What is CBG Hemp Flower?

Beginning with the 2019 Fall harvest the online market has seen a new type of Cannabis for sale. CBG (Cannabigerol) hemp flower refers to the female flowers of hemp plants that are bred to produce primarily CBG rather than CBD.  The flowers actually contain CBGA – the acid form of CBG (just as THC flowers contain mostly THCA and CBD flowers contain mostly CBDA). Heat is needed to convert these acid forms of the cannabinoids to their bioavailable forms (without the A).  Most people know about marijuana flower, often called bud. CBD hemp flower is also becoming popular since the 2018 farm bill legalized it. The difference between these plants has to do with the dominant cannabinoid that they produce. Marijuana flower is highest in THC, while CBD hemp flower is highest in CBD.  The new flower is highest in CBG.

Young Hemp FlowerCBG is sometimes referred to as the “stem cell” cannabinoid.  Cannabis plants produce CBGA relatively early in their lifespan and much of it is converted to THCA and CBDA as the plant matures. Plant scientists have bred new strains of cannabis where this conversion has been blocked. Flowers from these plants are high in CBG once the plant material has been heated (decarbed).

When using cannabis medically the goal is to consume enough to get symptom relief without becoming intoxicated or impaired. THC flowers (marijuana), when consumed in enough quantity, make you high (intoxicated). CBD flowers relax you without making you high. CBG hemp flowers are drier than the more traditional CBD flowers and they produce different effects, which are difficult to describe.  If THC gives you a “head high” and CBD gives you a “body buzz,”  then CBG might be said to give you a “mind-body buzz”.  Some users report that CBG flowers enhance the effects of CBD when both are consumed together.  These CBG flowers are so new (as of this post in November 2019) that there is no real consensus as to their effects. Some early users of CBG flower report a clear-headed sense of relaxation without the sedation that accompanies some CBD flowers, but others do report sedation. As with all cannabis, the terpene profiles may also influence the effects. CBG itself is known to fight some forms of cancer, to reduce intraocular pressure, and to fight some infections.

I believe we are still in the early days of understanding these natural healing substances. Hemp that is high in other cannabinoids may be right around the corner.  Innovative companies like PotLuckExpo and Kanabia are already offering hemp-based products featuring exotic natural cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and THC-V.  I have updated the shopping section to include note of places to buy GBG Flower Online.

We also have information on how to decarb CBD hemp flower.

Testing your DNA for Cannabis-related Traits?

A company called “Strain Genie” claims to be able to analyze your DNA and tell you how cannabis will affect you.  You may get information on how well you metabolize CBD as well as suggestions as to which terpenes you might most benefit from.  You don’t need to use marijuana to benefit from this.  Many of the results are relevant to hemp/CBD users as well.

StrainGenieIf you have used another service to analyze your DNA in the past you can save money and upload your raw data from that service to Strain Genie. If not, you can pay a lot more to spit into a tube and send it back to them. As I am writing this the costs are $150 if you send them your saliva or $30 if you upload your 23andMe raw data.

I had already tested my DNA through 23 and Me, so I opted for the $30 plan.  The report I got is awfully close to the sample report that they show on their site.   My results were a little more confusing, though.  Take these two sections:StrainGenieWarnings

Apparently I have a gene that slows the metabolism of substances like CBD, and I also have a gene that results in my breaking down CBD especially quickly.  What happens when these genes fight it out?  This information was not particularly helpful for me – since it seems like a wash.  They did modify their recommendations about what cannabis products I should choose.  They stated “Edibles Warnings Found! Based on these results, we will not recommend any edible products (including tinctures) below.”  What they did recommend are THC products that are also high in CBD, even though they knew that I live in an illegal state. StrainGenieRecommendations

Strain Genie seems to be part of the same company as Woahstork, a cannabis delivery service.  This service appears to be available in selected states only.  I’m not sure how closely Strain Genie’s recommendations match up with Woahstork’s selection of products, but Strain Genie pushes you pretty hard to sign up for the other service as well.

Is it worth it?  If you have already analyzed your DNA somewhere else, then it’s probably worth the $30 fee.  It gave me the idea of adding alpha pinene to the terpenes in my “Make your own CBD oil” blends.  They suggested that this might help my memory because I have slightly elevated risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m not sure I’d plop down $150 for these somewhat-limited results.  A better bet would be to wait for 23 and Me to go on sale (which it does from time-to-time) and then get their more comprehensive genetic results.  Once you have those results you can send the raw file to Strain Genie along with $30.

How to make CBD Oil for Morning and Evening

(This is a continuation of previous posts on How to make CBD Oil and How to make Broad Spectrum CBD Oil.)

If you are making your own CBD oil you can tailor your blends of terpenes to include terpenes that are activating for morning use and terpenes that are sedating for evening use.  I’m not suggesting adding anything that does not naturally occur in cannabis. Some people sell CBD for evening use that is blended with melatonin.  I think that’s stupid. Melatonin is cheap (in the U.S.) and there’s no need to start adding it to CBD.  It’s also not a good idea to take melatonin except right before bedtime.  Taken at the wrong time of day it can actually give you jet lag.shutterstock_547722112

Adding naturally relaxing/sedating terpenes such as myrcene and nerolidol is different. It is a way to mimic some of the chemical makeup of a sedating cannabis strain in a THC-free CBD oil.  In my most recent batch of CBD oil I made three slightly different blends.  I used the basic technique in How to make Broad Spectrum CBD Oil, including blending in some Kanabia Golden Harvest oil in order to get an entourage effect from added CBD-V, CBG, and THC-V.  (This is the only oil with such high levels of these cannabinoids and code cannap15 still gets you 15% off.)  I made the oil stronger by using more CBD isolate than in my last batch; and less MCT oil.  The contents of the final result is below.  The bold ingredients are the ones that distinguish activating from sedating:

