Know Your Cannabinoids: CBG VS CBD
Posted on August 1st, 2021
Alternative health enthusiasts constantly explore the potential health benefits of medicinal cannabis. Already, plant’s phyto-compounds are linked to future treatments for many common ailments. And, since these plant-based ingredients are natural, they provoke few (if any) adverse side effects. Even after long term use.
You’ve probably heard of the two most famous cannabinoids: CBD (cannabidiol), and it’s somewhat notorious cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). But what most people don’t know is that these are just two of hundreds of metabolites. And they’re all produced in one of the greatest chemical synthesis facilities, the cannabis plant.
The Full Range of Cannabinoids
In fact, aside from CBD and THC, there are over 100 other cannabinoids. And each has a special design that makes it function differently in your body. Now, THC and CBD don’t start off that way. Because they’re actually decarboxylated forms of THCA and CBDA. And they’re present in large quantities in cannabis, which may be why they receive so much attention.
Still, the lesser cannabinoids are worth exploring. And Cannabigerol, or CBG, is one of them. This cannabinoid’s the decarboxylated version of CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid), which is the precursor to most other cannabis compounds. Recently, we’ve learned that CBG has its own set of beneficial characteristics. And we’ll take a closer look at those shortly.
But first, it is important to understand a few things about the nature of all cannabinoids. Especially how they interact with your body.
Cannabinoids and The Endocannabinoid System
Cannabis was an important medicines even before the agricultural revolution. It’s history includes uses for pain, seizures, mood boosters, anxiety help, and to get better sleep. But how can the extracts of one plant do all that? Well, it has a lot to do with how they interacts with your body’s own internal systems.
The first step to separating CBG vs CBD is to understand how they work with your endocannabinoid system.
Also called the ECS, this system exists in all vertebrates. It plays an important role in how people and animals adapt to their environment. Basically, it’s a regulatory system with receptors located in every part of your body. But those receptors appear in higher concentrations around your major organs, central nervous system and brain.
These receptors monitor conditions in your body. Then, they regulate things like pain, appetite, inflammation and immune function. Your ECS also addresses sleep, mood and so much more. As cannabinoids, CBG, CBD and others have an affinity for your endo- “cannabinoid” system. So they can greatly impact the processes over which your ECS presides.
Choosing Your Cannabinoids
Because different cannabinoids react differently in the body, it is important to consider which cannabinoids have been emphasized in your strain or cultivar of cannabis. Some strains will have a higher content of THC and are designed to treat pain and induce a psychoactive effect. CBD is best found in many varieties of hemp selected for their high CBD content and low THC content.
CBG is not one of the major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Despite the fact that it is the precursor to most of the other cannabinoids, cannabigerol only represents about 1% of the total dry weight of the cannabis bud. But one good way to find higher contents of CBG is to select younger plants. As mentioned, CBG is the precursor to other cannabinoids, therefore as more time goes by more of this important precursor will be converted into other cannabinoids.
Nevertheless, you can only find a small amount of CBG in your average hemp plants, just over 1% of dry weight will be CBG. Older plants tend to have much less CBG than younger plants. This is because CBG is an important precursor from which THC and CBD are formed within the trichomes of the cannabis. As time goes by more CBG is transformed into other cannabinoids.
CBG VS CBD: The Similarities
Psychoactive Properties. CBG and CBD aren’t psychoactive, unlike THC. So, no matter how much you take, neither will affect your smooth mental process.
Few Side Effects. Neither CBG nor CBD are associated with serious negative side effects, even after prolonged use.
Anti-Inflammatory action. These cannabinoids can both affect your ECS’ the immune functions. In turn, this may limit your body’s inflammatory response when threatened by infections.
Neuroprotective properties. Both CBD and CBG may protect your brain’s neurons and neural pathways.
CBG VS CBD: The Differences
CBG’s Pharmacological Properties. This cannabinoid seems especially effective at relieving glaucoma pressure. It may also addressing bladder conditions, or help control irritable bowel syndrome. Finally, CBG appears to possess anti-microbial properties, so it may act as an antiseptic.
CBD’s Pharmacological Properties. CBD is anxiolytic, which means it may reduce your anxiety and stress. Therfore, taking a small dose before a stressful situation, like giving a speech or presentation, may reduce your physical anxiety symptoms. People with PTSD, OCD or social anxieties may also find relief with CBD.
CBD also offers properties similar to NSAIDS. (But come with fewer side effects.) In fact, you can take CBD without risk of addiction or resistance. CBD may reduce arthritis pain and inflammation. It may also manage hard to treat neuropathic pains associated with fibromyalgia.
CBD and CBG: Best Together
While we haven’t full explored these cannabinoids benefits and effects, early evidence suggests they’re better when taken together. This is caused by the “entourage effect” first noticed by Israeli doctors performing studies on cannabinoids in the 1990’s. Basically, the entourage effect boosts the potency of any particular cannabinoid when it is taken in natural form with the other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant.
To take full advantage of the entourage effect in boosting the potency of your cannabinoids, you will want to look for a product that indicates the “full spectrum” of cannabinoids are present in the product. This means that all the cannabinoids from the plant are present. But this also means that your product will contain at least some THC, which is still a controlled substance. Be sure to check the legalities of ordering cannabinoids in your area before you make such a purchase
Final Notes on CBG vs CBD
The study of cannabinoids and their marvelous effect on the living body has opened up many avenues of understanding the way health works. If you are looking to include these two special cannabinoids in your plan for better health, using them both in conjunction is the best way to gain the full benefits they can provide.