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The Truth About CBG Isolate

Date 29th Sep 2021

The Truth About CBG Isolate

In 2021, everyone's at least heard about the two main cannabis compounds, THC and CBD.

But now, there's a new cannabinoid craze emerging on the minor cannabinoid, cannabigerol, or CBG

It's not really a new cannabinoid since it's always been in the hemp plant, but since most of the research surrounding the potential wellness benefits of cannabis compounds have been focused on THC and CBD, CBG products are new to the market.

You can find CBG products in full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate preparations ,just like CBD—In fact, they're most commonly available in CBG isolate because they're cheaper to produce in bulk. They might have a high CBG concentration on the label, but they're no where near as powerful as CBG extracts in a full spectrum or broad spectrum.

We'll get into the truth about isolate CBG, and why full spectrum is your best bet for leveraging the most from this cannabinoid.

What Is CBG Isolate?

Cannabigerol (CBG) isolate is an extract that contains pure CBG—98% or higher. 

It looks like an odorless and tasteless white crystalline powder. While you can purchase bulk CBG isolate from some retailers online, most companies infuse CBG isolate into product formulations like CBG isolate oils, capsules, gummies, topicals, or vape juices.

Why Do Brands Use CBG Isolate?

Bulk CBG isolate is cheaper and easier to formulate with. The compound is isolated by chromatography process that separates cannabinoids from their original full spectrum extract, the same way you get CBD isolate.

Isolates are more cost-effective to buy in bulk because it takes less careful extraction and processing measures to preserve all the other phytonutrients in the extract like you would in full spectrum and THC-free broad spectrum preparations.

Experts agree that to leverage the true potential of benefits of the hemp plant. 

For enjoy the full potential of any cannabinoid, look for full spectrum or broad spectrum extracts as they contain as close to the hemp plant's natural phytochemical profile to leverage the entourage effect. For manufacturers to get a CBG-rich full spectrum or broad spectrum extract, they would need to harvest hemp plants much earlier and use careful extraction processes to preserve the other cannabinoids and heat-sensitive terpenes.

Making a cannabinoid-rich extract is much more labor-intensive all around—but it's worth it. You don't require as high of doses to achieve the desired effects and the effect profile is much more balanced and less prone to adverse side-effects compared to CBG isolate.

How Do You Make CBG Isolate? Can I Make It At Home?

Creating a pure CBG extract (CBG isolate) takes expensive and sophisticated machinery. It's not something that could be done at home with any true level of accuracy. First of all, you'd need to find a CBG-rich hemp flower, which is difficult to source. You might as well purchase an already made CBG product.

It's hard to come by CBG extracts because CBG is a minor cannabinoid, so it doesn't exist in high concentrations naturally like CBD and THC. As the hemp plant matures, CBGa converts into other cannabinoid acids like THCa and CBDa, and you get lower concentrations of CBG.

Manufacturers will harvest young hemp plants while they still have high levels of CBGa, and extract the cannabinoid and terpene resin as a full spectrum extract. Popular resin extraction methods include supercritical CO2, butane, and ethanol—not exactly kitchen-safe operations.

Next, you need to isolate CBG from all the other compounds. This is often done with chromatography—washing the extract several times with a solvent until you're left with pure CBG.

What Are The Effects Of Cannabigerol (CBG)?

CBG and CBD are similar in many ways. After all, CBD is formed from cannabigerolic acid.

While CBG-specific studies are still fairly new, some animal trials found that CBG may be beneficial as a neuroprotective agent, helping brain cells regenerate, may protect bone health, and provide pain relief [1, 2].

It has also been observed to support healthy inflammation and skin regulation in animal studies [3, 4].

Right now, there aren't any CBG products evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent any disease or treat any ailment. However, many people are turning to CBG to help maintain active lifestyles and taking it alongside their morning coffee to help with focus and productivity.

Most of the studies on cannabigerol involve full spectrum extract and not CBG isolate. There's no evidence to support that CBG isolate will deliver better effects over other extract types.

The Legality Of CBG Isolate Powder

The same laws as CBD regulate Cannabigerol (CBG). In 2018, The US Farm Bill came into effect that allowed the production and sale of hemp and its derivatives (cannabinoids, terpenes, fibers, seeds, and stalks).

Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants. The official government distinction between the two plant types is their THC concentrations. Farm Bill compliant hemp crops cannot have more than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dried weight.

