CBG cannabigerol and what it does on the skin

What is CBG and why is it good for your skin?

by | Feb 8, 2022 | Cannabis, Journal, Science | 0 comments

CBG is the mother of all cannabinoids

First, the basics: CBG stands for cannabigerol, one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp. Cannabinoids are among the “biologically active” compounds in the plant that can have an effect on the human body, via our human endocannabinoid system (or in Green Bee’s case, the skin’s endocannabinoid receptors). 

You might remember from science class that plants have things like phenols, alkaloids, vitamins, and minerals in them. Cannabinoids are similar compounds found in many plants. Similar to how zinc oxide is listed as an active ingredient in many sunscreens, if the FDA required skincare companies to list all the active ingredients on their labels, CBD and CBG would be on the active list for sure. We hope someday they will recognize the medicinal properties of cannabinoids. 

Will it get you high? Short answer? No. Like CBD, CBG is also non-psychoactive. Technically it’s more correct to say they’re non-intoxicating than non-psychoactive, but we won’t bore you with the minutiae about cannabis absorption through skin here. The important thing to know, as explained here in our FAQ, is that CBD and CBG will NOT get you high. Also: when applied topically, even THC won’t get you high, as THC skin permeability doesn’t work without penetration enhancers – but that’s again another topic for another blog…

Side tangent: both the thing we call cannabis or marijuana or weed, or pot, as well the thing we call hemp are both the same plant. Here’s our founder Bridget May’s quick explanation on how both are Cannabis sativa plants.


Okay, that’s what CBG is. Now for what CBG does

In a research study published last year, seven cannabinoids from the Cannabis sativa plant were tested for antioxidant activity: CBG, CBD, THC, CBN, CBGA, CBDA and THCA.*

The scientists who conducted the study concluded that the results: 

“…prove that all the examined cannabinoids exhibit antioxidant activity manifested in their ability to scavenge free radicals, to prevent the oxidation process, and to reduce metal ions.”

In other words, cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp plants help protect the skin from the causes of premature aging (free radicals, oxidation, and toxic metal ions). 

What jumped out at us from the study was that CBG was proven to have the most antioxidant properties of all the cannabinoids tested. Since the crowd favorite molecule CBD has long been scientifically proven to be a strong antioxidant, we expected it to come out on top. The study results also show that most of these cannabinoids, CBG, CBD and even THC (!) exhibit stronger antioxidant activity compared to vitamins E, A and C that we all typically think of skincare powerhouses.

It’s SCIENCE! Study graphic from “CBG, CBD, Δ9-THC, CBN, CBGA, CBDA and Δ9-THCA as antioxidant agents and their intervention abilities in antioxidant action”

There are a lot of new studies coming out on CBG that also prove its other beneficial properties, including antibacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective. These properties make CBG an excellent candidate for addressing psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, acne and other challenging skin issues, but more studies on cannabis skincare is needed.

See footnotes at the end of the article for links to these studies if you’re interested in diving deeper.

*All the types of cannabinoids

There are hundreds of minor and major cannabinoids, here are the ones from the study. We wanted to spare you the mouthful it requires to list out all of the cannabinoid names explaining the study above, but here they are for those of you interested:

  1. CBG = cannabigerol
  2. CBD = cannabidiol 
  3. THC = Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol
  4. CBN = cannabinol 
  5. CBGA = cannabigerolic acid 
  6. CBDA = cannabinolic acid
  7. THCA = Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid

We should make a video next on how to pronounce them all! 

CBG and CBD have antioxidant powers
Scientific studies coming out on CBG that also prove its other beneficial properties

Why CBG is good for your skin

With powerful antioxidant properties — the most antioxidizing of all the cannabinoids and vitamins studied to date — CBG is an ideal ingredient for your skin. The fact that it is also now proven to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and more to boot just makes it all the more ideal for skin, whether your skin is bone dry or flaring with acne. 

On the quest to make the best CBG moisturizer

After learning all of the above, Bridget, our founder and our in-house formulator, decided to develop a new cannabis cream for dry skin with it. É voilà, our new cannabis face cream, the Quench Moisturizer was born. Starring 350 milligrams of potent CBG and CBD for those magical antioxidant powers, Quench also has many other plant actives; high gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) from borage seed oil, über hydrating mango butter, hyaluronic acid, rosehip seed oil, everlasting flower and also hemp seed oil (which is different from CBD and CBG, comes from a different part of the hemp plant, from the hemp seeds, also called hemp hearts). 

This moisturizing cannabis-infused skin cream is luscious and restorative, packed with plant actives, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, making Quench the most decadent and natural way to fight oxidative stress, promote skin barrier function, and stay hydrated all year long. ⁠

⁠Award-winning cannabis skincare ⁠

We know we’re biased, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Quench won BEST MOISTURIZER in the December 2021 clean beauty awards hosted by the Think Dirty app and voted on by its 4.5 million users in 33 countries. The app tracks over 500,000 products, and users have scanned products more than 30 million times. No wonder Bustle named Think Dirty the “holy grail of clean beauty apps”!

The fact that everything we make, including Quench, is tested and proven clean by an independent lab and made with organic, vegan, cruelty-free and reef-safe ingredients is a delicious cherry on top.

Further reading for science lovers

For a deeper dive into the benefits of CBG, here are some more research studies to read:


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