CBG vs CBD Oil: Celebrating the Potential Benefits (and Differences)
The hype around wellbeing is high – and so it should be! Holistic ways to support your health and happiness are coming in thick and fast. We’ve heard a lot about CBD and its potential benefits for the body, but there appears to be a dark horse in the cannabinoid family – meet CBG.
Lately, there's been more interest in the role and possible advantages of CBG, but what exactly is it, and how does it compare to CBD oil? We've outlined everything you need to know in this article. Once you familiarize yourself with CBG and understand the differences between it and CBD, you can make the best decision – the informed decision – for yourself.
Continue reading to better your understanding of CBG and CBD oil and to learn the difference between the two.
CBG – What is it?
Like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) is a type of cannabinoid obtained from the cannabis plant. Although it's less well-known than more common cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBG is often referred to as the "mother of all cannabinoids". This is because other cannabinoids come from an acidic form of CBG, known as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), when heated. CBG is then formed through the process of decarboxylation.
In most strains of the cannabis plant, CBG is found in small quantities – as little as 1% by weight! This is a big difference compared to the prevalence of 20 to 25% of CBD or 25 to 30% of THC; both start out as CBGA. So, how does this work?! Once the cannabis plant is fully developed, there are very low concentrations of CBG as it's been converted to CBD and THC during the growth process. Therefore, CBG is extracted from young cannabis plants due to the higher concentrations found in them. According to scientists, the optimum extraction window for cannabis to maintain the highest amounts of CBG is around the six to eight-week flowering cycle.
CBG is generally quite difficult to get hold of, making CBG-derived products rare and expensive. However, some strains of cannabis are specifically grown to produce higher amounts of CBG, such as White CBG, Super Glue CBG and Jack Frost CBG. Specialist plant breeders have also been experimenting with cross-breeding and genetic manipulation to assist in producing and attaining more CBG from cannabis plants.
How Does CBG Work in the Body?
The body processes CBG through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for helping to keep your body functioning to the best of its ability via a complex system of molecules and receptors. The two types of cannabinoid receptors in the body are CB1 – found in the nervous system and brain – and CB2 – primarily found in the immune system.
CBG imitates the natural endocannabinoid compounds that our bodies produce. It binds to both receptors where it supposedly strengthens anandamide, a fatty acid neurotransmitter that helps alleviate pain, regulates appetite and sleep, and enhance pleasure and motivation. Naturally, this means that CBG has the potential to play a key role in overall health and wellness.
It’s suggested that CBG may have therapeutic effects; however, more research needs to be completed to confirm and clarify this, especially in human studies.
So far, animal studies have indicated that CBG may have a wide variety of therapeutic applications. The use of CBG may help improve the following health conditions:
According to a 2013 study conducted on mice, CBG seems to reduce the prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract that’s associated with inflammatory bowel disease IBD). The condition can be chronic and is incurable. Millions of people are affected by the two most common diseases under the umbrella term IBD – ulcerative colitis (US) and Crohn’s disease, both of which can be extremely painful and disruptive.
In this case, the colons of mice were induced with inflammations similar to IBD and researchers administered CBG. It was found that the cannabinoid reduced inflammation and the production of nitric oxide, and the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the intestines. These results suggest that clinical experiments on IBD patients should consider CBG.
Researchers have found that CBG has therapeutic potential for the treatment of glaucoma when administered to cats. Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. If it’s not diagnosed and treated early, it can lead to loss of vision.
The study notes a reduction in eye pressure and an increase in aqueous humour outflow, a fluid produced by the eye which preserves eye pressure while providing nutrition to the eye. Another 2008 study found CBG to reduce intraocular pressure. As medical cannabis looks effective in treating glaucoma, CBG might be somewhat responsible for its efficacy.
CBG shows promise in the realm of neurodegenerative conditions, such as Huntington’s disease. This condition causes nerve cells in the brain to break down and affects everything from movement to thinking skills.
