes psoriasis).

These preliminary studies have extremely promising potential health implications. Reducing pressure in the eyes could help prevent complications from glaucoma, even blindess. And CBG’s neuroprotective effects could fight off conditions which damage the brain.

But don’t be hasty! These effects were discovered in controlled experiments using cells grown in labs (in vitro cells) or animals. Much more study is needed before we can confirm these effects apply to humans, especially when we’re discussing conditions as serious as cancer.

What’s the Future of CBG?

If we had to describe CBG in one word, it’d be “potential”. This molecule has no narcotic effects, is derived from the hemp plant (which is legal to grow throughout the U.S.), and has anti-inflammatory properties. Further research may provide us an effective remedy for many conditions.

CBG can also enhance the entourage effect.

That term was coined by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the discoverer of THC, and his team of specialists (13). The entourage effect refers to different cannabinoids’ ability to work together – a synergy which may increase their medicinal effects.

We may be able to use CBD, CBG, and other cannabinoids in conjunction to maximize the absorption and effects of each component, more effectively treating chronic pain and insomnia. And combining CBG with THC should heighten THC’s therapeutic effects and limit the psychoactive ones (14).

However, the key word here is potential. Research into this molecule is still in very early phases. Current results are promising, but they don’t allow us to fully grasp all the repercussions of this molecule on the human body (15).

How Should I Take CBG?

CBG is most known in its oil form, taken as drops under the tongue or dissolved in food. Experts have yet to set a standardized dosage or ways to use CBG to treat pain, insomnia, and anxiety.

If you’re planning on using a CBG product, there are expert recommendations we suggest you follow. Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurology specialist and pioneer in cannabinoid research, recommends this treatment plan (16):

  1. Start slow: Use minimal amounts and gradually increase dosage.
  2. Keep it balanced: Find a dose strong enough to relieve your symptoms and pain without causing side effects (such as sleepiness).
  3. Seek medical supervision: Look for a health professional who can help you address your individual needs and potential complications. They should be a good listener, ready to learn and to teach.

Unlike THC, CBG shows no psychotropic effects. 
(Fuente: Kirillvasilevcom: 114272109/ 123rf.com)

What Do We Know About CBG’s Side Effects?

In the short term, this product appears to be safe. However, we need further study to establish any possible long-term risks. The most common short-term side effects of CBG are fatigue, sleepiness, and indigestion. These should only appear if you take too much CBG.

Some CBG producers claim that, because CBG has no psychoactive effects, it should be a safe compound.

According to producers, serious intoxication would require taking unusually high amounts (150 mg per pound you weigh). That dose would be equivalent to taking multiple vials of CBG, intended to last for months, all in one sitting (18).

However, some health experts are more skeptical about these claims. Official health organizations warn that this product could still have unknown long-term effects on the brain or metabolism. These recommendations for safe use apply to all cannabinoids (19):

  • Be responsible. The only way to ensure no risk whatsoever is to abstain. Cannabinoids should only be taken by adults in sound mind.
  • Know the risks. Cannabinoids (but primarily THC) could affect your intellectual ability and heart and lung health. Their relationship to cancer is inconclusive; some studies have found a relationship between using cannabinoids and preventing cancer. Other trials, however, seem to link THC to increased risk of tumors.
  • Protect developing brains. Underage people using cannabinoids (but mainly THC) has been linked to reduced mental performance in the long term. Cannabinoids should only be used by adults. Even among adults, the older you are, the safer you are from possible effects on your brain development.
  • Avoid THC and synthetic products. Most of the serious side effects of cannabinoids (reduced ability to focus, mental illness, and heart attacks) are linked to THC. If THC molecules are synthetic, there is a greater chance of side effects. Your CBG supplement should contain no THC.
  • Be patient. When taking CBG, keep in mind that its effects can take several minutes to appear. This delay can cause a false impression about its strength, leading you to consume higher doses than needed. Keep this in mind to prevent intoxication.
  • Use in moderation. Authorities believe that cannabinoids’ side effects are more common if you take these substances daily. If you want to take CBG more than once a week, ask a doctor.
  • Check your family history. Cannabinoids have been linked to psychosis (mental illnesses like schizofrenia) in people genetically predisposed to them. If your family has a history of serious mental illness, avoid cannabinoids.
  • Abstain if you’re pregnant. For pregnant women, taking cannabinoids can cause anemia and affect the size of the fetus. The children of mothers who used cannabis during pregnancy show lower intellectual performance. For these reasons, taking cannabinoids during pregnancy is highly unrecommended.

