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A Quick Guide to Cannabinoids: CBG

  • by Charles McElroy

Cannabigerol—typically referred to as CBG—is one of the most frequently studied of the 140+ phytocannabinoids produced in the trichomes of the Cannabis sativa plant. Although CBG is nowhere near as well-known as THC or CBD, CBG-based oils, creams, tinctures, and isolate powders have begun to trickle into the market. But questions remain, such as:

Could CBG be a treatment option for certain medical symptoms?

Are there any drawbacks to using CBG?

Is CBG legal in the United States?

We’ll answer these questions and more in our quick guide to cannabigerol.

A Quick History of CBG

Raphael Mechoulam is a pioneer in the science behind cannabis. In 1964, Mechoulam and Israeli chemist Yehiel Gaoni discovered and isolated CBG. This was one of many contributions to our understanding of cannabinoids that Mechoulam spearheaded. He was also the force behind the discoveries, descriptions of molecular structures, and syntheses of THC, CBD, and various other cannabinoids.

54 years after Gaoni and Mechoulam’s efforts, CBG is legal in the United States. However, it is important to note that only CBG derived from hemp is federally legal. This dichotomy was set up by the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which stipulates that hemp and all of its derivatives are legal. The U.S. government defines hemp as cannabis with under 0.3% THC. That means that CBG derived from marijuana (cannabis with more than 0.3% THC) is illegal, but hemp-derived CBG is legal.

CBG is not scheduled under the United Nations’ Convention on Psychotropic Substances. That means that the UN does not exert any pressure on participant nations to enforce prohibition of CBG. Hopefully, we will see a holistic rethink on global cannabis policy in the near future.

The Science and Medicinal Benefits of CBG

CBG is one of the most abundant cannabinoids. It is formed when cannabigerolic acid (i.e. CBGA) is decarboxylated.

One interesting note about CBG is that not only does it not have psychoactive properties, but it works synergistically with CBD to reduce the “high” produced by THC.

The average CBG content in a cannabis cultivar is approximately 1%. CBG levels rarely exceed 1.5% in optimally-grown cannabis. If there are high CBG levels in your cannabis, this is a sign that a mutation may have occurred or that your cannabis may have been harvested too early.

Evidence suggests that CBG has medicinal properties. This cannabinoid is considered an:

Because side effects have been noted, we recommend that you consult with your doctor before using CBG or any other cannabinoids. Some of the side effects reported with CBG include:

  • Changes in Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Fatigue

If you’d like to track your progress with CBG (or any other cannabinoids or forms of cannabis), then we encourage you to pick up a Patient Journal. This handy medical cannabis companion will help you to discover the ideal therapeutic regimen for your unique presentation of symptoms.

CBG: A Closer Look Print by Goldleaf


We know that as a friend of Goldleaf, you’re just as passionate as we are about the science behind cannabis.

Why not show your support for responsible medicinal use of cannabis, personal autonomy, and scientific integrity by displaying our Chart of Cannabinoids Print in your home or office? This attractive infographic (presented in our aesthetically-pleasing minimalist style) makes a wonderful conversation starter and educational resource.

We thank you in advance for standing with us in normalizing cannabis.

Tagged with: Cannabis Education Wellness

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