In 2015, a study looked into this with mice with an experimental model of Huntington's disease. It concluded that CBG and other cannabinoids might have neuroprotective properties, protecting the brain's nerve cells from damage. Additionally, CBG may improve motor deficits and safeguard striatal neurons against 3-nitropropionic acid toxicity.
A 2008 study suggests that CBG has antibacterial properties. This is particularly the case for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is resistant to various widely used antibiotics. This makes MRSA infections more difficult to treat due to being drug-resistant.
A more recent 2020 study revealed similar findings and supports the antibiotic potential of cannabis and CBG.
CBG may be beneficial for fighting cancer cells and other tumours. The effects of CBG on rats with colon cancer were observed in a 2014 study, proving the potential for CBG to block the receptors that cause cancer cell growth. If CBG could reduce the growth of colorectal cancer cells in rats, it may have similar effects in humans. However, it is far too early to tell what the future holds as regards CBG and cancer overall. In fact, a 2006 study notes that CBG may help with human breast cancer.
In 2016, a study on rats suggested that CBG could stimulate the appetite. CBG can, therefore, potentially increase hunger and enhance food consumption. By acting as an appetite stimulant, perhaps CBG could be used to help those suffering from chronic conditions or those on long-term medication that suppress the appetite.
Contractions of the bladder appear to be affected by some cannabinoids, including CBG. In fact, a 2015 study concluded that CBD has the most remarkable ability at potentially treating bladder dysfunctions. This was determined after looking at five different cannabinoids and how they each affect the bladder.
While animal studies are a good start, human trials are necessary to discover and prove the effectiveness of CBG and other cannabinoids.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Considering the side effects when taking any drug is essential; however, little is known about the potential side effects of CBG. To date, there isn't enough reliable information available to understand how safe CBG is in humans. However, it seems to be well-tolerated by rats and other animals.
As with any medication, it’s always advisable to check with your doctor before taking CBG, especially if your product contains a grapefruit warning. Grapefruit can interact with some common medications and ultimately alter how they affect your body.
Some categories of medications that tend to have this warning include:
- Cholesterol medications called statins – grapefruit can increase side effects and cause muscle damage;
- Blood pressure medications – can overcorrect blood pressure;
- Heart rhythm medications – side effects can be dangerous;
- Anti-infection medications, collectively called antimicrobials – can lead to disrupted heart rhythm or function;
- Mood medications – can result in heart rhythm changes, excessive sleepiness and other drug-specific effects;
- Blood thinners – can lead to bleeding or less effective prevention of blood clots;
- Pain medications – some narcotic pain relievers persist longer in the blood when taken with grapefruit;
- Erectile dysfunction and prostate medications – can decrease blood pressure, causing low blood pressure and increased dizziness.
The hemp plant is non-toxic to the human body. When CBG is taken in therapeutic doses, chances are it will rarely produce side effects. However, our bodies differ in terms of how our systems function, how we endure certain compounds and how susceptible we are to specific substances. Therefore, adverse reactions are always a possibility.
If taken in very high doses, CBG has a higher potential of producing unwanted side effects such as tiredness, diarrhoea – which is more likely to occur after consuming CBG as an edible – dry mouth, appetite changes and weight changes. These side effects should pass after the CBG is no longer active in the body.
Similarities and Differences to CBD Oil
CBD is undoubtedly the leading cannabinoid in hemp; however, CBG is quickly becoming the most sought-after cannabinoid. The benefits of both are intriguing, but how do their similarities and differences compare? Here's a brief overview.
- CBG and CBD are two of more than 120 identified cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant.
- Both have been used to combat pain and appear to have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Unlike THC, CBG and CBD will not get you "high" as they don't have psychoactive properties. They will contribute to the overall effects of cannabis and may counteract the intoxicating effects of THC. However, because they are non-psychoactive, they will not cause any intoxicating effects themselves or alter your state of mind in the way THC will. CBG may even work as a buffer to THC's psychoactivity and alleviate feelings of paranoia.