These warnings were written with THC, cannabis’s psychoactive ingredient, in mind; they should apply less to CBG. However, they can also help you lower the odds of side effects from CBG supplements. Plus, avoid combining CBG with drugs that metabolize in your liver. These include (15, 20):

Drugs metabolized in the liver
Antibiotics
Antifungals
Anti-epileptics
Antiarrhythmics
Antiparasitics
Alcohol
Anticoagulants

Is CBG Legal in the U.S.?

According to FDA regulations, CBG is not recognized as a drug and be sold and consumed freely. The agency has stated that some parts of the cannabis plant do not contain THC. As such, CBG is legal as long as its THC content does not exceed 0.3%.

Plus, CBG can also be extracted from hemp plants, which can be legally grown under the 2018 Agriculture Bill. Internationally, there are no treaties regulating CBG, meaning that countries have no obligation to restrict its production.

Avoid mixing CBG with alcohol and other drugs.
(Source: El Roi: 89043453/ 123rf.com)

Legal Notice

Though CBG is a molecule with great therapeutic potential, official organizations have stated that more information is needed before this compound can be considered safe. We cannot definitively state that CBG treats or prevents any conditions. If you decide to use CBG products, seek your doctor’s approval.

This buyer’s guide to CBG products is meant for informative purposes and is not applicable in regions where the law prohibits oral or topical use of CBG. These items are not a substitute for prescribed medication, and they should not be used by children, pregnant women, or people with chronic illnesses.

Taking CBG with alcohol or other recreational drugs is discouraged. Misuse could have serious unexpected health consequences which may require immediate medical attention.

The Supplementscouts team assumes no responsibility for the consequences of irresponsible product use.

Summary

Cannabinoids never cease to surprise us. The discovery of CBG has opened up a new field of research about the cannabis plant’s compounds. Though some have baptized this compound as “the new CBD”, cannabinoid experts prefer to see CBG as a possible companion working alongside the molecules we already know.

In laboratories, CBG has shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects. In the future, that could lead to the creation of new remedies for currently untreatable problems! Be patient, use CBG responsibly, and let’s keep learning more about this newly-discovered molecule. We’ll be the first to let you know about any CBG news!

If this guide helped expand your knowledge of CBG, feel free to leave a comment or share this article.

(Featured image source: Stajkovic: 135685758/ 123rf.com)

References (25)

1. Navarro G, Varani K, Reyes-Resina I, de Medina VS, Rivas-Santisteban R, Callado CSC, et al. Cannabigerol action at cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and at CB1-CB2 heteroreceptor complexes. Front Pharmacol [Internet]. 2018 Jun 21 [ 2020 May 8];9(JUN).
Source

2. Williamson EM, Evans FJ. Cannabinoids in clinical practice [Internet]. Vol. 60, Drugs. Adis International Ltd; 2000 [ 2020 May 8]. p. 1303–14.
Source

3. Fellermeier M, Zenk M. Prenylation of olivetolate by a hemp transferase yields cannabigerolic acid, the precursor of tetrahydrocannabinol. FEBS Lett [Internet]. 1998 [ 2020 May 9];427:283–5.
Source

4. Gugliandolo A, Pollastro F, Grassi G, Bramanti P, Mazzon E. In vitro model of neuroinflammation: Efficacy of cannabigerol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Int J Mol Sci [Internet]. 2018 Jul 8 [ 2020 May 9];19(7):1992.
Source

5. Szczesniak AM, Maor Y, Robertson H, Hung O, Kelly MEM. Nonpsychotropic cannabinoids, abnormal cannabidiol and canabigerol-dimethyl heptyl, act at novel cannabinoid receptors to reduce intraocular pressure. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther [Internet]. 2011 Oct 1 [ 2020 May 9];27(5):427–35.
Source

6. Appendino G, Gibbons S, Giana A, Pagani A, Grassi G, Stavri M, et al. Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A structure-activity study. J Nat Prod [Internet]. 2008 [ 2020 May 9];71(8):1427–30.
Source

7. Borrelli F, Pagano E, Romano B, Panzera S, Maiello F, Coppola D, et al. Colon carcinogenesis is inhibited by the TRPM8 antagonist cannabigerol, a Cannabis-derived non-psychotropic cannabinoid. Carcinogenesis [Internet]. 2014 [ 2020 May 9];35(12):2787–97.
Source

8. Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain [Internet]. Vol. 4, Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. Dove Press; 2008 [ 2020 May 9]. p. 245–59.
Source