As long as your CBG product comes from hemp plants, it's federally legal. However, some states may have their own regulations regarding cannabis derivatives, so you should check with your local laws. Some states have strict regulations around THC, even in trace amounts, so isolate CBG, or THC-free broad spectrum might be your only options.

Beware Of Synthetic Cannabinoids On The Market

Synthetic cannabinoids were much more prevalent on the market before the US Farm Bill was passed. However, they haven't entirely disappeared. Synthetic cannabinoids are lab-made compounds that resemble mind-altering cannabis compounds.

These were often sold as "legal" options to marijuana, marketed as "liquid or herbal incense," but they were found to be extremely dangerous and have since become illegal, classified as "New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)."

While plant-derived cannabinoids are found to be safe and well-tolerated, synthetic cannabinoids are not. 

Unlike THC, CBG, and CBD, there have been lethal cases of people overdosing from synthetic cannabinoid compounds [5].

To make sure you're buying a safe and effective cannabis-based product, always read the Certificate of Analysis conducted by an accredited third-party lab. This document shows you the exact cannabinoid profile of the plant and its concentration, along with testing for contaminants such as residual solvents, mold, and pesticides.

How To Use CBG Isolate Powder

Some people may want to buy CBG isolate to sprinkle onto their hemp flower before smoking it, blend it into their lotions and balms for tired muscles, or even add it into their food and beverages—just like pure CBD isolate is often used.

CBG isolate is more common in smokable products for vapes or dab rigs, but these products aren't for the faint of heart. Smoking cannabis products isn't ideal for everyone. They may cause irritation in the lungs, and it's difficult to assess how much of the compound you've ingested, so it's easy to go overboard.

CBG Isolate Misses Out On The Entourage Effect

There is not enough evidence to support that CBG on its own in an isolate extract can yield more potent benefits than having it combined with the natural plant cannabinoids and terpenes.

It can make the extract much weaker and off-balanced. Hemp's phytochemicals help balance the overall effects to prevent adverse effects and amplify the benefits of the other cannabinoids.

With CBG isolate, you're missing out on CBN, CBG, and terpenes that also deliver subtle benefits to the endocannabinoid system. While you may be tempted to shop for a CBG isolate because of the cheaper price tag, you'll get a lot more bang for your buck in terms of effects and potency with cannabinoid and terpene-rich extracts.

Neurogan's Full Spectrum & Broad Spectrum CBG Extracts

We don't believe in shortcuts at Neurogan, which is why you won't find any CBG isolate or CBD isolate products on our website.

All our CBG extracts start with CBG-rich hemp crops, harvested while they have peak levels of CBG before they undergo our specialized CO2 extraction methods.

Our CO2 extraction preserves many natural phytochemicals for the most natural hemp profile for our full spectrum CBD extracts.

We understand that even trace amounts of THC aren't for everyone, which is why we've taken the extra step in our processing to isolate and remove all traces of THC, leaving behind the CBG, CBN, CBD, and terpenes in our broad spectrum extracts.

It's an unusual offering in the market, as CBG is already hard to source, but we believe it's best to give our customers more options for their wellness regimens. You can find all Certificate of Analysis documents on our website before you buy. 

To make it easy for your reference, you can scan a QR code on the label of your Neurogan product for the specific report, so you know exactly what you're getting.

Resources:

  1. di Giacomo, V., Chiavaroli, A., Orlando, G., Cataldi, A., Rapino, M., Di Valerio, V., ... & Ferrante, C. (2020). Neuroprotective and neuromodulatory effects induced by cannabidiol and cannabigerol in rat hypo-E22 cells and isolated hypothalamus. Antioxidants, 9(1), 71.
  2. Valdeolivas, S., Navarrete, C., Cantarero, I., Bellido, M. L., Muñoz, E., & Sagredo, O. (2015).
  3. Borrelli, F., Fasolino, I., Romano, B., Capasso, R., Maiello, F., Coppola, D., ... & Izzo, A. A. (2013). Beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease. Biochemical pharmacology, 85(9), 1306-1316.Chicago
  4. Pucci, M., Rapino, C., Di Francesco, A., Dainese, E., D'Addario, C., & Maccarrone, M. (2013). Epigenetic control of skin differentiation genes by phytocannabinoids. British journal of pharmacology, 170(3), 581-591.
  5. NIDA. 2018, February 5. Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2/Spice) DrugFacts.
Katrina Lubiano
Katrina Lubiano

Katrina Lubiano is a content writer in the health and wellness space based in Vancouver, Canada — Canada's epicenter for cannabis culture. When she's not working, she enjoys sailing, watercolor painting, and cooking.