CBG — the 'Mother of All Cannabinoids' — Is Taking Over Beauty, and It May Be Even Better for Your Skin
I think we can collectively agree that CBD skincare has our hearts. (And ingestible CBD has saved our sanity.) The cannabinoid started to take the beauty and wellness industries by storm a few years ago, and since then, dozens of brands have opened shop, more scientific studies have been conducted, and the increase in legalization of marijuana in states across the U.S. has led to a cannabinoid boom. And that has brought on discoveries outside of CBD, such as CBG.
When it comes to ingredients that will help our skin chill out and our mental wellbeing soar, we're all ears. So, we tapped three experts in the cannabinoid space to help us understand what CBG is, how it differs from CBD, how to use it, and more.
What is CBG?
"Cannabigerol (CBG) is a very precious cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It's often referred to as the 'mother' of cannabinoids because it's the precursor from which all other cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, are created," explains Casey Georgeson, CEO and Founder of SAINT JANE.
Unlike other cannabinoids, though, CBG is only present in hemp's early growth cycle and is typically found in small amounts. As such, Olga Frunze, an organic chemist and co-founder of Untamed Humans, points out that CBG is "the most expensive and treasured non-psychoactive cannabinoid."
What does CBG do?
Similar to CBD, CBG can be taken orally and applied topically.
"CBG functions similarly to other cannabinoids and is renowned for its potent calming and anti-inflammatory benefits, but studies have demonstrated CBG's other potential therapeutic abilities for the heart, appetite, and mood," says Georgeson. "It's an antioxidant and nutrient-rich skincare superhero with antibacterial and antifungal properties, and it's been shown to help appetite and gastrointestinal disorders."
How does CBG differ from CBD?
Despite their many similarities, there are some key differences between these cannabinoids. "While CBD is known for its soothing properties, CBG has antioxidant properties that help it to address oxidative stress, such as extreme weather or the stresses of daily life," explains Summer Frein, the General Manager for Happy Dance and Lord Jones.
In some cases, Frunze says that CBG can be better. "For example, CBG is more effective than CBD for treating migraines," she says. However, she points out that there is no concrete evidence that supports that one cannabinoid is better than the other. "What we can say is that these two particular cannabinoids work best together rather than individually."
Lastly, there are fewer studies on CBG, and unlike CBD, it's not currently regulated by the FDA. As such, Georgeson encourages people to make sure their CBG comes from a reputable and clean source. "Check the certificate of analysis for toxins and other containments," she suggests.
What are the skin benefits of using topical CBG?
"CBG is especially great for those with dry and very dry skin," says Georgeson. "It has shown great promise in retaining moisture levels in the skin, especially dehydrated skin. And because it keeps skin hydrated, it helps to combat those early signs of aging too."
Plus, a 2016 study shows how CBG helps with dry skin, breakouts, reduces transepidermal water loss, and functions as a powerful antioxidant. "CBG reduces and prevents irritation, itchiness, and redness," adds Frunze.
Don't let your face have all the fun, though. Incorporating a CBG-infused product into your body care routine can help combat head-to-toe skin dehydration, especially on areas that are often exposed. "Our hands have gone through a lot over the past few years — from excessive hand washing to more time spent typing on our phones and computers," Frein points out. Plus, since our hands are often one of the first areas to show visible signs of stress, it's important to take care of them.