CBD is quickly becoming synonymous with hemp just as much as THC once was years ago. Thanks to the research available and an ever-expanding, consumer-based CBD industry, people are becoming more aware of CBD, hemp, and the benefits of both. As our understanding of cannabis deepens, so too does our knowledge of cannabinoids.
While both THC and CBD have had their moment in the spotlight, other lesser-known cannabinoids, such as CBG, are now starting to capture the interest of scientists and consumers.
But before we start comparing CBD to CBG, here’s a quick overview of what we know about these two cannabinoids.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the leading compounds found in hemp; it makes up about 40 percent of hemp’s composition. It’s a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid – meaning it’s a plant-synthesized chemical that cannot produce a “high” or euphoric feeling. CBD was first isolated from cannabis in the late 1930s and then neglected until the seventies when scientists ignited an interest in its anticonvulsant properties.
Since then, research has confirmed that purified CBD offers a useful treatment for severe forms of childhood epilepsy. CBD may also boast anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, and sedative qualities. CBD molecules work with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system (ECS) by binding or communicating with CB2 cannabinoid receptors. These special connectors attach to our peripheral nervous system and help regulate various physiological functions with muscles, immune cells, skin, and other organs.
In recent years, CBD has seized the spotlight due to the range of therapeutic benefits it offers. CBD may help mitigate some of THC’s less desirable characteristics such as anxiety, paranoia, and impaired cognitive function. Research suggests CBD teamed with THC generally provides more significant therapeutic benefits than either cannabinoid alone, a phenomenon that is called the entourage effect.
What Is CBG?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is another non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid and is one of more than 120 cannabinoids found in cannabis. It was first isolated in 1964. While it’s probably the most unusual hemp extract currently, it has a central role in the development of CBD and other known cannabinoids.
CBG is regularly referred to as a “mother cannabinoid”; this is because it is the first phytocannabinoid synthesized in hemp that converts into other plant-based cannabinoids.
The compound starts in its 2-carboxylic acid form called cannabigerol acid (CBGA). As hemp matures, this component begins to convert into three others: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).
After the conversion, there’s only a small amount of CBGA left – less than one percent. And when hemp begins its decarboxylation process, all those compounds drop their carboxyl acid and become the cannabinoids we commonly recognize: THC, CBD, CBC, and CBG. Research suggests that CBG has a partial affinity for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBG may also stimulate receptors that influence pain, inflammation, and heat sensitivity.
Because a mature hemp plant contains low levels of CBG, its extraction requires much more effort compared to CBD. Cultivators would either need to harvest hemp before it fully matures, or grow enough hemp plants to yield a significant CBG during the extraction process.
What Is The Difference Between CBG vs CBD?
Both CBG and CBD are non-intoxicating cannabinoids that potentially boast antioxidative, neuroprotective, and analgesic properties. When paired together, CBD and CBG may offer powerful anti-inflammatory benefits to treat neuroinflammation. While those are their similarities; the chart below highlights their differences:
Both of these cannabinoids offer a variety of health benefits. Now that you have a good sense of how they are similar and how they are different, stay tuned for future articles that will dive deeper into the benefits of each.
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