A Look at the Potential Uses of CBG - What Does Cannabigerol Do?

What Does Cannabigerol Do?

What Is Cannabigerol?

Cannabigerol, known simply as CBG, is a natural cannabinoid found in cannabis plants which is used primarily for its medicinal benefits. [1]

The acidic form of CBG is known as cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA. Other cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, are derived from this acidic form. As the plant ages, more CBGA is converted into these other compounds. Because of this, CBG is harvested from young cannabis plants as they contain higher amounts of CBG than more matured plants. [2]

Although it varies for different types of cannabis, the concentration of CBG is typically significantly lower than that of other compounds, such as THC or CBD. To combat this, cannabis growers use selective cultivation methods to create certain strains of cannabis which contain higher concentrations of CBG. [2]

How Does CBG Work in the Body?

Like other natural, plant-based cannabinoids, CBG works in the endocannabinoid system within the body. The endocannabinoid system is composed of molecules and receptors which work to keep the body in an optimal and balanced state. There are two types of receptors within the endocannabinoid system, known as CB1 and CB2. [1]

While some cannabinoids bind only to one receptor or the other, CBG binds to both types, allowing it to have multiple effects in the body. CB1 receptors are located within the brain and nervous system and CB2 receptors are part of the immune system and are found throughout the body. [2]

CBG is not a psychoactive compound, so it does not produce a high. It is primarily used to combat pain and produce a variety of therapeutic effects. Although more human research and studies are needed to conclusively determine the potential benefits of CBG, several animal-based studies using CBG have reported promising results.

Benefits of CBG

Anti-inflammatory Properties

A 2013 study found that CBG was effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis in mice. In the study, researchers concluded that through binding with the CB2 receptor, CBG was able to decrease the production of nitric oxide within the intestinal epithelial cells. The researchers concluded that CBG should be considered for clinical experimentation for IBD in humans. [3]

Antibacterial Agent

Many cannabis-derived compounds have natural antibacterial properties and CBG is no exception. A 2020 study examining the antibacterial potential of cannabis products found that CBG exhibits antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a strain of bacteria which causes staph infections and is resistant to many antibiotics. Researchers concluded that CBG and other cannabis compounds have demonstrated potential for use as a broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment against gram-negative pathogens. [4]

Neuroprotective Effects

In a 2014 animal study, researchers examined the neuroprotective effects of CBG in mice who had Huntington’s disease, a condition which causes breakdown of nerve cells within the brain. They found that CBG improved motor functionality in mice with motor deficits caused by the disease. Researchers tested multiple markers of improvement and reported improved antioxidant defences in the brain, preservation of neurons, improved toxicity protection, upregulation of proinflammatory markers, and even found improved gene expression in gene mutations linked to Huntington’s disease. They concluded that further research should examine the use of CBG, either alone or in combination with other phytocannabinoids, as a treatment for Huntington’s disease as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. [5]

Pain Reliever

Researchers looked at six different types of cannabinoids and their effects on multiple types of sensation receptors during a 2008 animal study. They found that CBG was effective in reducing overexpression of certain receptors linked to pain sensations. The study concluded that CBG was effective in interacting with TRPA1 and TRPA8 channels, demonstrating its potential for the treatment of pain. [6]

Potential Treatment for Mental Health Conditions 

A 2012 study of both rats and mice with obsessive compulsive disorder were given different concentrations of CBD, THC, and CBG. Researchers found that while various combinations yielded various levels of efficacy, both CBG alone and as part of a combination treatment produced anti-anxiety effects and inhibited obsessive-compulsive behaviours. They recommended further research into the use of CBG for mental health conditions. [7]

Oral Health and Dental Plaque Suppression

Using an in vitro sample, researchers examined the relationship between CBG and dental plaque in a recent 2020 study. They used dental plaque samples collected from 72 adults between the ages of 18 and 83 which tested positive for common oral bacteria. In the study, they tested various mouthwash additives, including essential oils, alcohol, fluoride, CBD, and CBG, as well as various combinations of these ingredients. The researchers found that the most effective additive in treating dental plaque was either CBD or CBG without fluoride or alcohol. They concluded that cannabinoids have the potential for use as more efficient and safer oral care products. [8]

How to Use CBG

Like most cannabis-derived compounds, there are a variety of products made with CBG. The most common way CBG is produced for consumers is as an oil. Because CBG typically occurs in a low concentration, pure CBG oils are less common and oftentimes more expensive than other cannabis products. A more affordable option for some consumers is a broad-spectrum CBD oil which includes CBG but does not include THC. [2]

Is CBG Oil Safe?

CBG has not been the subject of many human studies and therefore, more data is necessary to fully understand the potential side effects. There were no reported adverse effects in any of the studies reviewed in this article, however it should be noted that all these studies were conducted either in vitro or using animal subjects. 

Anecdotal reports of CBG side effects include tiredness, diarrhoea, dry mouth, and changes in appetite or weight. These effects typically pass once CBG has been metabolized.

The Bottom Line

Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a natural by-product of hemp plants which has shown significant potential as a therapeutic treatment. Because it occurs naturally in small concentrations compared to other cannabinoids, it has not been the subject of a wealth of research in human testing. More conclusive research and data is necessary to fully understand this promising cannabinoid and its potential uses as a medicinal treatment or therapy. 


  1. Cannabigerol | C21H32O2 - PubChem (nih.gov)
  2. Cannabigerol (CBG): Uses and Benefits (verywellmind.com)
  3. Beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease - ScienceDirect
  4. Uncovering the Hidden Antibiotic Potential of Cannabis | ACS Infectious Diseases
  5. Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabigerol in Huntington’s Disease: Studies in R6/2 Mice and 3-Nitropropionate-lesioned Mice | SpringerLink
  6. Plant-derived cannabinoids modulate the activity of transient receptor potential channels of ankyrin type-1 and melastatin type-8 - PubMed (nih.gov)
  7. Plasma and brain pharmacokinetic profile of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarine (CBDV), Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabigerol (CBG) in rats and mice following oral and intraperitoneal administration and CBD action on obsessive-compulsive behaviour - PubMed (nih.gov)
  8. Cannabinoids infused mouthwash products are as effective as chlorhexidine on inhibition of total-culturable bacterial content in dental plaque samples - PubMed (nih.gov)


Please note that this article was written by a 3rd-party author who is a specialist on the topic of CBD, hemp and cannabis. Any information or recommendations contained within this article, are independent to the opinion of RUDERALEX CBD and our employees. We make no claims for any of our products, please read our disclaimer for additional information.