Is CBD an Adaptogen?

Is CBD an Adaptogen?

Adaptogens: An Overview

Ashwagandha, lion’s mane, holy basil… these and other adaptogens are in vogue. But what are adaptogens and how do they work? How does CBD fit into the mix?

Adaptogens are plant compounds that help your body adjust to its environment. They’ve been used in holistic medicine for thousands of years, to combat a variety of stressors and bring our bodies into balance. They can fight oxidation and help our bodies respond to illness, environmental contaminants, and emotional stress.

Adaptogens meet our bodies and help them adjust. They can balance our hormones and bring homeostasis to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenal system, making us feel calmer and more energized. Many people have reported increased concentration levels and less emotional stress after incorporating them into their routine.

The Similarities Between CBD and Adaptogens

While CBD has not traditionally been considered an adaptogen, it has many similarities to other well-known adaptogens. Both are plant compounds and may have an effect on immune, adrenal, and stress responses.

Adaptogens are primarily valued for their direct effect on the adrenal system, which plays a key role in our bodies’ responses to stress. In contrast, CBD is known for interacting with our endocannabinoid systems (ECS). However, the inverse may also be true; some adaptogens interact with the ECS in a similar way to CBD, and CBD may have an impact on our adrenal function. This means CBD and adaptogens may both help regulate functions like mood, sleep, and immunity.

Are There Synergies Between Adaptogens and CBD?

Many naturopaths and herbalists believe that taking adaptogens and CBD together may lead to synergies. In other words, taking them together makes each one more effective than taking them alone.

The modern world is increasingly turning toward naturopathic approaches and botanical healing over traditional pharmaceuticals, which can have extensive side effects. As a result people are beginning to explore the integration of CBD and adaptogens like ashwaganda, ginseng, and rhodiola into their lives. Together these compounds may combat emotional and environmental stressors and boost our energy, focus, and sense of calm.

What Is CBG?

What is CBG and What Are Its Unique Benefits?

By now you’ve probably heard of CBD…but are you familiar with its cannabinoid cousin, “CBG” (cannabigerol)?

In recent centuries farmers have bred cannabis to have higher levels of THC and CBD. CBG is one of many ‘minors’ present in every hemp plant, but it only comprises a small percentage of the total cannabinoid content.

CBG plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of other cannabinoids and is crucial to the overall composition of hemp. However, due to CBG’s scarcity, it can literally take thousands of pounds of biomass to extract even small amounts.

Farmers are regularly pressed with a difficult decision: should they harvest early and maximize their CBG yield? Or should they grow to maturity and watch most of the CBG transform into CBD and THC?

Regardless of which path is chosen, CBG production requires large amounts of biomass and special extraction machines to gather therapeutic doses of the compound. The process is almost always complicated and expensive. For this reason, CBG has been called the “Rolls Royce” of cannabinoids. Supplies remain relatively scarce despite its medical appeal and high consumer demand.

The Benefits of CBG

CBG has been less-researched than CBD or THC but early studies have been impressive. Like CBD, CBG is non-intoxicating and won’t get you high. It boosts our bodies’ natural “bliss” molecule (anandamide) and may act as a GABA reuptake inhibitor. Scientists believe this is why it appears to contribute to feelings of well being.

Scientists believe CBG activates both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This gives CBG greater efficacy than cannabinoids that bind with just one type of receptor. Once activated, the CB1 and CB2 receptors affect neurohormones and that are responsible for mood and metabolism and appetite. CBG may also inhibit cyclooxygenase enzyme “COX-2”, which is known to affect inflammatory response.

In 2018 the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) announced it would research minor cannabinoids, including CBG, to see if they can help manage pain. While more research is needed, a number of in vitro and animal studies have already indicated that CBG may have many interesting health implications.

CBG: A Relatively Scarce Resource

Stem Cell of the Plant or “Mother Cannabinoid”?

Cannabigerol, or CBG, is considered a minor or trace cannabinoid. Due to its scarcity it’s often neglected but still extremely important. In fact, it is the source cannabinoid vital to producing most of the effects of cannabis and hemp. It is a precursor of CBD, THC and several other cannabinoids. During plant growth, CBG is converted by enzymes into other cannabinoids, which is why it’s usually present in small amounts once the hemp is ready for harvest. This means that we owe a lot to CBG because it’s responsible for creating CBD! This precursor function is only one of CBG’s many functions.

In spite of its hefty price tag, we’re so excited about CBG that we’ve added extra to our tincture formula. Each bottle of MendCBD+ includes 10% CBG.

Distinctive Effects of CBG

CBG, like most cannabinoids, causes various effects on the body when ingested. As CBG is not yet a major component of most cannabinoid oil supplements, fewer studies on its effects have been conducted in comparison to the CBD. However, some studies have been completed and they show positive results.


Navarro, G., et. al (2018, June 21) Cannabigerol Action at Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 Receptors and at CB1 — CB2  Heteroreceptor Complexes, Front Pharmacol., Volume 9: 632. Retrieved on November 3, 2019 at

Clinical Research on the Potential Benefits of CBG

Don’t take our word for it, here are some links to some interesting studies published by the National Institute of Health:

  • CBG potential for inflammatory conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • CBG study as an anti-bacterial and antimicrobial agent; preliminary studies show it can even fight powerful infections like MRSA.
  • CBG study as a neuroprotectant that can help protect the brain and nervous system from oxidative stress.
  • CBG study on actions as a GABA reuptake inhibitor, a neurotransmitter that may produce a calming effect.
  • CBG may block the reuptake of anandamide (aka, your “bliss” molecule), making it more available within the body.
  • “Many in vitro and in vivo experiments have shown that cannabinoids inhibit proliferation of cancer cells, stimulate autophagy and apoptosis, and have also a potential to inhibit angiogenesis and metastasis.” View full abstract here.
  • CBG may be able to help people with bladder spasms.
  • CBG study on Autism Spectrum Disorder. A study published earlier this year treated ASD patients with a dose of cannabis oil containing CBG revealed 30.1 percent of patients reported a “significant improvement” in symptoms.