CBG Flower 101- Everything You Need To Know

cbg hemp flower

What is CBG flower, and how it’s different from CBD flower? Learn about the benefits of Cannabigerol (CBG) flower and whether or not it’s legal in your state.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

Last Update: June 8, 2023

Article Summary

  • Cannabigerol (CBG) is an non-intoxicating cannabinoid in the hemp plant and is often referred to as “the mother of all cannabinoids.” 
  • Unlike THC and CBD, there is minimal scientific information about the safety or CBG products. 
  • CBG typically occurs in low concentrations in the hemp plant than CBD, at around 1%. Due to recent interest, breeders have developed CBG-dominant hemp varieties used to make CBG oils and tinctures. 
  • CBG works differently in the body than CBD and THC. It interacts with different receptors, showing greater potential in certain areas than CBD.  
  • For example, both CBG and CBD have a similar effect on inflammation and pain, while CBD is more beneficial in areas like epilepsy. It’s important to note that most evidence supporting CBG’s therapeutic benefits is based on animal models. 
  • CBG is a legal cannabinoid in the U.S. If derived from hemp and can be present in products in high concentration because it doesn’t get the user intoxicated.

Did you know that out of more than 100 cannabinoids in the hemp plant, none plays a more unique role than CBG? 

Also known as the ‘mother cannabinoid,’ CBG is pivotal for the creation of major cannabinoids like CBD and THC. 

Regardless of its fundamental role, CBG is a minor cannabinoid and currently the most expensive to extract. That’s why CBG hemp products are scarcely present on the market, and even those contain low levels of CBG. 

If you want to reap the benefits of this incredible cannabinoid in an affordable way, we recommend you to try hemp flower high in CBG. 

Let’s take a look at what CBG flower is, how it’s different than CBD flower, what its benefits are, and whether or not it’s legal where you live.   

What Is CBG Hemp Flower?

CBG hemp flower is a type of hemp flower rich in Cannabigerol (CBG).

A new addition to the hemp space, CBG flower is an internationally sought-after hemp flower that allows users to enjoy the benefits of a minor, but essential cannabinoid. 

Just like CBD flower, CBG flower is non-intoxicating and naturally contains very low levels of THC. Meaning, smoking or vaping CBG flower is not going to get you high and is completely safe to use by every adult.

Consumers use CBG-rich hemp flower the same way they enjoy CBD flower trimmed and prepared for consumption.

In comparison to CBD flower, CBG flower is very delicate and demands better care by growers. Cultivating high-CBG flower is not the easiest process because, if handled improperly, the flower can lose potency. 

Aside from smoking or vaping, CBG flower can also be used for extraction to create oils and tinctures rich in CBG. 

Most hemp strains contain low levels of CBG typically less than 1%. That’s why CBG is the most expensive cannabinoid to extract from regular strains. 

To produce the same amount of CBD oil made from CBD flower that contains 20% CBD, manufacturers need 20x of CBG hemp biomass.

What Is Cannabigerol (CBG) — The ‘Mother’ Cannabinoid?

CBG Mother of Cannabinoids

Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of a group of more than 100 naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant, known as cannabinoids. 

CBG does not show any intoxicating properties, which means consuming it won’t get you high. 

Scientists have known about CBG for over 50 years before isolating it in 1964. CBG was isolated by Raphael Mechoulam and his team at the Hebrew University in Israel. 

Thirty years later, Japanese scientists were the first to reveal that CBGa was the precursor of CBG (we’ll explain the difference between CBG and CBGa below). 

It’s produced in the resin glands within the flowers of mature female hemp plants, also known as trichomes.

In regular hemp plants, CBG constitutes no more than 10% of the entire cannabinoid profile, while in CBG-dominant plants, the value can go up to 94%. 

CBG was isolated and synthesized in the same year as THC, but, unlike THC, only minimal research has been conducted on this compound. 

Some researchers believe that CBG, similarly to CBD, may counteract the psychotropic effects of THC, especially if consumed in potent doses or by new users. 

CBG (more correctly, its acidic form, CBGa) plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of other phytocannabinoids and the metabolic lifespan of the hemp plant. 

That’s why it’s known as the ‘mother cannabinoid’ or the ‘stem cell’ cannabinoid. 

Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) vs. Cannabigerol (CBG): What’s the Difference? 

What’s the difference between CBG and CBGa? 

If you’re wondering why the lab reports of your CBG flower show high levels of CBGa and low levels of active CBG, we have some answers. 

First of all, having high levels of CBGa in your CBG hemp flower is a great thing. 

CBGa (or CBGA) stands for Cannabigerolic acid, a minor cannabinoid with a pivotal role. 

Shortly, CBGa is the acidic precursor to CBG and is the source of the acidic precursors of other cannabinoids. 

To explain the difference and role of CBG vs. CBGa, let’s compare them to CBD and CBDa. 

When you are looking at lab reports of CBD flower, you will notice it contains high levels of CBDa or Cannabidiolic acid. 

cbg vs cbd
Table 1. Variety and percentage of cannabinoids present in CBG flower vs. CBD flower. 

CBDa, like CBGa and THCa, is the acidic form of hemp cannabinoids. The hemp plant produces four types of cannabinoid acids, including CBGa, CBDa, delta-9 THCa, and CBCa, through biosynthetic pathways. [1]

So, when you buy your CBD hemp flower, it contains high levels of CBDa because it has not been biosynthesized or converted into its neutral form, CBD. 

When you light a joint (process of decarboxylation) or leave your hemp flower to age, you are triggering the degradation of CBDa, which then evolves into CBD, ready for your body to receive it. 

But, before CBDa and THCa are created, the hemp plant produces CBGa as the first molecule in the biosynthetic pathway. 

What CBGa does is serve as the acidic precursor of not only CBG but as the ‘master’ acidic precursors of other cannabinoids. 

That’s why CBG is the ‘mother’ cannabinoid.

CBGa is the precursor or the ‘stem cell’ for the creation of three major cannabinoid lines, including:

THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
CBDa (cannabidiolic acid)
CBCa (cannabichromenic acid)

The conversion from CBGa to THCa, CBDa, and CBCa takes place during the flowering cycle, within 6-8 weeks. 

This means that both CBGa and CBG do not directly create the neutral versions of CBD and THC. 

What happens is, CBDa acts as the foundation compound, the acidic precursor that produces other acidic precursors (CBDa, THCa, CBCa) but never the neutral versions of these cannabinoids. 

Through the process of decarboxylation or exposure to UV light, heat, and oxygen, the acidic forms of cannabinoids transform into their neutral forms. 

When you light a joint, CBDa turns to CBD, THCa gets activated to THC, and so on. 

So, when does CBGa convert directly into its neutral form CBG? 

In most hemp strains, CBGa converts to THCa, CBDa, or CBCa. 

Only in certain hemp strains, CBGa converts to its neutral form, CBG. 

Most hemp plants have been bred to produce as much CBD as possible, so strains where the CBGa converts to CBG, are rare.

Breeders understand that the genetics of the plant are the primary factor of high CBG hemp strains. That’s why they focus on breeding hemp plants with a naturally high CBG genetic yield. 

How is CBG Flower Grown to Contain High Levels of CBG?

Regular hemp flower strains are CBD-dominant and bred to contain insignificant percentage of CBG. To produce flower high in CBG, growers have been using special breeding, harvesting, and processing techniques.

Recently, researchers have found that breeding new cultivars (strains) of hemp yields significantly higher amounts of CBG. 

Breeding new cultivars of hemp has yielded hemp chemotypes (chemotype is the term used to classify different hemp varieties based on their chemical constituents) “lacking in downstream enzymes that express 100% of their phytocannabinoid content as CBG.” [1]

By using special selection, growers can produce large harvests of high-CBG flower, which can  be later used for extraction.

In general, cannabis cultivars (strains) that feature higher volumes of CBD or THC tend to contain less CBG. The theory behind this is that such plants more efficiently convert CBGa (the acidic precursor analog of CBG) to other cannabinoids. 

In contrast, hemp cultivars are bred to legally contain less than 0.3% THC, which causes them to contain significantly more CBG than cannabis cultivars. The difference is remarkable some hemp cultivars contain more than 90 percent CBG. 

CBG-rich chemotypes that contain more than 90 percent CBG feature insignificant percentage of THC, as little as 0.001 percent. Some CBG-rich hemp cultivars have evolved and grow naturally in certain areas. 

