CBG Isolate: 5 Things You Should Know About CBG
Move over, CBD. There’s a new cannabinoid on the block.
Well, not really. CBD doesn’t actually have to move over because it and CBG can work better together! But our point is that CBD is far from the only great compound to come from hemp. Recent research has been dialing in on another cannabinoid called CBG.
What is CBG Isolate?
CBG (Cannabigerol) is a cannabinoid. Chances are you’re very familiar with at least two other cannabinoids — THC and CBD — though there are many, many more. Mature hemp contains up to a hundred cannabinoids in total. CBG is typically one of the ‘trace’ ones, meaning most hemp varieties don’t contain more than a single percentage point of it.
Just like CBD, CBG can be isolated from the rest of hemp’s active ingredients and placed into a concentrated form. This concentrated form is a scentless, tasteless, and totally crystalline powder known as CBG isolate.
Because Cannabigerol isolate is 99+% CBG, it makes calculating one’s dose of this special cannabinoid easy. Buy a gram of CBG isolate and you’ll know it contains very close to 1,000 milligrams of CBG. CBG isolate can be added into baked goods, infused into beverages, or used when making homemade oils/tinctures.
How Is CBG Isolate Made?
Good question. The extraction process that produces it is actually very similar to the processes used for other cannabinoids.
The major difference is CBG isolate’s source. It can be distilled or fractionated out of hemp extracts… sometimes it’s even harvested from young hemp plants before they reach maturity. (More on why young plants would be used later.)
After extraction CBG is further purified and has its fatty acids and waxes removed. The end result is an extremely pure, extremely potent powder. One major downside to CBG is that these processes are usually more labor-intensive than the ones involved with making CBD. This is the main reason why CBG isolate isn’t cheap.
CBD vs. CBG
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG) have more things in common than they have differences. Both are terpenophenolic compounds, both are cannabinoids, both impact the human endocannabinoid system, both are non-psychotropic… the list goes on. Some studies imply that CBD and CBG may balance each other out. Once again, the major difference between these two cannabinoids is their sources. CBD may come from mature hemp’s CBDa component, but CBG is the cannabinoid that makes everything else possible.
Let us explain. When a tiny hemp seedling is just starting out, it doesn’t contain any cannabinoids at all. Instead, it’s rich in a common plant metabolite called olivetolic acid. As the plant grows, this acid is slowly converted by special enzymes to CBGa. That’s why harvesting and extracting young hemp plants is a viable way to produce CBG isolate.
Once a plant begins to mature into the flowering stage, though, its CBGa component starts to get slowly converted to CBDa. The exact same process occurs in cannabis plants — that’s because both CBD and THC and every other cannabinoid comes from CBG. It’s called the “mother cannabinoid” for a reason.
The health benefits of CBD oil and CBG isolate vary, too, although both cannabinoids seem to work by targeting specialized endocannabinoid receptors. More on CBG’s most important health benefits next.
It may combat inflammation.
When it comes to your health and wellness, feel free to think of inflammation as the root of all evils. Chronic inflammation has been linked to everything from diabetes to arthritis to cancer.
Now for some good news: CBG may be yet another cannabinoid up for the task of reducing it. A 2018 study described how the “neuroprotective effects of CBG” make it a likely candidate for future “potential treatment[s] against neuroinflammation and oxidative stress.” In other words, CBG may act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, both in the body and in the mind.
It may regulate the immune system.
This 2014 mouse study found that CBG regulated the immune system and prevented its cytokine levels from getting too high (sound familiar?). This could mean great things for those with hyperactive immune systems. The study’s authors concluded that CBG may alleviate “human immune diseases with both inflammatory and autoimmune components.
It may relieve glaucoma.
Another interesting potential benefit of CBG? It could help those with eye problems. A 2011 study affirmed that both CBD and CBG acted on cannabinoid receptors in the eye en route to reducing what’s called intraocular pressure. This, in turn, could make CBG isolate great for glaucoma… but more research is needed before we know for sure.
It may alleviate IBS symptoms.
One study found that CBG may improve colon function and raise the gut’s level of an important molecule called superoxide dismutase. CBG may also be anti-microbial; that adds another layer to its potential for those with IBS or gut dysbiosis. Translation: CBG helped the body produce its own antioxidants… in the process making IBS a little less irritable.
We still have lots to learn.
As great as all these benefits may be, the stuff we’ve uncovered so far is still in its infancy. More research is needed before we can be fully confident in CBG — but here’s to hoping this research picks up in the near future.