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Is CBG Legal? (And Where to Buy Quality CBG Products)

Date 24th Sep 2021

Is CBG Legal? (And Where to Buy Quality CBG Products)

The cannabis plant has had a long and very complicated legal history. It's most famous for two cannabinoids, CBD and THC, but there's another one gaining headway into the industry for its potential benefits towards brain health, and it's CBG or cannabigerol.

Cannabigerol is considered a federally legal compound as long as it comes from Farm Bill compliant hemp crops. 

This compound is controlled by the same regulations that manage CBD, so as long as the CBG extract comes from hemp strains that contain no more than 0.3% THC, it's legal. However, some states may have other regulations regarding the compound.

In this article, we'll get into everything you need to know about shopping for high-quality, legal CBG products. 

What is CBG?

CBG or cannabigerol is sometimes called the "mother of all cannabinoids." That's because its raw form, cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), is the precursor molecule to many other cannabinoids including, THC and CBD [2].

You won't find high concentrations of CBGa in mature plants as they would have transformed into THC and CBD, so they're most abundant in young cannabis plants. Because of this, CBG oil can be difficult to source, but as more interest surrounding CBG's potential benefits grow, manufacturers are breeding high CBG strains and refining their extraction methods to yield higher concentrations of CBG naturally.

How is CBG Different from CBD?

Researchers have not focused on CBG half as much as CBD, which makes sense as it's not as abundant in the mature cannabis plant.

From our current understanding, the main difference between CBG and CBD is their molecular structure which affects how they interact (pharmacology).

Molecular Structure

The molecular structure refers to the atomic arrangement. 

CBD's shape does not allow it to interact with endocannabinoid receptors very well, so it tends to have an indirect effect. Instead, it works by inhibiting the release of enzymes that break down internally produced cannabinoids.

CBG has the potential to bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors to elicit its effects, similar to THC [3].

Pharmacology

The main reason that THC is illegal and CBD is not is because of its intoxicating effects. 

THC molecules can bind to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, inducing a sense of euphoria and altering our perception [4, 5].

While CBG can bind to these receptors, it doesn't produce the same effects. Rather, its ability to bind to the CB1 receptor without intoxication has led some researchers to speculate that it may reduce the intoxicating effects of THC by binding to these same receptors.

There's still not enough research on CBG To prove it would make an effective compound in medical treatments. However, in animal pre-clinical studies, it's found to have potential towards supporting brain health and a healthy inflammation response.

What’s The Federal Government’s Stance on CBG?

The legal aspect of cannabis products is a bit complicated. The state laws and federal laws are not always on the same page.

Previously, hemp-derived products were prohibited in the United States. But in 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill and consequently legalized the production and sale of hemp crops and its derivatives.

The legal distinction between hemp and marijuana crops lies in their delta-9 THC content. Farm Bill compliant hemp crops cannot contain more than 0.3% THC by dried weight. This minor amount of THC isn't enough to produce intoxication in most people, which is why it's legal.

The cannabinoid industry is still new, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is doing its best to protect the safety of consumers by placing standards for manufacturing, processing, and advertising standards. However, some products made with synthetic cannabinoids—which are illegal— or marijuana plants still make it into the market.

It's your job as a responsible consumer to ensure you're getting effective and safe CBD and CBG products to avoid legal trouble.

How to Make Sure You’re Shopping for Legal CBG Products

It can be hard to differentiate between good CBG products and bad ones. 

If you were to look for CBG oil 5 or 6 years ago, you probably wouldn't have much luck. Today, it seems like there's a new CBG-based product launching every week. Here are some tips to help you navigate the market for safe, effective, and legal CBG.

Hemp-Derived CBG

Like CBD, CBG is found in both marijuana and hemp plants, and its legal status is regulated by the 2018 Farm Bill, which means for your CBG product to be legal, it must come from hemp. 

Marijuana and its derivatives are still on the list of controlled substances.

Always check to see that the hemp source is listed on the product.

Read The Certificate of Analysis

Unfortunately, we can't always trust the packaging on our cannabis products, which is why you must shop with brands that get their extracts tested by a third-party lab for a Certificate of Analysis (CoA).

The CoA tells you exactly what's in the extract from the cannabinoid profile and potency, terpenes, and potential contaminants.

Full Spectrum Or Broad Spectrum CBG

Just like CBD, you can find CBG extracts in full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolates. These refer to the cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

It's much easier for manufacturers to isolate CBG and sell it in bulk, so they tend to be much cheaper, but it's difficult to source a high CBG strain of young hemp plants and maintain a powerful phytochemical profile, but this will deliver the strongest and well-balanced health benefits that CBG may offer.

The Takeaway: Is CBG Legal?

CBG that comes from the hemp plant is legal in the United States.

Those on the pulse of the cannabis industry have had minor cannabinoids like CBG on their radar for quite some time, but research surrounding its potential health benefits is still relatively new. 

Still, many people are turning to CBG to support their lifestyle, especially when improving productivity or comforting tired muscles and joints.

For more resources like this on cannabinoids, you can browse our blog or sign up to our Insider Scoop for updates, and exclusive Neruogan offers straight to your inbox.

Resources:

  1. Nachnani, R., Raup-Konsavage, W. M., & Vrana, K. E. (2021). The Pharmacological Case for Cannabigerol. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 376(2), 204-212.
  2. Wang, M., Wang, Y. H., Avula, B., Radwan, M. M., Wanas, A. S., van Antwerp, J., ... & Khan, I. A. (2016). Decarboxylation study of acidic cannabinoids: a novel approach using ultra-high-performance supercritical fluid chromatography/photodiode array-mass spectrometry. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 1(1), 262-271.
  3. Navarro, G., Varani, K., Reyes-Resina, I., Sánchez de Medina, V., Rivas-Santisteban, R., Sanchez-Carnerero Callado, C., ... & Franco, R. (2018). Cannabigerol action at cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and at CB1–CB2 heteroreceptor complexes. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 632.
  4. Deiana, S., Watanabe, A., Yamasaki, Y., Amada, N., Arthur, M., Fleming, S., ... & Riedel, G. (2012). Plasma and brain pharmacokinetic profile of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarine (CBDV), Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabigerol (CBG) in rats and mice following oral and intraperitoneal administration and CBD action on obsessive–compulsive behaviour. Psychopharmacology, 219(3), 859-873.
  5. Navarro, G., Varani, K., Reyes-Resina, I., Sánchez de Medina, V., Rivas-Santisteban, R., Sanchez-Carnerero Callado, C., ... & Franco, R. (2018). Cannabigerol action at cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and at CB1–CB2 heteroreceptor complexes. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 632.
Nicklas Brandrup
Nicklas Brandrup

Nicklas is a co-founder of Neurogan and a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space who has generated over $250M in sales on Amazon. Nicklas is passionate about the environment, animal sanctuaries, and supporting his local community and aspiring entrepreneurs. In his spare time, Nicklas enjoys cooking, playing soccer, or enjoying San Diego’s vibrant craft beer scene.