The Difference Between CBG and CBD

As our knowledge of cannabinoids grows, so does our understanding of cannabis. Other lesser-known cannabinoids, like as CBG, are already attracting the attention of scientists and users.

According to preclinical investigations, CBG and CBD may have many therapeutic properties. CBG and CBD are both non-psychoactive cannabinoids that may possess antioxidative, neuroprotective, and analgesic activities. CBD and CBG may provide potent anti-inflammatory advantages for the treatment of neuroinflammation when combined.

But where do their similarities end? CBG is distinct from CBD in a number of respects, as shown by a closer examination. Let's explore how.

What is CBG?

CBG stands for cannabigerol. Cannabigerol is one of more than 120 cannabinoids found in cannabis, and was first isolated in 1964. Research into CBG is still at a preclinical stage, but the studies that are available suggest that it holds considerable therapeutic promise. CBG's analgesic properties may surpass those of THC without the intoxicating hit. There's also evidence to suggest CBG may offer anticancer, antidepressant, and antibacterial qualities.

Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is the chemical precursor to all of the well-known cannabinoids. As the cannabis plant matures and grows, enzymes convert CBGA into the three primary cannabinoid acids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). 

Through decarboxylation, CBGA becomes CBG, enabling the cannabinoid to interact with the body's cannabinoid receptors. 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

CBG generally appears in low concentrations in most cannabis plants; however, breeding efforts have resulted in CBG-rich cannabis cultivars. CBG-dominant plants are known as “Type IV” cannabis. Although these cannabigerol-dominant plants aren't yet commonplace in the consumer hemp and cannabis markets, they are actively being cultivated on a relatively large scale. Higher concentrations of CBG will render it easier to extract the cannabinoid for therapeutic use. 

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in type II (THC/CBD dominant) and Type III (CBD-dominant) cannabis and hemp plants. 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 is an effective treatment for severe forms of childhood epilepsy. CBD may also have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, and sedative properties.

CBD has risen to prominence in recent years as a result of the numerous therapeutic benefits it provides. CBD may help alleviate some of THC's undesirable side effects, such as anxiety, paranoia, and impaired cognitive function. CBD combined with THC appears to provide more significant therapeutic benefits than either cannabinoid alone, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.

CBD affects the endocannabinoid system through a variety of physiological pathways. It has a partial affinity for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it also binds to several other receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Its mechanisms of action on the body are still poorly understood.

What is the difference between CBG and CBD?

CBG differs from CBD in several important ways:

The structure of molecules.

The molecular structures of cannabigerol and cannabidiol differ. The number and arrangement of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atoms that make up a cannabinoid are referred to as its molecular structure. CBD and CBG have different three-dimensional shapes due to their dissimilar molecular structures, and thus bind to the body's cannabinoid receptors in different ways and act on the body differently. The molecular structure of a cannabinoid also influences its bioavailability and degree of solubility in water.
Pharmacology. CBD and CBG both activate receptors in different ways. A 2011 study published in Psychopharmacology, for example, compared the effects of CBD and CBG on the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor. CBD appears to exert its anti-nausea effects by acting as an agonist on the 5-HT1A receptor (activator). CBG, on the other hand, acts as a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist (blocker). The findings revealed that CBG pre-treatment blocked CBD's anti-emetic effects, implying that the two cannabinoids bound to the same receptor but had opposing effects at this receptor.

Stimulation of the appetite.

Another important distinction between CBG and CBD is in appetite stimulation. CBG doses encouraged rats to eat more than double their normal food intake, according to research. Cannabigerol had no effect on feeding behaviour in another study, but cannabidiol significantly reduced total food intake.

What are CBG's therapeutic effects?

Although no clinical trials have been conducted to investigate the effects of CBG on humans, a number of preclinical studies provide insight into some of CBG's potential therapeutic effects. While CBG will not provide you with an intoxicating, psychoactive experience, it may provide other unique therapeutic benefits that may help with the conditions listed below — though more human trials are required.

Stimulation of the appetite.

Preclinical studies have shown that CBG can significantly increase appetite in rats, as previously discussed. A 2017 study emphasised the therapeutic significance of this discovery, claiming that purified CBG could be a novel treatment option for cachexia, appetite loss, and wasting in humans. Unlike THC, CBG can help to stimulate appetite without causing intoxication.

Bacterial infections caused by MRSA.

CBG has also proven to be an effective antibiotic. The antibacterial potential of 18 different cannabinoids, including cannabigerol, was investigated. CBG outperformed all other cannabinoids tested and was as effective as vancomycin, a powerful antibiotic.
Cancer. Because of its ability to inhibit abnormal cell proliferation, CBG has anticancer properties. By inhibiting the formation of mouse skin melanoma cells, research has shown that it has anti-tumorigenic properties.

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