Learn what CBG is, how to use it, and what makes CBG different from CBD and other cannabinoids


Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN, and Eloise Theisen, NP
Written by Denise Rustning

Many of our Leaf411 business members offer hemp and cannabis products that go far beyond THC and CBD, including rare cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, CBDa, THCv and more. In fact, cannabis and hemp plants contain over 100 different cannabinoids, many with unique benefits and effects.

But it can be hard to know what to look for if you’re just getting into plant-based medicine. For this blog, we talked to KOR Medical, one of our supporting business members, to get their perspective on CBG, as well as fast-acting technology that can give these cannabinoids an extra punch. The company offers the KOR Relief Transdermal Cream, a hemp-based product that features CBG and CBD, and does not contain any THC. They also offer a range of use-driven hemp CBD products designed for Calm, Health and Sleep, combining the power of CBD with other beneficial compounds.

KOR Medical logo

One thing we love about KOR Medical is that their leadership team is made up of medical professionals with extensive backgrounds in pharmaceuticals and biotech, including work on cutting-edge diagnostic technologies. The KOR Medical team understands the importance of science, precision and quantifiable results when it comes to product development and manufacturing.

KOR Medical’s work is inspired in part by their mission to provide alternatives to opioid medications.  

“Our mission statement and vision is to help confront the nation’s opioid crisis by offering naturally derived options to patients and consumers who are seeking an alternative,” said Morgan Nichols, Director of Corporate Affairs, KOR Medical.

What is CBG?

CBG, or cannabigerol, is sometimes called the mother of all cannabinoids. Why is that? In short, CBG is a precursor to many other cannabinoids found in cannabis or hemp. CBG is converted to other cannabinoids like THCa and CBDa as the plant matures, or through special processes during extraction and product manufacturing.

CBG molecule structure on top of cannabis plant flower and leaves

Will CBG get you high? How does CBG make you feel?

CBG is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not get you high like THC does. As the KOR Medical website explains: “CBG works by binding to CB1 receptors, strengthening the function of anandamide, an endocannabinoid. Anandamide plays a role in enhancing pleasure and motivation, alleviating pain, regulating our appetite and sleep, and more.”

Many people report that CBG makes them feel energized, calm and mentally focused when they use it. It’s a good cannabinoid to add to your daytime routine, and works well when taken together with CBD.

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Coach using stopwatch on track to time runners going around the track
Group of older adults working out in the street with colored dumbbells in their hands

What is CBG used for?

Based on available research, CBG holds strong potential for a number of wellness goals. CBG has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and analgesic properties, as well as calming and uplifting effects for adults of all ages.  CBG is being used in many different kinds of topical products such as oils, creams, gels, and skin products due to its strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some people use CBG to reduce inflammation or muscle and joint pain.  It also has been shown to be a potential benefit for a range of skin conditions and irritations.

This minor cannabinoid has caught the attention of athletes for its potential to help with recovery and boost overall wellness, which are laudable goals whether you’re a serious athlete or just looking for ways to boost your daily workout regimen.

“Part of our work at KOR Medical has been looking at how different cannabinoids work together in beneficial ways,” said David Hayek, Product Development for KOR Medical. “CBD has calming and anti-inflammatory properties which can be helpful for addressing sore joints and muscles following workouts. But when developing KOR Relief we took it a step further, looking at other available cannabinoids that might work well in conjunction with CBD to really address the issue. We found that CBG has a lot of research on its performance recovery effects as well as its antibacterial properties which are a good fit for people working out in gym environments.”

How fast does CBG take effect after ingesting a dose?

Your CBG route of administration (edible that you eat; sublingual that is absorbed under your tongue; transdermal topical applied to skin) as well as product manufacturing will impact how quickly CBG effects take effect. Generally, for a conventionally manufactured CBG product like a tincture or gummy, the effects will start in about 45 minutes to an hour, and will last for up to 6-8 hours. 

