CBG vs. CBD Explained: Differences & Benefits
The two most widely available cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As researchers continue to discover the health benefits of these cannabinoids, lesser-known cannabinoid like CBG has been gaining more attention recently because of their potential benefits.
In this article, we’ll look into CBG vs. CBD and discuss how these two compounds differ and their benefits.
The Difference Between CBD vs. CBG
Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are phytocannabinoids with different chemical structures. As we know, cannabinoids are present in the cannabis plant (hemp and marijuana) and interact with the human body through its natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of receptors that interact with cannabinoids—the chemicals found within cannabis plants—to regulate everything from mood to metabolism to sleep patterns.
To know more about these two compounds, let’s define each individually.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a highly-abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp. Unlike THC, this cannabinoid does not produce a euphoric “high” or psychoactive effect. Among its health benefits include anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and antioxidant properties to treat conditions like
skin inflammatory conditions like acne
reduce cancer treatment effects
Studies have also shown that CBD can aid in treating seizures and other neurodegenerative diseases.
What is CBG?
Known as cannabigerol, CBG is another cannabinoid that interacts directly with the brain’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. It’s also non-psychoactive, so you won’t get high, but it has health benefits, just like CBD.
As a matter of fact, CBG can act as a buffer against THC’s psychoactive effects, alleviating paranoia symptoms when THC levels are high. Among its health benefits include
Unlike CBD and THC, CBG is a minor cannabinoid that is present in the cannabis plant at a very low concentration. CBG is a precursor to CBD, which manufacturers can convert into CBD by heating it under pressure. CBG can be produced as a metabolite of CBD or THC through decarboxylation when exposed to heat at specific temperatures.
It is also more difficult to extract than other cannabinoids. However, manufacturers use several methods to increase CBG levels in their products and allow consumers to reap the benefits of this lesser-known cannabinoid.
What Is CBG Good For?
CBG is slower to hit the market but is making waves as another compound in cannabis with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and an analgesic. Although the studies for CBG are still relatively few, the following studies describe the CBG benefits.
Like CBD, studies show that CBG can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood by releasing serotonin and other potent anti-inflammatory properties that work against different types of pain.
CBG cannabinoid is a promising treatment for gastrointestinal inflammation or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a 2016 publication.
According to a 2015 study, CBG has many beneficial effects on brain health as a neuroprotectant. A 2020 review even highlights that CBG can benefit people who have Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
CBG might contribute to the effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating glaucoma. Based on a 2008 study, CBG might help treat glaucoma since it decreases intraocular pressure. An increase in intraocular pressure causes damage to the optic nerve inside the eye.
CBD oils with CBG content have an increased pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect.
“The Endocannabinoid System and Cancer: Therapeutic Implications from the British Journal of Pharmacology of 2011 states that, like other cannabinoids, CBG slows the growth of prostate cancer cells and prevents their spread and size from getting larger.
A 2008 study of the effects of cannabinoids on multidrug-resistant bacteria found that all five cannabinoids studied (THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN) were potent against bacteria. Applying a topical antiseptic to affected areas proved to be the most effective.
CBG may also help stimulate appetite. According to a study done on mice, CBG caused them to eat twice as much food as they normally would. Conversely, CBD reduces food intake significantly.
How is CBG Produced?
During the early stages of the cannabis plant’s growth, it produces cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Upon maturation, CBGA turns into tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). As a result, the process forms CBD and THC. CBGA that remains after conversion converts into CBG.
Its production cost is the biggest obstacle to CBG becoming a common treatment. Regarding production costs, CBG is one of the most expensive cannabinoids. Usually, CBG is extracted by distilling large quantities of hemp biomass to obtain CBG-rich liquid.
Despite this, farmers can now grow cultivars with high CBG levels with the help of selective breeding. While cannabigerol products are not yet widely available in the marketplace, they are being grown on a large scale. It will be easier to extract cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes if CBG is in higher concentrations.
Is It Safe to Combine CBD and CBG?
Yes, CBD and CBG are safe to take together. Combining CBD and CBG will not dilute each other’s potency or efficacy but can potentially increase their benefits because of what’s known as the entourage effect. Most full-spectrum CBD oils will include CBG & other cannabinoids and traces of THC (0.3% as allowed by the federal govt.)
The differences between CBG and CBD are quite easy to understand. CBG is the precursor of CBD, meaning it has many of the same properties but needs to undergo different processes to extract it. It also produces a different type of effect than its cousin compound.
CBG has several health benefits but isn’t as well studied as CBD yet. This means that while CBG has shown promise for treating ailments, more studies are still needed before we fully understand how it works inside our bodies.
In the coming years, we’ll continue to learn more about CBG as interest in this cannabinoid grows. We look forward to more studies and research on CBG to better understand its benefits.
We hope that you found this article helpful in answering any questions you may have about these compounds!