Until recently, we had very little understanding of the various cannabinoid compounds in cannabis. People have been smoking cannabis for years, but it’s only in the last few decades that we’ve learned about what’s inside. By now, most people are familiar with the two most well-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD. But there are over 120 compounds in cannabis, including CBG.
CBG has many characteristics in common with CBD. Among other things, both are non-psychoactive, neuroprotective, antioxidative, and analgesic. When they’re used together, these effects all become more pronounced, while some of their other characteristics are cancelled out.
So, what’s the difference between CBG vs CBD? To find out, we’ll have to talk a little more about each of these cannabinoid compounds, and how they work in the body. Let’s get started!
CBG is short for “cannabigerol,” which is a cannabinoid compound that was first isolated in 1964. But despite having been known for 57 years, scientists still know less about CBG than they know about many other cannabinoids. This is mostly because, until recently, it was difficult to get research grants for anything related to the study of cannabinoids.
However, despite CBG studies still being in the animal testing phases, there’s still a lot of promising potential to this compound. For example, early research suggests that CBG may actually provide even better pain relief than THC, without the psychoactive effects. CBG may also provide benefits against cancer, depression, and even bacterial infection.
CBG – technically CBGA – is the chemical building block for all of the other cannabinoids. As the cannabis plant grows, it is converted into a variety of other compounds, including THCA and CBDA. When these compounds are heated, they become CBG, THC, and CBD respectively. In this state, they’re capable of interacting with the human body’s endocannabinoid receptors. It’s also possible that CBG may directly bind to receptors that reduce pain and inflammation, although that research is still ongoing.
Because of its status as a precursor compound, CBG is usually only present in low concentrations by the time the plant has matured. Breeders have produced some CBG-rich variants, but they’re not as popular as breeds that produce high quantities of CBD and THC. As a result, CBG products can often be difficult to find. In many cases, you can only find it in products with THC, which not everybody wants. If you can’t find a CBG-only product, you might want to try a full-spectrum CBD product, which will contain at least some CBG.
CBD, which is short for “cannabidiol,” has been known for a little longer than CBG. It was first isolated in the 1930s, although research really didn’t begin in the 1970s. At that time, scientists began researching its qualities as an anticonvulsant, and it’s been studied ever since. Since then, it’s been used to treat epilepsy, pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and inflammation.
CBD is found in all hemp plants. However, it’s most common in Type II and Type III cannabis, which have been bred for high levels of CBD. The difference between these two types is that Type II also has a high level of THC, while Type III has a low level.
When used in combination with THC, in states where medical cannabis is legal, CBD can help to relieve some of the less pleasant aspects of THC intoxication. For instance, THC can make you anxious and paranoid, and slows down thinking. CBD counteracts these effects, at least to some extent. Not only that, but their therapeutic benefits work in tandem, which is another reason they’re often used together.
CBD acts in much the same way as CBG, by bonding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, it doesn’t bond as strongly, but it does promote natural production of the body’s own endocannabinoids. Even so, there is a lot more research to be done to fully understand how CBD works.
So, What’s the Difference?
There are three main differences between CBG and CBG, beginning with the molecular structure. Although they both bond to the same receptor, they have a different effect once they’ve been bonded. This is an important distinction, since a single receptor can have multiple effects depending on what chemical is bonding to it.
This leads us to the second difference, which is pharmacology. CBG and CBD both bond to some non-cannabinoid receptors, but these are not always the same. For example, CBD has strong anti-nausea properties, but CBG will actually block its effects.
Finally, CBG can make you hungry, while CBD is an appetite suppressant. This is an important difference if you’re trying to manage digestive issues.