Other Cannabinoids Present in CBG Hemp Flower

CBG flower offers another advantage: it’s rich in other cannabinoids not typically found in regular CBD flower.

Cannabichromene (CBC) is another minor cannabinoid that stems from the mother cannabinoid CBGa and offers a range of benefits. It’s difficult to obtain CBC in larger quantities, but even trace amounts of it can make a difference to the flavor of the flower. Due to its promising benefits, CBC is considered one of the important six cannabinoids for medical research. 

Cannabidivarin (CBD-V) is a cannabinoid that’s structurally similar to CBD, is non-intoxicating, and won’t get you high. This is another rare cannabinoid present in CBG flower more commonly than in CBD flower. Research on this minor cannabinoid is in its infancy but promising in various fields.   

The Entourage Effect

According to scientists like Dr. Mechoulam (who was the first to isolate THC in 1964), the potential synergy between different cannabinoids makes hemp more efficient. 

Shortly, the more cannabinoids, the better. According to Dr. Mechoulam, this potential synergy is called the “entourage effect,” which is a term that explains the significant efficacy of hemp when  cannabinoids and terpenes work together, as opposed to in isolation.

According to a research paper by Dr. Ethan Russo, “Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabonoid-terpenoid Entourage Effects,” other cannabinoids contribute to the entourage effect. 

“Other phytocannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabivarin [THCV], cannabigerol, and cannabichromene [CBC] exert additional effects of therapeutic interest,” reported the research paper. [1]

Regarding terpenes, each CBG flower contains different levels of various terpenes, such as beta-pinene, guaiol, alpha-bisabolol, which are also important for hemp efficacy and the entourage effect. 

Harvesting Hemp

Should You Choose CBG Flower Over CBD Flower?

Here are some of the main differences and similarities between CBD and CBG flower. 

THC Levels

One of the advantages of CBG flower is that it produces very low THC levels if cultivated and processed appropriately. CBD flower contains less than 0.3% THC, but even at that low legal limit, sensitive people or people who don’t want to risk it, still avoid CBD flower. 

CBG flower is a great alternative to CBD in this case because it appeals to different groups of individuals. 

Difference in Benefits

Some people don’t feel the benefits of CBD flower, while others feel them a bit too strongly. Each hemp flower contains different set of cannabinoids and terpenes which produce different effects not necessarily suitable for everyone. 

Good thing is, you can experiment with both CBG and CBD hemp flowers as they are non-intoxicating until you find the right strain/s for you.

Contain Different Cannabinoids

One of the most important things to take into consideration when choosing between CBD and CBG flower is the set of cannabinoids found in each. Cannabinoids and terpenes are the vital components of each hemp flower, and not every strain contains all cannabinoids present in hemp. 

So, make sure to check lab reports and learn more about the effects of cannabinoids found in each flower. 

CBG Flower Offers Fewer Options

CBG flower is still new to the market (and research is in its infancy), so the options are limited. However, you can be completely satisfied with what’s currently being offered on the market

Potential Health Benefits of CBG Flower 

If you have been following the developments in the CBD space, you know the benefits of hemp CBD and other cannabinoids. 

You also probably know that the FDA is making crackdowns on hemp CBD manufacturers selling their products as dietary supplements or under various health claims. 

The reason for the FDA crackdowns is the “drug exclusion rule,” which means that products that contain CBD cannot be sold as dietary supplements because CBD is an FDA-approved drug for epilepsy. 

CBG is not an approved molecule of a drug, so the legal status of CBG is different than the one of CBD. However, the FDA has not approved CBG as safe to use, and the legal situation with hemp-derived products is still complicated. 

Because we are not allowed to make health claims regarding hemp products and cannabinoids, we are going to list a few studies that you can look into, as evidence that shows the effectiveness of CBG on the body.

Other Studies

Cannabigerol Action at Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 Receptors and at CB1–CB2 Heteroreceptor Complexes.

Effect of Non-psychotropic Plant-derived Cannabinoids on Bladder Contractility: Focus on Cannabigerol.

Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. 

What Are the Best CBG Hemp Flower Strains? 

It may be challenging to find high-quality CBG flower that meets your needs. 

Most CBD flowers contain low levels of CBGa and are not potent enough, which is why you won’t get the desired results. The best way to consume CBG is through smoking or vaping.

