THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces a “high”, is the most well known cannabinoid, but there are actually more than a hundred cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, and the more we study them the more we learn about the potential health benefits that each one has to offer. With some, there is a wealth of scientific knowledge and study, while with others the science is still in its infancy.
In this article we aim to uncover the secrets of what CBG oil is, and how CBG oil is different from CBD, the second most common cannabinoid after THC and the one which is most often used and sold. We’re going to uncover the fact that CBG oil has proven benefits as well, and that CBG oil is available for sale just as readily as CBD is—if you know where to look.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. Although cannabis was isolated nearly eighty years ago, it was neglected by most scientists for forty years and not studied to reveal its potential and benefits.
What are the benefits of CBD? The most well-researched is that CBD acts to help patients with epilepsy. In fact, the FDA approved the CBD-based drug Epidiolex in 2018, and has seen great success in the battle with seizures, particularly in children with epilepsy.
But just because that’s the only drug officially recognized by the FDA doesn’t mean that that’s where CBD’s beneficial properties end. Many people take CBD for a wide range of problems such as inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and insomnia. CBD can be taken in a variety of forms, including oils, capsules, edibles, and more. CBD oil can also be used topically to help sore muscles and joints as well as to help skin disorders like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and even razor burn and abrasions.
Physiologically, CBD acts through the endocannabinoid system of the brain, binding with the CB1 and CB2 receptors primarily, but also several others.
What is CBG?
CBG, or cannabigerol, is one of the 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis. Unlike THC or CBD, CBG is found through a different process. It was first isolated in the 1960s, and has not been studied as extensively as CBD, but there are still promising results found from limited trials. For starters, CBG is a powerful analgesic. THC is also an analgesic, but has psychoactive properties that make many shy away from it, so the fact that CBG is also an analgesic is very promising for future use. Other possible benefits of CBG oil are that it may help with cancer symptoms, act as an antibiotic, and as an antidepressant.
CBG is actually derived from a substance called CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) which is the root from which the major cannabinoids spring. As cannabis ages, enzymes transform CBGA into THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. But, through a process called decarboxylation, CBGA is converted into CBG.
What Are the Differences Between CBG and CBD?
CBG and CBD have different molecular structures, meaning that they interact with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system in different ways. They activate those receptors, sometimes working together to produce great results, and sometimes working against one another to negate the others’ effects. For example, CBD has been shown to act as an anti-nausea aid because of the way it interacts with the 5-HT1A receptor, but CBG can block those effects if it interacts with that receptor first.
What Are the Benefits of CBG Oil?
To date there have been no major studies in humans of the effects of CBG, only preliminary studies. But the preliminary studies do show promise for the cannabinoid.
Building on the study in rats mentioned above, a 2017 study in rats found that CBG combats loss of appetite and cachexia (a “wasting” disorder that causes massive debilitating weight loss). While THC may help improve appetite, CBG can do the same thing without the psychoactive effects.
CBG also shows promise as an antibiotic in combating one of the most aggressive bacterias around, MRSA. In a 2020 study in which scientists exposed MRSA to 18 different cannabinoids, CBG outshined them all for its antibiotic properties, even doing as well as the FDA-approved antibiotic Vancomycin.
Finally, CBG has the potential to be a major contender in the fight against cancer, because it has been shown in mice to reduce abnormal cell proliferation. In the study, it had anti-tumorigenic properties, preventing the growth of melanoma cells.
The Entourage Effect
The “entourage effect” is a hypothesis that when it comes to cannabinoids, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Essentially, the effect comes when full-spectrum CBD oil products are used, which contain all terpenes and cannabinoids of the cannabis plant (including CBG). While there is still scientific research that needs to be done, there is evidence to suggest that taking all the cannabinoids produces effects much more powerful—and beneficial—than taking any one cannabinoid alone.
This is also often the best way to get the benefits of CBG oil, as CBG is harder to find than full-spectrum CBD oil.
CBG and CBD oil both have attractive components that give them potential as health aids and give pharmaceuticals something worthy of research. While much research has been done into CBD (though certainly not enough) not nearly as much has gone into the study of CBG. But if CBG has the potential to help as a powerful antibiotic and anti-cancer aid (as the animal testing has suggested), surely we will hear more about CBG in the future.
Are you ready to try CBD oil, CBG oil, or full-spectrum CBD?