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The legalization of industrial hemp has led to increased use of cannabinoid compounds. Cannabis plants have more than 100 known compounds like CBD, CBG, and THC. The commonly used are CBD and CBG because of their therapeutic effects. On the other hand, THC is psychotropic, induces a high feeling, and alters perception; THC is legal in most countries or restricted to medicinal use. CBG is processed into various products for easy consumption and to increase bioavailability.
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol, CBG, is a cannabis compound extracted from young hemp plants. All cannabinoids exist has CBGA, an acidic form of CBG. As the plant matures, CBGA breaks into various compounds. Notably, CBG is the least abundant cannabinoid. Due to interbreeding, farmers have developed hemp plant strains with more CBG. Hemp plant strains for CBG tend to have whitish buds, which explain their names like the 'white,' the 'white whale,' 'white widow,' and 'jack frost.'
What Is the Difference Between Cannabigerol and Cannabidiol?
The main difference between cannabigerol and cannabinoids is the source. Unlike CBD, extracted from mature hemp, CBG comes from a young plant hemp plant. This CBG is about 1% of hemp component, making it rare and expensive. CBD and CBG differ in how they interact with the endocannabinoid system; CBG binds directly to the ECS receptors, while CBD binds indirectly. Cannabidiol activates CB1 and CB2 receptors, while CBG blocks the receptors.
How is CBG Made?
CBG is extracted from young hemp plant strains with a high amount of CBG, like the white whale. The plants are washed and cured before the extraction process starts. The solvent and alcohol extraction methods are primarily used to extract CBG. CO2 in the supercritical condition is used as a solvent, while ethanol is used in alcohol extraction. The extracted CBG is filtered and refined using distillation. A sample of the CBG is taken to a third-party lab for further analysis. The lab checks for product potency, cannabinoid profile, contaminants, and heavy metals.
Certificate of Analysis
After analysis, the lab results are published on a certificate of analysis, COA. The product potency is the amount of CBG labeled as mg. The cannabinoid profile lists all cannabinoids present in the CBG with their respective percentage amounts. Contaminants tested are both organic and chemicals like pesticides. Lead is the common heavy metal tested. The hemp plant is very delicate; it can absorb many materials from the soil. Farmers are encouraged to practice organic farming to reduce chemical contaminations. The COA is uploaded to the company's website and made accessible by scanning the product's QR code.
Benefits of CBG products
CBG Improve Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic digestive tract inflammation (Evans, 2020). Its common characteristics are abdominal pain and diarrhea. Inflammatory bowel disease comprises Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease affects the small intestines, while ulcerative colitis affects the colon and rectum. According to Borrelli et al. (2013), CBG can treat inflammatory bowel diseases.
CBG Help with ADHD
ADHD is a genetic condition characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity; it is diagnosed in childhood and lasts until adulthood. ADHD can also result from exposure to lead, tobacco, and alcohol during pregnancy. Behavior therapy and medications are used in treating ADHD. According to Dawson & Persad (2021), taking CBG can inhibit the Alpha-2 receptors, thus regulating heart rate and blood pressure; this will improve the symptoms of ADHD.
CBG Improve symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye condition in which the optic nerve is damaged by abnormally high pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. Seeing halos around light sources, pain in the eye, and redness are the common symptoms of Glaucoma. According to Afflitto et al. (2022), CBG can be used to treat Glaucoma because it reduces the intraocular pressure on the vasodilator neuroprotectant.
Using CBG can help improve Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease is a genetic condition that causes the degeneration of nerve cells; this can affect movements, thinking, and psychiatric disorders. The common symptoms are memory lapse, clumsiness, and depression. The symptoms usually start in the 30s or 40s but may appear in the 20s. According to Valdeolivas et al. (2015), CBG creates a barrier protecting neurons and the progression of Huntington's disease.
Different Types of CBG Products
CBG gummies are CBG-infused chewable. They are ingestible products that mask the taste of CBG oil; they are fruit flavored and have a uniform amount of CBG.
CBG capsules are pill-like products filled with CBG oil or concentrate. The capsules also have a uniform amount of CBG and are ingested.
CBG disposables are CBG vape pens filled with CBG vape juice; once the vape juice is used, the vape pen is disposed of. Other vape pens include cartridges that can be refilled or replaced.
CBG isolates are pure cannabis extracts with 98% CBG. They are CBG and areusually in powdered form. You can infuse the isolate in baking, cookies, or vaping products.