AM-Activating: 29mg CBD/ml.
Hemp-derived terpene blend, harlequin terpene blend, Durban Poison terpene blend
D-limonene, b-carophyllene, linalool
CBD-V, CBG, THC-V (from Kanabia oil)

Neutral: 29mg CBD/ml.
Hemp-derived terpene blend, harlequin terpene blend
D-limonene, b-carophyllene, linalool
CBD-V, CBG, THC-V (from Kanabia oil)

PM-Sedating 29mg CBD/ml.
Hemp-derived terpene blend, harlequin terpene blend, myrcene, nerolidol
D-limonene, b-carophyllene, linalool
CBD-V, CBG, THC-V (from Kanabia oil)

As you can see the only differences are the addition of Durban Poison terpenes in the morning and the addition of the sedating terpenes myrcene and nerolidol in the evening. The result is three slightly different CBD oils. I definitely notice the extra sedation in the evening.  I sometimes get “couch-lock” where I end up dozing in my recliner rather than asleep in the bed.

I’m not sure yet about the activating blend.  It doesn’t make me sleepy, but I’m generally drinking a cup of coffee in the morning too. Leafly describes Durban Poison as:

This pure sativa originates from the South African port city of Durban. It has gained popularity worldwide for its sweet smell and energetic, uplifting effects. Durban Poison is the perfect strain to help you stay productive through a busy day, when exploring the outdoors, or to lend a spark of creativity.

Another option for an activating blend would be to add individual terpenes that are thought to be activating. You can buy combinations of food-grade terpenes that are sold as either sedating of activating as well.

Have you made different blends of CBD oil?  What is your formula?  Please comment below.

Cannabis sativa vs. indica vs. ruderalis – What’s in a (Latin) name?

The few times I’ve visited dispensaries in legal states the cannabis products were always described as Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica or hybrids.  In Alaska I tried two gummies and found them to be very different.  One was described as:

“707 HEADBAND: INDICA  |  18.7-21.2% THC. An indica dominant hybrid known for its potency, 707 Headband has uplifting and happy effects while also providing deep relaxation. Originating from Humbolt County (area code 707) in Northern California, Headband is a combination of NY City Sour Diesel, OG Kush and Master Kush.”

The other was described as:

“DURBAN POISON: SATIVA  |  17.2% THC. Known as the “espresso of cannabis”, Durban Poison is one of the most sought after strains in the world. Whether you’re exploring the Alaskan wilderness or just want to vacuum your house, this pure sativa will get have you ready for activity. Listed as one of the 25 Top Strains of All Time by Hightimes Magazine.”

I did find them to be quite different.  The “Sativa” was definitely more activating and made me a little paranoid.  The “Indica dominant hybrid” was more sedating and I was pretty mellow.   I preferred the Indica – but what was it I was really preferring?
Traditionally Cannabis sativa was thought to be taller, with thinner leaves and more uplifting – for daytime use.  Cannabis indica was shorter with fatter leaves and more sedating – for nighttime use.  Cannabis ruderalis was a weedy “roadside” cannabis from Eastern Europe and Russia that bloomed more quickly than the other varieties.  Genes from ruderalis have been bred into some modern varieties to produce “auto-flowering” plants that produce flowers more quickly, regardless of day length.

Lexis-Olivier Ray interviewed Aaron Riley, president and co-founder of Van Nuys-based Cannasafe, one of the nations most prominent cannabis testing facilities for an article in LA Taco. Riley reported that

“Almost all of [the] current crops have been crossed and are somewhat hybridized. Also the terpenes, which really deliver the effects associated with the indicia-sativa argument, are present in both strains,”

All cannabis (including marijuana and hemp) is now considered botanically to be Cannabis sativa.  Differences between strains are largely due to different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes (and possibly other substances).  This is the same “entourage effect” that results in full-spectrum cannabis products being more effective than isolated substances like CBD isolate and THC isolate.

According to Riley:

The Entourage Effect is what happens with different combinations of terpenes and cannabinoids. This is why smoking cannabis that contains different cannabinoids and terpenes is better and more effective than drugs like Marinol which is Synthetic THC Delta 9,”

So how do you know what to buy?  Buy cannabis that includes Certificates of Analysis (COAs) from independent testing laboratories.  These certificates should list the cannabinoids and terpenes present, as well as whether any harmful chemicals were detected.  Make notes on how different terpenes affect you and read up on different strains.  It’s also fine to use “Indica” vs “Sativa” and a rule-of-thumb to let you know if a strain is sedating (indica) or uplifting and possibly paranoia-inducing (sativa) – but be aware that these labels may not reflect the actual genetics of the plant.


CBD Hemp Flower – One Grower

Fields of Hemp is a small grower of CBD hemp flower.  Tweedle Farms (a big vendor) has sold some of their flower in the past.  A Reddit contributor recently made a video reviewing all of their offerings.  I especially like the first 5-6 minutes of the video where he explains the whole idea of CBD hemp flower, emphasizing how it relaxes you without the high you get from THC flower. The video is almost 30 minutes – but check out at least the first 5 minutes to get an idea of what quality CBD hemp flower is all about.  (And remember to Vape not Smoke).


Check out sources of CBD Hemp Flower here.

Behind the Scenes Developing CBD-rich Hemp

Seth and Eric Crawford formed Oregon CBD Seeds to develop CBD-rich varieties of hemp. They bred their signature male “Early Resin Berry” (ERB) with a number of varieties of high CBD cannabis to get varieties such as Special Sauce, Lifter, Hawaiian Haze, Elektra, Suver Haze, and Sour Space Candy.  Seth explains the process and gives us hints of what’s to come: