Cannabis has been considered strictly a recreational drug until around the 1990s when researchers began to examine cannabis for its potential benefits. While the research has been slow, cannabis has shown great potential for recreational and medicinal uses. While CBD, and CBD Products which have become extremely popular over the past few years, have been among the first chemicals to be isolated from cannabis, CBG has also been gaining attention. But what is the difference between CBD and CBG? And what are their potential benefits? Here’s what you need to know:
About the Endocannabinoid System
The research focused on cannabis has led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, a biological system of chemicals and receptors naturally present in the human body. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in appetite control, mood, memory, pain-sensation, fertility, and even cognitive processes. Among the most influential receptors within the endocannabinoid system are CB1 and CB2, both of which can be influenced by cannabis.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, can be found in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD has been the topic of much research and holistic applications. CBD has been shown to act on the endocannabinoid system via interaction with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Studies have confirmed that CBD has applications as an analgesic, sedative, anti-nausea, and anti-anxiety medications. It has also been suggested that CBD may be helpful in treating severe forms of childhood epilepsy.
When taken in combination with THC, which is the component of cannabis responsible for the ‘high,’ CBD can actually negate some of the adverse side effects of THC, such as paranoia, sleep anxiety, and cognitive impairment. In fact, researchers have paired CBD and THC in studies, and the results suggest that the combination of CBD and THC is more effective than either CBD or THC alone- a phenomenon that has been dubbed the entourage effect.
What Is CBG?
CBG, or cannabigerol, was first isolated in 1964 as one of the over 120 cannabinoids that are found in cannabis. Cannabigerol acid (CBGA), found naturally in cannabis, is converted into either tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromene acid (CBCA). CBCA is also converted to CBG.
While CBG is still being studied, research suggests that it has some affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors inside the endocannabinoid system, influencing inflammation, pain, and heat sensitivity. One study, conducted in mice, has also suggested that CBG may have neuroprotective effects in Huntington’s disease. In addition, anecdotal evidence from customers who have used CBG suggests that CBG can also increase focus and decrease symptoms from anxiety and depression.
Other studies have also suggested that CBG may have some potential antibacterial properties. CBG may even have some applications against hard-to-treat bacteria such as MRSA. Other studies suggest that CBG can reduce cancerous cells and treat inflammatory bowel disease, bladder dysfunction, and glaucoma.
CBD vs. CBG – What Are the Differences?
While CBD and CBG both come from cannabis and may even have similar-sounding names, the two compounds are definitely different. Here are some of the main differences between CBD vs. CBG:
Interaction Within the Endocannabinoid System
One of the major differences between CBD and CBG is their ability to interact within the endocannabinoid system. While CBG works directly on the receptors, CBD helps create and regulate natural cannabinoids. Also, while CBD tends to have a calming effect, CBG tends to cause one to feel more energized.
Inflammation vs. Pain Pathways
While both CBD and CBG have been studied for their ability to relieve pain and inflammation, CBD has a more intense effect. At the same time, CBG has been shown to act on neurological areas.
Best for Anxiety
While both CBD and CBG are thought to have potential effects in treating anxiety, CBG is thought to be more effective in decreasing anxiety, blood pressure, and the intensity of heart palpitations. CBG is more effective than CBD or even THC because it can directly interact with GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), an amino acid that inhibits certain synapses in the brain.
One of the most basic differences between CBD and CBG is their molecular structure. The difference in molecular makeup means that the CBG and CBD have different shapes, which allows them to interact with different receptors within the body, and may even impact the same receptor in different ways. For instance, while CBD binds to the 5-HT1A receptor to act as an activator, CBG blocks that receptor.
When it comes to appetite stimulation CBD and CBG are different. While both CBD and CBG are still being researched, studies suggest that CBD may act as an appetite stimulant to make you feel more hungry, while CBG may have either a stronger effect on appetite or no effect at all.
Choosing Between CBD and CBG
If you are considering CBD or CBG for medical purposes, the first thing to do is speak to your doctor. While CBD and CBG are naturally occurring, they may still interact with your existing medications and, in some cases, be contraindicated. Your doctor may even be able to advise you about choosing CBD, CBG, or a combination thereof.
If your doctor is uncertain about whether CBD or CBG is best for you, you can do your own research based on your specific condition. Keep in mind that both CBD and CBG are being studied right now, which means that the information is preliminary and that future study results may lead to changes in information.
- While CBD and CBG are derived from cannabis, they have some fundamental differences, including their molecular structure and ability to interact with receptors within the endocannabinoid system.
- CBD and CBG have been shown to act on appetite, anxiety, depression, pain, and inflammation.
- Both CBD and CBG are currently being researched for their unique characteristics.
- CBG may have the potential for antimicrobial and anticancer treatments.
- Always speak to a doctor before using CBD or CBG as a treatment for certain conditions.