Some manufacturers, including KOR Medical, have developed proprietary manufacturing practices to shorten onset time and improve bioavailability–meaning you are able to absorb more of the cannabinoids in the product, and that absorption happens more quickly.

Oil and water mixing in a vial to show mixing of cannabinoids

Fast-acting hemp CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids: Turbocharging hemp’s benefits

Many leading hemp product makers, including KOR Medical, are researching ways to deliver cannabinoids more quickly and effectively. Nanoemulsion technology is one approach being used to break down large oil-based cannabinoid molecules and encapsulate them inside water molecules, effectively making the cannabinoids water-soluble. This allows for faster onset and absorption via skin or mouth, instead of having to wait for the cannabinoids to work their way through the digestive system.

“The benefit of nanoemulsion is that it increases absorption, making for a more effective product,” said Hayek. “We have our own in-house nanoemulsion equipment that reflects the best in the industry, and we regularly test our products to ensure the nanotization process is meeting our high standards.”

Does your product really contain CBG? Check that COA!

Remember to always check the company’s lab results (also called Certificates of Analysis or COAs) when purchasing hemp products. A third-party COA will help confirm that the hemp edible, tincture, topical or other product contains the promised amount of CBD and any other minor cannabinoids like CBG. Many manufacturers like KOR Medical go above and beyond, also testing for molds, heavy metals or pesticides, and sharing those results as well, assuring consumers that the product is free from contaminants.

Handful of pills and supplements sitting in a clear glass bowl with plants laying around it

Using CBG with other natural supplements

As we mentioned earlier, CBG pairs well with other cannabinoids like CBD. KOR Relief Transdermal Cream contains 50mg CBG together with 150mg CBD and menthol to create fast-acting cooling relief that may speed up post-workout recovery.

When considering whether to buy a particular hemp product, you’ll want to closely check the ingredient label to make sure you know all the ingredients you are taking. 

Take for example the KOR Medical’s KOR Sleep Strips which contain both CBD and CBN (another minor cannabinoid we recently discussed at Leaf411). KOR Sleep Strips also contain L-theanine, melatonin and tryptophan–three additional ingredients known to support restfulness. Layering these ingredients can be very effective, but it may mean that you need to adjust your other supplement use. For instance, if you’re already taking melatonin at night, you’ll want to cut back on your normal dose when using KOR Sleep Strips, since they also contain melatonin.

Many of our Leaf411 business members go above and beyond when it comes to product quality and consistency.  KOR Medical tests both the cannabinoids going into their products as well as the other ingredients as well.

Older wellness-focused white man sitting at laptop in his kitchen, staring out window as he thinks about his CBD questions for Leaf411.

Setting up a CBD and CBG routine that works for you

Hemp and cannabis are often discussed as personalized plant medicine or as a personalized routine because everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different. Your endocannabinoid system contains CB1 and CB2 receptors that interact with cannabinoids, leading to beneficial effects that support your goals for using hemp or cannabis. (Check out our Cannabis 101: The Endocannabinoid System to learn more about how this process works)

Brands like KOR Medical are crafting unique hemp CBD products with minor cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds designed to optimize consumers’ experiences around specific goals, whether that’s faster physical recovery, improved restfulness or immunity support. 

However, to get the best experience, you also have to take into account how your own endocannabinoid system reacts to specific cannabinoids or products. That’s why you’ll often find that a hemp CBD product that works well for your friend may not be as effective for you, or that you need to take a lower or higher dose for optimal effects.

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Let Leaf411 help design your optimal hemp regimen

Finding the best hemp product for your unique needs and endocannabinoid system can involve trial and error–which means time and money.

Fortunately, our cannabis-trained Leaf nurses can help! Our Leaf nurses are fully-licensed RNs with real world nursing experience, who can provide guidance on building a hemp regimen around your goals, needs and concerns. For example, our Leaf nurses will ask questions about your other medications to help identify any potential interactions. 

Visit our Services page to learn more about our scheduled nurse guidance calls then head to our home page and click on “Let’s Talk” to schedule your call.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.

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