9. Valdeolivas S, Navarrete C, Cantarero I, Bellido ML, Muñoz E, Sagredo O. Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabigerol in Huntington’s Disease: Studies in R6/2 Mice and 3-Nitropropionate-lesioned Mice. Neurotherapeutics. 2015 Jan 1;12(1):185–99.
Source

10. Brierley DI, Samuels J, Duncan M, Whalley BJ, Williams CM. Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016 Oct 1;233(19–20):3603–13.
Source

11. Banerjee SP, Snyder SH, Mechoulam R. Cannabinoids: influence on neurotransmitter uptake in rat brain synaptosomes. J Pharmacol Exp Ther [Internet]. 1975 [ 2020 May 9];194(1):74–81.
Source

12. Wilkinson JD, Williamson EM. Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis. J Dermatol Sci [Internet]. 2007 Feb [ 2020 May 9];45(2):87–92.
Source

13. The Entourage Effect – Therapix Biosciences [Internet]. [ 2020 May 9].
Source

14. Russo EB. Taming THC: Potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects [Internet]. Vol. 163, British Journal of Pharmacology. Wiley-Blackwell; 2011 [ 2020 May 9]. p. 1344–64.
Source

15. VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA, Mauck KF. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. Mayo Clin Proc [Internet]. 2019 Sep 1 [ 2020 Feb 25];94(9):1840–51.
Source

16. Conoce a los Expertos: Entrevista con el Dr. Ethan Russo | Fundación CANNA: Investigación y análisis de Cannabis [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Source

17. MD SCIENCE CANNABIGEROL (cream) MD NATURAL HEALTH LLC [Internet]. [ 2020 May 9].
Source

18. Cannabinoid Profile: Cannabigerol (CBG) | Community Base Dispensary [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Source

19. Fischer B, Russell C, Sabioni P, Van Den Brink W, Le Foll B, Hall W, et al. Lower-risk cannabis use guidelines: A comprehensive update of evidence and recommendations [Internet]. Vol. 107, American Journal of Public Health. American Public Health Association Inc.; 2017 [ 2020 May 10]. p. e1–12.
Source

20. TOM LYNCH AP. The Effect of Cytochrome P450 Metabolism on Drug Response, Interactions, and Adverse Effects – American Family Physician. TOM LYNCH, PharmD, AMY PRICE, MD, East Virginia Med Sch Norfolk, Virginia Am Fam Physician 2007 Aug 1;76(3)391-396 [Internet]. 2007 [ 2020 May 10];
Source

21. FICHA TECNICA SATIVEX 2,7 MG/2,5 MG SOLUCION PARA PULVERIZACION BUCAL [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Source

22. Aecosan – Agencia Española de Consumo, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Source

23. EU Novel food catalogue (v.1.1) [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Source

24. A Guide to CBG: Extraction, Storage, Price, Consumption and more – ACS Lab Cannabis [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Source

25. Wang Y, Liu Z, Han Y, Xu J, Huang W, Li Z. Medium Chain Triglycerides enhances exercise endurance through the increased mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism. Lu T, editor. PLoS One [Internet]. 2018 Feb 8 [ 2020 May 10];13(2):e0191182.
Source

Why you can trust me?

