Life comes at you fast—and wellness trends come even faster. It seems like only yesterday that people were first becoming intrigued about the potential of cannabidiol (CBD) to revolutionise the world of cannabinoids. Much of that shine still remains today, but another hemp-derived supplement might be on the verge of taking centre stage: CBG.
CBG, or cannabigerol, has a lot in common with its more-famous counterpart CBD. Both are derived from the cannabis family of plants, but all products available to the public always come from the hemp plant. Both CBG and CBD are attracting attention for their wide array of potential.
Still, whilst many people in Ireland have at least a basic understanding of CBD at this point, CBG remains a bit of a mystery, however much speed it’s gaining in terms of popularity. But, as has been well and truly established, hemp-based supplements are here to stay, so with that in mind let the Hemp Company tell you everything you need to know about CBG, why it’s worth paying attention to, and the best products to start your journey.
The Hemp Company has been Ireland’s most trusted source for all things hemp-related since 1999. As the interest as well as the industry grows, develops, and prospers, we’ll continue to be at the forefront of the knowledge you need to make informed choices not just about CBD, but absolutely everything to do with hemp. Our CBG follows the same robust quality standards as all of our products, but before you go ahead and try our CBG formula for yourself, take the time to learn the ABC’s of CBG with us! Here’s our carefully curated trove of knowledge about all things CBG.
Table of Contents
What Is CBG?
CBG belongs to a class of compounds known as cannabinoids. Scientists believe the hemp plant contains over 100 of these compounds. The two most famous cannabinoids, of course, are CBD and THC. Whilst CBG is much less common than either of these compounds—in many types of hemp, it comprises less than 2 percent of the total cannabinoid content—neither CBD nor THC could exist without it.
You see, cannabigerol is the non-acidic form of cannabigerolic acid (or CBGA), and cannabigerolic acid is the parent molecule from which other cannabinoids are synthesized and created. CBGA is the precursor to the three main cannabinoid lines: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).
CBGA can ‘turn into’ either THCA or CBDA with the help of special enzymes within the cannabis plant. These can then go through a process of further refinement called decarboxylation (where they become ‘activated by light or heat energy), which produces the CBD we know and love.
CBG is sometimes known as ‘the mother of all cannabinoids’ due to this unique molecular makeup, and through this process of creation, the levels of CBG that remain present in the hemp plant are depleted significantly. Recently, however, targeted hemp breeding and crossbreeding of hemp plants have created an environment in which CBG is becoming more available to the public for use.
So, cannabigerolic acid is the precursor for more familiar cannabinoids like CBD and THC, which makes CBG similar to a ‘stem cell’ that can develop into other cannabinoids depending on the circumstances. When it comes right down to it, CBG is a highly versatile compound found in the hemp plant. If your head is spinning from all these acronyms, don’t panic, the Hemp Company is here to help:
- CBG is a cannabinoid like CBD
- CBGA, in its acidic form, can be converted into other cannabinoids, including CBD
- CBG is thought to interact with CB1 receptors within the endocannabinoid system, approximately equal to that of CBD
- Although not a ‘major’ cannabinoid like CBD, CBG has begun to be cross-bred into hemp plants to increase these natural levels
Like CBD, CBG is extracted from hemp by using techniques that separate the compound from the rest of the hemp plant. It can be extracted in a way so that other cannabinoids remain in the final product, such as with full or broad spectrum CBD, or can be isolated from these other compounds to be added to other products, just as you would do with a CBD isolate.
Will CBG Get You High? Is it Legal in Ireland?
Like CBD—and unlike THC—CBG will not get you high. To understand why, it’s helpful to know a little about your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its various receptors.
The ECS is a complex network of receptors (known as CB1 and CB2) found throughout your body, which scientists believe can influence a wide array of bodily functions. Different cannabinoids engage with different receptors in a variety of ways, and these interactions account for the diverse effects of various cannabinoids.
CBG, like CBD, interacts primarily with the CB2 receptors. When these receptors are activated, they can have a number of beneficial effects on the body and mind—but ‘euphoria,’ or the trademark cannabis ‘high,’ is not one of them. That reaction is triggered when CB1 receptors are activated, which almost always occurs due to the presence of THC.
Interestingly, some studies have suggested that CBG might actually decrease the effects of THC, making it potentially useful as a treatment for overly intense reactions to that intoxicating cannabinoid. It might be a bit of an oversimplification, but think of it this way: CBG won’t get you high because it doesn’t push that particular button in your brain.
Irish law doesn’t specifically address CBG in great detail, but as with CBD oil itself, CBG oils can contain up to or less than 0.2 percent THC. This 0.2% limit of THC is the maximum trace amount established within cannabinoid products in Ireland, and is far, far less than any detectable amount.
How Is CBG Different From CBD?
This is a bit of a tricky question, since the available research on CBG is so limited. Scientists have only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding CBD, and they’re even further behind when it comes to CBG. Preliminary investigations have demonstrated that CBG functions much in the same ways as CBD, but with potential subtle differences that only research, clinical trials and time will be able to determine fully.
One complicating factor here is that the typical hemp plant has extremely low quantities of CBG, since much of it is converted into other cannabinoids. This makes it both expensive and technically challenging to study CBG in detail, as well as more challenging to produce.
To obtain the most CBG from a hemp plant, farmers need to harvest it at the perfect time – long enough after the hemp has been left to mature but before CBG inevitably breaks down and transforms into the other cannabinoids within the plant. Moreover, now that CBG has gained a bit of well founded traction, selective breeding has been able to increase the natural levels of CBG found in some specialised hemp strains.
