The cannabis plant houses hundreds of compounds, including flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Each one has unique properties and effects. The most commonly known compounds in the cannabis plant are THC and CBD. THC causes the intoxication effects, and CBD does not. It is typically used for medicinal purposes.
CBD is growing in popularity as a tool to aid several medical conditions. A new option is also gaining more attention- CBG. Let’s take a closer look at these two cannabinoids and their uses.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) comes right from the hemp plant. CBD does not cause a high. According to the World Health Organization, CBD doesn’t show the potential for abuse or dependence. CBD can provide several benefits, including:
- Reduces pain and swelling
- Can help with anxiety symptoms
- Assists with sleeplessness
- May reduce seizures
What Is Cannabigerol (CBG)?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid from the cannabis plant and is often called the “mother of all cannabinoids.”
CBG also does not get you high. Instead, it interacts with your body through different mechanisms to provide similar benefits as well as a few unique ones of its own. The main advantages of CBG can include:
- Aids with digestion
- Offers antibacterial effects
- Reduces pain and swelling
We see CBG in smaller quantities, than other cannabinoids, in most hemp plants. It can make finding CBG products a bit more difficult, and they may cost more. However, CBG is growing in popularity, and we’re seeing it pop up for sale more often.
How Does CBG Work?
The body’s endocannabinoid system processes CBG, which keeps our bodies in an optimal state. In our bodies, CBG acts like endocannabinoids.
Cannabinoid Receptors in the Body
Our body makes two cannabinoid receptors—CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are in the nervous system and brain, and CB2 receptors are in the immune system and other areas.
CBG binds to those receptors, and research shows that from there, it strengthens anandamide. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation, appetite and sleep, and pain relief.
Potential Benefits of CBG
CBG can help with pain without the risks of an intoxicating effect. Research suggests that CBG might have other therapeutic effects, but these studies are ongoing.
Some promising animal studies suggest that CBG might be useful for the conditions:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease causes persistent bowel swelling and affects millions of people. An experimental animal study from 2013 showed that CBG could be beneficial and help reduce inflammation. The study recommended clinical experimentation in IBD patients because the results were very promising.
Researchers found that CBG could be used in treatment regimens for glaucoma in an animal study. A study with cats noticed reduced eye pressure and better aqueous humor outflow, a fluid produced by the eye that maintains eye pressure and provides nutrition.
Huntington’s disease causes a breakdown of the brain’s nerve cells. A 2015 study of mice with an experimental model of Huntington’s disease saw that CBG acted as a neuroprotectant. It also improved gross motor issues.
A 2020 study found that CBG has antibacterial properties. It was especially useful against methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which causes staph infections and is drug-resistant.
Fighting Cancer Cells
In a 2014 study, rats with colon cancer were given CBG. It showed some promise in blocking the receptors that cause cancer cell growth and slowing the development of colorectal cancer cells.
Researchers suggested that using CBG should be considered along with other treatments to cure and prevent colon cancer.
CBG vs. CBD
CBG is often compared to CBD as they have many similarities. They both act on the endocannabinoid system, will not get you high, and offer some benefits for pain relief.
One of the biggest differences is how plentiful they are in cannabis plants. CBD is much more readily available than CBG. The way CBG interacts with our endocannabinoid system is also different. CBG binds directly to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, which means it could be more effective, but additional research is needed.
CBD vs. CBG: Which is better?
Both CBD and CBG could provide several useful benefits, namely pain relief and improved digestive conditions. However, scientists haven’t figured out everything yet, and cannabis culture and legal use are relatively new. The research will continue, and we’re sure to learn more exciting things about how the plant can be used to treat various medical problems.
New studies coming out suggest that CBD could be great for people with mood disorders, anxiety, and even seizures. CBG could be particularly useful for those with bowel disorders and chronic inflammation. There’s also evidence that it can help with migraines, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and other health problems. Science has to start paying attention to the powerful plant because it holds such promise.
Keep an eye out for more news about the benefits of CBD and CBG. There’s sure to be great progress now that we can actively study these compounds.