What is CBG? Meaning, Benefits, Uses, and More About this Compound

What is CBG? Meaning, Benefits, Uses, and More About this Compound

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement, including CBD.


In the world of legal cannabinoids, CBD is king. It has been enjoying its time in the spotlight for the last few years now, and it’s a compound you’ll find in everything from tinctures and edibles to isolates and vapes. But there is a new pretender to the throne, one that has been dubbed the “mother cannabinoid”, and as the name suggests, it’s a pretty exciting one.

CBG products might not be as abundantly available as CBD, but more and more are being released all of the time and many growers, producers, researchers, and consumers are excited about its future.

In this guide, we’ll take a deeper dive into the world of CBG, covering topics such as:

  • What is CBG and what does CBG stand for?
  • What is the meaning of CBG?
  • How does CBG compare to CBD?
  • What are the best ways to consume CBG?
  • Does CBG get you high?
  • What are the CBG uses and benefits?
  • How can you use CBG?

What Is CBG and What does CBG stand for?

CBG Definition: Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid isolated from the cannabis plant. It has been called the “mother cannabinoid”, as other compounds derive from its acidic form, CBGA.

Despite its grand title, CBG is found in very small quantities and is dwarfed by CBD and THC, with many popular strains containing 20 to 30 times less CBG than CBD.

Still confused?  Let’s answer some quick CBG questions to fill you in:

What Is CBG Oil?

CBG oil is simply a concentrated liquid extract containing high levels of cannabigerol. It’s one of the best ways to consume this substance. Not only is it quick and easy, but it’s also convenient. You can drop some of the oil onto your tongue, add it to drinks, or create your own edibles.

In fact, most CBG edibles are made using oil, along with sugar, fats, and other base ingredients.

What Does CBG Stand For?

“CBG” is a contraction of “Cannabigerol”. 

How Is CBG Made?

If CBG is the mother cannabinoid, then why is there so little of it in mature plants?

All cannabinoids, including cannabigerol, are synthesized from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). As the plant grows, the CBG is converted into cannabinoids like THC and CBD, leaving very little CBG in the biomass.

For this reason, many CBG products are sourced from young plants, with extraction techniques allowing producers to snap up all that cannabigerol before it turns into something else.

There is also an increasing number of CBG-dominant strains on the market, and these produce very high levels of CBG in mature plants. By growing these strains, producers can guarantee a high turnover of this valuable compound.

What Does CBG Stand For In Medical Terms?

According to Google Trends, searches for “CBG” have remained relatively stable over the last couple of decades and actually peaked in 2005, and not 2018/19, as we see with CBD and other searches related to legal hemp.

But those initial searches had nothing to do with the cannabinoid. In medical terms, CBG can also stand for corticosteroid-binding globulin, capillary blood gas, and capillary blood glucose.

There was a time when these words would be all you’d see when Googling those three letters. Today, that’s no longer the case and the vast majority of searches for “CBG” relate to cannabigerol.

What Is CBG Hemp Flower?

CBG hemp flower is a high-CBG and low-THC flower harvested from a cannabis plant. These plants (including strains such as White CBG, Jack Frost CBG, and Super Glue CBG) were produced to maximize their CBG content and cash in on the increased consumer interest.

CBG hemp flower strains are often much paler than CBD and THC strains, but they possess many of the same scents and tastes. Hemp flowers can be consumed by crushing them and vaporizing them, smoking them, or adding them to food.

Most consumers choose to smoke their hemp flower, but while this is one of the quickest ways to ingest CBG and reap the benefits, it’s also one of the unhealthiest. If you’re using CBG for overall health and wellbeing, this is not the way to go as that smoke will negate many of the benefits.

Is CBG Safe?

CBG is very safe, but it’s important to start with a small amount and to never consume more than the recommended dosage. Speak with a healthcare professional first if you have any preexisting health conditions or take medication.

The Effects of CBG

Cannabigerol is not praised because it’s rare, nor do consumers care much about its so-called “mother” status. It’s all about the effects, as research suggests that it could be one of the most potent and beneficial cannabinoids out there.

Is CBG Psychoactive?

CBG and CBD are often mistakenly believed to be psychoactive due to their calming effects. But that’s not quite true. If it were true, chamomile would also be psychoactive, as would countless other common drinks and food.

It’s true that CBG can make you feel calmer and more content. It could also produce a number of other effects. But it doesn’t alter your state of mind, so it’s not psychoactive.

Does CBG Get You High?

CBG might come from the cannabis plant, but it won’t make you high.

The compound responsible for triggering the effects of euphoria (along with paranoia and insatiable hunger) is something known as tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC”. It’s the most common cannabinoid in the vast majority of cultivars and is known to produce an array of positive and negative effects.

CBG, on the other hand, is very gentle and well-tolerated. It won’t impact your day-to-day life and in the vast majority of users, it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions. It also has no potential for abuse or addiction.

You might still fail a drug test, though, and this is something you should keep in mind if you are regularly tested. Pure CBG is unlikely to give you any problems, but if you’re consuming a substance that also contains 0.3% or more THC, and you’re taking it on a regular basis, it could lead to a positive test.

CBG Uses and Benefits - What does CBG Do?

Research into the effects of cannabigerol is still ongoing, and we don’t have a lot of large-scale human studies to draw upon. But there have been some interesting studies and there’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence, either.

In 2013, a study found that CBG could reduce inflammations in the colons of mice, suggesting that it may offer some benefits in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. 

There are a lot of consumers who seem to use the compound for this exact reason, and that’s not all. CBG could also reduce the size of cancerous tumors and provide some assistance in the treatment of complex neurological disorders.

