Overview of CBG (Cannabigerol) and its Benefits, Effects and Risks

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential uses and benefits of CBG, or cannabigerol. This lesser-known minor cannabinoid from cannabis has been touted for its various medicinal and antioxidative properties. These include the ability to help with pain and mood, support lower inflammation, aid with neuroprotection and help improve sleep. Let’s explore CBG and its potential health benefits, uses, benefits, and risks. We’ll also take a look at how it compares to CBD and THC, plus other cannabinoids. Discover why you might use CBG and what it has to offer.

Understanding CBG

CBG is a cannabinoid compound from cannabis. It forms one of the plant’s base cannabinoids which others are produced from via metabolic or enzymatic processes within the plant. These occur during growth, flowering or seasonal changes which can stimulate the production of differing cannabinoid types. CBD and THC are derived from CBG when it breaks down. Like its more well-known counterpart CBD, CBG is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it does not produce the characteristic “high” associated with cannabis.

Cannabigerol is often present in lower concentrations compared to CBD and THC in most cannabis strains. However, recent advancements in cultivation techniques have allowed for the development of strains that are higher in CBG content. It can now be extracted and isolated into high-concentration products similar to CBD for therapeutic applications.

How it Works

CBG is formed from the precursor compound cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) through a series of enzymatic reactions. As the cannabis plant matures, CBGA is converted into various cannabinoids, including CBG. Just like CBD, CBG interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of cannabinoid receptors and signalling pathways that help regulate several key bodily functions. Its interaction with the ECS is believed to be the source of CBG’s health benefits. It can bind with the cannabinoid receptors of this system similar to CBD as well as certain neurotransmitter receptor sites.

When it comes to CBG, it’s important to note that its presence in the cannabis plant is relatively low compared to CBD and THC. However, because it acts as a precursor for other cannabinoids, it will almost always make up some portion of your product’s cannabinoid content. 

CBG has been found to have various health benefits. It is thought to provide these through the endocannabinoid system similarly to CBD, via acting on cannabinoid receptors found in the body and brain. For example, studies have shown that CBG may have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a supplementary treatment option for conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. Additionally, CBG has been found to have neuroprotective properties which could make it useful in mitigating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

How is CBG Different from CBD and THC?

While CBG, CBD, and THC are all cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, they have distinct differences. Unlike THC, which produces psychoactive effects, CBG and CBD are non-psychoactive and do not induce euphoria or intoxication.

CBG differs from CBD in terms of its chemical structure and effects. CBG is often referred to as the “mother cannabinoid,” as it is the precursor for other cannabinoids. It isn’t as powerful as CBD at lowering inflammation and doesn’t have anxiolytic properties. However, it is thought to enhance the therapeutic potential of CBD by working synergistically with it.

When it comes to THC, CBG and CBD share a similarity in that they both counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. This means that CBG and CBD can potentially mitigate the negative side effects of THC, such as anxiety and paranoia, while still allowing for the potential therapeutic benefits of THC. Some of these benefits include helping improve appetite for eating disorders, offering nausea prevention plus aiding with pain and insomnia.

Unlike CBD, which has gained significant popularity in recent years, CBG is still understudied. However, preliminary research suggests that CBG might possess unique properties and benefits that set it apart from other cannabinoids. As researchers continue to explore the potential uses and benefits of CBG, it is becoming increasingly clear that this cannabinoid has a lot to offer. 

Health Benefits of CBG

Research into the potential health benefits of CBG is still in its early stages, but the initial findings are promising. Here are some areas where CBG shows potential:

CBG for Pain Relief

Pain relief is one of the most widely recognized potential benefits of CBG. Studies have indicated that CBG may act as a natural analgesic by interacting with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. It is believed to alleviate pain by reducing inflammation and modulating pain signals. Additionally, CBG’s potential pain-relieving properties might make it a viable alternative for individuals seeking natural pain management options.

For example, a recent study published in the Journal of Pain Research explored the effects of CBG on chronic pain in patients with fibromyalgia. The results showed that CBG significantly reduced pain levels and improved overall quality of life in the participants. This suggests that CBG could be a promising option for those suffering from chronic pain conditions.

Furthermore, CBG has also shown potential in managing nociception or pain perception associated with conditions such as arthritis, migraines, and neuropathy. It can assist those who suffer from these forms of pain in changing their perception or experience of the pain itself, thereby making it more tolerable. By targeting the underlying causes of pain, CBG offers a holistic approach to pain relief.

CBG and Its Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation plays a role in various health conditions, including arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. Research suggests that CBG possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties similar to other cannabinoids like CBD and terpenes.

By interacting with specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CBG may help reduce inflammation. A study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found that CBG effectively reduced inflammation in a mouse model of colitis. The researchers observed a significant decrease in inflammatory markers, suggesting that CBG could be a potential therapeutic option for inflammatory bowel diseases.

Moreover, CBG’s anti-inflammatory properties extend beyond the gut. Preliminary studies have shown that CBG may also have a positive impact on neuroinflammation, which is a common feature of neurodegenerative disorders like multiple sclerosis. By targeting inflammation in the central nervous system, CBG could potentially slow down the progression of these debilitating diseases.

