CBG or CBD: which is best? Unless you’ve been living underground for the last few years, you’ve probably heard of CBD! Derived from hemp plants, this chemical compound has become one of the most popular wellness ingredients on the market. Now, it’s facing competition from a lesser-known cannabinoid called CBG, but which one is best? In this article, we’ll explain the differences between CBD and CBG so you can decide and generally give you idea about organic supplements in the UK. What are CBD and CBG? Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are both chemical compounds called cannabinoids. They’re found in plants from the cannabis family, like hemp and marijuana, along with lots of other cannabinoids and phytochemicals. CBG is actually a precursor to CBD. Young plants produce lots of CBG, which is then broken down and turned into CBD and other cannabinoids like THC (the chemical responsible for getting you high when you smoke cannabis). CBG and CBD products are both made by extracting oil from the hemp plant. CBD products are made from more mature hemp plants, in which most of the CBG has been converted to CBD and other chemicals. CBG products, on the other hand, are usually made from younger plants with higher CBG content. How do they work? When you use a product made from the hemp plant, like CBD oil or CBG oil, you also ingest the cannabinoids it contains. They then act on a system in your body called the endocannabinoid system, or the ECS. The ECS was only discovered in the 1990s, but scientists quickly released that it’s one of the most important systems in the body. It’s involved in everything from appetite, mood and sleep, to fertility, immunity and metabolism, making sure everything stays in a constant state of balance. It does this with its own cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, which travel around the body and attach to receptors when something needs to be done. Plant cannabinoids like CBD and CBG have a very similar chemical make-up to our own endocannabinoids, so they can affect the ECS in a similar way. This is where CBG and CBD differ. CBG attaches to both types of receptor, CB1 and CB2, which are found all over the body and in the brain and nervous system. It also stops your body from breaking down one of your own endocannabinoids called anandamide. Nicknamed “the bliss molecule”, anandamide is heavily involved in pleasure, motivation, mood and lots of other things. CBG helps to prolong its effects. CBD we’re not so sure about. Researchers know that it doesn’t bind to endocannabinoid receptors like CBG and THC do. They also know that it affects other receptors that aren’t involved in the ECS. Scientists’ best guess so far is that it interacts with the receptors and/or enzymes in some way. Regardless, we do know that it has lots of benefits. What are the benefits of CBD? Since the ECS was only recently discovered, there’s still a lot we don’t know about how CBD affects it. That said, there’s some evidence that it might help with pain-related conditions like sciatica, arthritis, neuropathy, muscle spasms and chronic pain. It’s also been found to relieve inflammatory pain and reduce pain perception. Plus, taking plant-based supplements such as liquid chlorophyll drops, lions mane mushroom, pure shilajit capsules in the UK result in various health benefits. CBD is also reported to help with anxiety. The US National Institute on Drug Abuse says that it reduces signs of anxiety and stress, while a scientific review found that CBD reduced anxiety symptoms in a number of clinical anxiety disorders. This study and this study both found that CBD relaxed the areas of the brain responsible for emotional processing, helping to relieve anxiety and, in one study, improve sleep. By reducing anxiety, researchers think that CBD can indirectly help with related conditions like insomnia, depression and low libido. Remember though – this is all early research so we can’t promise you’ll experience the same benefits from taking CBD. What are the benefits of CBG? Believe it or not, CBD is very well-researched compared to CBG! However, early research suggests that it could have similar painkilling effects, reducing inflammation associated with conditions like vasculitis, periodontitis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. This is possibly thanks to its enhancing effect on anandamide, which can help to ease inflammation and regulate pain perception. By preventing your body from getting rid of anandamide, CBG is also thought to prolong its positive effects on mood. In one study, scientists found that the world’s happiest populations all had a genetic mutation that lowered their levels of the enzyme that breaks down anandamide. Because of this, researchers are investigating whether CBG can help with problems like anxiety and depression. Other benefits of CBG might include protecting against neurodegenerative diseases like Huntingdon’s, treating the vision disorder glaucoma, and even limiting tumour growth. (You can read more about these benefits and the evidence in our article The Benefits of CBG.) So which is best?
- Scientific support