High fat meals dramatically increase CBG bioavailability

Determining the bioavailable amount of a dose of cannabinoids in the human body is important information for patients. If the bioavailability of cannabinoids can be improved, patients can take smaller doses and thus reduce costs.

This small double-crossover pilot study examined the bioavailability (via standard pharmacokinetics variables) of CBG isolate and a type of CBG emulsion administered orally with different meals. It was published online ahead of print in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in April 2024.

The authors compared the same dose of CBG (25 mg) delivered via two different oral CBG formulations:

  1. emulsified CBG
  2. non-emulsified CBG isolate

Participants were blinded to the type of CBG formulation and different meal conditions over the course of a day:

  • low fat meal (LF) of 5 grams fat or less
  • high fat meal (HF) of 30 grams fat or more


A single 25 mg dose of CBG was taken as a gummy immediately after the first meal. However, the participants also ate high fat or low fat meals for the rest of the day. Their blood plasma was tested approximately 14 times over the next 24 hours. 

CBG concentrations in blood plasma were measured over time by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The pharmacokinetics (PK) variables measured when determining the bioavailability of a drug usually include:

  • AUC (area under the curve) - gives an idea of the drug's concentration in blood plasma over time. 
  • C(max) - the maximum concentration level achieved
  • C(1/2) - one half the maximum concentration level
  • t(max) - the time it takes to reach the maximum concentration 
  • t(1/2) - 'terminal half life' is the time it takes for the plasma concentration level to fall to one half of the maximum concentration

The chart below shows a typical dose-response graph over time. The AUC is the area shaded blue "under the curve".

An example blood plasma concentration over time curve showing AUC, Cmax, tmax, C(1/2), and t(1/2)


Here are the curves for this study:

The blood plasma concentration over time curve showing dramatic improvements with a high fat meal


Results in the authors' words:

Participants in the HF [high fat] meal group exhibited significantly higher area under the plasma concentration time curve [AUC] from time 0 to last quantifiable value, maximum concentration [C(max)], and terminal half-life [t(1/2)].

Participants in the HF meal group also had a significantly lower terminal elimination rate constant and time to maximum concentration (Tmax), in addition to decreased Tmax variation. 


So they found that the bioavailability of both types of oral CBG was dramatically improved when consumed with the high fat diet. Surprisingly, the MCT emulsion they used was less bioavailable than the isolate when taken with the same high fat diet. However, there are MANY different types of emulsions technologies - this was just one. 

Most of the CBG (and other cannabinoid) edible products on the market now are made without emulsion technology, so the results of the isolate formulation are probably most similar to what is available to most patients and consumers. Either way, the bioavailability is increases when taken with a high fat diet.

The increased bioavailability parameters of the CBG isolate were dramatically improved with the high fat diet. The key improvements with the high fat diet:

  • 9.6 times higher maximum blood plasma concentration: C(max)
  • 6 times higher AUC
  • 60% faster absorption: 0.75 hours vs. 1.88 hours to t(max)


Authors' conclusions:

It is clear that dietary fat significantly improved CBG PKs compared with isocaloric LF [low fat] meals.

In aggregate, dietary fat had a greater effect on CBG PKs than the emulsified delivery vehicle.


The article abstract is here at PubMed.



Story G, Lee J, Cohen G, Rani A, Doherty J, Sela DA. Impact of Dietary Fat and Oral Delivery System on Cannabigerol Pharmacokinetics in Adults. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2024 Apr 4. doi: 10.1089/can.2023.0174. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38574248.