In short, CBG differs from THC in that it does not produce psychoactive properties or make you sleepy in a sedative sense. However, science has recently unearthed several other potential benefits of CBG, including relaxing, focus-boosting, mood-lifting, and pain-relieving properties.
Learn how CBG can be used to address a variety of wellness issues and promote calm while not making individuals feel sleepy.
- CBG is the chemical precursor to THC and CBD but has many of its own effects.
- Cannabis plants contain meager amounts of CBG, so isolating it is difficult and expensive.
- CBG has stress-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, though the research is still early in uncovering its potential.
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of the many cannabinoids native to the cannabis plant. Even though it’s the third-most prevalent cannabinoid in the plant, it’s still considered minor because of its relatively low concentrations compared to CBD or THC.
CBG is the chemical precursor to THC, CBD, and several other cannabinoids and is often referred to as the “mother cannabinoid” in its role. Without CBG, THC and other cannabinoids wouldn’t exist.
The cannabis plant, whether hemp or marijuana, naturally creates CBG, found more often in younger cannabis plants because it hasn’t yet been converted to other cannabinoids. As plants age, the concentration of CBG they produce decreases.
How CBG Works
Evidence has yet to unearth exactly how CBG operates on the body’s endocannabinoid system (the physiological system that THC and CBD interact with). However, early reports indicate that CBG can improve mood and reduce the sensation of pain without the same psychoactive effects as THC.
These studies show that CBG binds to the same CB1 receptors as THC but interacts more closely with CB2 receptors throughout the body. In fact, some evidence suggests that how CBG interacts with the body may counteract THC’s psychoactivity. However, its presence in the body may also make THC last longer in the body even though its impact is lessened.
CBG Effects on Sleep
The jury is still out on how CBG explicitly impacts the way we sleep, but a few studies highlight some potential usefulness. In a 2021 survey on people using high-CBG cannabis strains, 30% of participants said CBG was highly effective in improving sleep. Another 73% of users said it worked better than typical remedies in fighting insomnia, though about 15% reported sleepiness as a side effect of use.
Anecdotally, consumers of CBG praise the cannabinoid for its ability to promote relaxation and cultivate feelings of calm and tranquility. This relaxation often occurs with improved energy and sharpened focus, so while CBG may be handy in staving off anxiety that can make sleep hard to achieve, it may not be the most sedative sleeping aid.
CBG vs. CBD for Sleep
CBD is one of the most popular cannabinoids on the market today, used most often for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects and ability to calm anxiety. Many people select CBD products to eliminate the pain or stress that would hinder restful sleep, which is one of the reasons CBD gummies or tinctures are so well-beloved.
CBG, conversely, also provides impressive anti-inflammatory effects by acting directly on the endocannabinoid system, whereas CBD acts as an agonist, or block, of one’s system. What does this mean for sleep? Both cannabinoids could work to promote relaxation and cultivate good rest, but the real potential might be in combining the two.
As CBG and CBD work on different parts of the ECS, users who combine them can benefit from the Entourage Effect, where the cannabinoids work together to produce effects greater than the sum of their parts. Doubling down on stress relief and inflammation may be just what you need to achieve lasting, restful sleep.
How to Use CBG for Insomnia
CBG is present at very low levels in most cannabis plants, so the best way to use pure CBG products is in an oil or edible form. Because of its scarcity and difficulty isolating it from other cannabinoids, CBG products can be hard to find and often are more expensive at your average dispensary. However, breeders who see the rising interest in CBG options are incentivized to breed CBG-rich cultivars, which may make products cheaper in the future.
When using CBG oil, start with a low dose and wait 30-45 minutes to observe its effects on the body. Gradually increase the dose until you’re able to achieve sleep. CBG has no psychoactive effects, so there’s no risk of overdoing it, but it’s good to start with less as a rule of thumb.
The Bottom Line: Does CBG Make You Sleepy?
CBG’s emergent health properties are making many consumers excited about the possibilities of the cannabinoid, including its ability to relax and calm individuals. It doesn’t make users overly sedated but could serve as a potent anti-inflammatory and stress-combatant to remove those adverse symptoms that would otherwise get in the way of sleep.