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What Is CBG (and Is It the New CBD)?
Extract Labs

At this point, is there anyone who hasn’t tried or heard of CBD? (Aunt Kathy swears by it for her aching joints, your bestie rubs it on her face and even your dog can get in on the action.) Just when we thought we’d reached peak CBD, we came across CBG, another cannabis-derived ingredient that’s making waves in the wellness world. But what is CBG—and should you try it? Here’s what you need to know about this buzzy acronym.

Wait, remind me what CBD is again? The marijuana plant contains dozens of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it won’t get you high or, um, give you the munchies. (The euphoria-inducing cannabinoid that you may remember from your college days is called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.) Research on CBD has shown that it can be helpful for preventing seizures and reducing anxiety. It may even help combat cancer

Got it. So what exactly is CBG? Cannabigerol (aka CBG) is another nonpsychoactive cannabinoid that comes from the cannabis plant. CBG is being touted as the new CBD for its potential medicinal properties, although it’s important to note that there haven’t been any clinical (i.e., human) trials yet. However, some evidence shows that CBG may help with inflammatory bowel disease and neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s disease. It may also have antibacterial and anticancer properties. But again, there hasn’t been a whole lot of research on CBG, largely because it’s present in minute amounts in the cannabis plant (typically less than 1 percent), which can make it expensive and difficult to study. 

How is CBG different from CBD? While they’re both cannabinoids that won’t get you high, CBG and CBD are different compounds within the cannabis plant. CBG (or rather its acidic form, CBGA) is actually one of the first cannabinoid acids to develop in the plant and helps to make CBD (as well as THC). While both have been studied for their potential benefits, they help treat different conditions. 

OK, let’s say I’m curious. How do I try CBG? Like CBD, you can ingest CBG orally (in tablets, liquid, vapor or food) or apply it topically. Extract Labs has a CBG oil featuring a 1-to-1 ratio of CBG to CBD that can be applied to the tongue or mixed with food. Or check out Flower Child’s CBG salve that you can rub onto your body. But here’s the thing: There’s no clear evidence that using either product (or any CBG product for that matter) will do much of anything (including chill you out). And while there haven’t been any reported negative side effects of CBG, there hasn’t really been enough research on it either. Bottom line: CBG may be the next CBD, but until we know more, just make sure to talk to your doctor before trying it, OK?

RELATED: Is CBD Oil Just One Big Marketing Gimmick? (Don’t @ Me)

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