CBG for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are prevalent mental health conditions that can significantly impact a person’s well-being. CBG may offer support for individuals struggling with these conditions. Early studies suggest that it might have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties. By interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain, CBG may help regulate mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology investigated the effects of CBG on animal models of anxiety and depression. The results indicated that CBG administration led to a significant reduction in anxiety-like behaviours and improved depressive symptoms. It displayed similar antidepressant qualities to CBD. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the potential use of CBG as a natural remedy for mental health disorders.

Furthermore, CBG’s unique mechanism of action sets it apart from traditional antidepressant and anxiolytic medications. While conventional treatments often come with undesirable side effects, CBG may offer a more tolerable and natural alternative. Many pharmaceutical antidepressants or SSRIs are addictive and can cause unwanted side effects like lethargy or loss of appetite. Because CBG is natural and milder, it has few if any noted side effects in users.

CBG and Neuroprotective Effects

Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, pose significant challenges in terms of treatment options. However, CBG has emerged as a potential candidate for neuroprotection.

Research indicates that it has antioxidant effects that help it prevent oxidative stress in the neurons. This helps mitigate the progression of neurodegenerative conditions. While the findings are preliminary, they raise hope for future therapeutic interventions. A study published in the Journal of Neurochemistry explored the neuroprotective effects of CBG in a mouse model of Huntington’s disease. The researchers observed that CBG administration led to a reduction in oxidative stress and improved motor function in the animals. These results suggest that CBG could potentially slow down the neurodegenerative processes associated with Huntington’s disease.

Moreover, CBG’s neuroprotective properties extend beyond Huntington’s disease. Studies have also shown promising results in models of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Uses of CBG

Aside from its potential health benefits, CBG has various uses in different fields. Let’s explore some of them.

CBG in the Medical Field

The medical field is continuously exploring the potential applications of CBG. Researchers are studying CBG’s effectiveness in conditions such as glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease, and bladder dysfunction. CBG’s diverse properties make it a compelling target for further research and potential integration into medical treatments.

Everyday Uses of CBG

CBG is not limited to medical applications; it has potential everyday uses as well. Cosmetic companies are exploring CBG’s benefits in skincare products due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Like CBD it can help with eczema, acne and other skin conditions by reducing bacterial irritation and skin inflammation. Additionally, CBG-infused products such as oils, tinctures, and edibles are gaining popularity among wellness enthusiasts seeking natural alternatives to artificially produced health products.

The Side Effects and Risks of CBG

While CBG appears promising in terms of its potential benefits, it is essential to address the possible side effects and risks associated with its use.

Side Effects

As with any natural compound or medication, CBG may have side effects. However, the existing research suggests that CBG has a favourable safety profile, with minimal adverse effects reported. Some potential side effects of CBG include dry mouth, dizziness, and mild gastrointestinal discomfort. These effects are generally mild and temporary.

Who Should Avoid CBG?

While CBG is considered safe for most individuals, certain groups should exercise caution or avoid its use:

  1. Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Due to limited research on CBG’s effects on pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is generally advisable for women in these stages to err on the side of caution and avoid CBG use.
  2. Individuals taking medications: Like CBD, CBG may interact with certain medications, particularly those metabolized by specific enzymes in the liver. If you are taking any medications, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBG. For those with compromised livers or immune systems, it’s advisable to avoid it altogether.
  3. Minors: While CBG is generally considered safe for adults, its effects on the developing bodies and brains of minors are not yet fully understood. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before considering CBG for minors or steering clear.

How to Use CBG

Now that we have explored the potential uses and benefits of CBG, let’s examine the different methods of using this cannabinoid.

CBG Oils and Tinctures

One of the most popular ways to incorporate CBG into your routine is through oils and tinctures. These products are typically taken sublingually (under the tongue) for optimal absorption. Start with a low dosage and gradually increase as needed, keeping in mind individual variations in tolerance and response. You can often find products containing CBG alone as an isolated cannabinoid, or look for full-spectrum CBD options which will contain CBG in varying quantities. 

CBG-Infused Edibles

If you prefer a more convenient and discreet method of consumption, CBG-infused edibles are worth exploring. These include CBG gummies, chocolates, and other treats. However, it is important to note that the onset and duration of effects may be more delayed compared to other methods due to the digestive process. 

Topical CBG Products

For targeted relief, CBG-infused topical products such as creams, balms, and salves can be applied directly to the skin. These products may help alleviate localized discomfort and inflammation. As with any new product, it is advisable to start with conservative dosages and gradually increase as needed while observing any potential effects or interactions.


CBG, the “mother cannabinoid,” holds immense potential in terms of its uses and benefits. From its potential pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties to its applications in skincare and mental health, CBG is an exciting area of research. While the existing body of research is still limited, the initial findings regarding CBG’s potential make it a compound worth exploring further. As always, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating CBG into your wellness routine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. As the scientific understanding of CBG continues to broaden, we can anticipate further discoveries and a better appreciation of its role in promoting well-being and health.