You’ve likely heard of cannabidiol (CBD) andtetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but what about cannabigerol (CBG)? Despite CBG being present in many cannabis and hemp strains—and in many of your favorite full- and broad-spectrum CBD products—CBG has yet to have its time in the spotlight. You could say CBG is the new cannabinoid on the block.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about CBG and CBD, including basic information on these two cannabinoids, key differences, and potential benefits and applications in clinical research.
CBG and CBD are two of more than 113 cannabinoids produced by cannabis and hemp plants. Both CBG and CBD are widely considered non-intoxicating cannabinoids, meaning by and large you’re not likely to experience that fuzzy haze you get with consuming cannabinoids like THC.
What Is CBG?
CBG is often referred to as “the mother of all cannabinoids”. This is because most other cannabinoids are derived from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), the acidic form of CBG. Take CBD for example, the parent molecule cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is converted into the chemical precursor, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), as the plant matures. CBD is then produced from CBDA by exposing the plant material to heat or through some other decarboxylation process.
CBG was discovered in 1964, though scientific and clinical research surrounding this cannabinoid only began recently. However, emerging research suggests that CBG may help with sleeping troubles and may promote a positive mood and sense of calm.
What Is CBD?
Second to THC, CBD is one of the most well-researched cannabinoids out there. It was first isolated back in the 1930s but was pushed to the side until the 1970s when researchers discovered its anticonvulsant properties. Since then, a highly purified prescription CBD solution, Epidiolex, was approved by the FDA to treat seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy.
Key Differences Between CBG and CBD
Aside from their different molecular structures, the primary difference between CBG and CBD is how their effects on the body are produced. The effects produced by most cannabinoids are largely due to their interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), though some cannabinoids provide their effects through non-ECS mechanisms, or through a combination of ECS and non-ECS mechanisms.
The ECS is a cell-signaling communication system that plays a vital role in the regulation of various processes and functions in the body, such as sleep, mood, inflammatory response and pain, metabolism, and memory. The ECS is comprised of two receptor types: the endocannabinoid type I and type II (CB1 and CB2) receptors which are located all throughout your body, including the nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord, your gastrointestinal tract, your skeletal muscles, your vascular system, and your skin.
CBD is believed to produce its effects from both ECS and non-ECS mechanisms. CBD doesn’t bind well to CB1 receptors, but it can weakly activate CB2 receptors (receptors linked to inflammatory response) in addition to interacting with other receptors such as 5-HT1A (serotonin receptor linked to anxiety and depression) as well as TRPV1 and PPARs (receptors linked to the perception of pain).
CBG, on the other hand, is believed to bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS and may strengthen the function of anandamide (the “bliss chemical”), a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in enhancing mood and pleasure and regulating sleep. Anandamide signaling is associated with a positive mood and a sense of calm.
Potential Benefits of CBG and CBD
When taken alone, CBG and CBD each have their own unique potential benefits which we’ll discuss below. However, these two cannabinoids are also believed to work better together, amplifying the effects and potential benefits. This is known as the entourage effect. The phenomenon suggests that the combination of multiple cannabis compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids) may enhance the sensations of a given cannabinoid compared to when a single cannabinoid is taken alone.
Potential Benefits of CBG:
Reduced mild anxiety
Improved sleep quality
CBG in Clinical Trials: Examples of Targeted Conditions:
Potential Benefits of CBD:
Relief from everyday aches and pains
Reduced mild anxiety
Promotion of restful sleep
CBD in Clinical Trials: Examples of Targeted Conditions:
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.