Over the last few years, CBD (cannabidiol) has become a darling of the natural health world. And with minimal side effects, no addictive potential, and a long list of health benefits, it’s not hard to see why this cannabis extract has become almost as famous as its cousin, THC.
But you might be surprised to learn that CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids available out there. As CBD’s popularity grows, interest in cannabinoids has ignited, setting the stage for researchers to explore the therapeutic potential of other cannabis compounds.
One cannabinoid that’s attracting a lot of interest is CBG (cannabigerol). It seems to have plenty of health benefits to offer, but how does it stack up against CBD? In this article, we’ll compare these two potent cannabinoids and cover everything you need to know.
A PRIMER ON CANNABINOIDS
Cannabinoids seem almost too good to be true. After all, cannabis, and specifically CBD, has been praised for its ability to relieve pain, reduce seizures, lower anxiety, improve sleep, and more. But there’s actually a simple explanation for why cannabis has so many potential health benefits: the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system refers to receptors found throughout the body, and these receptors help regulate physiological processes such as pain, mood, sleep, digestion, and more. Cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBG bind to these receptors, interacting with these different areas of human health.
Hemp is the best source for CBD, as it contains much higher concentrations than psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) (though this can vary by strain). On the other hand, you’ll find only trace amounts (1 percent or less) of CBG in the cannabis plant, although hemp strains can be cultivated to be higher in CBG. Young cannabis plants tend to be higher in CBG than mature plants, because CBG breaks down into other cannabinoids — including CBD and THC — as the plant ages.
COMPARING THE BENEFITS OF CBG AND CBD
Both CBD and CBG are non-psychoactive, meaning they won’t get you high. They’re both all-natural, have minimal or no side effects, and offer a wide range of health benefits.
Like CBD, the benefits of CBG are vast due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. For example, a 2015 study found CBG potentially effective at treating bladder dysfunction, while a 1990 study found that CBG can lower glaucoma-related pressure. CBG also has neuroprotective properties, may protect against colon cancer, and shows promise as a treatment for irritable bowel disease (IBD). It’s also an appetite stimulant with anti-inflammatory benefits and antibacterial properties.CBD has been used to reduce pressure from glaucoma and reduce tumor growth, overlapping with some of these benefits. Like CBG, CBD exhibits neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits and has even been utilized for spot treatment of acne. CBD has shown effectiveness in treating anxiety disorders such as OCD, GAD, PTSD, and SAD. Perhaps most famously, CBD also can reduce epileptic seizures and alleviate pain associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.
While researchers haven’t studied the effects of combining CBD and CBG, it is known that the entourage effect is produced when different cannabinoids are combined. Combining cannabinoids enhances the effects of each cannabinoid. This effect has been well-studied relating to the relationship between CBD and THC; for example, both CBD and THC are more effective at reducing pain when taken together.
Researchers need to conduct further studies to determine if combining CBD and CBG enhances the shared benefits for glaucoma, cancer, and inflammation.
WHAT TYPE OF CBD OIL CONTAINS CBG?
If you’re looking to get the most out of your cannabinoids, and/or take multiple cannabinoids at once to experience the entourage effect, look for full spectrum CBD oil products. The cannabis plant extraction yields this CBD oil type, containing all cannabinoids and terpenes, including THC, CBD, CBG, and more.
Full spectrum products can vary widely in cannabinoid ratios due to the strain of cannabis used. Harder to control response. React differently based on batch, type, or brand of CBD oil due to variances. Full spectrum CBD oils contain traces of THC. Not enough to get high but may show up on a drug test.
For pure CBD or THC-free options, choose isolate or broad spectrum CBD products. Broad spectrum = full spectrum + processing to remove THC, keeps other cannabinoids and terpenes. Meanwhile, processing isolate CBD oil removes all cannabinoids and terpenes except CBD, resulting in a pure CBD product.
CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS. CBG
As our knowledge of cannabinoids continues to grow, so will our understanding of their uses and benefits. Although CBD is certainly the front runner, CBG shows a lot of promising uses. We anticipate a promising future for CBG and are eager to explore more about this remarkable cannabinoid.
Questions? Be sure to reach out!