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What is CBG – and how is it Different from CBD?

Perhaps the next big thing on the agenda is yet another tri-lettered cannabinoid called Cannabigerol, or CBG for short. Although not as widely recognized (yet) as CBD and THC, cannabigerol has the potential to turn into one of the most coveted cannabis-derived concentrates worldwide, and here’s why…
September 9, 2020
Written by Simón Cartagena

Photo by Wayhome Studio / Adobe Stock Photo

When you read and write about cannabis, hemp, marijuana, strains, cannabinoids, and all of that good stuff every single day, it’s nearly impossible to feel like you’re not making stuff up. Not because the knowledge and research aren’t there, on the contrary; it’s because there are so many new findings to dig from every single day.

Take cannabinoids for instance. Not too long ago we thought that the only important cannabinoid was tetrahydrocannabinol (a.k.a. THC). Suddenly Cannabidiol (CBD) comes into play and our world is flipped upside down.

Guess what:

If you thought that’s where it stopped, then you were mighty wrong. There are 111 more cannabinoids to study and find benefits from, not to mention the nearly 500 other components found in the cannabis plant. But for now, we’ll stick to cannabinoids.

Perhaps the next big thing on the agenda is yet another tri-lettered cannabinoid called Cannabigerol, or CBG for short. Although not as widely recognized (yet) as CBD and THC, cannabigerol has the potential to turn into one of the most coveted cannabis-derived concentrates worldwide, and here’s why…

The CBG Hype

Tons of brands are coming out with their version of CBG products. Perhaps the most common among specific cannabinoids always tend to be concentrates and oils, which I’m sure you’re already pretty familiar with. Fewer brands are coming out with what seems to be a step back but are harder to do in terms of manufacturing; cannabinoid-specific flower.

Take Botany Farms for instance, who offer a CBG-specific bud that promises all the benefits of CBG and absolutely none of the psychoactive effects of THC.

Buy now

But before dipping our toes any further into the pool of information, let’s first understand where the CBG hype is coming from.

Contrary to popular belief, not all cannabinoids are naturally occurring. Some components like THC and CBD develop after the plant is exposed to external influences, including, heat, air, light, etc. On the other hand, there’s a branch of components called Phytocannabinoids which are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant and CBG is one of them.

Why is this important?

By exposing these phytocannabinoids to the external influences discussed above, we can produce THC and CBD. The story is not different with CBG. In fact, CBG is considered to be the “stem cell” of other cannabinoids. In other words, CBD and THC are produced from CBG after an internal enzymatic reaction in the plant.

CBG carries an array of benefits, including mitigation of paranoia and anxiety, specifically, the paranoia and anxiety often caused by THC. Which makes it a perfect complement to a smoking session that could get out of hand. But we’ll touch base on the benefits of CBG later.

The main reason why CBG has become so popular is because of its “precursor” nature to other important and commercial cannabinoids. This paves a path for science to develop new ways of producing THC and CBD products. The only problem is that CBG is found in small quantities within the cannabis plant, it is this scarcity that has also stalled conclusive evidence of what the effects of CBG are on the body.

CBG vs. CBD

Photo by Lifeking / Adobe Stock Photo

As we mentioned before, CBG is CBDs “parent” or “precursor”. Actually, CBG is the precursor to every other cannabinoid. In short, CBG and CBD are nothing the like, from a structural standpoint at least.

However:

The effects of both components on the human body tend to manifest themselves in similar ways. But don’t let this fool you, the fact that they manifest themselves alike does not mean that the way they behave chemically is the same.

CBD latches onto a naturally occurring element in the mammalian body called an ‘endocannabinoid receptor’. When this happens, the receptor activates a function in the body (depending on where that receptor is located). CBG behaves a tad differently.

When CBG latches onto a receptor it not only activates its own effects, in some cases, it blocks the effects of other cannabinoids. In other words, it prevents other cannabinoids from latching onto certain receptors.

I should emphasize that CBG and CBD are not the same components. But in my personal experience, I find CBG and CBD to provide very similar effects. So, if you’re a fan of CBD I suggest you give CBG a try as well, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Benefits of CBG

Early research suggests that CBG may prove to help combat the negative effects of colitis, neurodegeneration, cancer, glaucoma, and inflammation. It has also shown promise as an aid for muscle relaxation, tension relief, and may potentially carry antibacterial properties. Other studies suggest a use for CBG in inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

Regardless of the vast promise the cannabinoid shows in alternative medicine, CBG research is only just in its early stages. Robust research is lacking and conclusive evidence is far from being available to us yet. Most of the benefits and effects of CBG on the body are currently anecdotal, empirical, and consumer-based.

This is enough for me to explore with the substance. But the truth is that we don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into until clinical research is a few years deep. For this reason, any attempt to dose with cannabis for a specific symptom or condition is best discussed with a licensed physician.

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September 09, 2020 — Last Updated September 21, 2020
Written by Simón Cartagena

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