But don’t get too excited just yet, as CBG is by no means a cure for cancer, Huntingdon’s, or Parkinson’s. These studies were conducted on animals, and a lot more research must be done before we know about the true efficacy of CBG.

What is exciting, though, is that CBG is well-tolerated, widely available (albeit not as much as CBD) and could potentially be used as part of a larger treatment plan. 

Is CBG Good For Anxiety and Pain?

Many users report experiencing strong anti-anxiety effects after taking cannabigerol over a prolonged period. It could bind to the parts of the brain that control anxiety and chronic pain.

That doesn’t mean it will work for you, though. It also doesn’t mean that cannabigerol is a simple and all-encompassing cure. It might take the edge off. It might make you feel a little better, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

Is CBD Or CBG Better For Anxiety?

Both CBG and CBD have proven to be effective in the treatment of mild anxiety. Many users suggest that CBG is more effective at treating anxiety, but some find that CBD works better for them and others prefer to combine the two. After all, both compounds occur naturally in the cannabis plant, so there’s no reason why you can’t combine them.

Try one of them and if that doesn’t work and you still have some money in your budget, try the other. Just don’t expect a miracle, as they won’t work for everyone.

How To Use CBG

The best way to use CBG is to purchase a high-quality tincture. It will come with a dropper and dosage instructions, typically recommending that you add one or more drops under your tongue once or twice a day.

Start with the smallest possible dose and use it at the most suitable time—if you’re using it for insomnia, take it before bed; if you’re using it for anxiety or general wellbeing, take it in the morning.

If you find that the starting dose doesn’t work for you, and you’re still within the suggested dosing range, try increasing it.

Don’t overdo it, though, and remember that while it is generally safe and tolerated, it’s still a concentrated extract and may cause harm if consumed to excess.

If you experience any adverse reactions, stop taking the CBG immediately and consult with a medical professional.

Disclaimer and Safety Information - For Educational Purposes Only

This information (and any accompanying material) is not intended to replace the attention or advice of a physician or other qualified health care professional. Anyone who wishes to embark on any dietary, drug, exercise, or other lifestyle change intended to prevent or treat a specific disease or condition should first consult with and seek clearance from a physician or other qualified health care professional. Pregnant women in particular should seek the advice of a physician before using any protocol listed on this website. The protocols described on this website are for adults only, unless otherwise specified. Product labels may contain important safety information and the most recent product information provided by the product manufacturers should be carefully reviewed prior to use to verify the dose, administration, and contraindications. National, state, and local laws may vary regarding the use and application of many of the therapies discussed. The reader assumes the risk of any injuries. The authors and publishers, their affiliates and assigns are not liable for any injury and/or damage to persons arising from this educational content and expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

Cannooba has not performed independent verification of the data contained in the referenced materials, and expressly disclaims responsibility for any error in the literature.


Cannabigerol: A Potential Candidate for the Treatment of Skin Inflammation Publication: ACS Chemical Biology, 9(5), 951-962 Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26095080/

  • CBG is the non-psychoactive precursor to both THC and CBD.
  • CBG was found to be significantly more potent than CBD in reducing inflammatory markers in skin cells.
  • Due to its low abundance in mature cannabis plants, further research is needed to optimize CBG production for therapeutic applications.

Chemotaxonomic Analysis of Cannabinoid Variation in Cannabis sativa L. Publication: Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 35(8), 585-598 Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21653452/

  • CBG content typically ranges from 0.1% to 1% in dry mature cannabis flowers, significantly lower than CBD and THC.
  • Variations in CBG concentration can be influenced by plant genetics, cultivation conditions, and processing methods.
  • Early harvesting or selective breeding can potentially increase CBG content for future research and therapeutic applications.

Cannabinoids and Their Modulation of TRPV Channels: Potential for Treatment of Inflammation and Pain Publication: Pharmacological Reviews, 57(3), 591-631 Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6222489/

  • Unlike THC, CBG does not directly activate the CB1 receptor in the brain, which is primarily responsible for psychoactive effects.
  • CBG has shown potential to indirectly modulate the CB1 receptor, potentially resulting in anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects without psychoactive intoxication.
  • Preclinical studies indicate CBG's safety profile and lack of psychoactive properties, making it an attractive candidate for therapeutic development.

The Cannabinoids Cannabidiol and Cannabigerol Inhibit Psychoactive Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-Induced Impairment in Rodent Memory Publication: Neuropsychopharmacology, 30(8), 1539-1549 Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11906077/

  • CBG was found to antagonize the psychoactive effects of THC in animal models, suggesting its potential to mitigate THC-induced intoxication.
  • CBG's non-psychoactive nature makes it a promising therapeutic option for conditions where THC's psychoactive effects may be undesirable.
  • Further research is needed to investigate CBG's potential interactions with THC in humans and its clinical efficacy in alleviating THC-related side effects.

Cannabigerol (CBG) Ameliorates Experimental Colitis in Mice through PPARγ Activation Publication: British Journal of Pharmacology, 168(3), 638-648 Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23415610/

  • CBG demonstrated anti-inflammatory and protective effects in a mouse model of colitis, suggesting potential benefit for inflammatory bowel disease.
  • CBG's activation of PPARγ, a receptor involved in metabolic and inflammatory processes, may contribute to its therapeutic properties.
  • More research is needed to confirm CBG's efficacy in human patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Cannabigerol (CBG) Suppresses Growth of Human Colorectal Cancer Cells Publication: Molecular Cancer, 13(1), 23 Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7914500/

    • CBG exhibited anti-proliferative activity against human colon cancer cells in vitro, indicating potential for cancer treatment.
    • CBG's mechanism of action involves modulation of cell signaling pathways involved in cancer cell growth and survival.
    • Preclinical evidence warrants further investigation of CBG's therapeutic potential in cancer patients.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement, including CBD.

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