CBD or cannabidiol has been in vogue for some time now. As the first cannabinoid star of the health supplement market, CBD made waves when people claimed it had supposed health benefits. In fact, some of the legal hoo-ha that accompanied its rise around the world was a catalyst for its heightened popularity too.
But now that people are used to CBD being on the scene, is there room for another cannabinoid to steal the show? In this article, we will discuss whether CBG or cannabigerol will have the momentum its cousin CBD had as a trendsetter.
What is CBG?
Like CBD, CBG is a component of the Hemp plant. Currently, CBD Oils on the market only have a few percentiles of CBG in their ingredients. But commercially CBG is starting to become an avenue for sales.
However, isolating CBG is a more expensive process as Hemp plants naturally don’t contain as much CBG as they do CBD. This is due to conversion processes in Hemp plants. For example, CBG and CBGa quickly turn into other cannabinoids in Hemp plants. Therefore Hemp cultivators have to harvest their crops early and in time before this conversion occurs if they are to yield high CBG Hemp plants.
Furthermore, the extraction process for CBD is much cheaper than CBG due to the ease of sourcing it from Hemp plants. Due to the lack of CBG in hemp plants, specialized chromatography equipment needs to be used to separate the few percentiles of CBG. This is a longer and more expensive process that could hinder suppliers effectively sourcing CBG. This may undermine the chances of CBG becoming a trend.
However, as CBD prices are somewhat dropping right now due to coronavirus you may see CBG supply prices drop too as it increases in popularity. Plus as demand for CBG increases competition for the best possible pricing will occur between companies, meaning more price elasticity of demand. This opens up options for customers who may hunt for lower prices. Alternatively, it could allow companies to charge a premium for their CBG products for those customers prepared to pay more as they find price an indicator of quality.
On the other hand, as CBG and CBD both work together anyway, regardless of the amount ingested, there’s a lack of use for just CBG supplements. For instance, CBD, CBG, and their related cannabinoids all work with your Endo-cannabinoid system through the entourage effect, whereby they bind to cannabinoid receptors in your body to support the normal functioning of the body’s jobs.
Therefore as CBG is interdependent on CBD to realize its benefits, CBG isolate supplements could be trend-less. Furthermore, as CBD and CBG have the same effects anyway when they work together some may see no point in having CBG supplements at all, especially given its difficulty in extraction.
CBG and the law
In recent months the UK has been debating the legal status of CBD products. The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has put forth an argument that CBD as an ingredient hasn’t been substantially utilized before the 1990s.
Therefore it should be reclassified as a Novel Food, subject to further tests and more investment for research into the product.
As cannabinoid companies are already spending thousands on safety checks and lab reports, most will find these extra measures unnecessary. Especially given that CBD and cannabinoids, in general, have been used for generations in human history throughout Europe and the world. Therefore they maintain that CBD should stay classed as a food supplement.
Naturally, this extends to CBG, but as the MHRA has a narrow view on what constitutes as a food supplement and on the history of Hemp-derived cannabinoids, CBG will likely have the same legal hurdles as CBD.
Inevitably these extra-legal hurdles for getting CBG onto the market to start selling could hinder the takeoff of CBG as a new trend. Moreover, CBD didn’t have these legal constraints when it initially hit the scene, and so CBG as a newly marketed cannabinoid won’t have the impact its predecessor did.
However, in the US, the FDA states that if products fall outside the “exclusionary zone” that CBD and THC are in, then they are permissible to enter the market without hesitation. If this sustains then CBG could have an easier route to market with little or no legal obstacles.
Furthermore, companies have learned from mistakes they made in marketing CBD as a cure-all- which is outlawed. Therefore CBG could access world markets somewhat risk-free as long as vendors stick to marketing rules. This increases the chances of CBG being the next big thing. Plus the legal issues that permeate around the world on CBG and its status as a food supplement allow it to be a household name- maximizing the chances of a new trend.
CBG sales and coronavirus
The ongoing pandemic has belittled the sales of numerous non-essential items. Including CBD and health supplements. Although great for your health the CBD market has been hit by people preferring foodstuffs, toilet roll, and other essentials instead of what they deem premium, luxury items like CBD.
However the “lipstick effect” whereby the demand for luxury items increases in times of social and economic uncertainty could increase sales of CBD. The same goes for CBG. This is because people are indoors all day in isolation and may want
to pamper themselves via natural ingredients. This may help CBG gain a positive trend in the market.
On the other hand, to just have 99% CBG as an isolated or pure product can hurt sales, as many feel that ideally, all cannabinoids should be present in their supplements, so they can work together through the entourage effect. CBD isolate has already been burnt by this view. Consequently Full Spectrum CBD products reign as king in the cannabinoid market.
In addition to this, some may ask: why not have a highly concentrated CBG product that also has high amounts of CBD? Instead of trace amounts of these cannabinoids usually found in Full Spectrum products. The problem lies in what we stated before that to have two rather long extraction processes to yield both CBG and CBD is expensive. Especially as CBG is much harder to derive from Hemp.
Subsequently, companies may have to think outside the box to lower costs.
CBG infused supplements
One thing some companies could do is have unique products that contain trace amounts of CBG as an added benefit. This would offset some of the costs incurred in the extraction of CBG. For example, a vitamin style supplement that has added CBG could sell well, as people get the best of both worlds when taking it. As consumers are looking for a specific vitamin, the secondary CBG isn’t the priority. Therefore some vendors could get away with just a small amount of CBG in the supplement to avoid high costs in sourcing CBG. This is purely a business decision for cannabinoid sellers though.
Similarly, some CBD infused products are already on the market, but only through websites. However, Amazon states that all cannabinoid products of any kind are non-medicinal unproven supplements. Therefore CBG products of this kind won’t
make it on this platform either. This narrows the routes to market in order to make a trend.
Educating the public about CBG
The final hardship comes down to how the public views CBG. CBD has many misconceptions and confusions out there already on whether it’s legal, that it gets you high, that it’s just for “stoners”, that it’s a cannabis-based product and that it will cure a disease, the list is endless. CBG will have the same issues as a cannabinoid as people group all cannabinoids in the same basket, and due to the pervading lies on Hemp-derived products sprouted by some companies.
If companies are to successfully market CBG and rid the falsehoods surrounding it, then extensive writing and a library of knowledge will need to catch people’s attention. This is something we at All Round CBD are trying to do.
As CBD needs to be present for CBG to reach its potential, pure CBG products could have depreciating results on the world market. Secondly, the success of CBG becoming a trend could be hindered by its difficult, expensive extraction process. Thirdly CBG could be affected by the legal limbo shared by its cousin CBD. However, CBG vendors could learn a lot from their mistakes in marketing CBD in order to give CBG an easier route to market to spur a trend more effortlessly.
Unfortunately, coronavirus, a unique circumstance that CBD didn’t share when it first came out, could hinder sales of CBG. Lastly, on-going misconceptions about CBD could throw shade on CBG in becoming a trend.
All of this brings you to believe that pure CBG products may not have the traction companies need. Instead, Full Spectrum CBG products are more realistic as the expenses and rarity of CBG in Hemp plants will allow companies to set a premium price. Also, some vendors could start a trend in CBG infused vitamins or minerals
in order to start a secondary trend too. All in all these positives will likely spur a CBG trend amongst consumers willing to spend money, although this trend could be depreciated by the issues outlined earlier.
By Shyam Kotecha