Move over, CBD. It's time for CBG, the "mother of all cannabinoids" to shine.
By now, most of us understand that cannabis is about a lot more than THC. Hundreds of products claim that some trace amount of CBD in their snacks, skincare products, and tinctures heal all wounds. However, as we learn more about how the whole cannabis plant interacts with the body, many of us are eager to explore the hundreds of other chemical compounds in the cannabis plant and benefit from their various rumored effects.
There are at least 113 cannabinoids, the category of chemical compounds that includes THC, CBD, CBG, and others that all have differing effects. THC is the only psychotropic (read: gets you high) cannabinoid, though some can benefit your mood, like CBD. CBG is the chemical compound each of these cannabinoids evolve from as a cannabis plant matures, though it's only psychoactive, not psychotropic. In other words, it helps a ton with stress and anxiety, but doesn't get you baked.
CBG has a lot of other potential benefits, too. Though federal funding limitations and remaining stigma means there haven't been any clinical trials on CBG, pre-clinical trials have shown promise. One trial in Israel, showed that CBG reduced the proliferation of cancer cells. Other animal studies show that CBG may reduce inflammation in the brain and the digestive tract. Beyond clinical trials, many people (including yours truly) find CBG particularly helpful for symptoms of PMS, generalized anxiety, and chronic stress.
From a scientific perspective, CBG binds at the same receptors in the body as THC and CBD, says Daniel Sondheim, a research scientist at emulsion supplier company SoRSE Technology. However unlike CBD, which is an "antagonist" at these receptors, CBG is an "agonist," meaning that if CBD doesn't quite alleviate the symptoms you're trying to treat, CBG might because of the different process by which it functions in the body. Additionally, while CBG is currently harder to find in some dispensaries, Sondheim says we can expect even more CBG products in the future. "There are some cultivars and techniques that could increase CBG in the plant," he says.
Some companies have streamlined that process already, and have created some of the first CBG products to hit the market. Here's some CBG products that might make you say "OMG." Give them a try and enjoy a blissed-out summer.
Xula Mhm! Tincture: CBG Meets CBD + Herbs to Soothe Lady Pains and Mood Swings
(Courtesy of Xula)
Xula is the hottest new hemp brand on the market, and for good reason. The Black and Latinx, women-owned company touts a decidedly inclusive product line tailored to a woman's hormonal "moon cycle." Each tincture and balm they create is infused with careful cannabinoid ratios and other supporting medicinal herbs, specifically designed for periods of menstruation, menopause, and specific symptoms like cramping and PMS. Their Mhm! tincture is made for taking month-round to smooth out the ups and downs of your hormonal cycle and alleviate irritating mood swings around that time of the month. It includes 125 milligrams CBG in addition to 750 milligrams CBD, red raspberry leaf, burdock root, lemon balm, linden flowers, lemon verbena, and turmeric root. I'm not sure what chemical reactions all those herbs make in my body, but I do know this product works wonders for hormonal moodiness. Rumor has it menopausal people love their Whew! tincture, which is tailored to their bodies, too. // $79, available locally at Poet & the Bench, 11 Throckmorton Ave, poetandthebench.com and online at xula.us.
Mom Grass CBG Joints: A Low Dose Smoke That Melts Anxiety Away
Veteran stoners might remember cannabis back in the good old days, before it was bred for extremely high potency—you know, when you could smoke a joint down to the bottom without getting blitzed out of your mind. That's the thinking behind the company Dad Grass, which makes low dose joints out of hemp "like your dad used to smoke." Their flagship products are the Dad Grass joints, high in CBD and with less than .3 percent THC. Now, their CBG Mom Grass joints have hit the market, and they're some of the most cost-effective CBG herb products around. Each spliff contains 15.1 percent CBG, so the effects are strong, too. Though they don't get you high, they melt away anxiety much like a CBD joint does, with a little added focus and a little less sleepiness. // $10-$35, available online at dadgrass.com
Tonic's Outer Space CBG Body Butter: The Solution for Stubbornly Dry Skin
(Courtesy of Tonic)
In addition to all the benefits CBG has for our mind and mood, it also does wonders on the skin. CBG is known to aid in lipogenesis, which is the process by which skin cells create oils and fats. This means it's even better than your standard humectants, which add moisture to the skin, in that it actually helps your skin cells find a healthy equilibrium on their own. A balm high in CBG is great for really stubborn dry patches and skin conditions which can create flaky skin like psoriasis. Our own experimentation also revealed it can help tremendously with keratosis polaris, the skin condition that creates tiny bumps most commonly on the upper arms, elbows, and knees. Tonic's Outer Space CBG Body Butter has 500 milligrams CBD and 250 milligrams CBG, as well as other powerful ingredients like shea, mango, and cocoa butter, aloe vera gel, and the trademarked concentrate Soline (a distilled and concentrated sunflower oil). Better yet, it has a delicious, spicy smell and comes in an entirely recyclable tin. // $65, available online at tonicvibes.com
Level CBG Protabs: Long-Lasting CBG-Dominant Edibles
The problem with tinctures and joints is that the effects don't last very long. For this reason edibles have long been the way-to-go for medical patients but, unfortunately, because CBG is only just now gaining in popularity, CBG-dominant edibles are hard to find. However, the San Francisco-based company Level has us covered. They specialize in producing concentrated tablets of specific cannabinoids, including rarely used ones like CBG, THCV, and THCA, as well as a wide range of ratios combining multiple cannabinoids for specifically tailored effects. The tablets are small—about 5 millimeters in diameter—and contain 25 milligrams of CBG per tab. Ten tabs come in each of the small, pocket-sized boxes. However, if that dose is more than you need, the tablets are also scored down the middle and easy to split. They're discreet, kick in a little bit faster than most edibles, and effects last for three to six hours making the products a crowd favorite for medical and recreational consumers alike. // $36-$40, available online at Sava and Caliva