CBD vs CBG: Who’s The Winner?
We may see a day in the near future where CBG and CBD compete for the attention as the most popular cannabinoid. We know there are more than 100 cannabinoid compounds in the hemp plant and that CBD and THC are just two of the most referred to, the most understood and most prevalent inside the plant.
The real question here is: what’s the big difference between the two? Understanding that is the key to knowing which of these compounds may be more beneficial to you.
Benefits of CBD: What the research shows
Fair warning, this gets a bit nerdy:
CBD has been gaining popularity because it has potential health benefits with none of the intoxicating effects of THC. This makes it ideal for those seeking to achieve what hundreds of published medical studies are saying about CBD and not worrying about being high while at work, school, driving etc. CBD works by stimulating your endocannabinoid system.
What scientists and researchers have seen however, is that CBD doesn’t directly stimulate the receptors in your endocannabinoid system. It raises levels of the neurotransmitter responsible for making your endocannabinoid system tick.
if you haven’t read this yet, it will help you understand a bit more:
What is the endocannabinoid system?
But, in case you haven’t read it and what the quick version: The more your endocannabinoid receptors get stimulated, the more effects (potential health benefits) you’ll receive from your CBD.
Because CBD has a low affinity for your endocannabinoid receptors (called CB1 and CB2), you have to take higher amounts for effect. This is why full spectrum is researched to be superior to isolate. All of the cannbinoids found in full spectrum CBD are stimulating those CB1 and CB2 receptors.
(spoiler alert: CBG just may be better at directly stimulating CB1 and CB2)
CBD is more popular because it’s very prevalent in the hemp plant, relatively easy to extract and very widely studied because of it. More research has been done on CBD than on the other lesser known cannabinoids because of this. It’s the most common cannabinoid in the hemp plant so why not look at it more than the others?
Well, after the important work done on CBD and the decades of dosage on cannabinoids, we started to see that the entourage effect (the net effect of all cannabinoids working together) could mean that other cannabinoids such as CBD might be pretty amazing too.
CBD is called the mother of all cannabinoids. This is because when a hemp plant is very young and still growing, CBG is the foundation for all other cannabinoids. CBG will turn into THC and CBD.
When a hemp plant is fully matured, almost all of the CBG has transformed into other cannabinoids and only a trace amount is left in the hemp plant.
Unlike CBD, CBD has been found to directly stimulate CB1 and CB2 more than CBD does. This means more endocannbinoid stimulation and more potential health benefits.
Lesser CBG would need to be taken to illicit the same effects as CBD.
But, we’re also noticing it could have other potential health benefits than CBD as well.
All of these studies are small scale: The University of Naples (Italy) found that CBG was reducing colon cancer in mice. They also saw that it reduced symptoms of irritable bowel sydrome. It appears to have positive effects on the gut.
At the University of Cordoba in Spain, CBG was shown to act as a neuroprotectant. Rats with multiple sclerosis were given CBG and because of its potent anti-inflammatory nature on brain cells, it was concluded to be a potential novel agent against multiple sclerosis in the future.
Right now we can’t make any claims about what CBD and CBG can do.
This is because every claim has to be evaluated and approved by the FDA through 3 phases of clinical trials and proven to be effective for whatever ailment or illness it is being used for. This just isn’t happening unless a pharmaceutical company is funding it. So, with good reason, no one is making any claims about what CBD and CBG can do (legally). Otherwise, we’re potentially breaking the law.
What I am saying is that there is mounting research to suggest CBD and CBG could have plenty of health benefits that just haven’t been approved by the FDA yet.
Current use for CBG:
Where you’ll find most CBG isolate is in dispensaries on or websites that specifically offer CBG in some form or another (capsules, spray, etc).
Even though this is a lesser-studied cannabinoid, many have done research and read published medical studies enough to give it a try.
If CBG turns out to have endocannabinoid stimulation better than CBD, we’ll be taking CBG oil and CBG pills instead.
No. CBG has no intoxicating effects, in the same way CBD has no intoxicating effects but it may have the same or even more health benefits than CBD.
CBG is Cannabigerol, the precursor to all other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, so it’s earned the name “mother of all cannabinoids”. The CBG molecule is most prevalent when a cannabis plant is immature, and transforms to other cannabinoids like CBD and THC. So, as the plant grows, the less CBG there is.
They’re both classified as a cannabinoid which is a compound found in cannabis. CBD (cannabidiol) has less affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBG binds more directly to CB1 and CB2 and therefore could create more endocannabinoid stimulation than CBD. Research on CBG is almost non-existent when you compare it to CBD.
CBG is the precursor to CBD and THC: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26836472
U of Naples, Italy anti-colon cancer in mice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25269802
U of Cordoba Spain anti-MS and anti-neurodegenerative https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22971837
nstituto Cajal, Madrid, Spain protects mice from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.