What is CBG Flower? Uses, Benefits, & Strains

Area 52
October 20, 2021 | Blog

CBG (cannabigerol) is commonly referred to as the “mother” of all other cannabinoids.

It’s the starting point for CBD, CBC, and THC within the cannabis plant.

CBG is also one of the few cannabinoids produced in high quantities in hemp flowers. This is done by harvesting the plant early before it has a chance to convert CBG to other cannabinoids.

This article discusses what CBG flower is, what it feels like, and much more.

What Is CBG Flower?

CBG flower is any hemp or marijuana flower that contains a high concentration of cannabigerol.

Cannabis flowers are usually the most cannabinoid-dense part of the plant (as opposed to leaves and stems), so it’s generally the part that’s used most.

CBG flower from hemp looks just like marijuana flower but has a minimal amount of delta 9 THC.

Legally, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC by weight, according to the Farm Bill of 2018. Anything higher is marijuana, which could be illegal where you live.

How Is CBG Flower Made?

CBG flower is grown naturally, just like marijuana and hemp flower that contains other cannabinoids

In fact, all cannabis plants at one point have a high CBGa (cannabigerolic acid) when they’re young.

CBGa is known as the mother of all cannabinoids because it’s the initial molecule the plant uses to produce the three major cannabinoids: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), and CBC (cannabichromene).

As the young cannabis plant ages, CBGa gradually transforms into other cannabinoids. Specific enzymes break down the CBG and turn it mostly into CBDa or THCa, but also CBCa. Heat and light turn these into CBD, THC, and CBC.

CBG flower is simply a cannabis flower that is harvested long before the plant matures. The young flower contains high amounts of CBG, which hasn’t yet converted to the other cannabinoids.

What Does CBG Feel Like?

CBG is not a psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it does not provide a high or intoxication, even in large doses.

Most people who use CBG report feeling energized — similar to how several cups of coffee might feel. Some people note that CBG seems to improve focus and concentration as well.

As such, CBG is a popular choice among students and athletes looking for endurance.

Nearly all users report feeling relaxed and mellow when consuming CBG — which may seem antithetical to its energizing benefits, but somehow it just works.

Others report the opposite, suggesting CBG has powerfully relaxing qualities that help them get to sleep at night.

CBG is a prime example of how cannabinoids interact differently depending on our individual physiology.

What Strains Are High In CBG?

Focus Image of the Hemp Plants

Technically, all cannabis strains are high in CBG before they mature. Harvesting any juvenile hemp or marijuana plant will result in high levels of CBG.

That said, several strains have been bred to produce higher levels of CBG than normal.

High CBG hemp strains include: 

  • White CBG
  • Sour G
  • John Snow
  • Jack Frost

Is CBG Natural or Synthetic?

CBG is a wholly natural cannabinoid that appears in young cannabis plants as CBGa. Through a process called decarboxylation, CBGa converts to CBG.

It’s uncommon for companies to synthesize or isomerize this cannabinoid because of how abundant it already is in cannabis plants. Nobody is saving any money creating this compound through chemistry. The most common extraction method is supercritical CO2 — the same process used to isolate CBD, THC, and delta 8.

Is CBG Flower Legal?

CBG remains in a gray area as far as legality goes, much like many other cannabinoids. CBG is not a scheduled compound, so it remains federally unregulated on its own, and it’s technically legal in all 50 states.

However, the source of the CBG flower affects its legality. 

Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug, which means all marijuana is federally illegal, not only plants but also its derivatives. Therefore, CBG flowers made from juvenile marijuana plants are illegal in the United States — except in the 18 legal marijuana states.

If CBG flower is from juvenile hemp plants (most common), it’s considered legal throughout the continental United States.

What Are the Effects of CBG Flower?

While CBG flower won’t get you high, most users report positive feelings, improved mood, heightened concentration, improved focus, and increased energy.

Most users also note that they feel a somewhat contradictory sense of relaxation when using CBG flowers, and some report a related relief of pain.

1. CBG & Focus

Early studies have shown CBG is an adrenergic agonist. The adrenergic system is involved with neurostimulation and wakefulness.

Coffee is a good example of an adrenergic agonist. It stimulates the adrenergic receptors in the brain and peripheral nervous system to produce a feeling of increased focus and wakefulness.

