Back to All Posts

CBG Side Effects You Should Know

Share this post

CBG or cannabigerol-focused hemp extracts are becoming a prominent health and wellness supplement as extraction methods and cannabis breeding become more sophisticated.

While it's still not as well-known as the main cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), researchers are turning their attention to CBG for potential medical benefits.

CBG has been shown to have some therapeutic benefits in preclinical studies, but there is still limited information on its safety in the human body. This blog post will discuss the research on the potential benefits of CBG and safety. We will also explore the potential risks associated with using CBG.

The Takeaway: 

  1. Cannabigerol is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It makes up less than 0.1% of the phytochemical profile of mature plants. 
  2. CBG is most concentrated in young cannabis plants as CBG is the precursor to CBD and THC. 
  3. CBG is found to have very similar effects to both THC and CBD— it has anti-inflammatory potential, antibacterial properties, anti-tumorigenic potential, and neuroprotective. 
  4. Unlike THC, CBG is non psychoactive and does not produce feelings of intoxication. 
  5. Many people enjoy using CBG oils, capsules, and gummies in the day for enhanced focus and concentration for work and studying. 
  6. With more research emerging on the potential benefits of CBG, CBG products are becoming more widely available. 

What Does CBG Mean?

CBG is short for cannabigerol—one of the hundreds of cannabinoids produced in cannabis plants with potential health benefits.

It's a minor cannabinoid because it exists in mature cannabis plants in very small quantities (less than 0.1%), but it's a very important compound as the CBG molecule is the precursor to many other cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.

You can find cannabigerol products such as CBG tablets, capsules, gummies, oil, topicals, and even CBG-rich hemp flower for smoking offered by CBD brands, and they're used in much the same way as CBD products, with some minor differences.

Why People Consume CBG: Unique CBG Properties

The potential therapeutic properties come from the molecular structure of the cannabinoids—the arrangement of and the number of atoms that make up the compound.

The shape of the cannabinoid is important because it's what allows them to bind to certain cannabinoid receptors in different ways to activate a set of effects and how well they're absorbed into the body (bioavailability).

In many preclinical studies that compare CBG to other cannabis chemical compounds, here are some of the unique CBG benefits that still need further investigation in human trials:

  1. Appetite Stimulation: Murine studies show that subjects given CBG ate nearly twice as much as the control group without exhibiting any harmful side effects [1].
  2. Antibacterial Properties: Out of all the major cannabinoids, CBG seemed to have the most potential as an antibiotic, specifically against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) [2].
  3. Anti-Tumorigenic Properties: Researchers observed that CBG works in inhibiting the cancer cell growth in mice with colon cancer through its interaction at the TRPM8 receptor—nicknamed the "menthol receptor," which is also involved in the growth and proliferation of certain cancer cells [3, 4].
  4. Neuroprotective Effects: Peer-reviewed studies suggest that CBG's anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant properties may protect neurons (brain cells) from damage in mice due to chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, or trauma [5].

While these studies are exciting, there's no FDA-approved CBG product on the market to treat, cure, or mitigate any illness. It's against FDA guidelines for any company selling CBG to make these claims, so beware of misleading marketing that sounds "too good to be true."

Still, many people use both CBG and CBD products to supplement their overall health and find gentle benefits, but these products should never replace prescription medications without professional medical advice.

Is Cannabigerol Safe?

There are very limited studies on the compound in clinical trials, so there's not enough information about how CBG interacts in the body with long-term consumption. However, in murine-subject studies, high doses of CBG have been well-tolerated [1].

So far, there haven't been any reported dangerous side effects from taking CBG, making it a safe choice for most healthy individuals.

What Does Taking CBG Oil Feel Like?

Many experienced CBD users will tell you that CBD products can affect everyone differently because of genetics, lifestyle, and the product you're taking—the same applies to CBG.

Most people experience a deep sense of relaxation, while others may feel more focused and concentrated when they consume CBG.

Interestingly, there is not much information on how consuming CBG affects people. However, we can guess based on what we know about this cannabinoid. As with all cannabinoids, CBG oil interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system in various ways.

This system is responsible for regulating many aspects of our health and well-being. So, when you take CBG oil, you may experience changes in mood, appetite, memory, and energy levels. Cannabigerol and cannabidiol are non-intoxicating compounds—which means that unlike THC—they won't get you high.

As a precursor molecule to other cannabinoids, CBG has many overlapping effects as THC and CBD, especially when supporting healthy inflammation. Studies investigating CBG for pain and experimental inflammatory bowel disease relief found that CBG is shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties [5, 6].

However, CBG also has unique beneficial effects that stand out as a cannabinoid. It's been observed to mitigate some of the psychoactive effects of THC and may have neuroprotective properties that help to support brain health [5, 8].

What Are Possible CBG Side Effects?

Most people use CBG products at high doses and don't experience side effects. Those who do report side-effect symptoms that are very similar to CBD use when they've taken way too much.

Some of the possible common side effects of CBG include:

  • Dizziness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Digestive system upset (stomach aches, nausea, diarrhea)
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth

If you experience any of these symptoms from your CBG product, you should make sure you're purchasing CBG from a reputable source.

Since extracts from the hemp plant are such a new industry, some businesses are taking advantage of the lack of regulations and could be selling scam products or contaminated products. We'll discuss how to shop for quality CBG products shortly.

Does CBG Get You High?

Although cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid that interacts with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, it doesn't seem to have the same psychoactive effects as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Marijuana enthusiasts observed that young strains of the cannabis plant—with higher levels of CBG—seemed to produce much milder psychoactive effects, which led scientists to look into why this may be the case.

