Is CBG the New CBD?

A new cannabis plant molecule is growing on marijuana advocates

Jenni Gritters
Elemental
Published in
8 min readJul 8, 2019

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Credit: Cattytonic/iStock/Getty Images Plus

WWhen Shango Los, founder of the cannabis education organization VIMEA and host of the Shaping Fire podcast, first met Judy* (name changed), she was struggling with overwhelming anxiety that had started to get in the way of her everyday life. She was exhausted, even if she only went out to buy groceries. Getting her work done felt like a daily struggle and she says her prescribed SSRIs offered more negative side effects than help.

Judy initially approached Los because she knew he had been teaching people in her local community about cannabis as an alternative treatment. Los first recommended that Judy use cannabidiol, or CBD, to treat her anxiety. She took a dose of a ratio of 2-to-1 CBD to THC every day, and found that her anxiety started to ebb a bit. Then, Los introduced her to CBG, a new-to-the-market cannabinoid, which she swallowed in a capsule filled with extracted cannabis oil from a rare marijuana plant that was high in CBG. Judy was stunned: Her anxiety decreased immediately.

Now, she is less exhausted and says she can spend time with her friends in the evening. She has the energy to cook for herself and her family, and her life has improved overall. For all of this, Judy credits CBG, which she now takes almost daily (alternating with a few other cannabis tinctures) as part of her therapeutic regime.

Chemically, CBG is the big brother of CBD and THC.

If Judy and Los are right, CBG might be the next big thing. The lesser-known cannabinoid, touted by cannabis advocates to be even more effective than CBD for anxiety and chronic pain, could even follow in CBD’s market-disrupting footsteps. But because CBG research is at a very early stage and mostly based on animal models, scientists are skeptical.

CBG vs. CBD vs. THC: A Primer

A good way to understand CBG is to step back and take a look at the cannabis plant as a whole. The plant produces a number of cannabinoids, which are molecules in marijuana or hemp plants that act on the cannabinoid receptors — part of the endocannabinoid system — in the brain. You’ve probably heard of the two most common cannabinoids: THC and CBD.

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Jenni Gritters
Elemental

I’m a writer and business coach for freelance creatives based in Central Oregon. I write about the psychology of small business ownership.