CBG drinks are made by mixing CBG oil with a drink like water or coffee. Nanotechnology is used to make a water-soluble CBG; the water-soluble are made by mixing CBG with MCT or coconut oil. CBG drinks are a better option for hydrating while benefiting from CBG's therapeutic properties.
A CBG crumble is a high contraction extract hemp plant with a waxy consistency that can easily break. You can vaporize the crumble for inhalation or melt it into oil or fat that can be added to meals and drinks.
CBG and the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is a network of nerves responsible for sending, transmitting, and receiving signals. The ECS was discovered in the late 90s. It is made up of receptors, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. The receptors send or receive signals, and the neurotransmitters carry the signals, while the enzymes break down the neurotransmitters after carrying signals. The role of ECS is to maintain balance within the body, like the body temperature and blood sugar levels. CBG binds with the ECS directly but does not stimulate the receptors. The CBG's close resemblance with the body's neurotransmitters allows it to bind to the system. The neurotransmitter is made of a protein molecule and is easily broken down upon signal transmission.
Is CBG Legal in the UK?
The UK government legalized industrial hemp for medicinal use in 2018. The law also legalized cannabis compounds like CBD and CBG. Even though hemp-derived CBG is legal, there are strict regulations. THC in CBG products should not exceed 0.2%, which is still illegal according to the Misuse of Drugs act 1971. Producers must obtain the Home Office License. You must be a licensed medical distributor to sell CBG products in the UK. Smoking hemp plant materials is illegal even if they contain 0.2% THC or less. Labeling of CBG products must be in line with the 2003 Food Supplement regulations. Skincare and cosmetics must adhere to the cosmetic safety report.
Does Taking CBG to Get You High?
Taking CBG cannot get you high because the compound is non-psychotropic. Taking CBG is stimulating, but it does not affect perception like THC. Taking THC by smoking or ingesting it stimulates receptors or alters perception. Some CBG products may contain 0.2%THC, insufficient to induce a high feeling. The role of THC and another cannabinoid present in that product is for the entourage effect. According to Ferber et al. (2020), the entourage effect is that cannabinoids work better when used together. Taking CBG cannot fail you a drug test because drug tests do not detect CBG.
How to Take CBG?
The inhalation method involves using vape devices to vaporize and smoke CBG. The vape pens contain vape juice, although users can vape CBG oil and concentrate using the same devices. The vape pen has a mouthpiece for drawing a puff, a tank for the vape juice, and a battery to power the device. It also has an atomizer that holds the vape juice. The battery powers the atomizer to vaporize the contents for inhalation. The vape pen is turned on by pressing a power button. After drawing a puff, users should wait for five minutes before drawing another puff.
The sublingual method involves taking CBG oil drops. The method is relatively faster when compared to ingestion. The CBG oil drops are placed under the tongue and held for at least a minute. You can hold the content for a few minutes to maximize absorption. The capillaries and tissues in the sublingual glands will absorb the CBG into the bloodstream. At least 40% of CBG enters circulation. The downside of the sublingual method is that users experience the grassy CBG taste.
The ingestion method involves taking CBG products like gummies and capsules. You can ingest the oil by adding it to meals and drinks. The CBG undergoes metabolism before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Metabolism makes the ingestion method slow; you can feel the effect of CBG after an hour, depending on how fast your metabolism is and the product potency. The best time to ingest CBG is after eating; fats and oil increase the bioavailability of CBG.
The topical method involves using CBG products like lotions and creams. To use CBG topicals, apply a given amount to your skin or knee and massage it until the cream is completely absorbed. The skin contains ECS receptors that bind with CBG (de Almeida & Devi, 2020). The cannabis product enters the localized area's small blood vessels and capillaries. You can feel the effect of CBG after an hour. CBG products should not be applied to open wounds because the ingredients used might not be safe.
How to Shop for CBG Products
The cannabinoid market is filled with many products partially because the government does not regulate it. In such instances, you need to be vigilant to avoid fake products. The following factors determine good quality products;
Product potency is the concentration of CBG used in a product. It is labeled as mg/ml on the product. Knowing the strength of CBG in a product will help you calculate your dose and avoid overdosing.
Source of the CBG
CBG extracted from other cannabis plants like marijuana is illegal. Extracts from marijuana have high THC levels. The UK government has only legalized industrial hemp strains as the source of CBG.