Some researchers suggest that CBG counteracts the intoxicating effects of THC by binding and blocking the CB1 receptor, which is responsible for the cascade of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine release [8]. This means that CBG could be a key ingredient in medical cannabis.

How To Avoid Potential Side Effects Of CBG:

Most people can use high doses of CBG without encountering any side effects, but there's always a risk of a negative experience with CBG if you don't know how to use or shop for quality CBG products.

1. Purchase High-Quality CBG Oil From Reputable Brand

CBG products have become a new trend in the cannabis space as people are learning about the benefits of CBG. However, not all CBG products are made equal.

CBG is expensive because of its lack in most mature hemp strains. To yield higher concentrations of CBG, manufacturers will use specialized hemp strains bred to contain higher levels of CBG, and it requires careful extraction methods to preserve the heat and light-sensitive compound. If you find CBG products at prices too good to be true, you should investigate them further.

Here's what you should keep an eye for:

  1. Always look at the sourcing for the extract. Legal CBG should be derived from hemp plants, not marijuana—THC levels should be less than 0.3% as per the Controlled Substances Act.
  2. The hemp plants are grown using organic and sustainable farming methods in the USA. Pesticides and other soil contaminants can be detected in poor-quality hemp and marijuana products and can lead to health concerns [9]
  3. Extracted with ethanol, or better yet, supercritical CO2 extraction as these methods don't leave behind any solvents that could be harmful to your health.
  4. The company provides a certificate of analysis from an accredited third-party lab to verify the CBG content and safety.

2. Take The Appropriate Doses & Work Your Way Up (Measure your doses)

Those who've had a negative experience with CBG products reportedly took high doses of CBG—this is a similar outcome with CBD if your body hasn't been accustomed to the supplementation.

The tricky thing is that there's no clear one-size-fits-all approach to cannabinoid dosing, as everyone will require different doses depending on their age, weight, experience with cannabinoids, metabolism, and lifestyle.

When choosing a CBG oil, look for a full spectrum or THC-free broad spectrum extract over CBG isolates. CBG isolates only contain one active cannabinoid—CBG—and while it may be less expensive, taking higher doses of CBG alone can increase the potential for a bad experience, and it's not necessarily shown to have better health benefits. Other cannabinoids and terpenes in full or broad spectrum extracts help balance and complement the effects of the starring cannabinoid.

If you're new to CBG, start with low doses (10–25 MG/day) and work your way up slowly over a few weeks to allow your endocannabinoid system to adapt to the supplementation. Don't expect miracles with CBG or cannabis sativa products—they're meant to support your body's resistance to stressors and inflammation, not fix chronic pain, diseases, or mood disorders.

One thing to be aware of is that some methods of consuming CBG can make it easier to go overboard than others. For example, smoking high CBG hemp strains is difficult to measure how much CBG you've consumed accurately, and delicious CBG gummies can make it hard to stop at just one, leading one to experience the side effects of CBG.

3. Avoid Mixing CBG With Any Medication & Get Professional Medical Advice

Cannabinoids are metabolized by the liver, much in the same way with many prescribed medications, which means it can make your liver work overtime and leave higher concentrations of drugs in your system, which can become toxic.

There haven't been any reported instances of this happening specifically with CBG, but it's best to play it on the safe side when on any prescriptions—even something as commonplace as grapefruit juice and prove to be dangerous when combined with blood pressure and anti-anxiety medications.

Always seek advice from your healthcare provider before buying you have an underlying health condition or are on medications.

Takeaway: CBG Potential Benefits And Side Effects

The main benefits of CBG are very similar to that of CBD for supporting the immune system, mood regulation, and comfort levels with unique advantages of its own towards appetite, fighting drug-resistant bacteria, and brain health, as seen in preliminary studies.

While there haven't been any alarming cases of dangerous CBG outcomes, some people have reported a negative experience with CBD from taking a high dosage and poor-quality products.

Resources:

  1. Brierley, D. I., Samuels, J., Duncan, M., Whalley, B. J., & Williams, C. M. (2016). Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats. Psychopharmacology, 233(19), 3603-3613.
  2. Farha, M. A., El-Halfway, O. M., Gale, R. T., MacNair, C. R., Carfrae, L. A., Zhang, X., ... & Brown, E. D. (2020). Uncovering the hidden antibiotic potential of cannabis. ACS infectious diseases, 6(3), 338-346.
  3. Yee, Nelson S. "Roles of TRPM8 ion channels in cancer: proliferation, survival, and invasion." Cancers 7, no. 4 (2015): 2134-2146.
  4. Baek, S. H., Du Han, S., Yook, C. N., Kim, Y. C., & Kwak, J. S. (1996). Synthesis and antitumor activity of cannabigerol. Archives of Pharmacal Research, 19(3), 228-230.
  5. Valdeolivas, S., Navarrete, C., Cantarero, I., Bellido, M. L., Muñoz, E., & Sagredo, O. (2015). Neuroprotective properties of cannabigerol in Huntington’s disease: studies in R6/2 mice and 3-nitropropionate-lesioned mice. Neurotherapeutics, 12(1), 185-199.
  6. Kogan, N. M., Lavi, Y., Topping, L. M., Williams, R., McCann, F. E., Yekhtin, Z., ... & Mechoulam, R. (2021). Novel CBG derivatives can reduce inflammation, pain, and obesity. Molecules, 26(18), 5601.
  7. Leinwand, K. L., Gerich, M. E., Hoffenberg, E. J., & Collins, C. B. (2017). Manipulation of the endocannabinoid system in colitis: a comprehensive review. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 23(2), 192-199.
  8. 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.
  9. Seltenrich, N. (2019). Cannabis contaminants: Regulating solvents, microbes, and metals in legal weed.

Interested in Learning More?

Get in Touch with a Product Specialist

Contact us