In vitro study
Navarro G, Varani K, Reyes-Resina I, de Medina VS, Rivas-Santisteban R, Callado CSC, et al. Cannabigerol action at cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and at CB1-CB2 heteroreceptor complexes. Front Pharmacol [Internet]. 2018 Jun 21 [ 2020 May 8];9(JUN).
Go to source
Review article
Williamson EM, Evans FJ. Cannabinoids in clinical practice [Internet]. Vol. 60, Drugs. Adis International Ltd; 2000 [ 2020 May 8]. p. 1303–14.
Go to source
Scientific article
Fellermeier M, Zenk M. Prenylation of olivetolate by a hemp transferase yields cannabigerolic acid, the precursor of tetrahydrocannabinol. FEBS Lett [Internet]. 1998 [ 2020 May 9];427:283–5.
Go to source
In vitro study
Gugliandolo A, Pollastro F, Grassi G, Bramanti P, Mazzon E. In vitro model of neuroinflammation: Efficacy of cannabigerol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Int J Mol Sci [Internet]. 2018 Jul 8 [ 2020 May 9];19(7):1992.
Go to source
Animal Testing
Szczesniak AM, Maor Y, Robertson H, Hung O, Kelly MEM. Nonpsychotropic cannabinoids, abnormal cannabidiol and canabigerol-dimethyl heptyl, act at novel cannabinoid receptors to reduce intraocular pressure. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther [Internet]. 2011 Oct 1 [ 2020 May 9];27(5):427–35.
Go to source
In vitro study
Appendino G, Gibbons S, Giana A, Pagani A, Grassi G, Stavri M, et al. Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A structure-activity study. J Nat Prod [Internet]. 2008 [ 2020 May 9];71(8):1427–30.
Go to source
In vitro study
Borrelli F, Pagano E, Romano B, Panzera S, Maiello F, Coppola D, et al. Colon carcinogenesis is inhibited by the TRPM8 antagonist cannabigerol, a Cannabis-derived non-psychotropic cannabinoid. Carcinogenesis [Internet]. 2014 [ 2020 May 9];35(12):2787–97.
Go to source
Review article
Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain [Internet]. Vol. 4, Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. Dove Press; 2008 [ 2020 May 9]. p. 245–59.
Go to source
Clinical trial in animals
Valdeolivas S, Navarrete C, Cantarero I, Bellido ML, Muñoz E, Sagredo O. Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabigerol in Huntington’s Disease: Studies in R6/2 Mice and 3-Nitropropionate-lesioned Mice. Neurotherapeutics. 2015 Jan 1;12(1):185–99.
Go to source
Clinical trial in animals
Brierley DI, Samuels J, Duncan M, Whalley BJ, Williams CM. Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016 Oct 1;233(19–20):3603–13.
Go to source
Clinical trial in animals
Banerjee SP, Snyder SH, Mechoulam R. Cannabinoids: influence on neurotransmitter uptake in rat brain synaptosomes. J Pharmacol Exp Ther [Internet]. 1975 [ 2020 May 9];194(1):74–81.
Go to source
In vitro study
Wilkinson JD, Williamson EM. Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis. J Dermatol Sci [Internet]. 2007 Feb [ 2020 May 9];45(2):87–92.
Go to source
Manufacturer's website
The Entourage Effect – Therapix Biosciences [Internet]. [ 2020 May 9].
Go to source
Review article
Russo EB. Taming THC: Potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects [Internet]. Vol. 163, British Journal of Pharmacology. Wiley-Blackwell; 2011 [ 2020 May 9]. p. 1344–64.
Go to source
Clinical guide
VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA, Mauck KF. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. Mayo Clin Proc [Internet]. 2019 Sep 1 [ 2020 Feb 25];94(9):1840–51.
Go to source
Expert Interview
Conoce a los Expertos: Entrevista con el Dr. Ethan Russo | Fundación CANNA: Investigación y análisis de Cannabis [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Go to source
Medication leaflet
MD SCIENCE CANNABIGEROL (cream) MD NATURAL HEALTH LLC [Internet]. [ 2020 May 9].
Go to source
Official website
Cannabinoid Profile: Cannabigerol (CBG) | Community Base Dispensary [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Go to source
Scientific article
Fischer B, Russell C, Sabioni P, Van Den Brink W, Le Foll B, Hall W, et al. Lower-risk cannabis use guidelines: A comprehensive update of evidence and recommendations [Internet]. Vol. 107, American Journal of Public Health. American Public Health Association Inc.; 2017 [ 2020 May 10]. p. e1–12.
Go to source
Clinical guide
TOM LYNCH AP. The Effect of Cytochrome P450 Metabolism on Drug Response, Interactions, and Adverse Effects – American Family Physician. TOM LYNCH, PharmD, AMY PRICE, MD, East Virginia Med Sch Norfolk, Virginia Am Fam Physician 2007 Aug 1;76(3)391-396 [Internet]. 2007 [ 2020 May 10];
Go to source
Medication leaflet
FICHA TECNICA SATIVEX 2,7 MG/2,5 MG SOLUCION PARA PULVERIZACION BUCAL [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Go to source
AECOSAN Official Website
Aecosan – Agencia Española de Consumo, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Go to source
EFSA Official Website
EU Novel food catalogue (v.1.1) [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Go to source
Manufacturer's website
A Guide to CBG: Extraction, Storage, Price, Consumption and more – ACS Lab Cannabis [Internet]. [ 2020 May 10].
Go to source
Scientific article
Wang Y, Liu Z, Han Y, Xu J, Huang W, Li Z. Medium Chain Triglycerides enhances exercise endurance through the increased mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism. Lu T, editor. PLoS One [Internet]. 2018 Feb 8 [ 2020 May 10];13(2):e0191182.
Go to source
Reviews