It only seems a moment ago that CBD was the new miracle ingredient everyone was talking about. But just when we were getting used to adding that to our coffee, there’s another a new cannabinoid making its way into our routines. Meet CBG, or cannabigerol, and Tim Richardson, CEO of Puregenics, to tell us why he decided to incorporate it into his range.
Let’s start with the basics. What is CBG?
“CBG is a well-known cannabinoid found in the hemp plant in small amounts, but in higher concentrations. It starts out as an acidic-based cannabinoid called CBGA (cannabigerolic acid), and synthesises into others like THCA, CBDA and CBCA. Then through heat and sunlight, the acid burns off and the cannabinoids synthesise into THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN or THCY. Without CBGA, none of these well-known cannabinoids would exist, which is why CBG is known as ‘the mother of all cannabinoids’.
“It’s crucial CBG is harvested at the right time, and it is normally extracted in the early stages of flowering (between the sixth and eighth week) when the compound is at its highest and best quality.”
What’s the difference between CBD and CBG?
“While CBD and CBG are both non-psychoactive cannabinoids, CBG plays a role in the overall chemical composition of the cannabis plant. It’s also part of the synthesis of other cannabinoids, and is known as the parent substance and first form of cannabinoids THC, CBD and CBC.
“As CBG is mostly converted into other cannabinoids like CBD and THC, most hemp plants only contain trace amounts of it, unlike CBD. In fact, a high-CBD hemp strain might contain as much as 20 per cent CBD and only 1 per cent of CBG. That means it takes huge amounts of biomass (hemp plant material) to produce a tiny amount of CBG.”
Does its rarity affect its cost?
“Yes, CBG is a lot more expensive because there’s so little of it found in the hemp plant. That means it’s harder to isolate and extract, which involves a lot more production, and therefore, cost. But from the small amount of studies that have shown the potential benefits of CBG, researchers think it could be the next big cannabinoid to go mainstream.”
What are the potential benefits of CBG?
“Like CBD, CBG binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, affecting receptors in the brain and throughout the rest of the body. CBG also has the ability to act as a mild CB1 receptor antagonist, without the psychoactive effects of THC.
“While there have only been a small amount of studies and research done around CBG, there’s evidence it could contribute towards pain relief, have anti-inflammatory effects, reduce anxiety, nausea, improve appetite and even have anti-cancer effects. It’s also shown to have improved symptoms of diseases like glaucoma, Huntington’s disease, bladder dysfunctions and inflammatory bowel disease.
“We have to remember that CBG is still being explored, so it’s very early days to know for sure what benefits it could have on us, but we’re really excited to see what could come from future research.”
Have any side effects been discovered so far?
“There’s still a lot more research to do, but no specific side effects have been identified when taking CBG. From what we know with CBD, side effects are rare, but can happen if you take too much or haven’t found the right dosage.
“Currently, there’s also no known interactions when combining CBG with medications. But we do know that with CBD, although side effects aren’t common, if you don’t talk to your doctor, you could put yourself at risk of mild, low blood pressure, dry mouth, light-headedness, sedation, decreased fertilisation capacity, as well as reduced activity of T and B cells and P-glycoprotein.
“If you’re taking medications that come with a grapefruit warning, you also need to be aware before you take CBD or CBG. CBD can bind to the same enzymes that grapefruit does – specifically CYP450 enzymes – which could take your body longer to process the drug and increase levels in the bloodstream.
“We always recommend you have a chat with your doctor before you take CBD or CBG.”
Why did you decide to incorporate CBG into your range?
“We wanted to be able to offer something to everyone, and give our customers quality products they deserve. We incorporated CBG into our range because of the very specific, potential benefits it could have. Whether you’re new to the CBD/CBG world, or have used the products for years, you should be able to find something to suit you. Currently, we sell 1,000mg, 3,000mg, 6,000mg and 9,000mg of CBD oil, and 1,000mg and 2,000mg of CBG oil.”
Do you think more brands will follow your lead in offering CBG products?
“Definitely! Farmers are already looking for strains with high CBG content and have recently been cutting their cannabis in the early stages of development (budding phase), which means scientists can extract far more CBGA than in the vegetative and flowering stages.
“From the studies and research that have already been done, we hope there’s more exploration on CBD, and particularly CBG, so it could possibly be used by healthcare systems like the NHS on treatments it’s already shown potential to help with.”
After planting its first hemp seed on its own farm in Andalucia, Spain, Puregenics began ethically and sustainably harvesting high-quality CBD in 2019. It has since grown its range to include one of the strongest doses in the UK and now CBG. You can shop it here.