By now, every man and his dog, and his grandmother, and his sister’s uncle has heard about the continued studies and research into CBD and its ample healing properties. Nevertheless, just in case you’re new here: CBD is a hemp plant-derived compound. Most are familiar with the cannabinoid ‘THC’ – the compound which contains psychoactive properties, or in other words, can give a sense of euphoria or ‘high’. The cannabis plant, however, contains over 120 different cannabinoids and THC is the only compound with the capacity to intoxicate. In fact, the human body actually has its own endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is built to digest these compounds, helping us maintain a healthy equilibrium.
So who is this new face at the hemp party? CBG stands for ‘cannabigerol’, a less common cannabinoid, not found in such an abundance as CBD and THC. CBG is sometimes referred to as a stem cell – it’s the base molecule that other cannabinoids form from. Much like the parent, or fun older uncle, of CBD and THC. CBG and CBD interact with the same receptors in the body (CB1 and CB2) and both have anti-inflammatory characteristics.
CBG is still on the waiting list for more official clinical trials; however, the potential pharmacological properties are currently being examined and are showing positive conclusions. Much like CBD, the trials are still being conducted on animals, and human participation is something we hope to see more of in the future.
What is Better: CBD or CBG? What Are the Differences?
Generally speaking: CBD helps to produce and regulate endocannabinoids, while CBG works on the receptors. Another way to differentiate the two – CGB typically energizes, whilst CBD has a more calming effect. The two balance each other out when taken together.
CBD has a more intensified response with the physical body – relieving issues such as pain and inflammation. Whereas CBG has been shown to be more effective in neurological areas. However, each person is different, and testimonials from customers have shown a variation on these results.
So far, customers of CBG have reported enhanced focus, as well as relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety. In one study conducted with mice – investigating the use of CBG in Huntington’s disease – CBG showed impressive neuroprotective characteristics, meaning it can actually protect nerve cells against harm.
There have been studies to suggest CBG’s capacity to help kill bacterial infections, such as MRSA, which can be severe and difficult to treat. While a study conducted in 2014 investigated colon cancer in rats and the reaction CBG has on reducing cancerous cells. There have also been links with CBG helping to treat inflammatory bowel disease, glaucoma, and bladder dysfunctions.
So how about the science behind the question ‘CBG vs CBD for anxiety’: GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is an amino acid which works as the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain. GABA absorption is more effective with CBG than THC or CBD. CBG also stimulates Alpha-2 receptors, which are special proteins in the body, able to smooth muscle contraction i.e they have a relaxing effect. This explains why CBG could be a better way to decrease blood pressure, anxiety, and reduce the intensity of heart palpitations.
Is CBD or CBG Better for Anxiety?
First of all, let’s take a look at the definition of anxiety. It’s a word being tossed around more frequently than ever, as we continue to live in an age where bombardment of fearful news and things to worry about is becoming increasingly normal. However, a real ‘diagnosis’ of anxiety is a more severe or continued case of uneasiness, distress, and disproportionate fear. Anxiety is the mind-body reaction to unfamiliar, stressful, or potentially harmful situations. Naturally, a certain level of anxiety is necessary to help us stay aware and alert. If we were cavemen and women, we would need to be able to muster up enough energy to flee from a poisonous snake, for example. However, chronic suffering from anxiety in the 21st Century can feel completely debilitating.
The symptoms of anxiety can look like:
- Shallow breathing, also known as ‘chest breathing’
- Stomach pains or discomfort (gassiness, bloating)
- Difficulty concentrating or dizziness
- Tension in muscles
- Heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat
When considering CBG vs CBD for Anxiety: It’s important to know both have shown to be helpful in this area. CBD especially (as more research is available) has shown to be particularly helpful for more mild forms of anxiety – such as social anxiety.
CBG has displayed strong anti-anxiety effects – as well as a muscle-relaxing reaction, both of which are connected to the same nervous system. This is due to CBG binding to certain endocannabinoid receptors in the brain that ease anxiety and pain. CBG has also been linked to increased levels of dopamine, which supports anxiety-levels, sleep, and appetite.
CBG has had a more intensified effect on relieving symptoms of ADHD and improving energy and focus, both of which have links to anxiety/overall mental wellbeing.
Can you take CBD and CBG Together?
Yes. Many people use a CBD oil tincture at night as more of a sedative to help with sleep, and CBG to improve energy and focus. The combination of CBD and CBG make a powerhouse team. Customer feedback has suggested this is the most effective option against anxiety.
Final Thoughts on CBG vs CBD for anxiety:
Research into CBG is still limited. This means, despite growing interest in the potential benefits, very little is known about its side effects, or how it works alongside alternative medications.
Even at dispensaries in states where cannabis is legal, CBG can be hard to find. CBG is usually found in products that also combine CBG with THC. There is also a quality issue with CBG, and patients are advised to check with third-party certifications with the correct level of content. Full-spectrum CBD products contain a minor selection of other cannabinoids (including CBG), which offer an easier-to-source solution.
In conclusion: if you are debating CBG vs CBD for anxiety, you might want to start with the more commonly found CBD, and gradually begin to expand and experiment with a full-spectrum variation, which will naturally include a small amount of CBG.