CBG - The mother of all cannabinoids

by Tim W. Shaw June 02, 2020

CBG - The mother of all cannabinoids

Despite being one of the lesser known cannabinoids, Cannabigerol (CBG) has been tipped as the next to hit the bigtime. From its discovery in 1964, CBG has been seen as less relevant than CBD and THC, but that’s all about to change.

Since the rise of CBD, scientists have been hoping to find the next beneficial cannabinoid. Of all those studied so far, Cannabigerol (CBG) shows the most potential. It’s non-intoxicating, is vital to the production of other cannabinoids and delivers effects that are similar to CBD.

What is CBG?  

Hemp plantCBG is one of the many cannabinoids found in the plants of the cannabis genus. It is present in small amounts and often makes up less than 1% of the weight of cannabinoid extracts. Like other cannabinoids, it influences the human body via a system of chemicals and receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Studies have found that CBG interacts with the ECS in more than one way. It binds directly with chemical receptors as well as interacting with enzymes involved in related processes. CBD works with enzymes in a similar way but doesn’t bind with ECS receptors. With more links to your body systems, it’s likely that CBG may have a broader range of effects.

CBG is found in full-spectrum CBD oils where it plays a role in the entourage effect. This is the enhanced effect produced when CBD is accompanied by traces of other cannabinoids. Now, CBG oil is also available to buy, so, you can add higher concentrations of this beneficial cannabinoid to your supplement routine.

Why is CBG important? 

As well as potentially playing a role in the future of food supplements, CBG is vital to the production of several main cannabinoids. Cannabinoids first occur in hemp as acidic precursors; it is only when they are exposed to UV light or heat that they are converted into their active forms in a process called decarboxylation.

CBD moleculeThe acidic form of CBG is called cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), and it is the first cannabinoid to be produced in young hemp/cannabis plants. As the plant develops, enzymes facilitate the breakdown of CBGa and it goes on to form new substances. The cannabinoids formed in these reactions are THCa, CBDa and CBCa.

When decarboxylation occurs, these acids become THC, CBD, and CBC, which are the most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis or hemp. Any remaining CBGa becomes CBG when decarboxylated.

In cannabis varieties that have extremely high levels of THC and CBD, most of the CBGa has been used up in the creation of the main cannabinoids, so there will be minimal amounts in the flower. As a result, low THC varieties of cannabis, like hemp, are the best places to find CBG. Scientists and breeders have begun to produce plants with high levels of CBG and harvest the buds early to extract the CBGa before it is broken down.

The benefits of CBG 

happy active womanBecause CBG interacts with both receptors and enzymes, researchers believe that it’s likely to produce numerous effects on the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout your central and peripheral nervous system meaning that the presence of CBG could have an influence on most areas of your body.

By interacting with receptors and blocking enzymes, CBG may support the ECS’ role in your body’s homeostatic mechanism. This is a collection of actions taken by your body systems to keep them in a healthy balance. For example, they can moderate your temperature, and influence many other factors. If your body can quickly respond to any imbalances, it will likely be better able to maintain good health. 


CBG CBD OilBoth CBD and CBG are chemical descendants of CBGa. They are both non-intoxicating cannabinoids and when consumed, have a range of effects that are beneficial to your health. However, despite their similarities, they have a different chemical structure, work in different ways and produce some different effects.

When it comes to producing CBD and CBG for use as food supplements or for research, CBD is more readily available. It is found in more significant amounts and can be extracted relatively easily. To produce a similar amount of CBG, requires large amounts of raw hemp plant material.

As a result, at the moment it’s more expensive to buy CBG oil than products containing CBD. However, improvements in harvesting techniques and new CBG rich hemp strains may result in better process in the future.


When it comes to the benefits and potential of the hemp plant, CBD is likely just the beginning of what is possible. With some developments and further research, CBG could well become a useful companion to CBD or a well-known cannabinoid in its own right.

Not only are CBG and its precursor CBGa the mother of all cannabinoids, but they also represent the next step in cannabinoid research.

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Tim W. Shaw
Tim W. Shaw


Tim W. Shaw writes extensively about CBD oil, cannabis and other groundbreaking food supplements. He and his wife share their home with two daughters and a lifetime’s collection of books.

1 Response


June 17, 2020

Fantastic article! I know a lot about CBD but it was very interesting to learn a bit more about CBG. Thanks for sharing!

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