The differences that we can say with certainty between CBD and CBG are, at this stage anyways, molecular:
- CBG helps make CBD, so while they’re both cannabinoids, they’re different compounds within the cannabis plant
- CBGA (the acidic, inactive form of CBG) changes, is broken down, and becomes the base molecule that eventually becomes CBD
- While CBGA can transform into other compounds, CBD cannot
Why Do People Use CBG?
Studies have suggested that CBG could have a wide array of uses, though few of these have been substantiated by significant amounts of research yet. Cannabis-related research in general has a long way to go, and this is especially true for lesser known compounds like CBG.
Why isn’t CBG as popular as CBD?
There are a number of reasons why CBG is yet to achieve the same degree of mainstream acclaim as CBD. For one, CBG is only present naturally in small quantities in the hemp plant. Because most CBG eventually gets turned into other cannabinoids, there is only a small amount of ‘pure’ CBG left when it’s time to harvest hemp plants. It is indeed possible to harvest the plants earlier, when they retain more of their CBG, but doing so diminishes the possibility of harvesting the hemp for anything else.
CBG is expensive to extract as well. Since each hemp plant contains only a small amount of CBG, manufacturers need a large amount of biomass to extract even a modest quantity of CBG. And, perhaps the biggest reason is that Scientists just don’t know much about CBG. The uncertainty around CBG’s real potential means that few companies are willing to go out on a limb with such a sizable investment.
Why is CBG becoming more popular?
However, having said that, the fast-paced world of cannabinoid awareness has led a number of enterprising companies to see CBG as an important part of the potential of cannabinoids.
The Hemp Company is leading the way with this innovation in Ireland, securing its spot in the future of Hemp. As of now, you won’t find the same diversity of CBG-only products as you might with CBD, but the menu of available options has grown substantially over the past year or so.
Here’s why we at the Hemp Company see such potential in this lesser known cannabinoid, and why we’ve seen people use it:
- It interacts with our endocannabinoid system
- Combined with other cannabinoid based products may lead to an overall more effective ‘entourage effect’
- Indeed, as the ‘mother of cannabinoids’ it may be even more versatile than CBD
- Like all cannabinoids and like hemp generally, CBG exhibits antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties
What Kinds of CBG Products Exist?
You probably shouldn’t expect to be seeing CBG-infused bed sheets any time soon, but if you’re an attentive CBD shopper you might have noticed more and more CBG-centric products popping up recently.
Much like CBD, CBG has become most widely seen as an oil – the product that brought cannabis-based wellness into the mainstream, it’s little surprise that it’s also the most common form of CBG product today. Much like CBD oil tinctures, CBG oil usually comes in a small vial with a dropper or spray applicator. It can be consumed straight, or added to food and beverages (among other things).
Many people enjoy CBG oil tinctures for their ease of use, relatively quick onset, and the ability to precisely track dosage. Some find that the taste is an acquired one, though flavoured offerings and a bit of inventive mixology can alleviate these concerns. If you’re curious to try out this (by no means) lesser cannabinoid, trust in the Hemp Company to deliver the purest full spectrum CBG experience possible. Their CBG/CBD Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is paving the standards for other companies in Ireland and around the world, and here’s exactly why:
- Hemp Company’s CBG/CBD Oil contains NO artificial flavors or ingredients
- It contains a full spectrum formula so you can benefit from the synergistic experience of a full entourage effect
- It is blended with CBD extract to maximise effectiveness – This blend allows our customers to experience some of the additional potentials of CBG while still getting the familiar CBD effect
CBG: What You Need To Know Before You Buy
As with CBD itself, the available research indicates that CBG is a safe and well-tolerated compound. It won’t make you high, and it won’t get you addicted—no matter how much you use. So for those who like to conduct a risk-reward analysis of everything they put into (or onto) their bodies, CBG seems to pass that particular test.
At the same time, the list of what we know for certain about CBG is far shorter than the list of questions we still have about it. Scientists are quick to point out how little we know about CBD, but there’s a relative mountain of studies to back up CBD’s benefits compared with the research on CBG.
This is a good reason to carefully investigate any claims about CBG’s supposed benefits and use the same amount of caution you would when purchasing any CBD product before purchasing CBG:
- Check for a third party lab test. You’ll want to make sure the test specifically states the level of CBG in the product, since you’re likely to be paying a bit of a premium for this special ingredient. Not only that, a lab test can help confirm that your product is free from excess levels of THC or harmful contaminants.
- Know what you’re looking for – what kind of product are you looking to try and why?
- Ensure you trust the brand you’re purchasing from – at the Hemp Company we use our years of experience in the industry to meticulously source only the most reputable hemp-based products from the best brands.
- Read the ingredient list – what other ingredients go into your product? Can you trust them?
- Finally, you’ll want to speak with your doctor before taking any supplement containing CBG (or any cannabinoid, for that matter). These natural compounds are generally believed to be safe by most experts, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your wellness.
But whilst some skepticism is warranted, so is the enthusiasm around this non-intoxicating cannabinoid. If scientists’ early theories are proven correct, CBG could bring a wealth of fascinating wellness insight to the table—with relatively few drawbacks.
In the months and years to come, it’s likely that our understanding of CBG will grow as exponentially as our understanding of CBD is well on its way to doing. These are exciting times, to say the least, and whilst the future is yet unknown, it certainly looks like a promising one for ‘the mother of all cannabinoids.’