Though each cultivar is distinguished by its unique concentration of cannabinoids, all 120 known cannabinoids are derived from one master cannabinoid: cannabigerol, or CBGa. Typically, however, by the time a cannabis plant is bred for a specific therapeutic (hemp CBD) or recreational profile (big-stoner-energy THC), very little CBG remains.
That’s starting to change.
The mother of all cannabinoids might have been a rare commodity a decade ago, but these days, CBG can be found not just in dispensaries but at drugstores and supermarkets and via USPS delivery. And while recent studies suggest that CBG and CBD share many of the same therapeutic effects, findings also suggest CBG is the superior anxiety extinguisher, muscle relaxant and sleep aid—and might get you a little bit high as well.
CBG interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, producing euphoric and therapeutic effects, respectively. (CBD and THC mingle only with one or the other.) Since the CB1 receptor is associated with the intoxicating effects of cannabis, CBG may present a touch of blissful psychoactivity, but more than that, it affects production of noradrenaline, which squashes the hypervigilance associated with anxiety and potentially encourages REM sleep. Furthermore, CBG is the only cannabinoid known to affect noradrenaline uptake in muscle tissue, potentially making CBG the superior muscle-relaxing cannabinoid. CBG also shows significant promise as an antibacterial, an appetite stimulant and a colon-cancer fighter.
Cannaisseurs interested in exploring the effects and varieties of CBG might consider starting their journey with one of these Northwest canna brands:
For the Dedicated Joint Smoker: Lady Jays CBG Orange Peels Pre-Rolls
Ladies of Paradise, the femme-first agency behind Lady Jays pre-roll packs, has been producing CBG joints since 2019. Their strain-specific CBG flower is just as lush-smelling as Ladies’ other boxed offerings, and is also available as a CBD-CBG blend. These pre-rolls are smooth, even smokes with a dank floral perfume. When toked the morning after a particularly intense weightlifting workout, we found almost immediate relief for sore biceps and triceps. The slight mood elevation that accompanies the pain relief is not quite intoxicating, but it did cast a rose-colored spell over the rest of the morning.
For the Combustion Averse: Angel Hemp Zoom Formula CBG Drops
Angel Hemp incorporates citrus terpenes to boost the effervescent effects of its CBG-CBD tincture. A serving consists of 25 mg of CBG and 7 mg of CBD, blended to capture the vitalizing effects of each cannabinoid. Not specific to any strain, this tincture is created using hydrocarbon cannabinoid isolate. Without botanical impurities, users can experience Angel Hemp’s cannabinoid combos free from entourage effects, which some users might celebrate and others might frown upon. Either way, this product is a fine introduction to the therapeutic potential of CBG, presented as a low-stakes, lemon-scented tincture that users can drop under the tongue or across their morning toast.
Get it from: Oregrown, 111 NE 12th Ave., 503-477-6898, oregrown.com.
For the Career Candy Crusher: Mr. Moxey’s Ginger Mints
Seattle’s Mr. Moxey’s Mints have been dispensary faves since recreational use went legal. Their thoughtful botanical blends are formulated to harmonize with cannabinoids, creating an experience heightened by a calculated terpene balance. Mr. Moxey’s flagship CBG product is a ginger mint tin featuring confits with 5 mg each of CBD and CBG—300 mg of each per package. These mints also feature the medicinal herbs holy basil, chamomile and lemongrass and, unlike other CBG products, use full-spectrum cannabis extract for an intact entourage experience.
For the Vape Lords: OM Extracts 1:1 Ogre Cartridge
For folks who keep a few different vape cartridges in rotation, or prefer vape pens to other consumption methods, adding this oil cart to the collection will ensure therapeutic cannabinoids stay in the cipher without making them the center of attention. This extract’s balance of THC and CBG can be attributed to Ogre’s unique genetics: a phenotype of ultra-relaxing Sensi Star and perky, upbeat Hawaiian Haze. Whether you puff your vape to dissociate or medicate, this cartridge’s 6.6% CBG, 24% CBD and 28% THC deliver on all fronts.
For Flower Enthusiasts Exhausted by Astronomical THC Percentages: Plain Jane Delta 8 CBG Hemp Flower
Medford’s Plain Jane produces some of our all-time favorite mail-safe smokables, so it stands to reason that its CBG flower would be just as dense, sugary and stanky as the rest of its hemp products. What sets this hemp flower apart is the inclusion of delta-8 THC. Delta-9 THC is intoxicating, but delta-8 is chemically different and not yet recognized as an intoxicant, placing it in a kind of legal gray area. Yes, it can result in feelings of intoxication, but those effects are far milder than what one might experience after smoking even the lowest bargain dispensary flower. Bottom line: Plain Jane’s CBG delta-8 flower makes for a very appealing, low-tolerance smoke. Snatch it up while you can still get it by mail order.
Get it from: plainjane.com.