Price of the CBG Product
CBG products are pricey because of the expensive cultivation and extraction. Some common extraction processes may be dangerous, especially alcohol extraction; cheap CBG products may not be genuine.
The product label is not enough to outline finer details like the cannabinoid profile. The COA will give details such as the percentage of THC in the product. Scanning the product QR code is easier and faster when accessing the COA.
Buy Direct from the Producer
You can buy CBG products direct from the producer through their websites. Most producers have shipping and return policies which most retailers do not offer. Buying from the producer is another way you can avoid buying fake products.
Frequently Asked Questions about CBG Products
Is CBG the Same as CBD?
CBG and CBD are different compounds in cannabis plants. CBD constitutes about 20% of the hemp plant content. In contrast, CBG is domiciled in young cannabis plants. CBD is extracted from mature plants because young plants have CBGA, an acidic form of CBG; as the plant matures, CBGA breaks into different cannabinoids. CBG is found in interbreed strains of the hemp plant with whitish flower buds.
Can You Fail a Drug Test By Taking CBG?
You cannot fail a drug test because of CBG. Drug tests do not detect CBG but abuse substances like THC. Taking CBG with full-spectrum cannabis components may accumulate THC in the body to detectable amounts, but this is after a very prolonged period.
What is My CBG Dosage?
Dosing on CBG products is not similar to pharmacological medication; the difference in potencies and how people tolerate CBG determine the dosage. You can work out your optimal CBG dose by starting with a small amount and gradually increasing it; you can also note how each dose affects you. Feeling the effect of CBG indicates your optimal dose, and if you go beyond, you might overdose and experience some dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.
Why is CBG Expensive?
CBG is expensive because cultivating the hemp plant is expensive, and the processes of extraction of CBG are expensive and can be dangerous because of the high temperatures and alcohol. Organic farming is expensive compared to chemical farming. Organic farming is crucial because the hemp plant can absorb many chemicals from the soil that contaminate the extracted CBG.
Is CBG Legal? - What Are the Age Restrictions for CBG?
CBG and other cannabis compounds like CBD are legal in the UK, and the age restriction is 18 years. You can buy CBG] products if you are above 18 years. Sometimes you may be asked to produce your driving license for age verifications. Smoking hemp plant materials like leaves, flowers, and buds are illegal in the UK, even if they are THC free.
Can You Inhale CBG Oil?
You can inhale CBG oil by using a vaporizer or a vape pen. The battery in the vape will power the atomizer, which will vaporize CBG oil into an inhalable vapor.
CBG is extracted from young hemp plants, while CBD is from mature plants. Taking CBG can improve conditions like Glaucoma, ADHD, Huntington's disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. The cannabis derivative can be taken through inhalation, sublingual, ingestion, or topical methods. CBG product determines the method of consumption. The Cannabis derivative was approved for medical application in the UK in 2018, although smoking hemp plant material remains illegal. Taking CBG will not get you high or fail you a drug test. However, overdosing may result in undesirable side effects.
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Borrelli, F., Fasolino, I., Romano, B., Capasso, R., Maiello, F., Coppola, D., ...& Izzo, A. A. (2013). The beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease. Biochemical Pharmacology, 85, 1306-1316.
Dawson, D. A., & Persad, C. P. (2021). Targeting the Endocannabinoid System in the Treatment of ADHD. Genet Mol Med, 3(1), 1-7.
de Almeida, D. L., & Devi, L. A. (2020). Diversity of molecular targets and signaling pathways for CBD. Pharmacology research & perspectives, 8(6), e00682
Evans, J. (2020). The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol. Fair Winds Press.
Ferber, S. G., Namdar, D., Hen-Shoval, D., Eger, G., Koltai, H., Shoval, G., ...& Weller, A. (2020). The "Entourage Effect": Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Current Neuropharmacology, 18(2), 87.
Marinotti, O., &Sarill, M. (2020). Differentiating full-spectrum hemp extracts from CBD isolates: Implications for policy, safety and science. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 17(5), 517-526.
Valdeolivas, S., Navarrete, C., Cantarero, I., Bellido, M. L., Muñoz, E., & Sagredo, O. (2015). Neuroprotective properties of cannabigerol in Huntington's disease: studies in R6/2 mice and 3-nitropropionate-lesioned mice. Neurotherapeutics: the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(1), 185-199.
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