- You can take CBG and CBD in similar forms, such as oils, tinctures, edibles, isolate powders and more.
- CBG and CBD both act on the endocannabinoid system and interact with the same receptors in the body.
- Animal studies have shown some promise for CBG and CBD oil to be helpful for a range of therapeutic benefits.
- Neither CBG nor CBD is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- While they’re both cannabinoids, CBG and CBD are different compounds within the cannabis plant. CBG helps to make CBD.
- CBG seems to have some different functions and potential health benefits compared to CBD. Despite a potential pharmacological overlap, they serve different purposes and may help to treat various ailments.
- The quantity of CBG compared to CBD found in cannabis plants is one of the most significant differences. As stated earlier, most plants contain 24% more CBD than CBG.
- CBG interacts with our endocannabinoid system differently from CBD; CBD acts primarily through indirect interactions, whereas CBG works directly. It's thought that CBG might even be better at delivering its benefits to our systems.
- The scarcity of CBG is due to production difficulties. It’s much harder to produce than other cannabinoids like CBD and THC. The isolation and use of CBD is easier to translate to commercial products.
- There’s far more research on CBD within the cannabis science community than there is on CBG.
Ensuring High-Quality Products
High-quality products are paramount. However, the higher the quality, often the higher the price point. The CBG market is thought to be one of the most expensive when it comes to cannabinoids due to the cost of its production. As James Rowland, CEO of the Colorado CBG brand Steve’s Goods, explained to Forbes, “it takes thousands of pounds of biomass to create small amounts of CBG isolate.”
The CBG extraction process also requires specialized production equipment and high-performance chromatography apparatus for isolates and purified CBG to be as precise as possible. Rowland thinks that CBG "will remain considerably more expensive than CBD for a long time, but if CBD prices drop, you'll see CBG prices drop too."
While we appreciate good-quality products, knowing exactly what you’re getting can be difficult. Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing a CBG product.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain multiple cannabis plant extracts, including essential oils, terpenes and small amounts of other cannabinoids such as CBG. They're far more accessible for consumers than CBG-only products. It's also believed that cannabinoids work best when they're all taken together to increase each other's effectiveness. This phenomenon is called the entourage effect.
If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of CBG products, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. It’s worth finding out whether CBG companies have their products tested by an independent lab and third parties. Make sure to read the lab reports that should be openly available online on the company website or otherwise made available to you on request. This will help inform your purchasing decision.
CBG and CBD Oil from PP Health
Our brand, Plant Physiology Health, selects only the very best plants from an organic plantation in Switzerland to make CBD Superb – high-quality full-spectrum CBD drops. Our precise processing method ensures consistent quality output. Below, we dive into full-spectrum CBD oil, CBD softgels, CBD gummies and GBG oil.
To avoid losing crucial substances through the heating process, we use the CO2 extraction process for CBD Superb as this process doesn’t involve solvents or heat. A number of cannabinoids are retained in our oil along with essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and several natural substances – for example, flavonoids and phenols – that may benefit your health.
Our entire company is built around the healing power of nature. We want our customers to experience the potential benefits that our products have to offer. So, if you're struggling with anxiety and stress, appetite, sleep, memory, digestion, nutrition and energy, pain or depression, then PP Health products could be the right fit for you.
Given how similar CBG and CBD seem on the surface, it's key to note the differences between them. Both have their potential benefits; however, further clinical research needs to be conducted to fully understand how they work in the body.
It’s interesting to see how CBG is following in the footsteps of CBD as the latest trend in wellness products. Although a less abundantly available cannabinoid, some expect CBG to eventually outshine CBD. While it’s far too early to say which of the two may prove superior to the other, the potential benefits of CBG may just be as therapeutic as those of CBD.
As time goes on, we’ll receive more information about CBG from scientists, researchers and health experts. For now, we know that CBG may have a wide range of potential applications.