While CBG isn’t nearly as strong as coffee for this effect, it’s thought to play a critical role in its focus and productivity-enhancing effects.

2. CBG & Mood

CBG seems to activate anandamide receptors, boosting dopamine production.

Anandamide is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the human body that experts believe is closely linked to mood. It’s sometimes referred to as the “bliss molecule” for this reason.

3. CBG & Relaxation

Experts maintain that CBG inhibits GABA even more than THC and CBD.

GABA is a neurotransmitter that’s linked to feelings of anxiety and stress.

When GABA uptake is suppressed, the central nervous system is limited in the signals it can send and receive, leaving the user feeling relaxed and calm. This might be the reason most users report feeling relaxed and mellowed when they consume CBG.

4. CBG & Pain Relief

GABA and dopamine regulate how we feel and manage pain. This is possibly why some CBG users report some pain relief.

How Does CBG Work?

Illustration of the Brain and the Receptors

The endocannabinoid system helps maintain homeostasis through a series of receptors and signalers across numerous bodily systems, such as the central nervous system (CNS), peripheral nervous system (PNS), and the immune system.

Once CBG enters the bloodstream, it attaches to endocannabinoid receptors, commonly referred to as CB1 and CB2. The receptors control signals sent both within and between the connected bodily systems, thereby allowing CBG to create different effects.

Will CBG Flower Get You High?

CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it has no significant effect on your state of mind.

It’s not intoxicating and will not produce a high.

Some CBG strains contain THC in psychoactive doses. Always check the THC content on any cannabis flowers you order. Anything over 1% THC has a chance of making you feel high.

How Do You Use CBG Flower?

You can consume CBG flowers just like any other cannabis flower. Most users tend to smoke it from a bowl, pipe, bong, joint, or blunt. By heating the CBG flower, the naturally high concentration of CBGa degrades into CBG, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.

CBG flower can also be used to make edibles, tinctures, and topicals. CBGa must first be decarboxylated using a low source of heat, resulting in a concentrated CBG. This is extracted and used for edibles and topicals or using alcohols or glycerin for tinctures.

You can also use a dry herb vape to use CBG flower. These devices are designed to heat the flower hot enough for the cannabinoids to evaporate without burning them. Dry herb vapes aren’t as harsh on the throat and lungs, and they do a better job at preserving the cannabinoids and terpenes that make these plants useful in the first place.

CBG vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

CBD is one of the most widely known cannabinoids, so many people wonder what the difference is between CBD and CBG, especially given how similar their names are.

First, it’s important to note that all CBD comes from CBG.

As for the effects, most users report similar experiences using CBD and CBG. For many people, CBD and CBG both act as sleep aid and provide relaxation, minor pain relief, and improved mood.

However, users note a boost of energy, focus, and concentration, while CBD users rarely report energy boosts or improved focus; more often, they note relaxation and sleepiness.

As far as legality, both CBD and CBG flowers are legal on a federal level, provided they are sourced from hemp, though a few states restrict hemp production and products.

Wrapping Up: Is CBG Flower Right for You?

CBG is the mother of all cannabinoids because it’s the primary one found in cannabis plants that eventually degrades into all others, including CBD and THC. Without CBG, no other cannabinoids would exist.

CBG does not produce any type of high. Instead, most CBG users report feelings of positivity and relaxation, reduced pain, and heightened energy, focus, and concentration. The potential medical benefits of CBG are unknown due to a lack of research, but scientists are hopeful that this cannabinoid will have proven medical applications in the future.

If you’re interested in trying CBG flower, be sure to check your local laws to be safe and always buy from a source that sells legal CBG flower derived from hemp plants.

References Used

  1. Cascio, M. G., Gauson, L. A., Stevenson, L. A., Ross, R. A., & Pertwee, R. G. (2010). Evidence that the plant cannabinoid cannabigerol is a highly potent α2‐adrenoceptor agonist and moderately potent 5HT1A receptor antagonist. British journal of pharmacology, 159(1), 129-141.
  2. Dawson, D. A., & Persad, C. P. (2021). Targeting the Endocannabinoid System in the Treatment of ADHD. Genet Mol Med, 3(1), 1-7.
  3. Teitelbaum, J. (2019). A hemp oil, CBD, and marijuana primer: powerful pain, insomnia, and anxiety-relieving tools. Altern. Ther. Health Med, 25, 21-23.

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