Mr. Hemp Flower offers the best hemp flower strains high in CBG on the market. Simply make an order on our website, and you’ll get your hemp flower delivered directly to your home within 3-5 days. 

How is CBG Flower from Mr. Hemp Flower Different?

Mr. Hemp Flower offers top-shelf CBG flower at a reasonable price. You can notice that our flowers showcase a range of vivid colors, which indicates high-quality strains that are naturally high in CBG. 

White Widow

With a crazy high CBG content of 16.7%, White Widow from Mr. Hemp Flower is a best seller for a reason. Our consumers choose this CBG strain over some CBD flowers because it offers a fresh, intense aroma that brings immediate relaxation. 

Compared to other CBG flower that may give you a headache, White Widow by Mr. Hemp Flower provides enjoyable experience that is going to calm you down, not alert you. 

White Widow is only available in limited quantities, contains less than 0.3% THC and is not psychoactive.

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider contains 19% CBGa, and when you order this flower, you’ll treat yourself with joints and blunts that smoke perfectly. 

Ideal for everyone looking for a special smoking experience because it provides an extra smooth smoking sensation due to the CBG high content. This strain is rich in terpenes that enhance its potent effect. 

Is CBG Hemp Flower Legal in Your State?

Is CBG legal? The legal landscape of hemp cannabinoids is complicated. For now, CBG products are not considered as problematic as CBD products, and for two reasons. 

Unlike CBD, Cannabigerol (CBG) is not a new, approved drug and does not fall under the “drug exclusion rule.”

According to the FDA, CBD is a new drug, not approved as safe to be added in food and placed under the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act. 

Products that contain CBD cannot be sold as dietary supplements or under health claims because CBD has the status of a new, approved drug by the FDA. 

CBG, on the other hand, is not approved as a drug, which makes it less controversial. 

Is Hemp Flower Legal in My State?

States have legalized or banned hemp flowers in general, which means the legality of CBG depends on the legal status of hemp flower in each state.  

If smokable hemp is not legal in your state, that means CBG as a type of hemp flower is also illegal. Check out this list of states that have either passed hemp flower friendly laws, have not regulated hemp flower, or banned its use. 

Hemp Flower Laws by State

Friendly States
New Mexico
Rhode Island
New York
South Carolina
New Hampshire
North Carolina
West Virginia
New Jersey
North Dakota

Gray States Some Hemp Flower is Allowed

Texas banned the processing of smokable hemp products in the state, which means individuals can purchase hemp flower made outside of the state. 
District of Columbia
hemp flower is unregulated in D.C.

States Where Hemp Flower is Illegal

South Dakota

Where to Buy CBG Hemp Flower Online?

Let’s be real: you can’t buy high-quality CBG hemp flower from just about anyone. To fully experience the effects of this special flower, you need to buy your CBG flower from a reputable source. 

Not everyone is experienced and knowledgeable in growing top-shelf CBG flower. That’s why we searched and found the best farmers to partner with, who offer tested products and take special care of their hemp flower. 

Mr. Hemp Flower offers CBG that’s tested for its high CBG level, is non-toxic, and non-GMO. We source all of our flower from US-licensed, local Oregon, Colorado, and Washington State growers with more than five years of experience. 

Our farmers bring us the best CBG strains that have been organically grown and contain less than 0.3% THC. 

The legality of CBG is not as complicated as the legality of CBD. Order your CBG and you’ll have it delivered straight to your home within 3-5 days. 

FAQs on CBG Hemp Flower

Absolutely not! CBG is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid, which means it doesn’t get you high, is legal and safe to consume.

As a cannabinoid, the legality of CBG is not as complicated as the legality of CBD. For now, some U.S. states have banned smokable hemp altogether, regardless if it’s a CBG or CBD strain.

Both CBG and CBD contain a different set of cannabinoids and terpenes, which give the flower its flavor and benefits. CBD flower offers the benefits of CBD, while CBG flower offers the unique benefits of CBG.

No, it’s simply an individual preference. Both CBG and CBD have their unique benefits and affect people in a different way. You’ll have to try both and see which one works better for you. 

For starters, CBG contains less THC, which may make it more appealing to many people. Also, in some people, CBD hemp flower doesn’t produce the desired results or has a too potent effect.

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