As our understanding of cannabinoid health benefits increases, medical researchers are looking beyond THC and CBD effects to a new class of cannabinoids that includes CBG, CBGA, and CBN. Clinical trials of the anxiety and relieving benefits of these so-called minor cannabinoids are generating interest from outside the medical community. For those interested in cannabinoid wellness, CBG (cannabigerol) appears poised to be the next cannabis compound to gain popularity in mainstream culture. So, let’s find out a little about CBG effects and compare them to the therapeutic effects of CBD. When choosing between CBG vs CBD, what is the difference?
CBG vs CBD
Looking for pain or anxiety relief from cannabis products can be confusing. There seems to be a never-ending list of cannabinoids with therapeutic benefits. Some cannabinoids appear to work better than others—or work better for some people—and to the casual consumer of cannabis wellness products, there doesn’t appear to be a clear reason as to why. Fortunately, a new study has some answers for why CBG may work better than CBD for anxiety and pain. According to a new study published in the medical journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, CBG has comparable effects to CBD with regard to pain relief. On the other hand, CBG has unique anxiety and sleep benefits that differentiate CBG from CBD. Like all cannabinoids, CBG and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to achieve their effects. The ECS is an important part of the central nervous system that regulates the chemical balance in the body. The ECS has effects on emotions, mental health, and physical wellbeing.
The pain relief effects of cannabinoids are due to their interaction with a part of the ECS called cannabinoid receptors. Metaphorically, cannabinoid receptors can be thought of like a lock while cannabinoids can be thought of like keys. When the right cannabinoid key matches the correct receptor lock, then the ECS releases chemicals that regulate pain sensation in the body. For example, CBD (a “key”) interacts with the ECS at a point called the CB2 receptor (a “lock”). When this interaction occurs, the ECS then causes a resulting pain relief effect. Both CBD and CBG interact with the CB2 receptor in similar ways and have similar pain relieving effects.
Anxiety relief is the CBG benefit that really differentiates it from CBD. CBG benefits for anxiety relief are not comparable to CBD. While both benefits of CBG and CBD result from their ability to affect the ECS, CBG is the only known cannabinoid that affects the way our body uses adrenaline. Adrenaline is a well-known natural stimulant that plays an important role in anxiety symptoms, muscle spasticity, and REM deep sleep. One of the main symptoms of anxiety disorders such as SAD, GAD, and Panic Disorder is hypervigilance. Hypervigilance is the feeling of always needing to be on guard against a threat in an environment in which no threat exists. It causes mental distress but also physical symptoms of anxiety such as muscle tension. It is believed that a type of adrenaline called noradrenaline affects hypervigilant behavior in individuals with anxiety disorders. This is where the benefits of CBG far exceed the benefits of CBD. CBG is the only known cannabinoid to block noradrenaline absorption in the body. CBG benefits Due to its ability to block noradrenaline absorption, CBG benefits include muscle relaxing effects, a decrease in hypervigilant behavior associated with anxiety disorders, and better quality of deep sleep.
CBG vs CBD: Price
Until recently, CBG and CBD had another major difference: price. While CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis plants after THC, CBG concentrations usually amounted to only 1% of the total cannabinoid content of a given cannabis strain. Recently, that has changed. Cannabis breeders, responding to increased demand for CBG, have been able to produce cannabis strains with nearly 100% CBG concentrations thus reducing the price of CBG oil and flower dramatically. What was once a rare cannabinoid from a grower’s standpoint is now readily available in a variety of CBG products. In conclusion, both CBG and CBD have similar effects on pain relief. This is due to the equivalent ways in which CBG and CBD interact with an important regulatory system in the body called the endocannabinoid system. However, CBG is significantly different from CBD with regard to anxiety relief, muscle relaxing effects, and facilitating deep sleep. Because of CBG’s ability to block noradrenaline, CBG has a significantly better therapeutic benefit profile than CBD for anxiety disorders and related symptoms.